Have you been struggling when it is time to figure out what to write next? This is an issue for all bloggers at some point, so today I’m going to show you how to quickly plan and organize your blog posts each month.
When I started my blog, I thought blogging only consisted of writing and publishing blog posts. As I’m sure you know right now, this isn’t the case.
There are so many things that bloggers have to do to become successful. Sometimes I struggle with trying to do it all. The thing is, you don’t have to do it all at once as long as you’re organized and have a plan.
Planning Blog Content
Planning blog posts may be one of the hardest blogging tasks for me. Most of the time, I draw a blank when it comes to figuring out what to write next.
Recently, I found an easy technique to come up with new topics to write about and so far it has been working very well.
This technique includes brainstorming and researching topics that are relevant to your audience.
Brainstorming is critical when it’s time to quickly plan and organize blog posts for the month. This is the time for you to put yourself in the mindset of your audience and really dig deep to determine what they need.
Once per month, carve out time to sit down and brainstorm the blog posts for the next month. On a sheet of paper (or electronic document), write the categories of your blog across the top of the page.
Next, think about the things you have written about recently. Were any of those posts really popular? Do you need to expand or go deeper on any of those topics? That is a great place to start.
Write down your potential topics under the category that it belongs to as you come up with new things to write about.
Be sure to brainstorm at least the number of topics that you want to write about in a month and maybe add one or two extra topics in case some of them don’t work out.
Next, it’s time to research your topics.
Researching blog topics makes the writing process so easy. Since you have already brainstormed topics for the next month, the research process should be straight forward.
The easiest way to do blog post research is to search your topic on Google. Pay close attention to the questions that are asked at the bottom of the page. These are questions that real people want to know more about.
Can you write a post about your topic that answers most of the questions on the Google results page? If so, you have selected a great topic. If not, try to narrow down your search terms and search again or move on to the next topic.
Take notes on the things that you need to cover on each topic and start forming your post outline while researching.
Do this for each topic until you feel confident about the blog posts that you want to write for the month.
This process may take a bit of time, but it will cut down on the time that it takes to write your post later.
Now, let’s talk about how to organize your blog posts and create a system for getting all of this work done in less time.
Batching tasks is a great way to stay on top of blogging tasks and ensure that you are getting everything done. It basically means completing tasks at the same time. This minimizes multitasking and increases productivity.
Some bloggers choose to batch tasks by the day, and others choose to batch by the week or the hour.
Batching tasks by the day consist of dedicating specific days of the week to specific tasks. Mondays may be for writing while Tuesday is for creating social media images.
I personally like to dedicate days of the week to specific tasks. Every week I know I will write blog posts on Monday and edit them on Tuesday, This takes the guesswork out of planning and organizing my blog posts and my business.
I have seen other bloggers dedicate one week to writing a ton of posts, and the next week to editing and scheduling those posts. The next couple of weeks after that are reserved for things on the master task list.
Batching is really what you make of it. Schedule your days and weeks based on what works for you and get a few systems in place to keep you on the right track.
The best way to go about batching tasks is to figure out which blogging tasks can be completed together efficiently and start creating your systems.
Take creating images for example. You can find images for blog posts and social media at the same time. When you have taken/found the images that you want to use for your blog posts and social media, you can edit and add text to these images at the same time as well.
These tasks seem to just flow together and you don’t have to break your focus to move from one thing to the next.
When you continue to perform these tasks together, they will become second nature to you. Every time you sit down to collect images, you know that you will edit and add text to them as your next step.
There are multiple blogging tasks that flow together in this way. Figure out which ones make the most sense for you and your blog and create your systems.
Creating An Editorial Calendar
The best way to plan and organize your blog posts is to create an editorial calendar. An editorial basically keeps you on task and lets you know what to do next.
Things to include on an editorial calendar include blog posts, social media image creation, brainstorming sessions, stock photos, planning sessions, and anything else on your blogging task list.
Editorial calendars can be paper or electronic, as long as it makes sense to you. If you work better with paper calendars, we recommend using the Erin Condren Life Planner, Plum Paper Planners, a planner from a craft store or Walmart, or your favorite paper calendar.
The electronic options are endless. A few of our favorites are Trello, Asana, Airtable, and CoSchedule.
For my blog, I use a combination of a paper as well as an electronic editorial calendar.
While this may seem like a lot to other people, it works perfectly for me. I plan out my month using Trello.
Once this is complete and looks like I like it, I add the dates to my paper planner. I carry my paper planner with me every day, so it’s easy for me to turn to today’s date and start working.
It may take some time, but keep trying until you find an editorial calendar that works for you and your blog style.
Organizing Your Editorial Calendar
When you find the editorial calendar that works for you, you will need to get organized. The first step is to figure out what you need to include in your calendar.
Take a look at your batching schedule and master task list. Have a list of your upcoming blog and social media posts handy as well.
Go through your calendar for the month and start adding your blog post schedule. I prefer to write the name of the blog post on the due date, but do what works best for you.
Next, plan out the tasks that you need to complete before each blog post is ready to go. Use your batching schedule to add these tasks to your calendar. Last, add any tasks from your master task list that have not been added.
It’s as simple as that! You now have a month’s worth of blog posts and a plan to help you get everything done.
At the beginning of every month, go through these steps to fill out your editorial calendar. Just be sure not to overwhelm your calendar. Don’t fill it with tasks just for the sake of adding them.
Make sure that you have created a realistic plan that will help you reach your goals.
Leave us a comment below to let us know your biggest struggle when it comes to organizing your blog posts.