Wednesday

Organising yourself as a blogger

I have to be honest. When I started blogging, it was sporadic. I didn't put any thought into what I was actually writing. It was just "Oh, I saw something cute on TV last night. I'll blog about it" and then the next day, I'd blog about whatever else popped into my head. Then I wouldn't post anything for another week. I'd see all these articles about the importance of organising your time, about editorial calendars and scheduling, and I'd just think it didn't apply to me. I was happy with my own ways, so why worry about the boring stuff.

Well, Becky circa-April 2012, because the boring stuff actually really helps. And it's not as boring as you might think. (If you're a loser like me. If you actually have a life, you may find it boring, but it's necessary, so stick with me, OK?)

Once I got my organisation on, my blog benefitted hugely. My traffic shot up, my visitors increased and, more importantly, my productivity multiplied by a million and twenty-eight percent *Figures may not be entirely accurate.

Being organised is actually pretty simple. I have a crazy 60+ hour week workload, and I manage to stay on top of things with minimal effort. There are two principles here: Planning and scheduling.


Planning
Editorial calendar. You've probably seen it a million times, and you're probably bored to the back teeth of hearing about it, but trust me guys- It works! It doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just a little notebook with scribbles in it will do. Mine is a colour-coded spreadsheet, because I have no social life.
Pink: Published. Green: Scheduled. Yellow: Drafted. Blue: You WILL start this today. 
No fill: Eh, maybe another day. 

This is handy for several reasons:

  • I can see at a glance which posts I need to work on and which are finished.
  • I can make sure I space out posts that are similar in content.
  • I can fill in post ideas for future dates so I don't forget them.
  • I can plan around events or holidays that are approaching.
As you can see, my calendar also has a book for my statistics, my sponsorship research and an archive where I stick every month when it's finished with. This way, I have a year-long overview of what I posted. I figure this will help me if I'm stuck for ideas next year. 


Scheduling
"But I have no time to post!" This is where scheduling comes in handy. It's a pretty basic concept, so I won't waste your time explaining it. Take photos when it's light, edit them and write up the post when you have time, and schedule it for the future.

Of course, you have your editorial calendar so you know exactly what your next posts are going to be, and therefore what you need to take photos of. I use the weekends to schedule for the week ahead, sometimes longer if I'm on a roll, and school holidays to go all out and schedule, schedule, schedule for as far in advance as I can. Then, I can indicate on my calendar which posts are ready to go.

I also schedule my promotional tweets. I use Hootsuite to do this, and I aim to get one tweet out every 5 hours or so, so that it hits people in every time zone. Am I a genius, or what? 

59 comments :

  1. Fantastic advice, especially as my blog is less than a month old and I am still finding my feet!!

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    1. Aaw, well I hope it helps you! It would really benefit your blog to be organised straight away. I spent too long just going with the flow and hoping it would all come together ok.

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  2. funnily enough i bought a new notebook for the purpose of blogging ideas. but never thought of keeping track like this. I am only a part timer in work but still feels i have no time lol. But this has been helpful, I would like a regular blogging time and posts to do. Cheers huni.

    http://kimiandme.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Doesn't time just seem to disappear! Happy to help :)

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  3. I don't even know how scheduling works. I just post whenever. Sometimes I start several posts and finish them when I get the time and post them when I think it works. At the moment I have way too much time on my hands so I post almost everyday but when I have things to post but don't have much time, I do have some actual things to post which were started beforehand

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    1. Are you on Blogger? There's a part in the right sidebar when you write a post where you can schedule it.

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  4. Eep!
    This is so helpful.

    Thanks!

    www.daydreamsdaisychains.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. Amazing! I wish I was more like you. I am totally unorganised and sporadic. I have lists of ideas but that's about it. If I could get my organised, motivated head on I'd do something like this. Although, unfortunately, it'll never happen! x

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    1. I'm not actually very organised in my day to day life, but when it comes to my blog, I plan with military precision!

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  6. Never heard of editorial calendars, but I'm definitely taking the advice you've given here because I am a terribly unorganised blogger.

    http://sortlifeoutbuymilk.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I hope it works well for you :)

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  7. Excel scheduling? Sounds helpful. I was organised some time ago and lost it (don't even know when), I should statr this again.

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    1. Aaw, that sucks. You definitely need to get your organising mojo back!

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  8. Such a fab idea! I have a notepad app on my phone that I'm using at the moment but a spreadsheet actually seems a lot more helpful! Thanks for the tips :) xo

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    1. I'm obsessed with my spreadsheet!

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  9. I've seen a few posts about scheduling and staying organised but this is by far the most accessible. Perhaps I'm just a spreadsheet kind of blogger? Might give this a try instead of my notebook to try and give myself a kick up the butt! Thanks for the advice :)
    B. x

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    1. I'm definitely the spreadsheet type of blogger!

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  10. Hi that is a really good piece of advice, Excel scheduling, never thought of that.

    http://www.annanuttall.com/

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  11. What a lovely idea :) love the colour scheme. 60 hour working week - yikes I thought I was the only crazy one ;0

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    1. Haha we're just workaholics I guess!

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  12. Brill Becky thanks! I could have read more and more on blog organising because I basically don't do it! xx

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    1. Haha I'm glad I helped :) It's definitely worth it

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  13. oh wow, go you! I do not have my shit together anywhere near this much.

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    1. Haha, I just love to over-organise!

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  14. I use a notebook and plan some posts but I like to let me creativity flow and don't want to feel too restricted either :)

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    1. I guess different things work for different people :)

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  15. Thank you. This has been extremely helpful.

    Jess xx

    Http://girl-therefore.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. Oh, you are just so organized! I love it! I usually use a dry erase calender and kinda write down thing I plan on writing about over the month!
    Lindsey Louise
    hellomrrabbitblog.com

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    1. I used to have a whiteboard, but then I'd draw little doodles on them and like them too much to rub them out!

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  17. Thanks for the organisation idea! The colour coding is just great. I am a new blogger so I have no system or organisation as of yet. So this post is super handy! Massive thumbs up xx

    http://adenisewhitey.wordpress.com

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    1. Good luck with the blogging- I'm sure you'll love it!

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  18. As a new blogger, this was really useful! Thanks x

    <a href="http://www.wanderlustjenn.blogspot.ca>www.wanderlustjenn.blogspot.ca</a>

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    1. Happy to have helped :) It's really worth the effort of being organised.

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  19. Oh Becky you so smart. Stealing the idea of a spreadsheet immediately!!

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  20. Once I learnt that I could schedule posts it made life a whole lot easier! It's amazing!

    Sita xx
    http://buttonsapart.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. This is genius! I need to try colour coding!

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    1. I'm a little obsessed with colour coding!

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  22. Woah, you are crazy organised lady!! Well done xxx

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  23. You've reminded me that once I get my blog sorted (currently moving domains etc) I need to do this. I just get home from work and go blehhh tired. I do use hootsuite and all these techniques for work though! Haha :) xo

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    1. This is why I schedule because I have zero energy when I get in from work! hh

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  24. I wish I could do this. But I have this nasty habit of leaving things undone. I really need to change and organize not just my blog but myself. Quick question about scheduling, what's the longest time you scheduled a post to be published? Because I'm thinking of writing already something for June and August :)

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    1. That's a good question! I think the most was about 6 weeks. There's no limit though- If you feel like you're ready to write something that far in advance, then do it!

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  25. this was pretty useful, I think I might give it a try!

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  26. Thank you! I'm starting to think of a way to organize my blog becaue currently, it's a jumble of a lot of things.

    http://medicalschoolroadtrip.blogspot.com

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  27. Thank you for this post Becky! Lately I've been thinking of a lot of things to put into my blog such as 'series' posts and it just kind of gets lost in my thoughts (and deleted in my cellphone drafts) in the long run. I should really get to writing and scheduling these thoughts, aye? :D

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  28. Brilliant advice Becky, especially as the summer holidays are coming! Will be taking your ideas on board! Wahey!

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  29. Brilliant advice, thanks Becky! I really like the spreadsheet/notebook idea - definitely going to have to do that. I think it would be really useful to help me see what I'm blogging about and also as a kick up the bum for writing and scheduling more regularly.

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  30. Such a good idea, is there any chance you could email me the blank document?
    Natalie Anne Bourn- www.theorangewalls.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. There's nothing to email- It's literally just a spreadsheet with each day's post content written in a column. I hope that makes sense.

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  31. Thank you so much for this post, it's really going to help me a lot. I definitely need a kick up the ass when it comes to creating a schedule and saying "I don't have time" shouldn't be an excuse. Thanks again xoxo

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  32. Someone on twitter redirected me to this post after I tweeted that the stress/work load of school has prohibited me from posting all week! In fairness, I was just finding my feet and needed the break from blogging. But I got really worried like, "Is this the end of my blog?" when teachers would give me assignments I nearly felt like saying "Do you not realise miss, I can't write about King Lear, I need to blog?!" And after reading this it seems I'm not completely doomed! Thanks so much for this!! Hopefully I'll get organised this week. I'm not very spreadsheet savy so I might print some pretty calender on templates and organise myself that way!

    Lovely blog, it's so pretty, I can't deal!

    Catherine x

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  33. Brilliant advice Becky. As a relatively new blogger, I found this advice really helpful!

    www.jamieemorgan.com

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