Starting a blog can be hard, and coming up with content can be even more difficult. That’s why it’s so important that you are writing about things you love, so your posts flow freely and you don’t get bored. But sometimes, even if you love what you’re writing about, you can get stumped on blog post ideas, so it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.
When I started my blog I made sure to have a small amount of blog posts already drafted and ready to publish incase I had to take some time off from writing. As each week passes I write new posts about things that are currently happening, or from ideas that I had previously planned.
Now that the new year is upon us, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to re-vamp my blog calendar, and plan for the upcoming year of posts. Planning ahead helps to avoid writers block, it holds you accountable to your blog, and it allows you to stay more consistent with publishing posts (as long as you end up writing what you’ve planned).
Step 1: Decide how often you want to post each week
If you’re a part time blogger like me, you may just want to post once or twice a week, since creating quality blog posts can be time consuming to plan and edit. One thing that I found really important when starting my blog was staying consistent. I like to have two posts each week, so that way readers know what to expect from me, and it creates better traffic to your site.
If you are blogging for more than just a hobby, you may want to post three to five times a week, whatever floats your boat. Regardless, the idea is to know how many posts you’ll need to create each month, and in turn, how much work you should prep.
Step 2: Write out all 12 months and fill in the obvious seasonal posts you want to do
The easiest part about planning blog posts is just writing lists. I like to start by breaking my year down in to months or even seasons, and that way I can get obvious posts out of the way. For example, in the winter months you may want to write about Christmas, New Year’s resolutions, or cold weather essentials. In the summer you may decide to write a party planning post for the Fourth of July, a post for back to school essentials in August, and travel posts showing your summer vacation.
Basically, it’s easy to break your year down and eliminate a few posts by the ones you know you want to write based on holidays, special events happening, or the changing of seasons.
Step 3: Create content specific to your blog for each month
Now that you have specific posts planned out for seasons/holidays/whatever you chose, you can fill in the rest of the posts for each month that specifically relate to your blog. If you have a makeup blog, you may want to do Halloween looks in October, or do holiday gift set reviews in November/December. If you were a fashion blog, you’d fill in your posts with outfit ideas suitable to the changing of seasons.
I run a lifestyle blog here at What Paige, so I like to plan out crafts that are useful as decorations, meal/snack ideas, beauty posts, and basically whatever is time appropriate for the year. (In the summer I’ll be talking about outside activities in Pittsburgh, in the fall I’ll be making wreaths, year-round I’ll have recipes of my favorite foods, etc)
Step 4: Have ‘filler’ blog posts for when you can’t write new content in your draft section
This is something I cannot stress enough. It is so important to have drafts ready to publish. I got sick this last month in December and was not able to write new content, the only posts that ended up making it to my blog were those that I had previously drafted and saved for situations like this. I think it’s really important to have a few posts about topics you care about (recipes, product reviews, a heart-felt topic) stashed and ready to use.
You’ll thank me later if you end up drafting at least five posts for your future use!
Step 5: Write!
Clearly the most important step. I love making lists, and planning things out, but I could plan forever and get nowhere if I don’t take the time to actually write content. So after you’re done drafting what you want your year to look like, don’t forget to have a certain time each week to devote to yourself and your blog.
Obviously when I sit down to plan my year of blog posts I don’t plan out all 104 posts I hope to write for the year. I like to have at least half of all of my posts for each month planned though, that way if something comes up I want to write about right away, I’m not messing up my blog schedule. In the mean time I keep a little scratch paper section in my monthly calendar for my every day schedule, and if an idea pops in to my head for a blog post, I write it down to plan out later.
Hopefully this was helpful to all of you fellow bloggers out there! I know when I first started blogging on my first blog a long time ago, I never planned posts… It made me inconsistent, my writing quality was poor, and I had to fight writers block a lot, ultimately why I had to stop blogging for such a long time. But planning ahead has been a key to success for me so far, and I will continue to do it!
What are your favorite ways to plan blog posts for the year?
Until next time,