Previously we looked at WHY you should plan for a successful blog and WHERE to do it. Hopefully you’re on board and I’ve convinced that planning is more than worthy of your time. Now it’s time to drill down and see just HOW we make that happen.
How to Plan for Your Blog:
Before you do anything, have a think about what your aim for blog is. Where do you see it going? Do you want to grow your followers, increase your comments, become known to publishers, or improve your writing? Only you know where you want to your blog to go so it’s worth thinking it out and put those goals in writing. For your eyes only. But do write it down as that makes it real and don’t be afraid to aim high.
WHY? Because keep in mind that planning is just action steps that you use to achieve your blogging goals
- I want to have 700 bloglovin’ followers by June 2016
- I want to write a 5 part blog series on planning by Dec 2015
- I want to redo my feature graphics so they are all more cohesive with my design. By March 2016.
- I want to write 1 discussion post every week and I want epic discussions to happen in the comments section for that post
- I want to add a new feature to the blog by the end of the year.
Next make a to-do list of everything that you need to do for your blog. Everything, no matter how big or how small. Don’t panic, I know that’s intimidating when you see it all in writing just how much you have to do to keep everything ticking over! But it’s ok. We’re planning, we’ve got this!
If you don’t know where to start, you can download my FREE Blogging To Do List printable and tweak it for your needs.
So for example long-term, I want to grow my blog followers. But by working on my short-term goals of publishing a useful planning series, I’m also working towards this longer term goal. As hopefully this series will make some people think, oh she knows her stuff, I’ll follow her! And so I’m slowly and steadily moving towards my goals and doing something I really believe in too.
Next grab your weekly planner (paper or on-line which ever you prefer) and write down action points for what you will work on during specific days for the upcoming week. For example Monday, write one review, brainstorm one discussion post. Tuesday: reply to comments. Wednesday: Format blog posts for books you are currently reading, make graphics for a feature. You get the idea. Small tasks spread out but very specific tasks that you need to achieve.
Always keep your goals in the back of your head when you are setting your weekly tasks. But be flexible, if you need to change goals or readjust them, that’s fine. This is your blog, your precious time, your ambitions, your rules.
Be realistic in the time available to you. Don’t over estimate how much time you’ll spend blogging. Can you fit everything in during the week? If not, maybe you need to adjust the time frame for your goals or compromise on something else. Can you get up one hour early one morning during the week? Have 1 less post per week?
I find it best to focus 100% on the task on hand and so I turn off social media while working on blog posts. You just need to find what works for you. But the less distractions, the more I accomplish and the more I connect with what I’m working on.
Tick off that task! Give yourself a pat on the back. Or even celebrate with a bowl of ice cream. You’re one step closer to your goal. Now repeat all over again tomorrow. And again and again. Every day all these little tasks are steps along our very own yellow brick road to blogging success.
Blog planning never stops! If you get inspiration for a post while shopping, make a quick note somewhere. When you are making plans for next week, you now have a reminder of that great discussion post.
Review your plans at the end of the week. What worked, what didn’t? Did you get everything done, why not? What can you cut out to be more efficient? What are you spending time on that you don’t enjoy and/or isn’t moving you towards your goals? You have all your planning data in front of you, use it. Take the positive and negative outcomes and learn from them.
And there you are, planning for your blog, like a blogging ninja!
Talk to Trish: Do you plan for your blog? What method do you use? Have you goals or ambitions for your blog?