Welcome to the Blogging Diaries!
So, my six month blogiversary is actually THIS MONTH – the 20th, to be exact – and I thought a good way to celebrate it would be with a new series! So, this month will be all about blogging – how I do things, blogging tags, tips for new book bloggers, tutorials, etc. I’m super excited for this month, and I hope you guys are as well!
So, I thought it’d be nice to kick off the series with this post! In my Let’s Chat a couple of months ago when I talked about balancing blogging, books, and life, some of you guys seemed so amazed at how far ahead I am in terms of planning and written posts! So, I thought it’d be fun to talk about how I usually plan a whole month of blog posts ahead of time!
#1: Brainstorming is key.
It really is. If you’re reading a discussion post, and want to write your own take on the topic, write it down. If you’re doing something else, like cooking or cleaning or whatever, and you think of an idea, write it down. If you’re reading a book and something in it inspires an idea, write it down. If you see a tweet or Instagram post that you think would make a good blog post, write it down. Don’t think you’ll remember it, because, trust me, you will not and then hate yourself for not writing it down when you should have.
Personally, I write down all ideas I have, discussion topics I want to tackle, tags I’m tagged in (or I haven’t been tagged in and just want to do), or any old topics for memes that I think I could turn into fully-fledged posts in the Notes app on my phone. They just sit there forever and ever until I’m in extreme planning mode for next year’s post (yes, I do this, and yes, I’m well aware it’s not normal). But, if you’re NOT like me and plan normally for the next month or so, it’s easier to have all these ideas to choose from rather than stressing out because you have no ideas and can’t remember the ones you had!
#2: Decide what you want to post.
I mean, obviously. This is sort of detrimental to the whole process. But plan out what you want to post! For example, if you want to do some memes. For those that have topics based around them – such as Top Ten Tuesday or Top 5 Wednesday – look at the blog that hosts it so you can see what the future topics will be and know which books you’re going to choose! If it’s Waiting on Wednesday, look up some books that are coming out soon. Trust me, being prepared will save you the stress from, “OH CRAP, IT’S TUESDAY TOMORROW; now I have to throw something together!”
But for anything else – whether it’s a review, discussion, list, recommendation post, or whatever else you can come up with – just decide which topics you want to tackle! Are there certain books coming out that you know FOR SURE you’re going to review that you need to read? Any ARCs being published this month? Is something happening this month that you can make a list or recommendation post out of (like a holiday-themed post)? Do you have any discussion posts based off something that happened last month that you want to jump in on, or just inspired by a book you finished last week? Or do you just not care that intricately about what you’re going to post and just prefer a general idea of when you’re going to post and what type it is?
Either way, deciding the month before is, again, much easier. I always plan what I’m going to post for the month before I even begin to start writing, at least!
#3: Off-days are perfect for getting ahead.
PERFECT. I’ve said before that the weekends are the time where I work on my blog, so that’s when I usually make my graphics, write blog posts, edit my blog, etc. Of course, that’s just me because I have school during the weekdays (at least, during the school year), and the weekends are my free time, but it might be totally different for you guys!
But, pretty much any day that you’re off – and by “off” I mean that in a blogging way and not a real life way – you can spend a little time working on posts and such! This is when I start my “writing mode,” usually, but just know that you don’t have to become the Writing Goddess or whatever and write ALL your blog posts for the next month. You can work on one, two, three, four, however many you want! There’s no minimum or maximum, and it’s totally okay.
#4: Planner Pro is your life savior.
You might be like, “What even IS Planner Pro???” But Planner Pro is this amazing free app that’s a calendar. Here is what it looks like once you set up an account:
And when you pick a date, this is what it looks like:
In the both pictures, you’ll see a gray circle with a “+” in it in the right hand corner, and if you click that, it’ll give you a list of options: Add Note, Add Task, or Add Event. I usually click “Add Task,” and from there, you’re able to title the task, set the due date, add a description, etc.
Then you can click the “Save” button, and, voila! You’re done! Once you’ve posted the post or edited it or whatever, you can click the check box next to the task seen in the second picture, and it scratches it off.
Personally, it’s an amazing tool for me. Not only does it function as both a calendar and a sort of to-do list, but you can plan months and months ahead. This is why I know what I’m going to post for the full year! It has no limits. So, very helpful, for those who like organizing, but constantly change things like I do.
#5: Always have back-ups.
And by this, I mean back-ups regarding posts. As I’m writing this, I have a couple of back-ups (
not completely edited, though. OOPS. Now they are! Good job, Future Me!) just in case something falls through or I don’t feel like posting something or I change my plans. For example, when I was in a reading slump last May and wasn’t posting too many reviews. Luckily, I had a couple of back-ups to post on Mondays until I did, so I wasn’t completely and totally in the dark. Your back-ups don’t have to be COMPLETELY MARVELOUS ORIGINAL IDEAS; for instance, you can write and edit some tags or awards you’ve been tagged in or some reviews of books that you haven’t reviewed on your blog yet or use an old Top 5 Wednesday idea for a post! But it’s always nice to have something to fall back on in case everything goes to crap.
#6: Don’t feel scared of going off track.
SERIOUSLY. DON’T. I plan everything to the T, and things change all the time regarding my blogging schedule. Like, last month, SO MANY POSTS that were going to go up, didn’t. Most of the reviews I wanted to post, THE BOOKS WEREN’T EVEN READ (curse the reading slump). I changed things 28420840 times. I switched post dates 84928402 times. I was writing posts for May IN MAY (and I rarely do that). So, don’t feel like you MUST stick to your schedule or everything will fall apart. Because it will not, and the people that read your stuff will probably not even notice you were having a breakdown behind the scenes.
And those are the tips I can give as a certified over-organizer.
(But, seriously, I’m TOO organized when it comes to blogging, and a hot mess regarding everything else; someone please help me.)
Hopefully, that’ll help any of you guys who were thinking of getting ahead or might want to in the future or for those who are just curious!
If there’s any specific tutorials that you want me to do (besides how to make graphics, how I take/edit my pictures, and how to write the perfect discussion post because those are coming later this month) or are curious about, let me know your suggestions in the comments! I’ll be doing another sort of blogging series in August surrounding your suggestions and questions, so feel free to leave any!
How do you plan for the month ahead regarding blogging?