Some people may like to go with the flow and blog when they please. But that's not me. I like to have everything planned out ahead of time. While I sometimes might not get everything posted that I had intended to, I still like the idea of having everything ready to go. Each month I have a theme for my blog and this month's theme is planning--so, why not talk about how I plan out my blog posts.
Having a planner is the key to success for me. It reminds me to blog and gives me something to write about when I have no idea what I'm to do. For me, my blog planner is something super simple and totally full of scratch notes. My planner is never set in stone, but rather a simple way for me to keep myself accountable and full of ideas. I like this basic, month on two pages planner by Mead that I got at Target. It has a nice section for notes in the back and an overview section for yearly planning in the front.
Let's rewind all the way to the beginning of the year. When December is coming to an end, all I can think about is what I want this next year to turn in to. I evaluate how my blog worked and how it didn't. I look at the posts that were the most popular and the posts that nobody seemed to like. Using this data I start making plans for the upcoming year!
The first step in the process is to figure out the theme for each month. Some of you might think that I'm crazy for going all out and planning everything a year in advance, but remember, these are only just themes (and honestly, they can be changed easily if need be). When I write down my themes I usually leave a note containing a couple of post ideas. This way, when the month finally comes around, I know what to write.
Let's fast-forward to about halfway through any given month. Around the 20th I begin planning for the next upcoming month. I flip to my Yearly View page to see what the theme is for that month, and then I flip back to the Monthly View page to begin planning each post. I post for three different blogs (my personal blog, a work blog, and a school blog), so I use color-coding to help keep myself organized. I usually schedule two personal blog posts a week, one work blog post a week, and a school blog post every other week; however, I don't always stick to my plan.
For each post I have in mind, I choose a date and try to write down a catchy title that I want to use. If I don't know what the title is going to be I'll simply write down something about the topic. And if I'm drawing a blank or seriously have no idea what to write about during a certain month, I'll turn to Pinterest, Tumblr, and Bloglovin'. These sites give me ideas and inspiration--if I find something I like I'll favorite it or save it to my desktop.
Finally, the last section of this planner has room for notes. This is where I write potential correspondence for guest posts, my notes about my style guide, and blog post ideas that I really want to write about. I don't try to keep everything back there really organized, so basically I wind up just scribbling all over the place--but hey, it works for me!
And that's basically all I do! I love planning out my months in advance, but I don't want to stress too much about what content gets done or what day it is published on. Some people have different systems for working through things, so whatever works for you then do it (that's totally going to be my motto for the rest of this planning month, haha).