Day 6: Plan Ahead
Reformed Impulsive Blogger
I have to admit, I’m an impulsive blogger. Most of the time my ideas are spurned at any given moment and I usually run to the computer and write it out. Posts that are planned months or weeks in advance are usually scrapped because I don’t have the “whim” or want to actually finish them. It feels more like a job. I don’t want my blog to feel like a job.
But, when readers come to rely on your content, whim writing becomes an issue. Writing on a whim doesn’t necessarily translate to organized and reliable writing. If nothing would strike me, I wouldn’t post. Or I would have to pull something out of my butt at the last minute, which wouldn’t be anything good.
The solution to my problem lay in transitioning from an impulsive blogger to a planned and organized blogger. I am a current work in progress.
Here is my process:
- Brainstorming. I brainstorm in an idea journal or notebook that I keep close at hand. I brainstorm titles and topics.
- I scour the internet for hot topics and I add these posts to Pocket.
- I keep track of topics that I want to learn more about, in an excel file or within my journal.
- I go through all the stuff I’ve compiled and I 86 stuff that I’m not interested in anymore and I sort through stuff I do want to expand on.
- Topics that I’ve selected I assign to days, based on where they would line up via my features. I give them post titles.
- I research the topics and write down points I want to cover in a text file, usually outline style with headings.
- In regard to reviews – I keep track of the books I’ve read in an excel file, I usually keep a small notes section next to them. Once I’ve finished a book, based on the release day, I schedule the post a few days before release.
- If I have a meme I participate in, those days are marked off in my editorial calendar.
- Blog tours that I signed up for are all marked on my editorial calendar – if I signed up for multiple days – they are listed as “tentative”.
I don’t necessarily do these tasks each time, but I try. I have notes jotted down in my yearly organizer, I have them jotted down in my journal and in some post-it notes around the house. I take voice memos (I’ve been known to record review points this way – even though I never listen to them – it’s usually just a way for me to voice my opinion out loud so it sticks in my memory) or I do the voice/translate app on my phone.
Why does planning ahead help?
- Less stress
- More time to do other things
- You get to blog on your “own” time
- Blog posts can be proofed better
- Have more time to think and research your topic
- You can promote your posts in advance
- More time means more polish on your writing
- You have time to promote your content