This is a guest post by Sicorra of Tackling Our Debt.
It is has been 2 months since I created this Blog Planner on Excel and it has made a huge difference to the way I do things when it comes to working on Tackling Our Debt.
I created this blog planner on the spur of the moment. I was tired of having post-it notes all over my desk to remind me about things, as well as other notes randomly thrown into a spreadsheet.
Prior to using the Blog Planner I would stumble through each day doing what I thought I needed to do but never really having a specific plan of what needed to be done to achieve my ultimate goals.
Now the first thing I do after logging on to my laptop is open my copy of the Blog Planner and head straight to the Daily Checklist page.
Each week of the year is setup so that I can see the exact tasks that need to be done on a day by day basis. The task list reminds me to do everything I need to do when publishing a new blog post.
Below that is a section of reminders for blog hopping, social media and dealing with emails.
There may be days in the week that I don’t publish a new post but I still follow the task list to do all of the other things necessary to network with others and to market my blog.
Once all of the tasks on the daily checklist are done it is easy to move on and see what else is scheduled to be done that day. The weekly-to-do-list makes this part quite easy. If it’s on the list for that particular day, then it needs to get done. If it isn’t, then I don’t even worry about it.
Now that doesn’t mean that everything always goes as planned and that every single task gets done on time, but now at least I have a clear indication of what did and didn’t get done each day.
For the tasks that didn’t get done I can easily use the weekly calendar to quickly find another free day to reschedule those tasks on.
But the bigger advantage is the sense of accomplishment you feel when you are able to check off all of the tasks that did in fact get done each day and each week.
That is a big part of what motivates me to keep going. The second part of what keeps me motivated to keep going is the amazing results. Sometimes they are instant and sometimes they appear months down the road. But they are always very important.
I know many people use a hand written Editorial Calendar or one that they find in WordPress.
My blog isn’t on WordPress so I didn’t have that.
So for most of last year I was just writing blog posts and publishing them with no specific plan. I still managed to get posts uploaded for up to 2 sometimes 3 weeks in advance, which was nice, but there was no plan around any of them.
Now, using the Editorial Calendar, I can add in topics of posts, specific titles, giveaways, sponsored posts, and so on, weeks and months in advance. And if something changes at the last minute I can easily re-arrange my schedule to fit the changes in nicely.
Another advantage of using the Editorial Calendar is that if you decide to write a series of posts on a specific topic you can easily setup your schedule for that and fit in your other posts accordingly.
You can create blog posts based on specific themes. This is best done if you setup your schedule for several months in advance. For example, you can use it to create a weekly or monthly theme, such as small business week, or work from home week. And then all of the posts that you write on that topic can be published and post-dated for that week or month.
Importance of SEO
If you are in this for the long haul and enjoy watching your traffic stats rise then you need to begin paying attention to SEO as you work on your blog. Why? Because of the residual benefits.
You see many people will visit your blog and read the most current post and typically leave without looking at what else you have written.
But you don’t want that to always be the case.
You want the blog posts that you write today to be found online tomorrow, next week and for many years to come, should you continue to blog that long.
You want the search engines to index your blog posts and you want your blog posts to show up when someone searches for something that you have written about.
This is often referred to as “organic traffic”, and when you look at your Google Analytics under traffic sources you should see a line with that says “google / organic”.
Organic traffic is the best traffic you can receive!
It happens because your blog posts were found by someone that was specifically looking for a topic that you wrote about. And chances are very good that once they click on your link, in amongst all of the other links listed, they will have a strong interest in reading your work.
How Does SEO Fit In With The Blog Planner?
As you begin jotting down your thoughts for a new post or series of posts in the Editorial Calendar you want to make sure that each post is based around a specific keyword phrase.
Once your post is written the next step is to come up with an attention grabbing title that includes your keywords.
Your title shouldn’t include more than 10 words and it should give people a reason to click on it.
Instead of your title just meaning something to you, it needs to mean something to everyone else.
For example, “Save Money”, is far too generic, as is “Blogger Roundup”.
“25 Incredible Ways to Immediately Reduce Your Living Expenses”, will attract more readers.
As well, by focusing on the keyword phrase “reduce your living expenses” in your blog post you stand a much better chance of showing up in Google when someone does a search on that phrase. You may have an SEO plug-in installed that you can use as you publish new posts, but do not rely on that 100%. Take some time to do a few extra steps as part of your SEO strategy for every blog post you publish.
Now we all know that there is more to SEO then a good title and a specific keyword phrase, but focusing on those two items is a very good start.
Download the Blog Planner
If you love blogging and feel that you could be more organized then you already are, please feel free to click on Blog Planner and download a copy of my digital based Blog Planner and get it setup to meet your needs. You will find that it also includes separate pages for you to keep track of your blog stats, conferences, renewal dates, a contact list, blog expenses, advertisers, interviews, special projects and giveaways.
Sicorra is a freelance writer that is figuring out how to tackle debt as she blogs about topics such as Personal Finance, Health, Travel, Work From Home, Food & Drink, and more. You can also find her at her personal blog Tackling Our Debt.
Written by David Leonhardt
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