Monday, 15 February 2016

10 Blog Organization Tips


You know those days when you're trying to chose an outfit, or you just got home and you're so tired that you throw your clothes everywhere, and when you put them away you realize there are more things on the floor than you remembered? I think this is also how every blogger feels when they have so much to do and so little time to do it. Atleast I know that's how I feel.

I was recently in a chat (@fashbeautylife) where the subject was blogging tips as well as how one organizes their life within their blog. That's when I realized I'm not the only one who struggles with keeping everything in check, doing everything on time and still being able to handle everything else in their life.

There was a common theme: "I need to get better at" or "Still trying to figure out how to do this".

With blogging becoming more and more of a content marketing activity, it's really important to have it working efficiently, in order to keep producing work, and seeing a result out of it. Truth is, many bloggers struggle with being able to do everything at once. Additionally, being organized really isn't as easy as it looks. Sometimes, even to do lists get muddled, messy and overwhelming. 

I imagine those who don't own a blog think all a blogger does is put up posts whenever they want, and everything else magically appears. Except that's not exactly how it works: the more you blog, the more you have to do and the more you need to plan. 

Going back to the beginning: having a cluttered bedroom is alot like having a cluttered blog life. There's always something to do and when you think you've finished, turns out there are still a million things to be done. Be that replying to comments, taking blog photos, reading other blogs, participating in chats, being active on Pinterest as well as on every other social media. Let's not forget: conneting with fellow bloggers, writing blog posts, checking for spelling mistakes. And most important of it all: living.

Just like your personal life, your blog will run much more smoothly if you declutter the mess and get organized.

         How I stay organized:         


#1 A Good Filing System // An organized filing system means your documents are in a safe place and you're able to find what you're looking for quite easily and faster than if you had to go searching everywhere. Look at it this way: filed documents are key for being pratical. It basically allows you to be precise, methodical and efficient. And it saves many a moon.

Bare in mind that the way I file might not be what works for you. Here's how my blogging files look like:
  • Blog // Ella Pinto
    • 2015 (the same as 2016)
    • 2016
      • Blog Posts (PDF Documents on those posted, Word on those I'm still editing)
      • Blog Stock Photos (Photos I took but didn't use)
      • Featured Images (Photos that I used on posts)
      • Others (Research, random things)
  • More Photos (See the picture below)
  • 2016 Planner
  • To-do Lists (I have a shortcut to OneNote)


#2 Carrying a notebook everywhere // If you're anything like me, at the worst times is when you have your best ideas and you always end up forgetting them a few hours later. Carrying a notebook will help you in ways you can't even imagine.

Ever since I started, it's made my life much easier: I have somewhere to write what comes to mind at the most random times. Basically I write whatever I want, and then when I get home I'm able to organize all of my thoughts and process everything more efficiently. Be that to-do lists, topic ideas, personal experiences, thoughts from each day. As everything is in one place, things are easier accessed and run smoother.

Everytime I think about something I want to do in the future, I write it down. It's also all unified, and allows me look back and compare notes when everything is all in one place. Moreover, it helps me remember things more easily when they're written down.

#3 Create a system to organize your own ideas // "What do you mean a system?", "What makes a good system?", "This already sounds like too much work when I'm trying to find something simple". Systems are quite tricky if you come to think about it. I mean, everyone works differently and has ideas at different times. Basically, no one works the same.

I'm also aware everyone has a different definition of organization. Only one thought comes to mind: "It's organized within my own mess" and not everone understands. Really, a solution is more of a possibility than it is a rule exactly because of this. 

The thing is, you'll find your own system by finding out what works best for you and through errors.

Basically, I write alot of random ideas on papers, notepads, then I organize my thoughts and transfer those to a notebook. When I'm planning blog posts, I go back and it makes my life much easier. When it comes to writing, because I've already written down what I want to mention (bullet points are so important), everything else comes to mind much easier.

#4 Plan week by week // Seriously, this takes me about 5 to 10 minutes. Every other day, I like to sit down and plan what I'm going to do the upcoming week blogging wise. While I plan what I'm posting on the blog two weeks ahead, sometimes things change and I only know if I have any other plans the week before. Truth be told I often already know what I'm posting weeks in advance, but I'm able to move the goods around if any other ideas turned up, or these are most suited for another day because everything is basically, already planned. (I try to do this every Saturday).

#5 A calendar // I do that by writing everything down on the Microsoft Office Outlook Calendar. I jot down everything: yellow is for blog posts, blue is work, green is "fun times" (things planned), purple is blog related work, red are chats on Twitter, and orange is gym time.

I usually participate in more chats over the week, but I don't think I was able to that particular week, but if you want to know which ones I go for the most, just let me know.

This is how the first week of February was for me:



#6 A Checklist for each blog post // Why is this so effective? Because if you can just jump into whatever you need to do as opposed to wasting time thinking what you've already done, checked, or written, the process can be accelarated. Let's face it: there's always something you forget. So, this allows you to use your energy on something else.
How do you figure out your own checklist, you may ask. This is how mine basically looks:

  • Blog Title
    • Category (so you know which labels you'll be posting it under)
    • Bullet Points (things you want to make sure are mentioned)
    • Draft (I always write one previous to going really into it another day)
    • Research (If you need it)
    • Post Itself
    • Photos Taken
      • Featured Images
    • Question(s) for the end of the post
    • Links (throughout the whole post)
    • Social Media Links 
    • Spell Check
    • Scheduled
    • Final Spel Checking

#7 Scheduling ahead of time // Wether you're on blogger or wordpress, you have the option to schedule your posts. I have to be honest and say that I only figured out how to do this maybe, last week. As I do alot of spell checks, I only do this the day before. But that makes life much easier because you can schedule how many days or weeks in advance as you wish.

Know what else you can schedule ahead of time? Social media. You can about schedule whatever you want whenever you want. And let's be honest, social media management plays a really impotant key in blogging and helps drive traffic to your blog. My favourite has to be Hootsuite, because you can use it for almost anything. I use it for twitter only, but that's me. 

#8 Make reasonable to-do lists // These can be pretty life savers: like when something turns up that you can't walk away from, and when you come back and you don't remember what you had left to do because you're so stressed out.  

Admitedly, my to-do lists are crazy. But like I said before, not everyone works the same. And maybe 'reasonable' has a different meaning to me as it basically just means 'don't go too crazy Ella'. I always have two: one on my notepad, for things to do throughout the day (the crazy one), and one on the computer of the most important points.

My advice is to try and write down what's most important you do on this list. Then, for an hour or two, don't listen to any music**, or TV, and keep your phone away and just do it. Without realizing, you're going to end up being more productive than you thought you would. 

** When I listen to music, I often get distracted pulling out dance moves and choreographing in my head (I can't dance), hence why I mention this one. Come on, I'm not the only one, am I?

This is how mine generally looks (I used to do it on Excel until I found OneNote last week):



#9 Prioritize // I know this is a hard one, but any part of knowing what you have to do, and actually doing it, has to do with the commitment you give to certain priorities of yours. Do regular 'check ups' on things you've done to make sure you didn't rush anything. Personally, I always do what I find most difficult first, so that I don't leave everything to the last minute because 'it's too hard' or 'I don't know how'. When it's done, it's done.

#10 Set out goals // I think this has to be the most important one out of the bunch. If you don't know where you want to take your blog (or your life really) then how can you know what to do with it? Determine where you see yourself in 6 months, a year. Figure out what you really want out of this. And when you reach that goal, you set another one. But be realistic.

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What are your best tips for having an organized blog? Is this something you're able to do, or do you find everrything is often a mess? Anything on here you do?

Ella x

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7 comments

  1. These are such good ideas, I take my blogging books EVERYWHERE haha. It's like I can't do anything without it there xx

    emilymaltby.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good tips! I also use a planner and checklists!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hear that listening to classical music is supposed to be really good for creative activities.

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  4. Really love these tips thanks for sharing.

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  5. Wow you are one organised lady! I've definitely read some helpful tips to take away here. Thanks for sharing.

    Jess x | www.jessicajoseph.co.uk

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  6. I'm a novice blogger and this is something I really need to get to grips with!!! Organisation - I do have a note book and lists but need to formalise them. This has been very helpful I'm off to organise my schedule now. Thank you
    www.earlyretirementrocks.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm a novice blogger and this is something I really need to get to grips with!!! Organisation - I do have a note book and lists but need to formalise them. This has been very helpful I'm off to organise my schedule now. Thank you
    www.earlyretirementrocks.com

    ReplyDelete

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