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. 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]

  2. 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]

  3. 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]

  4. 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]

  5. 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]

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