One of the things I pride myself on is my organisation. With a full-time job, a 2-year-old and a self hosted blog, I have to be organised! I thought I’d share with you how I organize my blogging schedule around my other various commitments; everyone has a different way of running things – here’s mine!
I have a spreadsheet of ideas!
I came across this idea here, and just adapted it to suit my own needs. I always rely on spreadsheets at work to keep track of pupil data, so it only seemed natural to me to organize my blog this way too.
As someone who likes to stay a few blog posts ahead of schedule, this way I can plan content months in advance.
Each month has a drop down expansion, so when clicked on it expands out to view the entire month. Here I can categorize each post with a working title and category, as well as keep track of whether its been written, edited, had photos added and tweets scheduled.
I use a simple red/green colour coded formula, so when I enter a ‘1’ into the box it is pink for incomplete, and ‘2’ for complete.
I find this the easiest way of organising posts, as it is very simple to move things around to suit the month; a simple ‘copy and paste’ job moves the contents of the row into another space, so it’s easy enough to vary posts according to category. I like to cover a range of lifestyle, makeup and beauty each month so this is clear to see what needs doing.
There are also a number of tabs at the bottom for different sections; I have one for collaborations, advertisers, and expenses, as well as a blog stats tracker and post ideas. It’s incredibly easy to switch from tab to tab, and again easy to simply copy and paste to move things around to suit.
Excel is a great way of organizing anything, as you can very easy change the layout and formulas to suit your blog’s own individual needs. By saving a master copy, I can just start a new one each year without having to go through the whole set up again.
It takes a minimal effort to maintain this way; at the start of each month I’ll input any blog stats or advertiser details, and each week when I blog I just update the post details as I go along. So simple.
Keeping a paper trail of ideas!
I tend to go back and forth with paper planners; one minute I’ll be massively into bullet journals for planning ideas down on the go, other times I haven’t the time to keep redrawing layouts so I’ll swap to a ready-made paper planner. Either way, I always tend to have a paper notebook in one form or another.
I find this massively handy for when I’m blogging on the go. When I’m at home I have my laptop and therefore my excel spreadsheet to hand, but when I’m out and about (train journeys, on holiday, weekends away etc) I tend to use the WordPress app to blog from my phone. This means that I need a physical record of my monthly schedule to keep track of what needs doing.
At the time of writing this, I’m using my Happiness Planner to track ideas, as I’m too busy to commit to a bullet journal. This is basically used as a notebook where I keep a ‘To-do’ list of things that I need to do for that week; scheduling tweets, taking photos for Instagram etc.
I love my Happiness Planner because it’s reusable; it’s basically a Filofax that I can replace the pages for as and when I need to. It’s also undated, so it doesn’t matter if I dip in and out of it from one month to the next. If I know I’m going to be out and about I can take a paper diary with me, and just update my spreadsheet when I’m next on the laptop.
Keeping track of Analytics
I use Google Analytics as well as WordPress Jetpack to keep on top of blog data. I tend to track page views, bounce rate and traffic times, which helps me understand when is the best time to post.
Buffer is a great tool for seeing when your twitter posts are making the most impact; you can see which hashtags are reaching the widest audiences and re-tweeting the most, but also what times your tweets are being seen. At the moment I get the most traffic on a Monday and Friday (Hence why I’m posting on these days) around 6 – 8pm.
As Spring and Summer approaches this will naturally change. By keeping track of the trends, you’re able to ensure that all your hard work isn’t wasted and you’re optimizing your blog exposure.
Scheduling tweets is a lifesaver!
I do not have time to promote posts 4 times a day. Seriously, who does? But a little bit of prep work ensures that my most recent posts are promoted daily on Twitter, with very little effort. My app of choice is Buffer, which I use to schedule all my tweets for the week. I aim to promote my newest post twice a day, with a couple of archived posts interspersed throughout the week. I hate it when my timeline is full of the same promotional posts, so I try not to over-spam. I also vary the re-tweet accounts and hashtags I’m using to ensure maximum audience numbers.
Buffer is great as I can write up one tweet and then just copy it and rearrange the dates and times it posts. I simply copy the tweet and edit the hashtags, and then schedule it for the following day. I tend to do this on a Monday and Friday (with each new blog post that goes live) and it takes me all of 15 minutes.
I also use the Preview app, which is a handy little tool for organizing my Instagram posts. It has a handy little grid that allows you to check what images look great according to your aesthetic (if you have one), and you can even pre-write captions and hashtags. Whilst you can’t schedule it to publish directly to your Instagram (I think this has something to do with Instagram’s regulations), you can schedule reminders to post your next post. You simply copy the caption, post your image to Instagram and then paste the caption when instructed to do so.
I try to post twice a week minimum, so this is SO handy at reminding me to do this! I’m not one for aesthetics and themes on Instagram (too time consuming and difficult!) but at least I’m able to organise my grid in advance to make sure that the images fit what I’m aiming to achieve!
I spend a lot of time browsing my various Social Media accounts of an evening, liking and conversing with other bloggers content, so engagement isn’t really an issue here. I know there are other apps that allow you to manage several social networks at once, but I tend to just pre-manage Twitter (which I find the most time-consuming). There are loads of apps on the various app stores, so ask around and try a few to see what works for you.
And there you have it! There’s nothing massively ground-breaking or new here; it’s merely a routine I’ve fallen into that I find works well for me, but I’d advise anyone reading this to take what works for you and go from there.
I know bloggers that are incredibly pedantic when it comes to blog organisation, whereas others are happy to make notes on their phones! You do you, honey!