I had a question the other day about how I managed to blog for two years straight and what my secret was.
There’s no big secrets to it, really. Part of it was due to blog prompts and 52 week challenges; that kept me motivated. Part of it is due to commitment, and seeing my blog grow makes me want to keep it up. The last part is that I brainstorm a bunch of posts at one time.
See, once I’ve got one post done, I’m already in the writing groove. Why not do another? Depending on my schedule, I might even tackle a whole week’s worth of posts in one chunk of time. It’s more efficient for me to spend two hours writing five posts (or five post ideas) than it would if I tried to write a post a day, simply because sometimes it takes a while for an idea to come to me. But once one idea comes, others usually do, too.
So, I capitalize on it.
That means I get to blog every weekday without actually having to write every day. Though that usually happens anyway, as I’m jotting down ideas whenever they come or finessing a post (some days I’m writing all day long). It’s nice to have the idea part already thought up and decided.
But with my new challenge of monthly themes, I had to take it to another level.
I used to “organize” post ideas by simply saving them as drafts on my blog, but that wasn’t going to cut it for an entire month’s worth of posts. So, I made a blogging calendar for myself, printed off 12 copies for each month, put it in a binder with a thing of lined paper, and keep it right on top of my desk so I can’t ignore it.
In case you’re wondering, the lined paper is to catch those random post ideas whenever they come; then I work off that list and use it to fill in the blog calendar. And yep, I like writing it down ideas – something about a pen in hand helps the ideas flow (and saves my eyes from computer glare syndrome).
I’ve tried to use blogging calendars before, with minimal success. I think it had less to do with the blogging calendar itself and more to do with me not thinking big enough. I’d use it for a month and then forget about it the next. Or, I’d feel the need to go back and write down all the posts I’ve already done (not the best idea when it comes to generating new content).
I feel confident that now things will be different. I’ve already beaten my old record of using it for a month and forgetting about it because, friends, I’ve got post ideas written down all the way through May. I know, I’m shocked, too.
Want a copy for yourself? Click here, then Save As. I left off actual dates on the calendar portion so that it would be relevant no matter the year or month (I just write mine in), and there aren’t any weekends on it (since I don’t post on weekends).
Prefer a digital option? Try Google Calendar. It’s free if you’ve got a Google account (Gmail, Blogger, etc.), and you can make it private if you want.
What about you? Do you plan your posts ahead of time or go with the moment?