How do bloggers stay organized? How does anyone stay organized? How does someone blog part-time while working full-time? Important: Even though this was written with bloggers in mind, many of these organizational tips and tools can be used for a variety of purposes. Now that I’ve been blogging for a while, I’ve been doing some reflecting on blog organization and how to stay organized as a blogger. When I first started blogging, I was consumed by it. How could I blog and still have a life? I’ve come to some realizations which I hope are helpful. Here are my favorite blog organization tips for saving time. Yes, you can blog and still have a life.
Keeping it Simple
On my blog, I aim to keep things simple, and my organization system is no exception. Please keep in mind as you read through this list that these are suggestions. In my job as a teacher-librarian, I work with many different learning styles. In blogging, there are many different blogging styles. Today I’d like to give you a menu of different choices and share what has worked well for me. If you feel the need to get some organization in your blogging life, read on. Blog smarter, not harder!
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.***
Blog Organization is Important For Any Type of Blogging Situation
My blogging situation may differ from yours, but the need for organization remains no matter what your blogging life is like. Despite the differences in each situation, I bet we all have one thing in common. We all want to succeed as bloggers. Maybe you are a full-time blogger. Perhaps you are a part-time blogger hoping to quit your job and become a full-time blogger. I happen to love my full-time job as an elementary school library media specialist. Blogging is very much a part-time occupation for me. No matter your situation, here are some tips that can save you time, keep you on track, and help your blog succeed. Best of all, most of them are free and easy to implement. Let’s go through the list!
Define Your Goals and Define Success for Yourself
My main goal right now is to get traffic to my website. Since I have a full-time job I love, I don’t have to worry about making an income from my blog right now. If your situation is different, and you need to monetize your blog, your goals will be different. The basic organization guidelines will remain the same, but your tasks will most likely be different from mine. That’s okay! These tips are meant to be adaptable to each situation. Define your goals, then move on to the next step.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Next, figure out which tasks are most important for you to complete. Which tasks give you the most return on your investment of time? In my situation, I receive most of my blog traffic right now from Pinterest. Pinterest is what I need to spend a lot of time on. I’m working on improving and getting more traffic from my SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so I’m working on building backlinks to other websites.
I’m also working on building my email subscriber list, so I need to make sure I contact my subscribers regularly and give them good value for the time they spend visiting my site. That means I need to write and publish blog posts consistently. I run a Facebook group called Blogging Well with Pinterest, and interact with the group every day. Those are my top priorities, and they may differ from yours. What are your most important tasks? Make time for those first, then address lesser tasks as time allows.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
Many tasks remain the same from week to week, such as composing blog posts. To keep myself on track, I set deadlines for myself about when to complete daily and weekly tasks.
Daily Tasks (mainly completed early in the morning):
- Check email
- Interact with Facebook groups and schedule new group posts for the next day
- Design and post at least one new Pinterest pin
- Manually pin to Pinterest in at least two to three 5-minute sessions, morning and evening
- Add to Tailwind to schedule for Pinterest. Try to schedule out pins at least a day in advance.
- Watch at least one tutorial or read one article to improve my blogging skills
I try to stay at least one week ahead and have a little cushion of time for publishing posts. Here are the tasks I consider important to complete each week.
- Sunday, publish the latest post to go out to subscribers on Monday
- Sunday, use Tailwind to schedule Pinterest posts for a couple of days
- Sunday, create pin for new post and use Pinterest scheduler to post on Monday morning
- Sunday, use Buffer to schedule out tweets for the week to Twitter
- Monday, post an announcement about the new post to Instagram and Facebook business page
- Tuesday, compose new blog post for publication in twelve days
- Wednesday, add graphics, buttons, and links to the new blog post
- Wednesday, comment on the blogs of others and answer blog comments
- Thursday, design pin images for the new blog post and choose one or two to include in the post
- Friday, post weekly encouragement quote to Instagram and Facebook
- Friday, make sure Pinterest pins are scheduled in Tailwind until Sunday
- Saturday, interact with my weekly Twitter blog share thread, retweeting and supporting other bloggers who join in
I try to spread out the tasks to make sure no single day is overwhelming. Notice how I have no big tasks planned for Saturdays? I try to keep weekends for free family time as much as possible. On Sunday afternoon or evening, I take some time for the daily and weekly Sunday tasks, but those aren’t too time-consuming.
Physical Tools to Keep Your Blog Organized
Some people have a designated corner in their home for an office. If you are one of those people, a wall calendar and a notebook or planner are two tools you might need. You might also appreciate a filing cabinet. I do not have a designated space in my house where I work. I work at the kitchen table, dining room table, on the couch, on the back deck, even sometimes in bed. For me, typing can happen anywhere, so the physical home office tools are not what I use. If you have a designated office space, great. I sometimes wish I had one to cut down on distractions. I like the versatility of being able to move my “office” wherever I need it, so for right now, that’s what works for me.
Digital Tools to Keep Your Blog Organized
I am a big believer in Google tools. I have most of my blog ideas, schedules, and backups stored there. Google Docs works well for my lists for various blog ideas and tasks. I use Google Sheets to keep track of upcoming posts in the blog schedule and for keeping track of my affiliate links. I sometimes use Google Calendar to schedule tasks that differ from my usual daily and weekly schedule. Here’s a screenshot of some of my files. It’s not as organized as I would like it to be. It’s a work in progress, and it’s free.
I use Mailchimp to send out automated email messages to my subscribers each week when a new post is added to my blog. It’s also a free tool (up to 2,000 subscribers), and I’ve been happy with it so far. As long as I get my post published in time for the RSS feed to send the emails, the system has worked well for me.
Scheduling to Facebook
To schedule posts to my Facebook group, I use the free scheduler in Facebook itself. I usually do this in the mornings when I am interacting with the group, to be efficient. Best of all, I can do this all on my phone!
Scheduling to Twitter
To schedule posts to Twitter, I use the free version of Buffer. I can post up to 10 tweets a week using this free tool, including my weekly blog share thread on Saturdays. The rest of the Twitter posts promote the new blog post or old blog posts. I love that this tool is free, and it helps keep me engaged with Twitter, even though I don’t have time to interact on a daily basis.
Scheduling to Pinterest
My favorite scheduling tool, and the only one I actually pay for, is Tailwind. Some people prefer to pin using manual methods, and I do that as well. The main reason why I use Tailwind is because it keeps my pins posting throughout the day. I can’t use Pinterest to pin at work, which is probably a good thing. I have peace of mind knowing that my pins are still getting circulated, even if I only have time to manually pin in the morning and evening. Since I get the most traffic to my blog from Pinterest, this tool is well worth the reasonable fee, in my opinion.
Taking it up a Level
I have worked with Trello boards when interacting with other bloggers. Trello is free (a paid version is also available) and a great way to visually organize tasks. Have trouble staying on a task for a certain length of time? Try E.ggtimer.com, which is a free time-management tool. CoSchedule is a WordPress plugin that’s free to try, and I’ve seen many Facebook group managers use it to schedule posts. If you are a full-time blogger or hoping to blog full-time, AirTable and Asana are highly recommended, especially if you work with a team of people.
Find What Works for You
Above all, you need to find which organization method works best for you. I hope you’ve gotten some great ideas from the post, and will have time to check them out. Everyone is different, and everyone has different needs. Tailor your plan to your needs, and realize you have the freedom to change it up whenever something is not working.
What Are Your Favorite Blog Organization Tips?
I always get great ideas from others, especially the readers of this blog. Do you have some favorite blog organization tips you would like to share? I’d appreciate knowing about them. I need all of the help I can get! Juggling a full-time job with a part-time blog is challenging sometimes, but rewarding as well.
If you like what you’ve read today, you might like my eBook containing information about some excellent free tools for adding interest to a blog, web page, or social media account. I also offer a free printable blogging content calendar.
Both the ebook and content calendar are free to subscribers, along with many other resources for bloggers. Have fun trying out new organization ideas and tools. May your blogging efforts be met with success!
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