Here it is. Are you ready? My biggest blogging mistake. I rarely had a plan when it comes to this site. I had a big picture plan, but when it came down to the actual writing … I fell flat on my face. Because I didn’t have a plan.
And I know this is a problem. One I’ve been scrambling to fix. I’m a “fits-and-starts” kind of person so I’ll do really well for a while and then fall off the bandwagon the first time something more fun or interesting comes along or I would just get “too busy.”
Is a plan really that important? Is consistency on a blog really a make or break kind of deal to building a tribe? Yes to the first question. As for the second, the jury’s out on whether it’s really important for building your tribe, but it might be that consistency is vital because it gives you a sense of accountability as a blogger.
If I know that I will always share a blog tip on Wednesday and a Favorite Thing on Friday and something about social media and parenting on Mondays then I’ll be able to plan my writing better. So even if consistency doesn’t bring you repeat traffic (but I bet it will!) it will definitely help you, the blogger, to plan your content accordingly.
How to Plan Blog Content
So how does one make such a plan? My very favorite way to lay the groundwork for this kind of plan is to begin with a sheet of paper for each of my categories. (I have 5) Then I pick a category to start with and write it in the center of the paper, circle it and start a “Mind Map.” Have you ever done one of these? If not, go grab a sheet of paper and start with one blog category. Just one. Then think about the subcategories that you regularly hit on this main category.
I have a category on my blog called Daily Graces. These are all part of my faith story. The subcategories I have for that post are Journaling Bible ( I LOVE mine!), Let’s Get Personal (I might say Y’all just a little bit too much in these.), Recovering Perfectionist (because I am one), and Stories from Middle Places where I’m an editor and regular contributor. Once you’ve got these figured out, the next step is the fun one. Start thinking of ideas you might want to write about for each subcategory. For me, the Middle Places one is pretty easy. We have an editorial calendar that goes a month and a half in advance so I know what content I’ve got already.
Then I set a time and just GO for 5 or 10 minutes straight on that one category. It looks something like this…
Once I’ve got that down, I’ll either take a break or, if my creative juices are flowing, I’ll go to the next category and repeat the process. If you just need a small plan, you can condense it to one sheet like this…
Now. Look at those sheets of paper. Those are a goldmine! They are the key to an amazing plan. So what do you do with them? Here’s the fun part if you’re a planner geek. Now you plug them into a calendar. All those gems of glorious potential. Put them to work for you.
If you’re a paper and pen kind of gal, you can download this editorial calendar I made just for you. But if that’s just one more thing for you to lose and you want to open up your computer and have it all at your fingertips, then there’s a plugin for that. And the best part is … it’s free. So go download WordPress Editorial Calendar.
(Click the photo to download the PDF.)
Don’t make the same mistake as I did. Be a blogger with a plan. Plans cost you nothing except a little bit of time and some brain power. Your blog deserves that from you.
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