How I Use My Blog Planner

 

 

There is a lot more that goes into blogging than simply writing a blog post. Before starting out, it’s hard to imagine the multitude of tasks that come with maintaining your own blog. Whether you work from home full-time or need to fit your blogging in on the side, planning is the key to success. Having a blog planner has made all the difference for me.

Even though everything I do in my business is online, I still prefer old-fashioned checklists to stay on task. Maybe it’s a holdover from being GenX, but sitting down with a paper and pencil gives me a better sense of control.

The key to success is to keep showing up. In order to stay consistent with the blog, it’s important to keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. This will prevent you from wasting time and jumping from task to task. Keep moving forward with a blog planner.

Daily Work Flow

I like to break my day in half with the administrative tasks being done in the morning and creativity coming into play in the afternoon. That way if I get into a zone I won’t have to stop creating until I’m good and ready. (Also, I have the advantage of a self-sufficient family at home and can skip cooking dinner if needed). My days when I work from home look like this:

6:00 – 8:00: mornings are for coffee &  contemplation. Plus walking and feeding the dogs, having breakfast, getting dressed for the day, starting laundry, straightening up, checking the garden and all that other good stuff.

8:00 – Noon ‘ish: Administrative tasks such as checking and responding to emails and social media mentions, blog comments, any writing or editing that needs to be done. Includes newsletter drafts, freebies and the tedious work of planner pages/workbooks/BOS pages.

Lunch – playing with the dogs, eat something, check in with hubs, walk in the garden.

12:30 – 4:30: Creative tasks that include graphic design work for the blog, social media, and Etsy. This is when I can take time to explore LifeBook 2018 or my archetypal work with the Conscious Collective.

Early Evening: shutting off the computer and walking away from the office. Playing with the dogs, finishing house chores, make dinner (this is hit or miss, really) and for grounding purposes, I work in the garden.

Night: time with the family. Always.

On the days where I work outside of the house, the schedule is more flexible but still follows the basic flow. I just shorten the amount of time dedicated to each area depending on when I’m available and make sure to prioritize the tasks needed.

Weekly Blogging Schedule

This is where understanding that “you can have it all, just not all at once”, comes into play. Between heavy social media and writing blog posts and marketing your business, you need to have a weekly schedule.

I find it’s helpful to create a calendar at the beginning of the month and then revisit it at the end for any tweaks or adjustments in the future. Having a guide is always better than just trying to make it up on the fly.

SUNDAY

  • Pencil in priorities for the week: Etsy listings, product development, etc.
  • Pre-schedule social media updates for the week with HootSuite
  • Update Tailwind queue

MONDAY

  • Publish blog post
  • Respond to any social media related to the blog post
  • Daily social media
  • Read, comment & share other people’s content

TUESDAY

  • Newsletter draft/updates using an email template
  • Work on product development for Etsy
  • Daily social media

WEDNESDAY

  • Publish new Etsy listings
  • Update Tailwind queue with listings/blog posts
  • Daily social media

THURSDAY

  • Draft new blog post for next week’s topic using post writing template
  • Review Newsletter draft & schedule for Friday
  • Daily social media

FRIDAY

  • Blog maintenance: update plugins, clean spam, optimize database, etc.
  • Review financials on TurboTax
  • Create graphics for the blog post
  • Daily social media

SATURDAY

  • The final draft of blog post for Monday

Breaking everything down this way helps to keep me on track and stay productive. Of course, this is the ideal version and obstacles do come up. But scheduling it actually frees my mind up to enjoy the process more. You may or may not want to do any work on the weekends. I tend to wake up earlier than everyone else and fill in that time with blogging tasks for an hour or so. Because let’s face it, when you work from home you are always thinking of work.

Monthly Blogging Tasks

Monthly tasks need to make it on the books so you don’t overlook them. This is the kind of action that separates your business from a hobby. By adding a monthly maintenance schedule you will be able to make regular improvements to your blog. Doing monthly blog checkups will keep your content fresh. This may vary for you depending on the type of website you have, but here are some of my common monthly tasks:

  • Check Google Analytics
  • Focus on highest traffic posts in Google Analytics and optimize with any links or updated content.
  • Check email list conversion rate and individual newsletter stats – make adjustments as needed.
  • Brainstorm editorial content calendar for the following month.
  • Research and reach out to any new sponsors, peers, or contacts.

Quarterly Check-Up

Ok, this is where I do a business audit four times a year. I created a checklist that helps me maintain my priorities and direction of the blog. It’s okay if your priorities change. You are allowed to shift the focus of your content in order to align with your truth.

  • BRANDING: What are your initial thoughts as you click through the pages & categories of your blog? Does the purpose and heart behind your message still resonate?
  • EXPERIENCE: Use a checklist to make sure your readers experience on the blog is up to date.
  • QUARTERLY GOALS: Set a few goals and be sure to create the plan of action that will let you reach your deadlines.

Find the blog planner I use over at the Etsy shop. And be sure to sign up for the newsletter for monthly tips and free downloads!

 

 

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