Before your mind gets carried away into the gutter, the big O I’m referencing here is organisation aka the key and secret behind any blog and blogger. In my eyes this is the only way an upload schedule can be managed and maintained. Whether you are just starting out, juggling a blog alongside a budding career or have a blog and YouTube channel to keep on top of, staying organised helps you to keep your head above water and plan ahead. It’s no mean feat running a blog but over the past five years meandering my way through this ever changing world, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks to help organise day to day blogging life.
Scheduling Tools – behind it all are those key tools that allow us to schedule content for the future. I use Wordpress (my blog platform) to schedule each post to go live at 7am and Hootsuite (which is free!) for my Twitter and Facebook shares. Sometimes posts only get scheduled the night before, however being able to have a consistent publish time encourages readers to check back as they know something new will be ready and waiting.
Track What You’ve Done – might sound strange but trying to keep track of where you are with a post can be a struggle. Balancing pictures, text and social media links – did I set my ‘tips on cheese eating’ post to go live or was I actually busy taking pictures of my cat instead of my new lipgloss? Tracking what has or hasn’t been done acts as a great reminder and is how I compile my weekend ‘To Do’ lists. For this I used a suped up Google Docs spreadsheet where I track each thing I need to do before scheduling a post to go live. I also colour code the post based on category to encourage me to mix up the beauty talk with some lifestyle features or recipe additions.
Think Ahead – when you blog it’s incredible how your day to day thoughts can transform from frivolous TV Show debates to whether the makeup you apply before a Saturday shopping trip could be turned into a post. Naturally you will find yourself checking whether you have enough pictures taken, what content is planned for the week ahead and also whether you can write up a post whist watching yet another episode of Gossip Girl. By planning in advance and tracking what’s been done you naturally become more organised and ready for the week ahead.
Jot Down Ideas – be it a notebook, iPhone or Evernote, keep a running list of ideas as you never know which one you may want to work up into a future feature. Similar to thinking ahead, storing thoughts and ideas means you have a place to go if you need to be inspired. Did the girl applying liner on the tube spark the idea of a top eyeliner post? Jot it down as you never know when the next great idea might strike!
Organise Products – whether it’s to photograph, to try, new items or even just a place to store things, I find having products organised is key. I pop everything into this white basket so when a sunny Saturday comes along I know what needs to be snapped. If I’m lacking inspiration I also rummage around this basket to help spark new ideas.
Do You Need a Content Plan? – I’ve seen a few blogs talk about formulating content plans with the view to scheduling months in advance. Although I’m all for keeping organised and planning ahead, to me this works best on a week by week basis. Blogging is so live and active I couldn’t begin to fathom out what I want to talk about in April. This may be more valid for full time bloggers juggling brand work however if you keep yourself organised, a content plan formulates from the posts you want to share. This allows you to still be flexible whilst knowing what you next seven post will be.
What tips and tricks do you have to stay organised when running a blog? It can be different for everyone – would love to know how you mange it :)