How I Organize My Weekly Blog Posts

posted by Andrea | 05/16/2012

I write anywhere from 7-14 posts each week — both for my own blog and as a contributor for several other blogs… so I definitely need to have a “plan” in place to assure that I don’t duplicate topics, miss deadlines, or run out of things to say {although, I think Dave would tell you that’s impossible!}

And since a few of you have recently asked how I set up, organize, and manage all the posts I write on a weekly and monthly basis, I figured maybe I should share “my plan” with you!

As with most things in my life, I try to keep it as simple as possible… mainly because I have way too many things to do each week and I can’t afford to spend lots of time “planning” as opposed to “doing”

Here are the few basic steps I follow on a weekly and monthly basis:

1. I write down ANY new ideas.

This is probably the most important thing I do… and I do it constantly. I always have a note pad and pen with me — I even keep one by my bed because I seem to get really good ideas in the middle of the night! Then ANY time I think of an idea that could possibly work with my blog, I write it down immediately. Once I’m back at my desk, I have a “master list” of blog post ideas for the different categories I write about.

I find that with most bloggers, the biggest challenge can sometimes be coming up with an idea to write about. I used to have bad writers-block and would sometimes be up at 11:30 the night before, trying to pull a clever idea out of my brain and then write a post about it before the next morning. Now that I have a baby… I most definitely have better things to do at 11:30pm (like sleep!)

By having my list of ideas available all the time, I rarely ever waste time wondering what to write about.

2. I take pictures of everything.

Now that I have an iPhone (that I take with me everywhere), I have no excuse NOT to take photos of every aspect of my life. I do end up deleting many of the photos, but I like to have as many pictures as I possibly can because that makes my blogging life SO much easier.

I can almost always find a picture that relates to any post I’m writing, and I can quickly document my recipes and craft projects because the pictures are always available.

I’m definitely not a fantastic photographer — but that’s what my favorite photo editing programs are for… right!

3. I draft one week of posts in one morning.

Every Tuesday morning, I take about 1 hour to draft any posts I need to write for the following week. I look over my “master list” of ideas and pull topics and ideas that are relevant to the season, date, and my current life situation.

When I draft my posts, I basically just type in a title and then “brain dump” any information about that topic or idea without worrying about formatting, spelling, grammar… or even making sense. I just type anything and everything that comes to mind.

I also make notes about any photos I will need to take or any other actions that might be necessary before I can finish writing the post {like make a recipe, finish a craft project, etc.}

Not only does this “draft” process help initiate my writing process (see below) it also reminds me to think about these topics and ideas throughout the week.

4. I write a full weeks worth of posts in one day.

I find that I’m most productive if I can get in a groove and do the same thing over and over again. So taking one morning and afternoon to write out all of my posts for the following week has always worked really, really well for me.

After Nora was born, she wreaked havoc on this system {and my productivity} so I’ve started paying a college girl to come in on Fridays to watch  Nora while I go head out to our outbuilding and write. {She also cleans my house so it’s really a fantastic situation for me!}

I basically write, roughly edit, add all the images, links, tags, categories, etc. My goal by the dinner on Friday is to have all my posts scheduled for the entire week ahead… and then I close up shop for the rest of the day.

I do use templates to quickly draft posts like my recipes and Weekend Giveaways. The templates allow me to recreate a new post in about 5 seconds… and then all I have to do is input the new content and a few new images. SO much faster than writing those posts from scratch every week.

And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how good it feels to walk into a clean house and know that I’ve literally accomplished a weeks worth of work in one day. Yup, it’s worth every penny  I pay Nora’s buddy :)

5. I get Dave to proof-read my posts.

Before Nora was born, I had much more time to proof read and edit my posts. And I know I didn’t catch everything (by nature, I’m a very poor speller) but it was good enough.

However, after Nora joined our family, my blogging time was limited, and I found that I was making more mistakes and wasn’t paying close enough attention to the details.

So Dave graciously offered to start proof reading my posts every Saturday afternoon {even though he has a million other things he could be doing}. And while I know there have still been times when he misses something, this system is better than nothing, and I really appreciate having another set of eyes read over my posts before they go live.

Plus, knowing that he’s ready and waiting to proof-read on Saturday makes it even more important for me to finish writing my posts on Friday.

This system has been working for me for quite some time now… so I’m sticking to it!

I can’t even remember the last time I was up late writing a post for the very next day, and I certainly never sit around trying to think of ideas anymore. Not only do I save so much time by drafting and writing all my posts in one big batch, I also save loads of last-minute stress.

If you’re a blogger, I’d love to know how you set up your writing schedule. 

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38 comments

  1. Lydia

    05/16/2012

    I use nap time. I sketch out my week Sunday night and then during my son’s morning nap I write the next day’s post.

    [Reply]

  2. Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify

    05/16/2012

    Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like a great plan!

    I am not very organized about my blogging these days. I do have tons of ideas and I usually just type in the titles or topics as a post draft. It’s finding the time to write that’s the hard part. I usually just try to squeeze it in when I can (usually at night). I’m not able to try a schedule like yours right now, but I’m going to tuck away these ideas in case there comes a time that I can give it a try!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, finding the time to write was the hardest part for me too — because it required “focused time” (which is rare with a baby who never naps!) My one day of “focused time” is so fabulous!

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  3. melanie

    05/16/2012

    Great post as I’m going to start working from home more with two little ones. Trying to get my mind wrapped around how I’m going to do it. I was thinking about possibly getting a college student to come in and help out a little. How did you go about finding that person? THANKS!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Melanie, All the colleges in West Mi have a “job board” where you can post jobs that are available for college students. So I just posted a “cleaning/child care” position and had about 10 responses. We interviewed the top few and then picked the girl we liked the best.

    This is probably one of the BEST decisions I made for my work life and my home life since Nora arrived. I basically work my butt off for one day and then can “relax” the rest of the week. I also never have to worry about making time to clean the house b/c I know she will do it every week.

    It’s a VERY small financial investment for the benefits of having less stress all week long :)

    [Reply]

    melanie Reply:

    Andrea-
    Thanks so much! I think I’m going to look into it! Have a GREAT Wednesday!! :)

    [Reply]

  4. MommieDaze

    05/16/2012

    Taking photos of everything, that’s a good idea. A habit I should start. So many times I go write something and think, “If only I’d taken a picture the other day.” At the time you don’t know you’ll want the picture for later. And yes, thank goodness for photo editing programs!

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  5. Stel

    05/16/2012

    Good ideas.

    I also tend to draft, whether it be text or photos. I also take photos on my iPhone, then dump it in my Dropbox, since I either use out PC or my netbook to finish up the blog, and can then upload easily. I must still graduate to Picasa webalbums!
    It’s a good idea to use one day a week to finish all, especially when you contribute to so many. I usually blog about a finished project, or else when I take part in a blog-along or crochet-along, on a specific project with specific report-back days. Like today’s WIP Wednesday I missed! (Work In Progress)
    :-)

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  6. Julie

    05/16/2012

    I’m not a blogger but I just have to say I love your photo…blogging with Nora!

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  7. Beulah

    05/16/2012

    I love the way of finishing the work at the earliest. Yes, it will reduce lots of tension & restlessness in the last minute! Am still working on that but! Not able to stick on to the exact plan. May be am not that good in planning my work stuffs.!

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  8. Alana @ Domestic Bliss Diaries

    05/16/2012

    Love. Love. Love this!! Sounds like a wonderful schedule. I am wondering though, without giving a specific amount (unless you just want to), how much could I expect to pay a college student to watch my child and clean for one day. Of course, I realize it could vary but this may be something I look into soon, so an estimate would be great!

    Thanks so much!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    It probably depends on your area. Most college job boards ask you to list the hourly rate… so just look at what other’s are offering and use that as your guide.

    Also, if you have more than one child, that could factor in — as well as if your child sleeps for a good chunk of the day (which mine does not!)

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  9. Jen

    05/16/2012

    I try to stay about a week or so ahead, as well. I typically do three to four posts per week, and the subject matter of my blog allows me to just work with whatever’s going on in our lives at the time. I have some sort of “regular features” I can fall back on when ideas are running low, and I try to take pictures of any new recipes or activities we tackle. It helps keeps things fresh.

    I’d probably be more diligent if my blog was monetized, but for me it’s just a good way to feed the personal writing bug that starves when all I’m doing is contracted work.

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  10. Jessica @ Budget For Health

    05/16/2012

    This post is very helpful. I haven’t run into the problem of not having ideas, but I’ve found myself writing content the night before multiple times. I’d use the excuse that working two part time jobs doesn’t give me a consistent schedule, but I just need to be more disciplined!

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  11. Rebecca

    05/16/2012

    This is such a helpful post. Having a baby has made it hard to write blogs, but at the same time, my son gives me so much inspiration for writing! I definitely blog by the seat of my pants right now but your system is so much better!

    I’d love to see a post about how you came to blog AND make money at the same time since this is my eventual goal.

    [Reply]

  12. Karen

    05/17/2012

    Thanks for the great tips! You mentioned using templates to quickly draft a post. Is that something set up in your blogging software or is it a document you have saved? Sounds like that could be a HUGE time-saver! Oh, and BTW, can’t wait to try making that Pizza Pasta you posted earlier this week. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Karen, if you use WordPress, there are template plugins you can download and then save a specific template to use each time you write a similar post. The template plugins are free… and yes, they save lots of time!

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    Thanks so much, Andrea! We use blogger (thinking of switching to WordPress), but I’m going to see if they have a similar feature. If nothing else, I could probably save it in a word or text document and copy/paste. Not sure why that didn’t occur to me sooner!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Glad to help — and yes, a word or text document would basically do the same thing for you (a.k.a. save you a bunch of time!!)

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  13. Debra Kapellakis

    05/17/2012

    A little help(er) never hurt anyone.

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  14. Pam@behealthybehappywellness

    05/17/2012

    I write an outline at the end of the month of what I’ll post each day for the next month – usually just a one line topic. I’d love to get to the point of writing all the posts for the week in one day . . . that should be my next goal!

    [Reply]

  15. Tidy-Up Gal (@TidyUpGal)

    05/17/2012

    These tips are so helpful. I just started my blog a little over a week ago and I strive to write 3-4 posts a week – 3 are pre-written, and I allow myself one (sometimes two) spur of the moment posts as needed.

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  16. Sherree

    05/17/2012

    Thanks so much for the post. I have been having such a time with finding time for blog writing. I think that the last one I did was for Easter.
    I plan on taking your plan and using it for myself.
    The idea of keeping paper and pencil near by is perfect.
    Again, thanks so much.

    [Reply]

  17. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    05/18/2012

    I’ve been blogging for a year now. I have a word document where I keep a list of all my ideas. I, too, keep pen and paper handy to write down ideas. I get them ALL the time! Then I take all the scraps of paper and put everything in the word document. As I use the ideas, I highlight them. I’ll eventually delete them.

    For most of this past year I’ve written articles the day before I posted them. Sometimes I write a bunch of drafts and have them available for when I need them.

    Lately I’ve been planning a week in advance and then drafting some of the articles in advance. I want to eventually get to the point like you where I have a week on and ready to go. I don’t like doing it day by day.

    A couple of months ago I got the flu and my blog post wasn’t done. I was stressing over it but my daughter-in-law who helps me sometimes took a draft I had started and finished it. I realized then that I really needed to work in advance.

    Right now I have a week planned at a time. Even though the articles aren’t written, have the battle is knowing what to write.

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  18. Kristin @ The O.C.D. Life

    06/04/2012

    You are awesome! You write all of your weekly blog posts in one sitting? That is amazing. I try to do mine daily or a few days in advance. I like to start them and continuously add to them until I publish them. I do keep a calendar with each blog post I plan on conducting and a list of blog ideas. I love having a list of my blog ideas because it gives me direction. I can be in the grocery store and an idea will pop in my head. I will immediately stop everything, pull out my planner, and write it down.

    Thank you for sharing this awesome post.

    xoxo,
    Kristin

    [Reply]

  19. Stace @ SavingStace.com

    06/04/2012

    I have a good habit of writing my ideas down and taking tons of photos (most of which I delete, as well!), but I love the idea of drafting all of my week’s posts at once. And writing all of the posts in one day – brilliant! :) Great tip on the templates as well. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  20. Michelle

    07/17/2012

    Thank you so much for sharing your schedule! I’m a fairly new mom with another on the way and am thinking of doing some work from home to include blogging and found your plan to be so helpful! Your posts on freezer cooking are great too, and plan on making quite a few of the recipes!
    Cheers!
    Michelle

    [Reply]

  21. Casey @ waffling

    08/30/2012

    Great post! I try to keep a list of idea on a whiteboard on my fridge- but it definitely needs updating! I also try to write a bunch at once, but I find im super busy sometimes and I havent got my projects done yet!!

    [Reply]

  22. Larry

    08/30/2012

    Really great article and thanks for sharing your “insider tips”. I work on my blog part-time and have a full-time 9-5 job. I dedicate my early mornings to writing and working on my blog, generally 5am – 8am – but I’m a morning person.

    Like you, I write down all of my ideas, do a brain dump, and then flush out the full posts. I’ve found Evernote to be the ideal tool for doing this. The best part it makes photos/notes available on most any platform and accessible no matter where you are. So if I’m at the football field waiting on my kids to finish up practice, I can use my iPad to jot down ideas or draft up a few posts.

    Off to read some more of your blog. Glad I found your site – I never seem to be organized enough!

    [Reply]

  23. Anna Hettick

    08/30/2012

    This sounds like a great system! I think I am going to try to implement some of these into my blogging schedule. I usually try to write, comment, plan, a little each week day during the time that the kids are in school. But maybe if I set aside a day to just write, just edits photos, etc. I might be a little more efficient. Thanks!! =)

    [Reply]

  24. Magic and Mayhem

    08/30/2012

    Very helpful! I write four columns and two blogs, plus I have five kids (one’s a baby) and homeschool and cook three meals a day from scratch (because of food allergies and finances), so I’m always on the look for ideas to make it all work. :) Thanks!
    ~Alicia

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  25. Amanda

    10/27/2012

    I am new to bloging and this has helped me, thank you.

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  26. Sarah

    11/08/2012

    Hi, I got really excited when I saw your daughters name!! because we named our baby girl, Nora, too!!! Thanks for the post.

    [Reply]

  27. Rachael

    12/18/2012

    I just had to come back to say that I STILL think about this post even though I read it a while ago! It really stuck with me that you can hammer out a week’s worth of work in a short period of time. Instead of feeling the pressure every single day, I’m starting to be a good blogger and do things earlier on. Plus, it improves my readers’ experiences – I can tell!

    Thanks for the awesomeness!

    [Reply]

  28. Danielle

    03/22/2013

    Hi,
    Thanks for this great article. I am trying to do the same thing as I am now blogging for myself as well as another blog. My question is – when you sit down to do your rough draft writing/brain dump, where do you write it? Do you use a word processing program like Word, or do you write it directly in the blog software? Also, is your list of blog ideas on the computer (ie: Excel) or on paper?
    Thanks so much,
    Danielle

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well, my way isn’t necessarily the “best” way — but I just keep a post-it note in my planner with all my blog post ideas. When it gets full, I start a new one and I just move it from week to week. I cross them off after I write a post

    And for the brain dump drafts, I just start a new blog post in WordPress and dump all my ideas. I usually choose a category and then save as a “draft”.
    Good luck!

    [Reply]

  29. Marnie

    01/08/2014

    This is a wonderful post, thank you! Did you create the templates you use for your blog posts? I’m getting hung up on the formatting and I’m wondering if just having a ‘fill in the blank’ kind of template might help me get over that brain block.

    [Reply]

  30. Richard

    04/18/2014

    Hi Andrea
    Nice post!
    I want to improve my blogging and googled ‘organise blog posting’.
    Several hits came up and this post of yours is the best so far imho!
    Great!
    Also, as an aside, there is a majority of female bloggers posting on this over male bloggers which is fine, but I’m missing a balanced perspective here.
    Thanks and hppy blogging :-)

    [Reply]