One of the most common comment, tweet, dm (insert another form of interaction here) I get is ‘how do you keep up with everything with a full time job?’. I’ve written a few tips and tricks posts over the years, and my number on tip is always ‘have a schedule’. But what does your schedule look like you may ask (or you may not, you may not care), so I thought I’d actually share what my blogging schedule actually looks like!
Why I Keep A Schedule?
So, not only do I work a full time, 42 hour week. But also, I live in the UK and we have the most unpredictable and dark weather. Which means I have to batch take photos and content, and then release that content slowly over the week or two after. So, when you consider this content is over Instagram, my blog, Instagram & everywhere else, it can get a little overwhelming and I can forget why I’ve taken a photo of a group of seemingly unreleated products! Or, on instagram, accidentally have 3 skincare posts in a row!
I’m a stats driven person. My day job is primarily digital marketing and sales, and so I spend a large chunk of my day looking at and taking in numbers. And, while I know numbers aren’t everything, it’s really how I keep track of things and can track whether the time and effort I’m putting into various platforms are working. And so I track my WordPress, Bloglovin’, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, Pinterest, TikTok (ha!) and YouTube follower counts on a week by week basis.
This doesn’t necessarily help me plan my blog content, but it’s just something I have to do to give myself the drive I need to keep going.
It’s worth noting, this is set up on an Excel spreadsheet on multiple tabs. And the second tab is potentially the most important; the blogging schedule (I have my 2021 schedule on the second tab, and the 2020 archived schedule at the end). On this tab I keep track of my blog posts, Instagram posts and Youtube videos. It’s worth noting I don’t track Twitter or Facebook here, as there’s no original photos taken for these platforms, and Pinterest is a little more haphazard!
Hopefully you can see roughly how this tab is laid out. You have days of the week on the left, then a section for blog posts (split out as blog post title, a ‘yes’ option for whether I’ve taken the photo, a ‘yes’ option for whether I’ve written it, a ‘yes’ option for whether I’ve published it, and a ‘yes’ option for whether I’ve promoted it on Twitter/FB), a section for Instagram (the image content column and then whether I’ve taken the photo) and a YouTube section (title of video, whether I’ve recorded it, whether I’ve edited it, and whether I’ve uploaded it with thumbnail and description box).
It’s in this section I preplan my content, I often have blog posts pencilled in for around 4 months in advance (although I tend to only write them to week before) and I’ll plot in ideas as I have them throughout the year too – for example I’ve already pencilled in a few Christmas ideas! Yes… Christmas!
This plan has really revolutionised the way I manage and keep on top of my blog and its content! It means I can know that everything is written down and in one place, and so therefore use the brain space that frees up to really write and enjoy promoting my content!
Blog Post Health Check
This is a slightly personal tab just for me, and may not be relevant to some of you. But I have had my blog now on and off for 6 years. And so some of my older content especially is a little bit…. interesting. And, so I am currently going through the process of updating ALL of my old blog posts. So, here is just where I keep track of every single blog post I’ve written, a link to it, and whether I’ve updated it (I’m currently marking the date I updated it on, so I know in a years time or more, that I may need to go through and update them again).
Read More: 7 Ways To Update An Old Blog Post
I have a newsletter! It’s something I started about 2 months ago now, but haven’t really been investing time in until the last few weeks. So this is a really simple tab with date, newsletter subject, and then whether I’ve written it and whether I’ve sent it. It’s also a little, nice reminder that I need to actually send them!
I am so lucky and so grateful to be sent PR, and I’m starting to get a fair amount of it through my Instagram. But some of these pieces come with certain attachments (Octoly… I see you) and some don’t. Also, with current guidelines, you have to explicitly say when a product has been gifted to you, so I also make note of them just so in a few years time if I’m still loving an eyeshadow palette that was gifted to me, I can reference as such. So this tab has columns for brand, product, contact (email address/platform I received product from), receiving date, posting date (i.e. when the post about that product is going out if it needs to), and then a notes section where I’ll mention if it’s embargoed or has certain rules attached to the post. I then grey it out when I’ve done what I promised to do, or if there’s no obligation when I’ve received it safely.
The Random Tab
I mean this is called ‘Photos to take’ but realistically I just write stuff here. I use this much as you would probably use a notebook. I scribble ideas (if I have no date to post them on), make lists, I also note here bloggers I’ve discovered and fallen in love with so I can refer back to it when I write my 5 bloggers I’m loving posts, and just lots of other stuff. It’s just handy to have a random tab.
And there you have it. My slightly OTT, but 100% needed, blogging schedule. I’m totally not saying you have to have a schedule quite as indepth as this. But it is my BIGGEST tip (alongside batch taking photos) when it comes to juggling an active blog alongside a full time job. So I hope I gave you some good inspo and tips to creating your own blogging schedule! Be it on an excel spreadsheet like me, or in a notebook, or on a calendar… or on your phone!
Do you keep a blogging schedule?