Are you one of those people who leaves it until the last minute to write a blog article, then having to scramble to get something together?
Perhaps you’re feeling a little lost on how to approach your blogging?
Well, you’re not alone and there was a time I’ve done just that. It’s not pleasant, it’s stress you can do without and your readers deserve better.
That’s why many people find blogging tough at times, because they don’t have any game plan whatsoever.
To help you avoid this, I’m excited to share with you two blogging productivity tools that will help you get on track for blogging success.
Tool 1: Author Blog Ideas Planner
I’ve been using one for two years now, it’s fantastic. Why?
Remember the feeling of being rushed, stressed and lost? No more.
Using a blog ideas planner will increase the excitement of blogging and eliminate any frustrations you had when trying to come up with a new blog post to write.
A blog ideas planner is essentially a list, one place you can drop down all your blog article ideas when they come to you.
For me, this is when I’m usually away from the computer in a more relaxed state such as having a coffee on the porch, while I’m running or reading. I keep a list with all of my blog ideas. If I’m out and about away from the office, I’ll add the idea to my iPhone notes so I don’t forget and add it to my blog ideas planner later.
Different topics you can cover are:
- how-to topics around your book content
- information about your books
- free bonus book content
- build upon your connection with readers with commentary on a favourite related TV show or book
- progress reports on your new book
- events and releases
- ask readers questions
Having one place where all your ideas are consolidated together allows you to see all the potential blog articles that await your writing flair.
I know this might seem simple at first, but the very act of avoiding the merciless blank page altogether and seeing all your ideas is very encouraging.
But then you face a new question … I have a bunch of blog articles topics now, but which blog article idea should you write first?
Tool 2: Author Blog Editorial Calendar
Once you have ideas listed out on your blog ideas planner, you can then schedule them on your blog editorial calendar.
What’s a blog editorial calendar?
It’s simply a term used for describing a publishing schedule, which is used for strategic, ongoing blogging. Many successful bloggers, authors and online businesses use a blog editorial calendar to plan ahead by at least one month, deciding what articles they’re going to publish and when.
A blog editorial calendar helps break through mental and emotional blogging walls and helps you stay accountable to yourself by serving as a reminder of your blogging responsibility.
It will also help keep writers block at bay.
You can simply use a paper calendar, an Excel Spreadsheet or Google Calendar. If you use WordPress for your blog, there’s a WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin. Just be careful not to bog down your WordPress blog with plugin overload. I prefer to stick with paper myself , as I can take it everywhere with no additional impact on the website.
UPDATE: we now recommend the plugin and have discontinued the paper calendar. The Planner is still a popular download.
These tools will help you…
Not become another blogging statistic
The number one reason people don’t succeed with blogging, is that they’re not persistent and don’t persevere. Being consistent is key to winning the game of blogging and building your author platform as a whole.
Being consistent and having a schedule there in front of you, makes it easier to push through those tough days when you’re not as motivated. We’ve all been there. It’s not trivial, it works. It helps with a positive mindset shift in how you approach blogging.
Fuel your writing creativity, don’t hinder it
You start out being creative during the process of brainstorming ideas using a blog idea planner.
Then when it’s time to write, you remove the mental and emotional roadblocks by having your ideas also scheduled out across your calendar. There’s no uncertainty or the feeling of being lost to stunt your creativity. There’s no stress or anxiety to hinder your creative writing juices.
You can simply pick a topic from your list, whichever inspires you, and start writing with no weight on your shoulders.
Planning your articles will help you be strategic about what you post. You’ll have articles that will be timed with a special annual event or release, progress reports and publishing ‘series’ of consecutive related blog articles.
You can have time to do topic research and keyword search for Search Engine Optimisation. You can plan articles to be timely with trends in your industry or genre.
Above all, be thoughtful about what your audience really wants.
Free templates available
I’ve made available some printable templates for the blog idea planner.
I would love for you to let the creative juices flow and use these tools to hit the ground running in the new year, taking your author website and blogging efforts to a new level.
Tools for success!