Manage Your Blog With This Workflow Checklist + Calendar TemplateManaging your blog effectively is easier when you have the right tools. Download this workflow checklist + calendar template kit to plan your process and organize your posts:
How to Rock Blog Management In 5 Easy Steps (Includes Checklist)Click To Tweet
1. Take 30 Minutes to Generate IdeasBefore you can get started writing, you first need to have ideas. However, ideas aren’t always easy to find. In fact, coming up with ideas for your blog may be one of the hardest things that you do as a solopreneur – but you’re going to have to get used to doing it constantly if you want to be successful at blogging and blog management. If you’re struggling, don’t worry. Getting stumped in the idea generation phase has afflicted people for so long that scientists have conducted research to determine just why we seem to constantly suffer from creative blocks (hint: brain chemistry). Fortunately, based on this science, we also now know that there a few things you can do to “trick” your brain into bumping up the creativity. That’s the purpose of brainstorming, and there’s also quite a bit of scientific evidence out there that it works when done correctly. Creative blocks are essentially an argument between two parts of your brain resulting in a cognitive deadlock (read about it below). To break down this deadlock, follow this simple recipe that takes 30 minutes to perform:
1. Spend 10 Minutes Writing Down Every Idea You HaveSet a timer for 10 minutes, grab your pencil, and start making a list. Write down everything that comes to mind without a thought as to whether or not the idea is a good one. It might help to start with one concept then write down all the associations you have with that concept rather than thinking of “blog topic ideas” per se. You can also do this with blog categories or themes.
2. Spend 10 Minutes Rating Each IdeaWhen your first 10 minutes are up, reset your timer. Now, go down your list and rate each as a 1, 2, or 3 – with 3 being your favorite ideas.
3. Spend 10 Minutes Deciding Which Ideas to WriteOnce you’ve sorted your list, spend a final 10 minutes going through it determining which ones you’ll write. That could be all of your number 1 ideas, or it could be a combination of them depending on how well the topics flow together. Still having trouble? That’s alright. You can also use this process while curating content to identify suitable topics for your blog. Creativity is one of the defining features of humans but, like with cats, it can occasionally get us killed. As a result, the brain developed a defense mechanism to reduce the ability of early humans to conceive (and thus act upon) very bad ideas. The activation of that defense mechanism is what you’re experiencing whenever you feel a creative block.]
2. Schedule Your Blog PostsOnce you’ve got your collection of blog posts title it might be tempting to start writing them all at once. After all, you’ve got so many amazing ideas now and your creativity is on full blast! Resist the urge. It’s time to rein in those creative juices and stop suppressing your frontal lobe with dopamine. Do that by creating a blogging schedule. It will make your frontal lobe very happy. To schedule your blogs:
First, Figure Out Your Time CommitmentBlogging is much more than simply typing up a post and throwing it online. Crafting a thoughtful, well-written blog post takes time, energy, and a whole lot of research to do it well. How much time that takes you will vary according to your topics. You’ll also need to balance your publishing frequency with your other time constraints. Running a brick and mortar retail location? Got kids? You might not have enough hours in the day to publish an in-depth, authoritative post daily. A realistic grasp of how much time it will take you to post, and how much time you actually have, is the first step to creating an effective blogging schedule. (PS – don’t be afraid to start slow. Consistency is more important than volume.)
Then, Identify Your Blogging GoalsWhat are you trying to get out of your blog? Depending on your business, that may vary. Some common goals include:
- Improving your page rank for local SEO or specific keywords.
- Growing your audience and developing authority in an industry over time.
- Gaining [x] amount of new email subscriptions or sales in a certain amount of time.
- Increase content related to a certain topic overall.
Finally, Use a Calendar for Topics and CategoriesUsing an Editorial Calendar, like CoSchedule is a best practice that has several major advantages – not the least of which is preventing the burnout you’ll invariably feel from trying to do everything at once. A calendar is also a useful visual tool to help you spot holes, inconsistencies, or patterns in your scheduling. It will help you stay focused and efficient. For blog management purposes, you can even take it a step further. Use a calendar to track categories, hashtag usage, or themes that you’re posting about. Check out what one of our templates looks like all filled out… A calendar template like this one can help you plan out not just topics, but category usage, blog tags, and your social media around each blog post. Find a bunch of useful templates right here.
3. Create a Checklist-Based Workflow for Writing PostsOnce you’ve created your calendar, streamline it with a checklist. This will ensure that you don’t miss any critical details when you draft your blog articles. Some things that you’ll want your blog management workflow checklist to include are…
- Tags, categories, and SEO keywords. Know them before you start – they will help focus your writing.
- Outline. An outline keeps each section balanced and shows you how the blog fits together.
- A strong, focused introduction. You’ll want to nail it for success.
- First draft. It’s easier to edit than write, so focus on completing the post first.
- Call to action at the end. Strong blogs have a CTA to drive engagement.
- Headline Analyzer Studio score. You’ll know right away if you’ve got a good one.
- Yoast content analysis. Check your keyword usage and adopt SEO best practices.
- Grammarly check. It will spot the mistakes you (or Word) missed.
- Images. Does your blog need any? Add them.
- Approval. If you work with clients or have multiple people who look over each post before publication, you’ll need their input.
- Final editing. Always double check your work to make sure it’s perfect.