Well, Hello and hope you had a great weekend! I had a interesting one and will fill you in the next couple of days. In the meantime I have been wanting to share my blog binder as a part of the Blove series. Here goes:
This blog binder(s)thing all began with taking A Beautiful Mess's e-courses Blog Life and Blog Design Love 2.0. I found while immersed in the courses,I really needed a place to put all the amazing amount of blog knowledge (great course material!)and the obscene amount of notes I was taking. *I am a huge lifelong note and list maker. It's how I remember things and keep on task. **While taking these e-courses, I also took it pretty seriously. Approaching it as if I was back in school. I can't begin to tell you how much I learned and still am. Oh and the inspiration that still isflowing. I can't say enough how important these kind of e-coures are to taking your blogging hobby to the next level. It will create such air of excitement for you. I promise.
One of the most important lessons I walked away with is planning your blog content. It's a deal breaker in being a successful blogger for hobby or profit. It keeps you focused and conscious of what you are putting out into the world wide web. So, with that in mind and all my e-course matarial. It was time to get organized!
First things first. I needed to get my current blog binder under control and managed. At this time it was rediculously full and spilling over where I could barely close it. We all know that working that way is not condusive to creativity. So, I transferred all the e-course material into two other binders and now have three in total for blogging. Now my main binder is light, roomy and ready to serve me well.
Binder 1 Breakdown: This is the meat and potatos one. Where all my planning, scheduling and much much more goes. I have this bad boy down to a working blog science. Here is my Blog Editoral Calendar formula.
**Also I want to share that Pinterest is a wonderful resource for anything blogging. I have a created a board for all the information and ideas that have helped me. For my Blove Blog+Love ungoing series, I will be adding links there. Blove (blog+love) Pinterest Board.
Blog Editorial Calendar. I know it sounds pretty offical and professional. This is serious shit people:) OK I am kidding. The blog world will not end without a calendar for your posts, but it does go smoother. It creates a sense of work flow and keeps you on task with the content you want to create and share. I use to just write my posts out that day and hit publish. I still do on occasion. But, I noticed when I started using a editorial calendar I was way more prepared and excited to get writing, researching and taking/finding photos. It just makes the blogging process far more maneable.
Planning and Set-up. Since it is the last of the month (Sept.), I begin to set up for the next Month (Oct.) Currently I am writing my posts only a day or two in advance to keep it fresh. I have the time right now to do that as well as post more frequently. When I am working, I shoot for three posts a week and now that I am not working I can bump it up to five posts a week. This is my ideal, but one must keep time and reality in account. Plan your posts realistically to your life schedule. Don't overwhelm yourself. If you can post only once a week, thats OK. Remember this is a hobby, it should be fun and a expression of who you are. Not a chore.
Before I begin writing down posts ideas on my chicklet post-its for the calendar. I use a regular piece of paper to write a list of topics I want to cover for that month. I first keep in mind the month and season. So, It is October. What is important to me for October Posts? Maybe some halloween theme inspired. Fall favorites. *It's hard to be in the fall mood, when here in Austin, Texas it is in the 80's. So, maybe that could be a post, finding fall in a warmer climate. After I make my little list that also incudes my regular features I want to do each week or month. Maybe even centering them a bit in the season as well. I hit up my master list of blog ideas, that I keep tucked away in my blog binder. So, I can fill in vacant's spots. It's true one can never run out of ideas to blog about...I know it seems like it sometimes. This is why it is always important to take the time to write down ideas as they come to you. You will never know when you will need them in a blog idea pinch. Be always prepared.
Now that I have a good October working list. I start filling out my chicklets. They come in four different colors, so I alternate them. I wish I could use certain colors for featured posts. But, I enjoy the look of alteranting the colors:) After there all written out. I spend the time placing them throughout the month. Chiclets are nice so you can move them around and if you are not feeling a post altogether just remove it.
Once a post is created and posted. I remove the chicklet and hand write the post title on the date and check it off. Done and finished. Ready for the next. It seriously is a pretty easy format once you get going and do the inital time consuming part of planning. I can't believe how much time it saves for the rest of the month.
Here is a few other random Editorial calendar tips and tricks I have discovered:
- Put thought into your weekly post schedule. What I mean by that is what days do you want to share your content? What is the most popular days and times that readers show up? For example: I like to post regular features on Mondays and Fridays (for readersover the weekend). The rest of the days are a free for all for content. I find scheduling my posts around 8 am works best for me. So, the rest of the day is free to do other stuff. A little thought can make a big difference in readership happiness. Another thing to track all this is via Google Analytics. Here is a good link on understanding the whole google analytics for building your editorial calendar.
- Don't be afraid to wing it sometimes. I still write posts on a whim and forfeit the calendar for that moment. It's ok to still be spontenous. It's surprising how A editoral calendar frees of time to do that kind of blogging still.
- If you don't stick to the calendar...try, try again. It took me up until recently to completely commit. I had a couple of well planned months that went to "waste". I just kept them and picked blog ideas off them:) So,changing things up and new routines can be hard sometimes. So, be easy with yourself on the transitions.
Most of all find what works for you in planning blog posts. What might work for me, might not work for you. We all have our ways, just find yours:)
Happy Monday. Love C.
Next: Blove Post will be on my process of planning,organizing and writing blog posts in the binder.