There is no point in having a plan if it is unorganized.
I have always considered myself a very organized person. I may have a slight planner addiction BUT they do keep me completely organized with everything that I need to do. Why do you think I created my own Ultimate Blogging Planner?!
In my planner, I created My Blogging Space at the beginning of every month. This is the space where you will be able to keep track of what I am talking about today. Going into a month completely organized will help maintain your plan for blogging.
When I first started blogging, I was doing it as a form of therapy. It was my way to express myself and a way for me to share my healing journey through it all. I didn’t have a plan. I would write ONLY when motivation struck me. I mean, I wrote amazing blog posts but by writing when motivation struck, I wasn’t giving myself a fair chance for my blog to succeed. I was hoping for luck to get me there.
There are so many blogging checklists out there that give you daily plans, plans for before and after you publish and EVERYTHING in between. But I found that there wasn’t a plan out there that prepared you for the month ahead. I want you to be prepared. To have a plan and to be organized with that plan so that you can continue to grow and expand your reach and readers.
Having a plan means that you are allowing your best self to come forward. You aren’t rushing to get something done. I mean, you may still have those days but there is still a plan in place.
Having a plan means that you are organizing your thoughts and your blog in a way that works for you. We all have our own unique way of organizing. The things that I will share with you today are the ideas that work for me. After 6 years of blogging, I know what works and what doesn’t for me. As a beginner blogger, it may take you a bit of time to figure that out.
Having a plan means that when something comes up, you are prepared for it. When you have a week when you are struggling, you will have a backup plan if you need it. No plan is set in stone and there may be new ideas that come to you and you want to rearrange your monthly content and that is okay. I will admit that I am a HUGE fan of whiteout and may keep this industry in business myself.
So are you wondering what it is that I have on my monthly blogging checklist? I am here to tell you what I do at the end of the month to prepare for the following month.
1| Create a monthly affirmation. This action isn’t even specific to blogging but it helps keep my focus on what I want to do or on a particular thing I am struggling with. My affirmation for the month of October is…
It is safe for me to go after my dreams.
It was and still is a reminder that I need for myself because I forget. I am an emotional being (I am a Cancer) and sometimes my self-worth is in short supply. Have fun creating these affirmations.
2| Set blogging goals. Having a plan means setting goals that you want to achieve. Think about the goals that are specific to your blog that you want to accomplish. For my October goals, I had an income goal that I had set and goals that were around selling a few of my services. Your goals can be anything from writing guest blog posts to getting new subscribers to your email list. Focus on what you want to accomplish for the month ahead and put it in writing.
3| Breakdown those goals. In my blogging planner, I have goal tracker sheets where you will be able to breakdown your specific goals. I break it down even more and you can give yourself a completion date, what your results were and what you learned throughout the process.
By giving yourself step by step action steps, you take the overwhelm away from reaching those goals.
4| Create a weekly focus for your blog posts. This isn’t necessary but it can help you to feel like you aren’t all over the place on your blog. So for every week of the month pick a topic that you want to focus on.
For example, let’s use November since that is the next month coming up. In the first week of November, I can decide that my topic is going to be freelance blogging. I look at the list of blog post ideas that I have and anything that has to do with freelance blogging, I plug into my blog post days for that first week. Then for the second week, I choose storytelling and I do the same thing all over again.
This can be a great way to keep yourself organized but also to let your audience know what you are going to talk about for specific weeks.
5| Now it is time to grab your calendar and write out your monthly blogging content topics. You don’t need to necessarily write down the title of your blog post. I find that sometimes the title is the last thing to come to me because I am overthinking it.
Use your blank monthly calendar and fill in all of the November dates that your blog will be going live. So for me I would need to fill in November 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, & 30. Whatever your schedule is, fill in the dates with the topics that you want to talk about. You will now have a plan for your monthly blogging content.
6| Write down your social media numbers and blog views. Always do this at the beginning of the month. Numbers can become an obsessive game. I know that they did for me. By writing them down at the beginning of the month, I am reviewing the growth that I have seen.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t see the numbers throughout the rest of the month but it means that I don’t pay attention to them. Numbers change daily. Don’t get caught up in playing the numbers game. Write them down on the first of every month for you to review.
Don’t be discouraged if your numbers go down. Social media numbers will fluctuate a lot. Take IG for me. On October 1st, I had 1,362 followers. Today on IG, I have 1,349. My guess is that is because I began to clean my followers list up and so people began to unfollow me once I unfollowed them. Which meant they weren’t my target audience anyway. Appreciate the followers you have and continue to show them the love. Not every month will be a month of loss.
7| Organize your guest blogging opportunities. Whether you have guest blog posts set up or not, get into the habit of writing down ideas for guest blog posts. I have a separate list for guest blog post ideas. I want you to write down between 3-5 ideas for guest blog posts. Start reaching out to other bloggers you want to write for.
I wouldn’t share my ideas immediately. Wait to see if they are interested first and then you can have a brainstorm session. In the blogging planner, I have a spot in My Blogging Space to write down your guest blog post ideas.
That is my monthly blogging checklist for you. I hope this will help you to organize your thoughts as you go into a new month. Plan ahead and keep that plan organized to help you succeed and feel less overwhelmed by all the moving parts that blogging has.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of the Ultimate Blogging Planner, you can do that. It is about a 3-4 week processing time as I get more printed. I have made them bigger and switched the layout a tad as to what the original one was. I found as I was using mine that I missed a couple of things that should have been in there.