If you want to earn from your blog, then being organised is really important. Blogging can be quite time-consuming and things can get on top of you if haven’t got systems in place.
I look after Baby almost full time and we have no family to help with the odd hour or two of child care here and there. This means I need tools and systems that work for me, to make sure I am productive in the time I have available.
How do I work?
I have mentioned this plugin a few times before, but this really does give me a great visual overview of my upcoming posts. I have written more about why you need an editorial calendar here, so I will just share the main reasons for using this plugin;
- I can drag posts around and work out which post goes best where as work comes in.
- I also have the draft section open on the side of this calendar, just to house the posts I haven’t allocated a day to yet.
- Putting draft posts on specific days really helps productivity. Otherwise they can get overlooked in the long draft list.
This is a screenshot of my editorial calendar. I use the Editorial Calendar plugin (available on WordPress) and I literally couldn’t live without it.
- I have a couple of spreadsheets that I use on a daily basis. The first is for financial matters and the second for posts. The posts spreadsheet has the following pages;
Shortcodes / Competitions / Reviews / Sponsored Posts / Gift Guides / Waiting for Payment
- Most of the pages are self-explanatory and I find they help me stay on track. As soon as I get asked to do a review or sponsored post, I pop it on the spreadsheet. I usually open a draft post too, even if I just put the title. If I have a deadline I will drag it to the calendar on an appropriate date.
- Every time I schedule a post, I add it to the spreadsheet on the shortcode page and complete all the columns when it is scheduled. I change the row to grey when the post is done. If I need to schedule on social media I highlight that part in bright yellow. The columns on my shortcode spreadsheet are;
Date / Title / Shortcode / Info / Facebook / Tweet Scheduled / Pinterest / Linked to linky
- Keeping the shortcode (url) for each post really helps me save time. If you have to refer to a past post, or you are linking up with someone, then having all the urls to hand is so much easier than finding the post, going in to it and getting the shortcode.
Even though there are countless programmes and apps that you can use to write lists, I am a bit old school and still love a notebook/diary and pen. I think it helps me think when I have a pen in my hand! I use a DIY planner, which I tailored to my specific needs.
- Every night before I go to bed I write the following days to do list. I will include everything I need to do, even if I know I will remember it. This will give you a proper overview of what you have to accomplish each day and there will also be more to tick off! (We all know how good that feels!).
- If I am joining in with linkys, I will leave the tab for the linky open on my Mac until I have done all my commenting.
- I write a little table for each link up I do, linked/host/comments. That way if I link my post and then Baby has a melt down/wakes up etc, I will know where I got to when I come back to it later in the day.
- Anything ongoing, that isn’t tied a specific day that week, can go on the relevant monthly to do list in my planner. I only write on the day what has to be achieved THAT day.
- Don’t put everything you need to do on one day, as you won’t get it done, will be disheartened and will have to write the tasks out again on the next day.
- To save time I have a checklist for recurring tasks that I print off and stick opposite my diary page, so I can just go through ticking things off, then go to the relevant day and do the specific tasks.
- Facebook – I schedule my blog posts to appear on Facebook in the morning. This way if we have a bad morning, I know I don’t need to worry. I schedule manually in Facebook for better reach.
- Twitter – I then schedule my tweets (using Social Oomph).
I can do this scheduling in a few minutes, so I usually do it before logging off for the evening.
- Instagram – I also schedule my Instagram, however I tend to do this is batches rather than daily. I use Latergramme and upload pictures as I edit them, so I usually have a few in there. Then I will go in and spend time writing the accompanying caption. I might have these scheduled for 5 days, then I will do another batch.
- As I finish a sponsored post/review I will enter the details on the spreadsheet, then I will schedule (using Boomerang Chrome Extension) the email to go to the PR with the details of the url etc. Scheduling it for when the post will be live. Then I can forget about it.
So that is a little glimpse of how I work and the things that keep me on the straight and narrow!
What systems help keep you on track with your blogging?
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