Have you ever struggled to keep up with your blog content? I mean the kind of struggle, where you have lots and lots to say, but then chaos takes over and you feel totally stupefied and lost. Don't worry, there is hope!
I went on a little crusade and I found myself plenty of helpful articles on the subject + I made a neat little Monthly Content Planner, I want to share with you.
I've been struggling with my blog lately. After a objective analysis of the problem over several cups of tea, I finally pinpointed the problem - insufficient planning and scattered writing routine.
So, I armed myself with patience, more tea, and a notepad, and I started a serious research on how to plan content for my blog and establish a healthy, and above all sustainable, writing habits.
This post contains my most important findings and it marks a tiny beginning for Mindful Pixels – it finally has a real chance to fulfil its initial goal – to help creative solopreneurs plan, create beauty, and stay mindful and happy, so they can thrive in their business & life.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO PLAN YOUR CONTENT?
First of all, it will save you a bunch of time.
When you do things in bulk (like writing, editing, image editing, etc.) you stay on the same task for longer and you don't need to re-focus your workflow every five minutes or so – this allows you to streamline your process and it saves you time and energy.
It keeps you sane by discouraging you from over-thinking.
It is known that over-thinking leads to self doubt and those two baddies have killed more creative endeavours than any amount of criticism ever will. A little bit of both might be healthy, but too much and you end up doing absolutely nothing, just to be safe.
By planning ahead of time you'll have no more last minute struggles to come up with a post – you have them lined up already. Also, no more last minute self doubt, whether or not your audience will like the post – you'll have it triple checked and scheduled well ahead of time.
Improves the quality of your posts
We all know, what last minute efforts usually produce, and it ain't pretty. Besides, doing it all juuuuust before your deadline is super stressful and nerve-racking. When you plan ahead you have more time to prepare your content, to edit and polish it ot perfection. This way you deliver more value to your readers and they will love you for it.
WHERE TO START?
Why, with gathering your tools of course!
1. Monthly planner
You can use a printable or editable monthly planner as an editorial calendar. It works well, but it's hard to keep track of your progress, so I created my content planner - you can download it and use it for your blog – it's printable AND editable, oh yes!)
2. A place to write
Writing directly in Wordpress makes me dizzy - you can have the dictraction free mode, but every time you move the mouse everything slides in and out again. Besides, I need it a bit better organised and a bit more fancy, if you know what I mean.
3. Photoshop or Canva
As a graphic designer I use Photoshop to edit all my images, but you can play with Canva or PicMonkey, too. I have planned (in my Monthly Editorial Calendar, wink-wink) a post about how to edit your image for your blog in each of these applications.
FROM IDEA TO POST
After goint through countless articles about blog writing and scheduling, I created the Monthly Content Planner. It includes the following steps:
Gathering brilliant ideas
On a blank sheet of paper jot down as fast as many ideas you can think of. Ready? Great! :) Now read them one by one and ask the question:
How will this help my readers?
If you can't answer this question, why would your readers care and why would you bother writing that post at all? The ones that pass this very cruel test, have the honer to be written down in your Content Planner.
It's writing, editing and publishing, right? Nope.
Depending on your blogging schedule, choose your posts. Use the editorial calendar to plan out your entire month. When you have your topics lined up, you can do a little dance to celebrate, and then brace yourself for the real work.
Creating a blog post is usually more than just write-edit-publish-and-done deal. I am a graphic designer and in my posts I tell the stories of my images, not the other way around. Most of the good and helpful blogs have a lot of visuals, so this is something you have to plan and create, too.
This is why I added a little tracker to each post line in the Editorial Calendar. I hope this will help you keep track of all the work involved in creating good content for you tribe.
Extra help for your workflow
There are more ways to serve your readers than through your super helpful articles. Sending out newsletters and offering workbooks or printables can create great value for your audience.
Social media is also essential to spread your message. I included four additional pages in the Monthly Content Planner to help you deliver even more magic to your readers:
- Newsletter planner
- Offerings planner
- Social Media tracker
- To Do list
So, are you eager to start planning already?
HERE IS YOUR MONTHLY CONTENT PLANNER, FINALLY!
PRINTABLE + FILLABLE A5 MONTHLY CONTENT PLANNER
Editorial calendar + Newsletter planner +
Offerings planner + Social Media tracker +
To Do list
Perfect for your A5 Filofax + for paperless workspaces.
And this is it! Print your planner, find your best writing app and distraction free app, make sure you have an image editing tool, you feel comfortable with, and you are ready to go, dearest!
HOW DO YOU PLAN YOUR BLOG CONTENT?
Do you have any blog planning secrets you would like to whisper gently in the comments bellow? How do you stay relevant, helpful, and consistent? Do you use a content planner? Do let us know down in the comments, if you please :)