*AD – Items mentioned in How I Stay Organised As A Blogger have been gifted to me in exchange for a review. Some links included in this post are affiliate links. You can read my full disclaimer here.
I recently took part in a blogger Q&A and one of the questions was about how long I had been blogging. It took me a while to work out, but when I think back, its actually been ten years. I created my first blog just after I had left school. I wanted a creative outlet for my writing and wanted to talk about all of the things I loved.
Blogging was very different back then
The community spirit was different too. It was a much more supportive and happy place. Don’t get me wrong, I still love being part of a great community. However, there are the odd ones that spoil it, who are just out for themselves. Blogging back then was just a hobby. Almost nobody made money from it that I knew of. We would all join together several nights of the week to take part in blog chats over on Twitter. I recently found an old notebook that I used at the time and it had my blog chats schedule in the front. There would be two or three a night, sometimes held at the same time. I remember the buzz of answering the questions and chatting to so many people in the comments. That was the only way I tended to be organised as a blogger.
My blog was just starting to take off in 2018 and I was getting a couple of gifted opportunities, when I decided I no longer wanted to write for my blog. I decided to delete all of my content and step away from the blogging world. I wasn’t away long though and eight months later, I returned, determined to be bigger and better than before.
Do I regret deleting my old blog?
At times, I miss seeing some of the content I did. I felt sad for all the effort I’d put in over the years. I’d pretty much done Blogmas most years up until that point. However, ultimately, I knew I had made the right decision. The content I had previously put out wasn’t what I wanted on my blog anymore. Hauls and what’s in my bag style posts just weren’t the look I was going for.
I selected what categories I wanted to write about and set to creating a new blog. I invested a small amount of money into it, because it was a case of go big or go home. I’d told myself that if I couldn’t make a success of it this time, it really was time to pack it in. I knew that this time, I needed be more organised.
Three years down the line, I am beyond happy with how much of a success it has been. Granted there will always be people that are doing better than me, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m happy for them. Some of those highly successful bloggers were those I’d spoken to in blogger chats right at the beginning.
My blog has come so far
I have had so many successes with this blog and have been able to work with some amazing brands, both paid and gifted opportunities. I put my successes mainly down to my audience, because without you, The Kelly Diane Report wouldn’t be where it is today. I’ve even been able to host a whole year of Blog Advertising and launched my December Blog Advertising special offer. It means I’ve been able to create a little income from my blog, which helps so much with the running costs.
I have to take accountability for some of that success though. When you read a blog post, you don’t see the hours of work that has gone into creating it. From planning, to writing and then promoting it so that it is more widely seen. When it comes to promoting, its not just on one platform. There are so many forms of social media out there that I’ve found it important to tap into a few of them. Which brings me onto the main topic of this post…
How I Stay Organised As A Blogger
Consistency Is Key
When starting out as a blogger, you are often told to have fun but be consistent. Throughout my experience, I have found this to be true. I have set days that I like to publish on, those being a Tuesday and a Friday. Not only can my audience expect new content on those days, it also fits into how I run my week.
Plan In Advance
I know there are people out there who will just wake up one day, write a blog post and publish it straight away. That is great if you can consistently be that creative. That, however, is not me. I like to plan my posts out at least a month in advance. I make sure I have an idea for at least once a week. I will then also have a maybe list to use as fillers. I will always try to keep some space in my schedule though so that I can fit in any brand work that may come my way.
Create A Plan
I didn’t necessarily do this straight away when I restarted blogging. However creating a plan of when you are going to do certain tasks is really beneficial. You need to create a plan that is tailor made around your lifestyle. I have several side hustles, blogging being just one of those and so I need to split my time accordingly. I have a plan in place that ensures all tasks get done on time, whilst still having a life for myself.
Schedule Ahead Where Possible
Scheduling tools have been my life saver on so many occasions. I don’t think my blog would be where it is today without it. The main tool I use to stay organised as a blogger is Buffer. This allows me to schedule tweets and Facebook posts for the day in a matter of minutes. I have been using Buffer for years to repost older content and whilst I know you can now do this on Twitter itself, I still prefer the layout of Buffer.
One of my other side hustles is Kelly Aviation. I use the app Later to plan and schedule my daily photos. This is a great help to me because I can spend an hour scheduling my content for the month. I will then just get a notification when it is time to publish the post. Whilst that isn’t to do with my blog directly, it does free up more time for me throughout the month. Being organised as a blogger has helped me to be able to do lots of other things, such as Kelly Aviation and travelling more.
Use A Blog Planner
I have used a blog planner since the very beginning of my blogging journey. It started out as a notebook that I sectioned up for what I needed. However as my blog has become more successful, I’ve been tracking stats, planning content as well as so much more. The notebook version just wasn’t working anymore. I found that I was writing notes on my phone when I was feeling inspired when out and about, only to then get forgotten about. I knew that I needed to be more organised as a blogger if I was going to make a success of it.
I then started to look into digital versions because it would mean that I could keep it on my phone and add to it at anytime. When I noticed that fellow blogger Jordanne from The Life Of A Glasgow Girl had released several designs of digital blog planners, I knew I had found what I was looking for. For me, it was important to find a digital planner that was made by bloggers for bloggers. It would hopefully mean that everything I needed would be included.
Introducing The Blog Planner
Out of all the designs available, I chose the pink blog planner. The first thing that I really liked is the About My Blog section. With helpful prompts, you have all the information you need such as your Blog URL, hosting billing date and so much more. This is all the information you would need at your fingertips but often go forgotten. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve had an unexpected renewal payment come out that I’d forgotten about. Further into the planner, you have the space to write about your goals for your blog. Using prompts, you can also write about improvements you’d like to make and so much more.
A Year At A Glance section allows me to note down any themes I want to run with. For October I pencilled in Halloween content and November and December is all about Christmas and sparkle. I can then go more into depth with the month section. It allows me to write life things in such as birthdays and days out, whilst I can write about blog related things on the following page, named Blog Editorial. Following this, there is editorial pages for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. By including all of the main social media streams, it allows you to fill in the ones that are relevant to you.
There is plenty of space in the blog post planning section for brainstorming and post planning, whilst the SEO checklist is such an amazing help. Keeping track of any sponsored and gifted posts you have written throughout the year, will save you so much time too.
Reflecting on The Blog Planner
When you are trying to improve your blog, goal setting and working towards those goals are so important. This planner has everything you could possibly need to achieve those goals. Seeing it written in front of you and knowing what you are working towards is such a great source of motivation. For me, one of my goals this year was to improve all of my stats. I wanted to grow my audience as well as my views. Having a stats tracker has been crucial when it comes to achieving this. Added bonuses for me include a mood and sleep tracker that allow be to improve my daily life as well as achieve my blogging goals.
Splitting it down to weekly
By now you will probably have noticed just how much yo get with this Blog Planner. Splitting the month down into weekly sections, complete with to do lists and checklists is a great motivation booster. The checklist includes things that I have to admit, I can be pretty slack on. However seeing it written in front of me, it makes me want to get it done so I can give it a satisfying tick.
One last thing I wanted to mention before I go which is something that has really helped me stay organised as a blogger, is the daily schedule. I am a huge fan of time blocking and find its the best way for me to get everything done. Having a section for this in my blog planner has really allowed me to be so much more productive. It starts at 7am and doesn’t finish until 9pm, giving me plenty of space to fill it in. I can schedule in my regular to do list, blogging to do list as well as add in some me time too.
I hope you have found this post useful in how I stay organised as a blogger. If you like the sound of the Printable/Digital Blog Planner, I’d highly recommend it. It has become a complete game changer for me.