I love to blog, but like almost everything in my life, if I don't prioritize it doesn't get done or takes much longer than necessary. I don't think I have a short attention span, it's just... "Oh, look a squirrel..." When I plan in advance and stay organized, I always get more quality work done.
1. Research and organize. I am an Evernote junkie and I've also recently started using OneNote. I create a folder or section for each blog post and I save all of my digital brainstorming and notes in one (or sometimes both) of these apps.
2. The most important part of a post is usually the result or the answer to a problem. I come up with a defined end result for my readers before any other part of the article.
3. Do the worst first. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy every part of blogging, but creating graphics is the most time consuming and stressful part of the process for me. I brainstorm on what type of graphic I am going to use, pick out my design or stock photo and then create it using PicMonkey or Canva. I usually create one graphic for my blog and one for each social media network that I am going to share my post on. Once the "hard part" is done, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
4. Now on to the best part: writing! I like to write in the evenings. I am NOT a morning person and I just feel more creative at night. I like to play some music, sit somewhere comfortable, pour myself a drink of tea or wine and just write. I have been using a Spotify playlist called Deep Focus while I am working and it has definitely made me feel more motivated. On days when I am struggling to write Write or Die has been a real motivator. It really puts the "prod" in productivity.
5. I take advantage of motivation and sit down and write multiple posts on those days where I feel like I can accomplish anything. This gives me wiggle room for the days where I feel like stepping out of bed may as well be a triathlon.
6. Plan the title of the post. I usually do this after my post is written. This helps me decide on which keywords to use and to make sure it's SEO optimized. Google AdWords Keyword Planner and CoSchedule Headline Analyzer are fantastic tools for planning your titles.
7. Quadruple check and then check it again. Mistakes happen, but I try to avoid glaringly obvious errors as much as possible. Grammarly has a free grammar and spellcheck tool that absolutely rocks. Hemmingway is another good one. On the flip side, as an imperfect perfectionist, I sometimes agonize over things to the point of never getting them done. If you find yourseld doing this: remind yourself that nothing is irreversible, mistakes can be a learning expereince and they are never the end of the world or your blogging career. Done is better than perfect.
8. You've spent all of this time and effort. Your post is awesome. Your graphics
9. Once the post ready to go, I schedule it. A quick peek at Google Analytics should tell you when your blog has the most traffic. For me, it's in the morning. As you all now know, mornings are not my friend. I talked about scheduling a little bit earlier in this post, but I am telling you: there is no better feeling than knowing your post is being published while you are still lying in bed.
PRO TIP: Here are 2 simple formulas for finding your peak traffic days and times using Google Analytics. Just ensure that Google Analytics is installed on your blog and that you are signed in. Clicking below will automatically add these formulas to your Google Analytics reports.
Find your highest traffic day of the week by clicking HERE
Find your highest traffic time of day by clicking HERE
To determine the which number aligns with which day use this super secret code:
0=Sunday 1=Monday 2=Tuesday 3=Wednesday 4=Thursday 5=Friday 6=Saturday