Maintaining a blog can be overwhelming. A blog post planner can help you plan out your posts while ensuring you never miss out on the little elements that contribute to blog success.
Churning out a handful of blog posts every week is no easy feat – and I say this as a blogger myself.
Thinking about what topics to write about are just the tip of the iceberg; dive deeper and there’s more to worry about: SEO keywords, promotions, internal and external links, social media integration, giveaways, the list goes on. A blog planner keeps you on the right track without losing sight of all the important elements that make blog posts successful.
Blog post planners also help with conceptualization. Without a method to the madness, you’ll be working your fingers to the bone trying to think about what to write next. If you’re aiming for blog success, you need to sit down and get serious.
Planning out your blog content is one of the best ways to not only lessen the challenges of maintaining a blog but also enhance the quality of your blog posts.
Around 46% of marketers have a well-thought-out strategy for managing content as a business asset, according to a Content Marketing Institute survey. Blog planning worksheets help save you time while offering strategic direction to your blog posting.
Here’s everything you need to know about blog post planners.
What is a blog post planner?
Running a blog requires juggling multiple things at once, and bloggers have their work cut out for them.
While there are casual bloggers that don’t put much thought in their postings, bloggers who take their work seriously need to constantly look for new content ideas, run experiments, source photos and videos to complement their content, and improve on SEO – all while thinking of new and creative ways to build their email list.
Let’s not forget that bloggers today also use social media to their advantage so there’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to worry about along with other online promotional and marketing tactics.
A blogger’s life is hectic, and any tool that can offer a sense of organization and clarity to their day to day duties is a welcome help. This is where blog post planners come in. A blog content planner is a godsend for bloggers who post regularly, as it helps them keep their thoughts and activities organized.
Apart from schedulers, online blog planners offer a variety of other features such as tracking sheets to track blog ideas, affiliate programs, income, SEO checklist, and more.
There are a plethora of blog planners available online, and while most of them are free to download and print, some of the more comprehensive planners require a one-time payment.
Our guide will offer suggestions of the best, free blog planners to use so you can get started organizing your blog strategy without costs.
Join my free course on how you can use lead magnets like a planner to build your audience and grow your blog.
How to use a blog post planner
There are a lot of blog planners available online, and while each one is different, they all share some similar features. I’ll be teaching you how to use some of their recurring features along with suggestions on which blog planners to use.
Iron out your blog details
If you’re wondering how to start a blog, blog post planners with a checklist that guides you through the initial conceptualization process will make things a lot easier.
This blog planner from Georgia Lou Studios is one of my favorites, as it comes with a style guide to help you determine your blog’s voice and personality.
Complete the initial set-up. Georgia Lou Studios’ blog details section requires your blog name, website URL, blog niche, ideal reader, and a box where you can write insights about how you plan to make your blog unique.
This first page is essential, as it helps you target your ideal reader while helping you stand apart. Remember, the best blogs are not only those that cater to a lucrative niche but also those that publish competitive and quality content that other blogs do not have.
Determine your style. The blog post planner from Georgia Lou Studios also comes with a checklist for documenting your blog style and personality. The main reason for this section is to streamline your design and writing process while allowing you to maintain quality and consistency across all of your blogs. Style guides are essential for all blog owners, especially when they’re just starting out.
Another fantastic reason to have a style guide is to keep your writing consistent just in case you bring in guest bloggers, freelance writers, and or even editors.
After establishing your target audience, you need to figure out a style that most appeals to them. The Georgia Lou Studios blog post planner asks you to determine your brand personality, as well as your preferred colors (with hex codes), fonts, and formatting.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive approach to building your blog from the ground up, check up this blog post planner from Kate Doster that comes with a comprehensive 31-item checklist for building your blog from scratch.
See Related: How to Start a Niche Blog [7 Steps to Crush It]
Plan your schedule
Now comes the tricky part: determining how many times a week you intend to post. A lot of neophyte bloggers tend to make the mistake of committing to high-frequency publishing. Even if you find writing easy, you might be overwhelmed by how much work just a single blog post requires.
So how often should you really blog? Your blog post frequency depends on what’s best for you. Smaller businesses find it convenient to post just one or three times a week, while larger businesses have the manpower to churn out daily content.
If you’re working alone, there’s no need to release blog posts every day, otherwise, you might get burned out. Most blog post planners come with a checklist for yearly, monthly, and weekly content. Check out this planner from All About Planners.
This gives you an opportunity to set posting themes for each month and get even more specific with posting topics per week.
Once you have an idea of what your topics are going to be, you can jot down exactly what you need to finish the blog in the daily section.
See Related: Auto Blogging Overview: Does It Actually Work?
When blogging, one of the things that may overwhelm you is the amount of quality content that you have to produce in order to get noticed. This means having to come up with fresh and relevant topics all the time. To help you with putting your ideas together in one place, most blog post planners come with brainstorming sections where you can write all your prospective topics.
The online blog planner from Georgia Lou Studios comes with a brainstorming worksheet with columns for ideas, topics, and categories.
This one from All About Planners features a simple list where you can jot down all your blog topic ideas.
Brainstorming topics to blog about doesn’t have to be difficult. Try out these tips when you’re wracking your brain trying to think about something to write about.
Look into your skills and hobbies. When you can’t think about anything to write about, look into yourself. Are you exceptional at doing a couple of things? Share your knowledge with others in a tutorial-like blog post. You can even add instructional videos in your blog post to capture your reader’s attention.
Repurpose popular content. If you’ve been blogging for quite a while, try digging into your archives for your most popular posts and brainstorm new and creative ways to make these topics fresh. Repurposing your old content is a great way to avoid having to whip up something new all the time while opening up the door for tons of new post ideas.
Turn to Google search. Remember Google’s autocomplete? Google suggests phrases even before you’ve completed typing your search query. Type in the phrase and use Google’s suggestions to come with creative blog post ideas. If you’re a chef, for example, type in “How to cook…” and see what topics Google comes up with.
Use a headline generator. Websites like Hubspot have a brilliant topic generator that can help you generate ideas automatically. All you need to do is enter three topics, and the generator suggests a couple of headlines that you can write about. It’s convenient and really easy to use.
Think of a series. Thinking of a series with multiple topics instead of thinking of individual topics can make brainstorming a lot easier. The blog post planner from All About Planners comes with a sheet dedicated to brainstorming series topics.
This one from Georgia Lou Studios helps you ensure that your series idea is timely and relevant and proposes an answer to a reader problem.
See Related: Blog vs Website – 7 Key Differences
Plan the post
After planning out your schedule and brainstorming for concepts, it’s time to flesh out your ideas. Most blog planners come with a post planning section where you can get more specific with the details of each post.
This one from Georgia Lou Studious is our favorite, as it includes everything you need to consider to make sure your post is relevant, engaging, well-promoted, and SEO-friendly.
Here are some tips on how to best fill up this checklist:
What is your user’s intent? The “Reader Problem” and “Solution” section is particularly important in this checklist, as it ensures that your post aims to solve a particular user problem. The best blog posts are those that offer actionable advice and propose a solution to a timely and relevant issue, so make sure your blog post satisfies the reader’s need for information.
Have you promoted on social media? Bloggers now have social media at their disposal when it comes to promoting their blog posts. Check the tick boxes in the Social Media section once you’ve posted your blog on the platform.
See Related: 9 Best Ad Networks for Bloggers
Mind your SEO
SEO is the lifeblood of blogs, just as blogs are essential for a website to get good SEO. If you’re looking to make money with your blog, SEO is highly essential too.
Without proper SEO, you’ll be hardpressed to find readers and visitors to your website.
The best blog post planners come with SEO checklists that ensure you’ve followed all the SEO rules in your blog before publishing it.
Drafting your posts with SEO in mind not only helps you climb search engine result pages but also improves the reader experience. While most content management systems come with pre-built apps that automatically check your blog for SEO weaknesses, it’s good to have a separate checklist in hand for good measure.
Georgia Lou Studio’s blog post planner comes with a Post SEO Checklist that covers all the elements of good SEO. It ensures that you’ve employed the right amount of keywords in the right places, has complete internal and external links, and SEO-optimized images.
It covers everything from your page title to the body, images, links, URL, and meta description.
Other things to keep in mind
Get a good web host. If you’re looking for a blog post planner, chances are, you’re just starting out with blogging. New bloggers need to know that their web host spells the difference between blogging success and failure.
Your website needs to be dependable, able to scale, and should never compromise your data. Customer service is also essential when you’re starting out as you may run into some troubleshooting issues.
Bluehost offers reasonable pricing, great uptime, and a free domain for your first year when you sign up for any of their plans. You’ll also get 24/7 live support and a free SSL certificate to ensure that your site is safe from unauthorized parties.
Don’t ignore email marketing. Email marketing is essential if you’re looking to make money online through your blog. Blogging is one of the best side hustles, but you need to tap into the power of your leads to make conversions.
This free online course teaches you the best ways to build your email list and sustain your blog success.
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