Ever since BlogHer last year, I really have been working hard to post consistently. I went to a few sessions where they discussed some tips on keeping things straight, using Social Media to its full potential (still learning there though) and one of the most important things is to be organized. As time has gone on, I’ve tried posting every day (too hard), a few times a week (much easier) and figuring out what works best with my schedule. I’ve got lots of things going on in my life between being a wife, mother, full time employee, owner of 2 small businesses, and a blogger. Time management is key, but also finding the right balance. For me, I get a lot done at night once Aubrey is in bed for the small businesses (and have to be REALLY disciplined when I have a Bling Mixer to work on – which I will be starting another one this week!) and weekend naps are reserved for blogging. To not overburden myself, I try to keep consistent with 2 posts (Tues & Thurs) and if I’m feeling extra chatty, I’ll throw an extra one in (and will sometimes move the posts to go up Mon/Wed/Fri).
But, how to keep it straight? Well, calendars. I had a different type last year but It was really large. I don’t think I actually ever blogged about it and I cannot remember which blog I pulled it from. But you created it yourself and it was the size of a file folder. I wanted something a bit smaller for 2013 so I bought the Martha Stewart Wirebound Planning Calendar to try out. (And, only $20!)
There are monthly tabs on the side, and at the beginning of each month, the usual view at a glance. Here I keep it simple and color coordinated. Pink is the MelissaDell.com info (posts & stats), blue is Bling Diva Designs, and green is Bubbalooch. I just do a quick notation on when a blog post is going up (for any of the blogs) and list the daily pageloads. The arrows designate when a giveaway is going on, and I try REALLY hard to keep them spread out. But with the Woolzies & Hot Pockets one, I was forced to blend them since the Hot Pockets coupons expire end of February.
I have notes clipped to future months for giveaway opportunities to follow up on. The bottom photo is what the weekly view appears as. Martha Stewart splits the days into Morning/Afternoon/Evening. For me, I use this as MelissaDell.com/Bling Diva Designs/Bubbalooch. I always list the title of the post and any other information that might be applicable for when I’m looking back at stats.
Here’s 2 more views of the month-at-a-glance – in the top left corner (just happens to have the most blank spot for January), I want to keep track of my Social Media info – How many followers I have at the start and end of each month. Am I engaging enough to be growing my audience? Hope so! The left “to do list” on the calendar gives me great opportunity to list out the stats at the end of the month. I use Statcounter and Google Analytics to track all the sites. Why? Well I learned after BlogHer that some PR firms only want to see your Google Analytic information, as it removes a lot of “bot” information. I’ve used Statcounter for years and I love how detailed it can be with where visitors come from, how they navigate through my site, and can also see the popular key word searches. For me, I find their dashboard much more friendly than Google Analytics.
But, that’s the big desktop calendar and when I’m out and about, and have some downtime, I realize I want to be able to jot down notes, or see when posts are going up. And that thing is pretty massive to fit in my purse. I used to carry a larger purse, but I love the one my BFF got me from Michael Kors (the Hamilton in Olive Green) and it won’t fit. So, at Target, I bought this cutie on clearance.
It’s pocket sized, and super cute with the gold cover. It mimics the way the larger Martha Stewart one is set up with monthly view and weekly view. But since it’s pocket sized, this will contain a lot less information.
Oh look! A place for my notes. And at the back there is also additional note pages and resource pages (like, a map of Europe.)
For this calendar I’m going to just put “post” up for the monthly view since most of the time, they’re always posts for this blog. I’m going to use the weekly spread for blog post ideas or anything else I might come up with. I just really love paper products and when one is cute AND on clearance, you must swoop it up!
So, hoping that all this organization pays off and I can keep my posts entertaining, and not too filled with product reviews & giveaways. Plus, once July hits, I know there will be lots of photos of squishy baby!!!
What do you use to keep your posts organized and ahead of schedule?
If you like planners, check out these reviews: