If you're a blogger and anything like me, there's ONE thing you struggle with more than anything else: posting consistently.
And it drives me nuts!
I have lists of topic ideas for all of my blog categories, and I truly am passionate about sharing my story through a blog.
It's just that sometimes, I really don't feel like writing. None of my topics sound appealing, and the long list of to-dos that come with creating a new post is intimidating.
If you can relate, I want you to know something - that doesn't make us bad bloggers. And it definitely doesn't mean we should hang up our hats and quit writing!
It just means we need a new system, a new way of organizing our writing structure to be more effective. And maybe even a little bit fun :)
My 6-step system for success
A few weeks ago, I started using a new structure for writing my blog posts. And it works!
Typically, I am 1-2 weeks ahead on posts AND I have my social media and email content written ahead of time.
I've been so enthusiastic about my new system that I just had to share it with you this week!
Here's the step-by-step breakdown of my process for writing blog posts consistently.
Step 1 | Schedule your content for the next 4 weeks.
At the end of a month, I schedule a couple hours to complete this process. My husband knows this time is important for my peace of mind for the next month, so he's been really understanding about giving me this uninterrupted time.
The first thing you'll want to do is plan out your post topics for the next month. The number of posts you have will be determined by the number of times you want to post each week. For example, I typically post once a week on my blog, so I will need four blog post topics this month.
Get out your list of topic ideas and select the ones you'd like to write about this month. Write out headline ideas on a piece of paper and circle the ones that inspire you.
Step 2 | Create draft posts on your blogging platform.
Most blogging platforms have the ability to create draft posts (this means they aren't published yet). But if yours doesn't, just use a Word document instead. It works the same.
Create the draft post, insert your headline, format the URL, add any tags and categories - the only thing you aren't doing now is writing!
I usually complete this step for all four posts at the same time.
Step 3 | Design any images or graphics.
I use Canva for all my blog graphics, so during this step, I hop on over there to create images for my posts. You're going to make at least one image for every blog post.
There should be one vertical image for Pinterest, and I often like to create an additional horizontal or square image that's perfect for Facebook or Instagram. However, this part is totally up to you and your creativity!
I've designed templates in my blog's color palette already, so I just choose the color I want for each post, insert my headline, and save! Having the templates has made this process very seamless.
Switch back over to your blogging platform and add these images to your draft posts. Again, I usually complete this step for all four posts at the same time. Then go back to the first one for the next step.
Step 4 | Outline your post content.
Focusing on one blog post topic at a time, you're going to outline the content of each post. This can be as simple or as detailed as you would like.
Depending on how I'm feeling at this point, or how much time I have left, I'll either write a detailed outline or just a simple overview.
This is where you should include your general thoughts and overall ideas on the topic. Don't hold back, just let your thoughts and fingers flow.
Sometimes, taking the pressure off writing something amazing helps me to actually think through the topic better!
Step 5 | Make notes for your social media posts and email letter.
If you have any consistent or repeated sections of your blog posts, like the Simplicity Challenge, you can prepare ahead by formatting and writing that section into your draft post. I've found that it really does save me time!
You can also include a brief section in the end of your outline for notes about your social media posts on this topic and ideas for your newsletter.
Again, this is mostly about taking the pressure off when you're down to the wire, which allows you to really write good & helpful content for your audience.
Step 6 | Put it all together!
That's it! Your prep day is complete. Kind of like meal prep days in the kitchen, you're now much more prepared to create consistent content every week. Here's how I do it.
As time allows, I open up the draft post for the closest upcoming date. Sometimes, I will sit down and write the entire post in one sitting. Otherwise, I write a little at a time until the post is finished.
And then, when I'm feeling REALLY motivated, I'll use that extra energy to crank out 2 posts at a time! That feels pretty awesome, let me tell you :)
Once the post it written, I'll spend a few minutes formatting and editing, and then it's ready to go!
Since Facebook allows you to schedule page posts ahead of time, I'll go ahead and schedule my social media post for the week. Mailchimp also allows you to schedule emails ahead of time, so I'll create that too.
All in all, this part (including writing) takes me about 45 minutes to an hour. It used to take me 90 minutes to 2 hours to create a post start to finish.
What makes this so worthwhile to me though is that I have a PLAN.
Have you ever heard the saying, if you fail to plan you plan to fail? That's been so true for me with blogging!
This monthly system helps me to have a plan in place, and as a result, I'm writing blog posts more consistently than ever.
I hope learning my system will be helpful to you! Every week, I like to share a quick action step that is designed to help you simplify various aspects of your life or business. This week, I challenge you to choose your topics for the next month.
You don't have to do all of these steps right now. It really does work best if you can block off 2-3 hours.
So, just start today by planning your post topics for the next four weeks. Look over your list(s) of ideas or brainstorm new ones! What topics will be most valuable to your audience over the next 30 days?
Comment below when you've finished your list of topics!
Be sure to let me know how this process works for you, if you decide to give it a try. It truly has changed everything for me with blogging!
In His Grace,