Are you new to blogging? Feeling a little overwhelmed yet? If so, then today's post will be just the thing for you!! I've rounded up a few pointers that have really helped me to stay on track, so I am excited to share with you 7 tips to be an organized blogger!
While there are COUNTLESS tips for getting started with blogging and navigating the first few overwhelming months, these seven tips are really focused on helping you organize your time!
As a new blogger, finding time to blog is, in my opinion, one of the biggest challenges after you have your site up and running! Between writing content, networking with other bloggers, promoting through social media, it's enough to make your head spin (Tip: If you're really new to the game, just focus on building good, strong content for now! Promoting, networking, etc. can come later when your feeling more comfortable with everything and your blog has a nice cache of content for people to peruse though!).
There are definitely more time savers out there and if you have some to share, I'd love for you to leave a comment for me and everyone else! But, for now, let's get things started with these seven tips!
7 Tips to be an Organized Blogger
Tip #1 | Always be prepared to jot down ideas
It doesn’t matter if you’re a digital girl or a pen and paper girl.
Always, always, ALWAYS have something on hand to capture the random ideas that will float in and out of your head throughout the day.
Having ideas at the ready will help you save time (i.e. be more organized) when you need to plan out some posts.
Once you get into a groove and you’re in the blogging mindset, not only will topics pop into your head at the strangest times, but photo ideas, changes to your blog, thoughts on branding, etc. The list goes on and on and I promise you, as you’re going about your day, you’ll be faced with inspiration and you won't be able to stop what you’re doing and write out a blog post.
So…when these moments strike, don’t just rely on your memory to come back to later! Whip out your little notebook, your mobile phone, your tablet, basically whatever works for you! If you have your ideas all stored together, you can easily come back to it when you’re stumped, or when you do have a chance to sit down and spend some quality time with your blog.
Personally, I use both a physical notebook and Evernote. I use a Midori Traveler’s Notebook to help corral my ideas throughout the day, and as I narrow down specific topics for future posts, I transfer that to Evernote.
Tip #2: Get yourself a calendar and USE it!
I don’t care if it’s hanging on your wall, tucked in your planner, or an app on your computer/phone/tablet.
You need a dedicated blogging calendar!
After you have various blog topics in mind, start planning it out! Some posts will need prep work (DIY projects, recipes, etc.) so you can’t always wait until the last minute.
With your calendar in hand, start jotting down which topics you’re going to post on which days. If you’re going digital here, that makes it a little easier in that you can easily move things around or delete a topic if you change your mind. If you’re using a paper calendar (my personal preference!), you have a few options - use a pencil (that’s what I do) or use mini post it notes.
Using a calendar to help you plan your upcoming posts will keep you organized by...
- Allowing you to plan ahead on when to write your posts, take and edit photos, etc.
- Helping you see if you have any gaps in your schedule - if so, you can start brainstorming ahead of time (which means you're likely to come up with stronger content than something you slap together at the last minute just to get something posted - tip: never do that!)!
- Highlighting your topics so you can quickly see if you're posting too much on a particular topic (unless your niche is very specific, then that's okay!)
I have been using the Passion Planner as my blog calendar and its working perfectly for me!! This year, they sold a compact version and that’s the one I carry with me and use daily.
I also use a Blog Planner notepad as I’m finalizing my posts for the week. Generally my drafts are in Evernote, so I copy it out to Wordpress, edit it, then add my photos (and edit/proofread some more!). As I complete each task, I can check it off on my notepad and I’m also reminded to set up my corresponding Social Media posts.
I bought this notepad on Etsy from Heart & Arrow Design Boutique, which appears to be on a short break. But, if you're interested in the notebook, you can opt to get a notice for when they re-open their shop!
Tip #3: Schedule social media ahead of time!
This tip is particularly helpful if you work full time outside of blogging. If you’re at work, chances are you can’t be hopping on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to tweet about your latest and greatest blog post!
That’s where planning everything in advance and setting up your tweets, Instagram pics, Facebook messages, etc. will save you huge amounts of time and will prevent you from forgetting to post something!
While there are a plethora of scheduling websites out there, these are the services I currently use and love:
- For Twitter, I use Buffer App. I played with Hootsuite for awhile, but just didn’t love it, so I shopped around some more. I really like how easy it is to use Buffer App so I’m going to stick with this for now.
- For Instagram, I use Latergramme.While this service won’t actually post it to Instagram for you (that’s against Instagram’s policies), it will walk you through the process of uploading your photo and adding your comments and tags. Once it's scheduled, you will get a popup alert on your phone telling you it’s time to share your photo. You simply tap the reminder and it opens within Instagram with your text and tags already loaded, so all you need to do is hit button to post it!
- For Facebook, I use Facebook. They have a great scheduler already built in, so no need to use a third party (I’ve also heard that Facebook doesn’t like it when you use third parties. I have no actual proof of this since I’ve never bothered, but why poke the sleeping giant, is my opinion!).
- For Pinterest, I just found out about Viralwoot. I haven’t really had a chance to play with this one too much, but it seems pretty cool. They do have a scheduler, but they also help you get new followers, which I find intriguing! I’ll play around with it and if I love it, I’ll be sure to do a more thorough review!
Tip #4: Schedule time to blog
If you want to stay ahead and stay organized, you need to treat blogging like any other task that you have to get done.
Schedule blogging into your calendar!
If it’s on your agenda, you’re much less likely to fall behind(that is if you stick with it!). If possible, try to create a distraction free zone (if you have kids, I realize this one may be tricky!). What works best for me is to close out of all social media, email, extra webpages, etc. If I see other things, it is so easy to pull me out of my zone and then what should take me an hour, takes me three!!
Tip #5: Make use of Twitter Lists
If you follow a lot of people, chances are your Twitter feed is always booming! You’re likely missing cool tweets because there is just so much Twitter activity! If you have never used the ‘Lists’ feature, then it’s time to start making use of those!
I happen to belong to several blogging groups. We tend to try to follow each other on the various social media platforms and sometimes, I want to see what’s going on with those folks!
By creating lists for the various groups I belong to, I can quickly and easily narrow my feed to just those in that group!
This really helps when you want to engage with other bloggers to either share their content or to share yours.
So, if you’re not using these now, it’s time to get your Twitter feed organized!!
Tip #6: Develop your personal style for your images
For this one, I’m not referring to your photography or editing style. I’m talking about the text you overlay to provide a title, your website or watermark, etc. Adding these little extras on top of your photos can take quite a bit of time!
You could use Canva, PicMonkey, Photoshop, Illustrator, or any graphics type application or software to make this happen.
Figure out a specific style or look and stick with it!
That way you can save a template and all you have to do is just swap out the image and update the title. Easy peasy! (Bonus: it’ll help you develop your personal brand and make your images recognizable!)
Tip #7: Keep track of expenses
If you are brand new to blogging and monetizing your blog is not even on the horizon or, regardless of how long you've been in the game, ifyou aren't planning to make money, you can skip this one!
If you have plans to try to make money this year (this is where I am at right now), it’s in your best interest to keep your expenses organized now!
That way if you start making money, you will have everything already organized and documented! Being that its January, this is the perfect time to make sure you are keeping records of all of your expenses for the year.
Set up physical folders or a binder to save invoices and receipts for each month. You can also save any invoice or receipt you receive via email as a PDF for future reference.
Getting organized with this now will make your life much easier later on!
That’s it folks! The big take away to being an organized blogger is that you just need to plan ahead and stay on top of everything! Sometimes that’s easier said than done and as we all know, life can throw us some unexpected curve balls, but if you’re ahead of the game, you’ll be able to stay afloat when those occur!
Your turn! What are some of YOUR tips for staying organized as a blogger? Is there anything else you would like me to write a future post on with regards to blogging?