Over the last few weeks in the “What Can I Blog About?” series of posts, I have looked at the type of content you can use when blogging on your author website. Today, I will take a look at how you can plan and organise your blog posts. I will look at the following areas:
- Content Strategy and Schedule
- Planning a Post – Things to Include
- Post Organisation – Categories and Tags
Content Strategy and Schedule
When considering how to plan and organise blog posts as a whole, you first need to consider your content strategy and schedule. Serious bloggers will have a plan to post on their site on a frequent and regular basis. This might be daily, bi-weekly or weekly etc. Whatever schedule you choose, you need to make sure you stick to it because, once your blog becomes successful (which is what all bloggers want), your readers will expect new posts at those times.
Once you’ve decided on the frequency of your blog, you then need to create a calendar so you know what you’re posting when. I post my daily journal (almost) every day so I don’t include that on my calendar. However, I publish a post in my Planning for Writers series every Monday at 8am (UK time), and on my general blog every first and third Wednesday, again at 8am GMT. Usually on the last week of the month, I set aside time to look at the following month and plan what content I will be posting for each post in each series for that month. Therefore the content is planned and I know what work needs to be done when.
There are plenty of free content calendars available on Google or Pinterest if you search for them, or you can buy them in places like Etsy etc. Or you can, like I do, just use a diary or calendar. I have a week to view diary where the week is on the left side of the journal and on the right side is a page for notes. I can therefore write in the diary what blog posts are needed when and what I am going to write about (I also use it for social media content plans too – I’ll talk about those in later posts), and also note down anything I need to remember opposite.
Planning a Post – Things to Include
Another thing to consider when thinking about how to plan and organise blog posts, are the posts themselves.
You need to be sure that the content of your posts is relevant to your niche, is well researched and thought out, is an article of good length (not too short but doesn’t go on forever either – 600-1,000 words is perfect), and is laid out to make it easy to read.
You should also include the following:
- An attention grabbing title
- Relevant keywords
- Internal and External Links
- Optimisation (SEO)
- A Call to Action
It is best to plan all of these things out BEFORE you start writing. If you just try and dive straight in, you’ll find that things are more likely to go wrong, or you’ll forget key points or elements etc. For example, if you blindly write a post and THEN think about your keyword for SEO, you’ll find you’re trying to stuff them in where they don’t really fit.
Again, you can find templates to help you plan out blog posts and to ensure you include all the relevant elements, and some that remind you about promoting on social media too!
Post Organisation – Categories and Tags
Finally, when thinking about how to plan and organise blog posts, you will want to consider how you organise your archives (past posts) so that readers can easily find topics that they want information on.
To do this, you can use categories and tags. On my site, I use a handful of categories and split my posts into sections e.g. daily journal, planning posts, book reviews, general posts, writing prompts etc. Within those I sometimes have sub categories, for example the planning posts are split down into blogging, website, email marketing etc. Readers can then find posts that concentrate on one topic in particular.
I also use tags, mainly in my journal posts, so readers can find all the posts that relate to a small topic that they might be interested in.
When first starting out with blogging, it is a good idea to consider how you envisage your blog growing and expanding, what topics you plan to blog about and how you can break those down into categories. If you can organise posts as you go, this will save work at a later date when you realise the blog is too large and visitors cannot easily find the posts they want to read.
Summary – How to Plan and Organise Blog Posts
In summary, planning is the best way to go! Try to think things out before you start, be that your whole blog or each individual post. I will revisit some of these topics in the future and go into them in a little more detail and provide some templates – let me know which templates you really need!
Do you plan your blogging? How detailed are your plans? Do you use templates? How do you keep on top of everything and make sure you get everything done? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.