Aside from writing, one of my favourite things about blogging has to be planning my posts. I love the feeling you get from thinking of a new idea and planning out a post to put forward for your schedule. It gets me feeling so excited and inspired to get creating. The plus side to this is that I’m a very organised person, so planning out posts comes easy to me and I never like to rush posts because of this. I thought it would be a good idea to share with you how I plan my blog posts and the stages that fit together to enable me to create the content that I do.
I always use my favourite notebooks
The amount of notebooks I have gone through since I started blogging has been unreal. I have a whole pile of them in my room with all my ideas and post plans in from what will be three years worth of blogging come june. Notebooks help me a huge amount to keep organised and get everything that is circling around in my head down on paper. This way I’m less likely to forget things and also know what the hell I’m going to write when it comes to putting some posts together.
This may sound a little over the top, but I use three notebooks to plan my posts and keep myself organised. I use to only use one, but always found that everything would be all over the place and I needed a system that was more efficient to work from.
Main A5 notebook – This is the notebook that probably gets used out of all of them. In this one I write up the notes I want to put together for a particular post, I write all my photo ideas for posts and also Instagram, I put together a rough draft of my content plan for each month and I also have a checklist to keep me up to date with what needs to be completed for each month like editing photos or scheduling tweets.
The ideas A5 notebook – The other A5 notebook I use is to keep all my ideas inside. The reason why I decided to separate my ideas from the main notebook was because it’s a lot easier to see my ideas at a quick glance in a separate notebook, than having to keep flicking between pages to try locate ideas. This way I can just scan and see what ideas I feel most inspired to write about at that particular moment.
The everything A4 notebook – The third notebook I use is the notebook that has a real mixture of things inside. I like to use it mainly as somewhere where I can write quick hand and write whatever pops into my mind. It’s almost like my word dump notebook. It can a real mixture of things inside like scribbles, notes, stats, ideas, drafts, dates, you name it is probably in there. I also do a lot of my research in this notebook. For example, if I’ve read a useful blogging tip, then I’ll note it down in there for future reference.
The planning stages:
As you know, I use my main notebook to write up the plans for my posts. Each plan usually follows in a certain order and this order is typically the way it appears in a post. So it goes something like this…
1. The title – I usually write the initial idea here and if I think it suits the post well and is generally a good title for SEO, then I’ll keep it. But sometimes if I don’t think it fits just right, then I’ll either rephrase it or swap words out for new ones. This can sometimes take a couple of days for me to find the right one. So I like to come back to it before I write the post up so I’m 100% settled on something.
2. The intro – After the title comes the introduction of the post. Now this is probably where I struggle the most. The introduction always seems to be the hardest part to write in a post. Instead of writing out a full paragraph of what I want it to be like, I’ll just jot down a few ideas and things I want to mention. If the post relates to a past post, then I like to make a note of that also so I can include it when I’m writing up the post.
3. The main parts of the post – When it comes to the main part of the post, so the topic I’m talking about I like to plan it each point I want to make in bullet points. This way I can clearly see each point. I’ll write up notes on each subheading and include all the information I want to put into the post. If I was doing a beauty review, then I’ll start with the first impressions, how I got on each week trailing the product and then my final verdict. Much like the intro, I’ll also make a note of any links I need to add. If I’m writing a list style post, then I might possibly do is go back in and number each section in the order I want to write it up in. This really helps to ensure my posts flow well.
4. The photos – The last thing I plan for each post is the photos that will be included in the post. I like to write up a brief draft of the style of images I want to create. I include things like what I want the image to look like, the background I want to use, any props I need to add, the style of photo I want to do e.g a flatlay, the theme of the photo and any additional ideas I have. I like to write up a couple of photo ideas for posts because if one style doesn’t work out, then I always have a backup in place to work from instead. If it’s a lifestyle post and I want to incorporate myself into the photo, then I’ll also plan the location of the shoot, what type of pose(s) I plan on doing and the outfit I have in mind.
The final parts of planning
Once I have planned my post out, I then like to go back to my check list and make a note that I have planned the post. This means I can then move onto the next stage of creating the post which is either the photographing or the writing up of the post. This usually depends on the weather which one I do. It’s also good at keeping me motivated and organised because I can see exactly what has and hasn’t been done.
When I have planned out a good few posts, then I like to take a look at my content plan for the month and see where they can fit in. I’m currently posting every other day on my blog, so there’s always plenty of room for posts to fit in with me posting more frequently. I’ll usually draft this up in my A4 notebook, before I go to my main notebook with the nearly finalised one. This is just incase I have to swap things around for any reason. But I usually write things up in my main notebook when I’ve got every part of the post completed.
Are you a planner? Or do you enjoy blogging spontaneously?