April 3rd 2018
A little organization can take your blogging game from 0 to 100 real quick~
At the start of 2018, I vowed to get more organized with my blogging. I told myself that I would plan ahead and get into a good groove so I wouldn’t have to spend as much time panicking and throwing posts together last minute. As I began to brainstorm ways to get my head in the game, I was hit in the face with a solution that has been under my nose the entire time; a production calendar.
Okay, so the term “production calendar” can sound a bit daunting but I can assure you that this will make your life a thousand times easier and once you get into the groove it will be a no-brainer!
The first step to developing your production calendar doesn’t have anything to do with content and everything to do with frequency. To put it simply, how often do you want to post? I post 4 days a week, which was really intimidating at first but this calendar made it super easy to manage. The first thing you need to do when making your production calendar is to decide how many times weekly (or monthly) you want to post and on what days.
Maybe you want to post every Tuesday and Thursday and once every other Sunday. At the start of a month go through and write down every date that falls on a Tuesday, Thursday, and alternating Sundays. That is your sort of checklist for the month. On average, I post between 15 and 18 times a month. That means throughout the month, I have to fill in 15-18 blanks with posts.
I usually do this even before I start writing. I have a long list of ideas I have brainstormed in the past and I pick and choose which ideas fit which month based on whatever is topical or just feel relevant to my life…or I just write down what inspires me. I take the time to think about what posts I need to keep close together and which ones I want to spread apart. I make sure to map out how much time more highly produced content will take and plan my month accordingly.
After I have all of my post ideas written out, I start writing whatever I feel inspired by. Not everyone is like me in this regard, but for me, I can pick up and write whenever the mood strikes. When a post is fully written and ready to go up, I color the title cell yellow until it goes live, then I color it green. I also use the calendar to remind myself if I have tagged or added photos to the posts so they don’t go out without being fully ready!
I also use this calendar to keep track of my engagement. I know that WordPress (and probably other blogging platforms as well) have insights and metrics available on the site, however, I like to personally record in my spreadsheet so I can keep track of each individual posts performance in terms of likes and comments. I also like to keep track of my follower growth on there.
((A little excel/math lesson for anyone who isn’t experienced in calculating growth you can use the formula ((new month #-old month #)/old month #)*100 in order to calculate your percent growth. I usually calculate the percent growth from the beginning to the end of the month and from the beginning of the year to the present day!))
Another great thing about the calendar system is that you can plan ahead. Right now, I have a lot of great ideas for May that I don’t want to forget about so I have already started my May calendar. Not only does this ensure that my ideas are somewhere I can remember them, but it also gives me a tiny reminder that I can get started with those posts at any time to get ahead. (For example, it is March 14th when I am writing this, haha)
Overall, this system has been the best thing to happen to my blogging since I’ve started. I know that what works for me may not work for you, but I hope that my production calendar has inspired you to find a system that works for you to stay organized!
I am also considering starting a new series of advice for new blogger, so if you’d be interested then let me know! I am relatively new myself, but I have learned quite a few tips and tricks to make things easier throughout my experience blogging and working professionally in marketing and social media!