When I first started blogging I knew nothing about blogging or running a website. Luckily for me there were a lot experienced bloggers willing to share their help and advice. 18 months on and I have learnt so much. I am still learning.
There are some fantastic blogs and resources out there about blogging, and this is me throwing my hat into the ring!
Welcome to the first of a monthly feature where I will be sharing some blogging tips from both myself and some fellow bloggers. This month I am looking at organising your blogging.
1 List List Lists!
I love a to-do list. I am one of those people who will write something on a list that I have already done, just to be able to put a line through it and feel accomplished. I know it’s sad, but you are reading a post called blog geeks 😉
What I do dislike about lists is having to write the same thing over and over again. So I created these fab little personalised note pads through Vista Print. I have a weekly Blog list of the things I needs to do, a post edit list for when I am writing a post, and post promotion checklist. They keep me organised and I love the fact they have my logo on. They cost £5.99 each.
(This post is not endorsed by Vista Print, but I really wanted to show off my note pads).
2 Remember Your Ideas!
I keep all my ideas for blog posts in a little notebook. But suffering from mumnesia means if I don’t write it down straight away I will forget. Being that a lot of my blog inspiration comes when I am in the shower that is not always easy! If I’m out and about, or can’t get to my ideas notebook, I send myself a text message so I don’t forget. Sad blog geek fact #101: Some days I only receive text messages from myself!
3 Work Ahead
I try to work a month ahead with my posts. It’s not always easy but it means if one of the kids is ill, or life gets a bit crazy, I have some breathing space, because I know I have enough posts in the bank so to speak. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but for me I just feel more organised and on top of things when my editorial calendar for the month is full. The only way I got to a situation where I was working ahead was to have two days of straight writing to get those posts in the bank. I then try to ensure that each week I write a new post and edit one of my drafts, to keep me ahead.
Things often change in the schedule, and I often posts in response to a news story or viral post that need to be published immediately, but overall working ahead helps me feel in control.
4 Have a Post Template
I have a draft post saved called ‘Template’. I copy and paste or clone this template whenever I start a new blog post. In the template is my footer that I use on all blog posts.
What you want to put in your footer is entirely up to you. I use it as a call to action, to encourage people to read other posts, subscribe or follow me on my social networks.
I have this footer saved as a template because it’s a great time saver to have it all there already, and it ensures I don’t forget any important links. It also keeps my blog looking consistent which I like.
5 Linky Organisation
I love linkys, but they are very time consuming. One of the things that used to take up so much of my time was copying and pasting the code for the badge into every post I was linking up.
As part of my post template I have this image on the footer of all my posts. It has clickable links on each badge which take you to the hosts site. No more copy and pasting code for every linky I join! That’s no to say I join in with all of these linkys every week, but I’m sure the hosts don’t mind a bit of advertising on my posts.
Although it probably took about an hour to create this image and the links, it was worth that time for for what it saves me on a daily basis. I update the image once a quarter.
There are 4 simple steps to creating a linky image:
- Decide which linkys you regularly link up to and save their badge images.
- Create your linky badges image and upload to your blog. I use PicMonkey to make mine.
- Upload your image to HTML Map Creator and begin adding the individual links to the badges. The website is really easy to use and self explanatory.
- Copy the code that the map creator gives you when complete into the HTML part of your template.
When starting a new post, you will either need to clone your template post with a duplicate post plug in, or copy the HTML text from your template into the HTML part of a new post.
I also have a Linky calendar on my pin-board so I know what is running each day. Again, I created this in PicMonkey.
6 Use Scheduling Tools
Purely because they are time saving. I have yet to find a scheduler that does everything I want it to do, I use a combination of Social Oomph and Tweet Deck for my twitter posts.
7 Plan Your Time
I work on my blog Monday – Friday, Some days it might just be an hour when the little one sleeps, other days it will be burning the midnight oil once the kids are in bed. But however you find the time plan your week in ahead so you know exactly what you need to do. Whether it’s writing, editing, blog admin, brand correspondence. If I know what I need to achieve each day it keeps me focused, and I get less distracted by the temptation of a theme change and constantly tweeking things on the blog and not actually achieving very much!
8 Have a Long Term To Do List
Having a long term to do list for things that aren’t urgent means you keep your weekly to do list focused on things that are time critical. If you find yourself ahead of the game and with some time to spare, choose something from your long term to do list to tackle. I did tell you I love lists didn’t I.
9 Have a Media Kit
And once you have created it, update it once a month with your vital stats. When brands contact you, you will have all your information in one place. I also have a template for a pitching e-mail which saves me lots of time when I am contacting brands and PR companies.
10 Subscribe to Blogs
Do you find that sometime you loose track of your favourite bloggers, or miss a post in your busy news feed? If there’s a blog you love, subscribe to it. For you, it means all the posts are in your inbox when you have time to read them, and for your favourite blogger, it builds their mailing list. Win Win. And on that note you can subscribe to my blog by filling in the subscription box at the bottom of this post 😉
Some Useful Posts From Some Brilliant Bloggers.
- Aby runs a weekly series called Blog Club on her blog You Baby Me Mummy. It’s a must read for any blogger. Aby has become my blogging guru and I have learnt so much from her. You can read her tips for organising your blog here.
- If you don’t know your linky from your elbow, then check out Becky’s post for the lowdown on her blog Cuddle Fairy.
- Amy from Mr & Mrs T Plus Three has a great post on what to include in your media kit. I found this really useful when creating mine.
- And finally, because this is all very serious it’s time for some light relief. if you are reading this post the chances are that you are probably a blog geek. Find out for sure with this quiz from Prabs at Absolutely Prabulous.
Having written this post I realised how much of a geek I am and I now feel the need to go and do something wild and spontaneous. You’ll find me in Paperchase buying a new notebook. 😉
Please let me know if there is a blog geek subject you would like some tips on.
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