I’ve been blogging for a long time, but I still feel like I have so very much to learn. Last summer I moved from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress platform. If you aren’t a blogger you may not know what that means, but it’s not important. The point is, there was a big learning curve involved. Once we got settled after our move this summer I’ve had a little more time to spend on my blog, so you may have noticed that I’ve changed things up a bit. I hope it’s more organized and easier to find things. I’d love for it to be a helpful resource.
Something else I’ve done is plan out blog posts in advance. I’m not rigid at all about this, and my plans are constantly changing, but I’ve found it extremely helpful to pencil in ideas for upcoming posts. I had been jotting them in a plain ol’ notebook, but I got tired of drawing up my template every month, so I decided to design one I could print out. I thought others might find it helpful, so I’m sharing it with you here. [Note: This form could actually be used for any kind of monthly planning, not just blog posts.]
Here’s the PDF file if you’d like to print it:
My binder takes half-size (5.5″ x 8.5″) sheets, so that’s the size I made it. You can print it on 8.5 x 11″ paper on the “landscape” setting. I suggest printing out 12 or 14 pages for the year, to help with advance planning. If you have a half-size binder you’ll need to punch holes in the sheets to fit your binder. Or they would also work well in a small clipboard.
Each page provides space for 28 days of blog post ideas. I usually only post on week-days so the weekends are grayed out, but I can still write ideas in those spaces if I do decide to post on the weekend for some reason.
I first pencil in the dates. I write the month and year on the “Dates” line at the top of the first page. Then I write in the days of the month beside the days of the week. Obviously, it doesn’t come out to exactly a month per page, but I like having the 4-week blocks. I just carry over to the next page where I left off on the page before.
The next step is to pencil in blog post ideas. If I know I want to blog about certain holidays or family birthdays/anniversaries, I go through and mark those down first. Then there are certain topics I usually blog about once or twice a month. For example, on the first of the month I like to do a “One Sentence a Day” post so I mark that down on the first of every month, regardless of what day it happens to fall on. The “Currently” link-up is scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month, so I write that one in. The first Wednesday of this month happened to be my husband’s birthday, so I moved the “Currently” post to Tuesday. There are other scheduled link-ups that I have participated in, and some are more often than once a month. Just pencil in whatever fits your agenda.
A few other topics I like to post about frequently include:
- books I’m currently reading
- blog post round ups
- photography walks
- guest posts
- small town happenings
I don’t have a set schedule for those kinds of topics, but I try to space them out about once every 4 weeks. I don’t always end up posting something on every topic every month, but if I have it penciled in, I’m more apt to write something about it than not. No doubt your list of topics will be different than mine.
Like I said, my schedule is pretty flexible. I use an erasable pencil in my planner so I can easily move things around.
I’d love to know if you find this helpful!