Well, hello there!
*Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used in this post. I may earn a small commission for any products I mention. However, I only refer products that I truly stand behind. All opinions are my own.
Today I wanted to talk about something that took me far too long to realize: planning out and writing your blog posts to avoid overwhelm.
When I first started this blog over a year ago, I wasn’t doing it seriously and would write a post here and there but I didn’t have a schedule, I didn’t write regularly or consistently and because of that, I often felt overwhelmed. I’m sure, if you’re a blogger you can relate. It would get to the point where I’d be sitting here knowing that I needed to write a post but I didn’t have anything planned, and in that moment I didn’t have any creativity and didn’t have any ideas on where to start. This lead to me lacking in motivation to do anything on my blog and my readership suffered.
So, today I’m going to give you a little behind-the-scenes peek into how I plan out and write my posts so that I avoid feeling overwhelmed and burnt-out. I’ve also got a complete blogging kit linked up at the end for you to download to help you get an easy start to planning posts and other blogging related things while you figure out what works for you!
To start, I like to have a running list of post ideas. This way I’ve got a lot to chose from. I keep a running list in a notebook and another list in the notes section on my phone. This way, whenever inspiration strikes I have a place to put that idea.
What I like to do next is sit down and physically plan out a good amount of my future posts. For this, I use my physical paper planner (This Blue Sky Monthly Planner is the one I’ve been using and I absolutely love it.) I found that looking at a monthly calendar view on a planner is the easiest way for me to look at the month with all of my content and know exactly what I need to do. I post on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and so I fill in those days with my blog content from my post idea list. Once it’s all done it ends up looking something like this:
So once I’ve got all of my posts on the calendar, it’s time to figure out what needs to be done for each post. For this, I have several processes and they vary depending on what type of post I’m writing and what each post entails.
If I am doing a health and fitness post, it typically requires a bit of research on my end, if the topic is something I don’t know everything about. So I’ll go ahead and gather all of my research. If it doesn’t require any research I will just go ahead and start writing.
*For those doing DIY posts: I like to make a plan for when I will get these done. So, I’ll make a list of all the supplies I’m going to need and then I’ll make a to-do list with all of the steps that need to be done. For me, it works out best this way because then I can tell my readers exactly what to do from my own notes. Then, from the list of steps I will try to plan out my shot list of photos I’m going to want to get. Then I’ll do the thing…do it right up.
If I am doing a fashion post, I will plan out the post according to the photos I will need to take. This often requires a good chunk of time put in. Especially if I am going to be doing outfit changes and if I will be at a location other than at home. I use a handy cheat sheet to help me plan out my photoshoots and it makes things much easier to see at-a-glance and get everything together that I need.
When I take my photos, I like to do one big shoot for a bunch of posts at the same time. I’ll often take a Saturday and take all of my pictures or I’ll do it a little bit at a time throughout the week after work. Again, this requires a bit more planning and a bit more effort but like I said, I promise you, in the long run this is well worth the extra effort.
What to do next seems fairly self-explanatory. Write. Just take one afternoon, or any free time you have and just sit down and begin writing.
*A note about content: As I mentioned above, when I started this blog over a year ago, I wasn’t writing consistently or regularly. I honestly think that this happened because a) I didn’t have any plans so it was pretty much an awful free-for-all and I was winging it and b) I wasn’t passionate about what I was writing. Now, I don’t know if it’s just because I have this new-found motivation or if I’ve just changed the content but I feel much more passionate about what I’m writing and so, in turn, writing is very easy for me. So make sure you are writing about what inspires you and what you are passionate about. My girl Ruth Soukup makes the best point when she says that if you think you are a bad writer, the only way to get better is to just write more. There’s no secret tip to offer that makes it easier. Writing more and often makes writing easier.
So when I write, I try to focus on writing the content that is scheduled to be published the soonest (I say try because sometimes there is content that I am just too darn excited about and I end up starting that instead). I don’t honestly have a strict process that I follow (at least not at this point) but basically, I write, I do some research, write some more and then I take all of my pictures, edit them, add them into my post and then I go through this little checklist I have to make sure everything is added in, edited and done within any given post. (You can find a printable of that checklist in the file found at end of this post 👍🏻).
I do have to confess that pre-writing and pre-planning my posts is something I am still learning, something I didn’t always do, but something that I wish I had known sooner. It literally makes life so much easier! It’s so nice to have posts all largely finished and then when it comes time to schedule them for publish, all you have to do is go in and add pictures, links and whatever else is needed and just sit back and do your thannnggg. It’s a bit more work initially, but in the long run it is soooo worth it!
So, fellow bloggers…I hope that this was helpful to you. I loved doing this and I’d love to do more behind-the-scenes stuff like this in the future. If this is something you’d like to see, please let me know!
Until next time, friends!
Click to download my free, printable Blog Post Planning Kit!