We’re gonna mix it up a bit today and have a chat about blogging! Wait, talking about blogging on a blog? Yeah I know it’s a bit of a mind trip but try and stay with me. I want to talk about keeping my blog organised. This is a bit of a niche topic, as it won’t really apply if you don’t blog actively like I do so if it’s really not your cup of gin then I understand 🙂
Still with me? GREAT! So, as I have a full-time job I need to be pretty organised when it comes to my blogging pursuits. After trying out many different methods of organising content I have finally found the perfect tool to organise my online life – a digital blogging calendar! Before, I was basically writing down things which I wanted to post and when to post them, but this got all to confusing and irritating when I wanted to change things up. I know there are some great printable blogging calendars out there but they were still to rigid. I had a good think and realised that I was really swimming against the current organising digital content in an analogue format. I had a quick brainstorming session and come up with the following things that I knew I wanted in my calendar:
- Monthly view broken up into weeks (i.e months would run into each other depending on where the 1st and end of the month fell)
- List of potential content/post titles
- Colour coding system for posts (drafted / to be edited / awaiting pictures / scheduled / published)
- Weekly count on analytics
- Monthly overview of key stats
- Yearly/Month on Month stats
Once I had this it was easy to sit down at my laptop and make my very own, completely bespoke calendar in Microsoft Excel, no less! It was so simple once I got into it and I now have this wonderful resource which I can refer to easily and change on a whim.
I love a good old spreadsheet 🙂 I like to take a good chunk of time every few weeks to plan upcoming blog posts and possible series. I pretty much look at this calendar every night and then I know what I should be working on. It’s very rare that I post something without it being scheduled so at any given time I usually have 2 or 3 posts in line to be published. What you’re reading on a Wednesday has really been uploaded and scheduled on a Monday or even earlier! This way I know I have a bit of leeway if I want to take a night of from blogging and this whole system works really well for me.
I’m a very visual person so the colour coding works wonders for my brain! If something is in orange then I need to write that post. If it’s in yellow then I need to upload the associated pictures and if it’s in blue then I need to edit the overall post. This really only happens if I’ve written the bare bones of a post ages ago and then when I’m ready to post it needs some updates. When I have scheduled the post I change it’s colour to pink and then when it has successfully published to my blog I mark it as complete in green. This might seem a bit long winded and over-complicated but it keeps me sane 🙂
Another amazing thing about having this as a digital document is that I can have it with me wherever I go. I simply upload the file to my Google Drive account and then I can access it on my phone, iPad and any laptop or PC that I happen to be near! So if I’m ever at a loose end on the train or in the car (as a passenger obvs) then I can be getting on with things.
I also use this calendar to monitor my blog stats on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis. On the main calendar there is a count of how many views and new followers I have achieved each week. Then lower down on the sheet is a monthly count of these figures, including how many Twitter followers I have. Then, on a completely seperate sheet I have these figures in graph format to show me how I’m doing month-on-month. I know it’s totally mental and who really needs to know this for a recreational blog, right? Well, my only excuse is that I work with social media and these kind of stats in my “real” job so it just works for me to have them attached to my personal blog too! I also get a total buzz of graphs and charts so there’s that too.
I can categorically say that this tool has helped me reach my blog goals and since it’s inception I have noticed a significant and constant increase in followers and page views. I know that most of that traffic is down to my social media presence and consistent posting, but without this calendar I wouldn’t be able to maintain a schedule for either of these aspects. What I’m trying to say is If you don’t already have a blog calendar, get one now.