Keeping up with a blog is a lot of work. It takes time, creativity, research, writing, editing, sharing, communicating and more. One of the best things we can do is have a go-to list when we sit down to work. Not only do I need to keep a running list of post ideas and inspiration, I also want to write down the people I want to reach out to and the random things that come to my head. I use a weekly planner I created and I thought I would share it with you. (You can download at the end of the post.)
How to Use the Weekly Blog Planner
The planner is simple. There are 4 sections.
The top of the planner is for post planning. I use it to write down my topic and or title and attempt to think of something catchy for clicks and something savvy for SEO. They are almost always different. I always think about my category at the same time. I want to make sure the post fits with what I want for my blog and if it really doesn’t I know I should look for a guest post at a blog that fits that niche. I also use the category column for key words SEO. Sometimes just thinking about how the post fits into my blog changes it a bit and makes it better before I even start writing it.
The promotion column is awesome for me. If a post is meant for a blog link up or would be great to promote on a certain site or with a specific hashtag, I put it here. For sponsored posts I use this column to record the required hashtag and promotion. For instance I will write down #sponsoredhashtag, 2x post to twitter, 1x post on Facebook. That way I don’t forget! This is also a great column for thinking about your post’s audience. The blogging community is huge and there are times when you really think a certain group would love your post. In this case I think about where I might find that community online and look for forums or groups that fit that profile.
To-Do’s a.k.a. Maintenance
Part of a blog, especially one your are monetizing, is administrative. These are the tasks I do weekly and simply check them off.
I backup my blog automatically but I check every week.
Going through and finding bad links and adding links to older posts is important. I choose a few posts that I know I can link within to other articles based on their popularity. (As an aside, on my monthly tasks is finding good posts and analyzing them for SEO and updating them.)
A design check is a must for me. I not only make sure that my links work (again) but I look at my blog and de-clutter. For most bloggers this means looking at the sidebar and removing links that are old, useless and not important to you. I wrote about designing your sidebars and navigation and I really try to keep up to date with this. I keep a separate checklist of things I don’t LOVE about my design and totally try to make time to research a fix, but weekly it is more about removing excess and keeping your site clean. You want your readers to find your best content, so giving consideration to your design and navigation regularly is important.
Replying to comments is important to me, particularly if I have asked a question or started an active discussion. Making time to go back and respond to any missed comments is a weekly job. I also like to explore a couple of new blogs through my comment section and I need to make specific time to do this.
Checking for updates is easy with WordPress. I use this as a time to update and evaluate whether or not I am actually using the plugins that are updating. I like to keep plugins to a minimum to keep my site loading fast. I make sure to backup my site before I do a WordPress upgrade.
I keep an EXCEL spreadsheet for recording revenues and expenses. Remember, as a blogger, products that you receive are revenue and are taxable. Make sure you keep a record of what you spend too so you can offset that revenue. I use this same spreadsheet to record information about the companies I work with so I can easily access it anytime.
I have blank spaces so I can write in other things I want to accomplish.
Communicate – Reach Out!
I like to have a list of the people I must follow up with each week and the people I want to build a better relationship with. I write down their name and whether it is Personal or Business and why I want to reach out. This is all a part of building community and of course, relationships with companies. This is a great place to write down a company or blogger that you would like to work with and plan how you are going to reach out. This has been a great resource for me and I know that when I have 10 minutes I can cross one off the list.
Notes / Shards of Brilliance
I just write things I think of here. I also have a full page with this header and I jot things down regularly. My hope is that some will become posts, some relationships and some projects. And yes, I also end up writing phone numbers or the hex codes for colors I love in here. It is for whatever brilliant thought comes to your head!
Download the Mommy Words Weekly Blog Planner
You can download the Mommy Words Weekly Blog Planner for free! I hope it helps you! I will be posting a lost more printables in the future so please consider subscribing via RSS or Email so you never miss one!
I would love to hear how you plan your weekly blogging too!