Hello, my beautiful babies, and let me welcome you back to my humble abode. Today we are spilling some more tea on blogging – namely, how to plan, write and schedule three months of content ahead of time.
I am so fucking pumped about this post – and I hope you’re excited for it too. Let’s be brief because I know you’re worrying that title is clickbait: ’tis not. Today, I am sharing with you my top tips for being an insanely organised blogger – and showing you how I used them to plan, write and schedule out 3 months of content ahead of time.
(And, as I post 15 times a month, that is 45 posts. Yes, my friends, I did that. I’m shook too.)
This whole challenge, shall we say, came about because of Australia. Long story short, I randomly decided to move to Australia, didn’t have the savings to back that dream and had booked a ticket for in three months’ time. (Are you disgusted or impressed? I don’t know either.) Due to this, I knew I was going to have to get another job, or pick up extra days at my workplace – essentially, I knew I was going to be working double the amount I am now and that I wasn’t going to have time to blog.
This didn’t work for me. Blogging is my therapy; blogging is my passion. I needed to be able to blog, at least a little. (Also, I mean, quitting for three months would really fuck up my stats and they were doing really well.) So I re-evaluated.
In all likelihood, I realised I’d have time to do one of the two aspects of blogging: content or network. Networking is easy – you can read blogs on the bus on the way to work, on your lunch break, on your way home.
The content creating part however . . . well, we all know that is where the time suck is. So I thought to myself “well, if I could get that out of the way before I get really busy, I might be able to maintain my blog”. So, over the first week of June, I planned, wrote, scheduled and edited 45 posts. Want to know how? Let’s go.
Drafts are our lord and saviour.
Whenever I have an idea, a sentence, a paragraph – hell, just a concept! – spring to mind, I make a draft; I currently have 208 drafts sitting there, in various states of completion.
Top tip: never leave a draft empty. Whether it’s a sentence, a paragraph or a brief outline of your idea, give yourself a starting point – or you’ll come back to the dreaded blank page.
My loves, I cannot recommend this practice enough; when you create content, there will be times you are uninspired. There will be times that you will look at the ceiling, waiting for a flash of divine inspiration that never comes. In these times, you will need your drafts.
I outline an idea and an inspiration – and usually a paragraph too. As this is an old practice of mine, I had drafts for days sitting there waiting to be completed and used.
2. Utilise a blog calendar
Next up, you need to plan your content. I’ll go into more detail about why this is helpful and how to use this in the next few points, but what you want to end up with is an overview of the content you’re going to be creating over a set period of time.
Here’s an example; my July Blog Calendar. If you followed my July content, you’ll realise that not all of these made it in – some went earlier in June, some have actually been scheduled for August and some I just scrapped for new ideas.
These don’t need to be too strict – and they definitely don’t need to be set in stone – but you need to have ideas and posts in every slot. This is important.
Don’t forget to keep adding new content ideas! Every time you have an idea, add it to a draft with a few sentences. Just because you have a monthly calendar of content, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add in more. (You may want to swap them in and you’re going to need content for next month too!)
3. Start writing
The good thing about having all your ideas set out in advance? You can start working on them all at once.
How I usually approach this is that I start to write the most urgent blog posts first; if I know it’s going out next week, it’s getting priority. Now, what you will find is . . . your mind might wander. You might need a break from writing these posts.
(Because it would be far too convenient for you to be able to focus for a long time on the things you need to bloody focus on, right? But Love Island, now that you can sit and watch all day. Thanks, brain.)
Turn your procrastination into productivity by working on other shit while you’re taking a break.
Seriously, this works. Most of my posts are written while I’m putting off writing something else – and this is why having a content calendar populated with ideas is important. If you know in the back of your mind what things are coming up, generally your brain will start subconsciously building ideas.
I actually recommend scheduling them in your admin, so you’re constantly scrolling past the posts and kind of nudging your subconscious for ideas.
This also tends to help me with burnout. I don’t feel like I’m constantly working on the same boring thing; I can dip in and out wherever my attention takes me and still be productive.
4. Have bulk blogging days
This. Will. Change. Your. Blogging. Life.
Once every week or two (ideally once a week, but life can really get in the way of this), dedicate an entire day to taking photos, shooting videos, doing whatever time-consuming tasks you need to do for your blog. If you give yourself an entire day and you aren’t just stealing quick moments here and there, you’re going to get a lot more done – and then you can stagger and schedule it out.
Think of it like this: You can write 20 product reviews, but without those 20 product photos . . . your posts can’t go live. If you spend one day taking those 20 product photos, you’ve spent one day to get 20 days worth of content.
Again, as you can imagine, you need to know (roughly) what’s coming up on your blog for this, or you’re going to be shooting random photos that you might not be able to use. Which is pointless.
You know what I’m getting from this post? It all ties back to the first point – you need to plan your content out in advance and the rest will fall into place.
Want to see an example of this? Let’s see how many posts (so far) have used images I took in one day: (Each photo is from a different post – and is linked, if you want to check said post out.)
And those, my friends, are my top tips for being an organised as fuck blogger! The rest of my tips kind of fall under these headings, so I’m just going to bullet point them:
- If it helps you to micro-manage, you can use daily, weekly and monthly to-do checklists.When I was first starting out, this was massively helpful, but as I got more into it I started finding my flow a bit more naturally. For example: weekly might be Take 1 x OOTD, Write 5 x posts; monthly might be Take 20 x Featured Images, Film and Edit 3 x Videos.
- NEVER STOP CREATING NEW CONTENT AND IDEAS.You might think “oh, I need to work on the 30 posts I currently have scheduled” – and you do, but you always have time to write something you’re inspired by.
I like to think of the content calendar as my backup plan. Posts that you’re immediately inspired to write and are excited for (or spontaneous ones, like the Picnic OOTD post) are fucking awesome. Make sure you keep writing them – it’s all extra content you can push back to the next month.
- Try re-using old content.Content you’ve written and photos you’ve taken don’t deserve to just sit in the corners of your blog, sad and forgotten. Bring them back! (And save yourself some time.) An example of this is my 10 Things My First Jobs Taught Me; the photos I used were from my Smart Casual OOTD ft AbsolutelyOlivia post.
- As you know what things you’re writing about, write little bits everywhere.Sometimes ideas for intros, tips of blog post points will come to me at work and I’ll write them in an email and send them to myself! Or I’ll add a quick paragraph to a post using the WordPress App on the bus.
Oh sweet Jesus, the wordcount for this baby is pushing the 1,500 mark – let’s cut this post off quick! I hope you guys found this useful; honestly, scheduling my posts out in advance has been the best thing ever and I cannot recommend it enough. While I’m probably not going to do it in 3 month batches again (so. Many. 2am. Nights.), I think I’ll definitely always aim for a month in advance.
Did you guys enjoy this post? Will you give scheduling your content a try? Was this helpful? Let me know your thoughts down below!