I have been blogging now for a year although I don't count my blog birthday until about August or September last year and in October I started planning and organising properly when I was given a blog planner (sadly sold out on Etsy now) for my birthday. I now plan my blog posts in about a month in advance and try to write them a week in advance but most of the time I'm lucky if they're two days ahead! Mostly I'm furiously typing away the night before they're supposed to post or like yesterday, I don't post on time at all!
So here's how I try and stay organised (even if I don't always achieve it!)
1. Monthly Planner or Calendar.
It doesn't matter what form you do it in, I use a diary, you could use a wall calendar, heck I even know people do it in spreadsheets online but whatever way you do it, planning out what your schedule looks like over the course of a month is essential. It is so important to be able to see what you have planned, where you have gaps and keep you on track with your blog if you're taking it seriously. I find that having a calendar of a month helps me see where I am and keeps me making any blogging faux pas like having lots of sponsored content in one go or posting lots of content all on the same theme in one particular month. Whatever it is and how you organise it, having a monthly planner is essential but all I do is write the titles of the blogs on these planners.
2. Weekly Planner or Calendar.
So after you've roughly worked out what you want to post over the coming month, I find it really helpful to work out a more detailed weekly plan. This time include things as little reminders to yourself and also include other commitments you have outside of blogging such as days out, work, family occasions, doctors appointments etc. I find reminding yourself of your other commitments is a good thing to bare in mind when blogging, for example I know on a Monday and Wednesday I babysit my niece so I find it difficult to promote my newest work, so I schedule the promos in advance to cover myself. You'll also have a better idea of if you're plain too busy to write!
3. Daily Planner.
After my monthly and weekly calendars, I then have a page of my diary dedicated to each individual day of the month. This is the place where you can write your most detailed plan for each post. In these pages I include title, date and time of post, a general idea of what the theme is, the tags and categories I need to include and then there's a section for notes which I use to write detailed info to myself such as what links I need to include and bullet points of what I want to talk about.
This is my favourite part of the blog planning process because ticking something off a to do list is the dream for making you feel organised and productive. My checklist starts with draft, edited, scheduled, published and includes things like promo photo, content photos, lists, content, links, tags, categories, social media links, url links, social media promos, Bloglovin, Pinterest, Google + etc etc. This type of checklist is essential when it comes to taking your blog seriously because there are so many different elements and god forbid you missed one of them!
I take my photos as the very last thing before publishing. I normally stock pile them and take a lot in one go when the weather is nice which is why knowing what I'm writing about a week in advance is ideal because I can take multiple photos and get myself sorted and then just slot them into the blog nicely right at the end.
6. Final Checks.
There is nothing like not proof reading a blog and then pressing publish and finding a spelling mistake. Possibly THE most important part of the planning process is checking the blog before you hit that all important button. Check your blog URL is relevant, check your photos are in order, check your spelling and grammar, check you're posting to every available social media site, check your tags are up to date and then finally, when you're all done, you can go for it!
The blogging process can be long and sometime tedious when there's so much to do apart from the actual writing but if you plan really well, you'll get yourself sorted in no time!
How do you prepare your blogs before you've posted them?