Content marketing can seem straightforward at first, but your efficiency will hit a roadblock at some point. There are a multitude of tasks to contend with, so a blogging planner may become an essential component of your workflow. This combines several elements into one handy tool for you to refer to as you write.
For this tutorial, we’ll look at 🔎 what a blogging planner is, and what it can help you achieve. From there, we’ll show you how to create one of your own. At the end of the article, you’ll have an example that you can use as inspiration!
What a blogging planner is
Professional writers need a plan of action. In fact, this plan has to be suitable over the long-term, too. Churning out posts without putting thought into them won’t lead to success – not to mention it’ll be a waste of time. This is where a blogging planner comes into play.
In a nutshell, this is a document that you can either keep on your computer or print out. It gives you the space to note everything about a blog post. We’ll go deeper into specific elements later, but for starters, you’ll add post title ideas, the article outline, keyword research, and much more.
Why you’d want to use a blogging planner
It’s more apt to talk about what would happen if you didn’t have a blogging planner, and you might consider this brief list of potential consequences:
- You’ll have no idea what to write about next, and your research will take up much more time.
- There will be no organization for your past, present, and future blog posts. This means you won’t know what’s coming up, won’t be able to plan ahead, and struggle to generate any momentum for your content marketing.
- You’ll make decisions “by the seat of your pants.” This will hit you hard when you make quick and suboptimal decisions on elements such as branding, social media promotion, taxonomies, and setting a focus keyword.
There’s much more to consider, but these are vital aspects for a blog to consider. You may even have your own reasons to create a blogging planner. However, this part of the job requires some deeper thought.
How to create a blogging planner (in 3 steps)
Over the rest of the post, we’ll talk about how to create a blogging planner in just three steps. From there, we’ll also offer an example template you can use to take your content marketing to stratospheric levels.
- Decide what workflow elements are important to you
- Choose the right format for your blogging planner
- Create space for all areas of your blogging process
1. Decide what workflow elements are important to you
You’ll likely have an instinctive way you approach writing blog posts, and this will help you decide what elements of your workflow have importance. Your first task is to jot these down somewhere, then look to fill in the blanks.
We’d suggest you consider the following as non-negotiable inclusions:
- The post’s title, or multiple titles if you want to complete this later.
- A publishing date, or multiple dates that cover research, writing, and drafting your article.
- A general outline of the post. This can be bullet points or a longer-form outline.
- It’s often good to write a synopsis of the post to give you focus – one paragraph should be enough.
From here, you can add in a number of other elements that may make the writing process easier. For example, you can include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements, such as a meta description, focus keywords, categories and tags, and a checklist of to-do items that are important before you publish.
Future planning is also critical. For this reason, we’d also include a visual calendar, or at least a future content planner. This can be akin to a regular calendar (where you’d enter key blog post dates) or a list of topic ideas and synopses for future consideration.
2. Choose the right format for your blogging planner
The format of your blogging planner will also be an instinctive decision, because you’ll know the best one for your own needs. For example, a digital blogging planner can live on your computer, whereas a paper blogging planner is something you can stick on a wall or near your workspace.
This can be great if you respond well to visual prompts because the planner will always be within your eye line. However, the one drawback here is that you’ll need to file the planner away and keep it safe. It could be easy to lose, and if that happens you’re in trouble.
Also, consider how creative the blogging planner should look. Maybe a simple list of elements is fine. In contrast, you might respond better to a good-looking visual design. This choice is subjective, but it will be important.
3. Create space for all areas of your blogging process
It’s a good idea to think about all points of your blogging workflow, and incorporate these into your planner. For instance, if you want to support yourself on a post-to-post basis, immediate information such as post titles and outlines will take up the most space.
However, long-term planning will need to include more elements. As such, you’ll want to use multiple pages, and consider whether this is appropriate for your needs. This is an area where you can overthink, but this example from Etsy does a good job:
Our advice is to list out your process of writing as you do it over a few posts. From there, you’ll have all the key elements on record and can make space for them within your blogging planner.
Our blogging planner template
If you want some inspiration – or you’d like to start using a blogging planner right now – we have a template for you. This is a no-frills, functional planner that can become a valuable tool in your toolbox. We won’t include a visual calendar here, as you’ll likely be able to source one. However, we are going to look at everything else we mention in this article.
Blog Name (for multiple blogs): Post Title: Current Progress: Research/Draft/Editing/Submission/Publishing Publishing Date: Search Engine Optimization Post Category: Post Tags (up to five): Meta Description: Featured Image: Not Required/Sourcing/Included Post Content Concept: Synopsis: Call To Action: Links to Include: Specific Social Media Promotion: Outline: - Introduction - What the post is about. - Why the reader will care about the post. - How to achieve what the post talks about. - Conclusion and CTA. Checklist - Create idea and write synopsis. - Draft title ideas. - Write post. - Optimize for the focus keyword. - Create meta description. - Add taxonomies. - Optimize the post URL. - Add internal and external links. - Create or source the featured image. - Set the featured image for the post. - Schedule the post and mark it on the visual calendar. - Write social media blurbs. - Schedule social media posts. - Write newsletter copy and schedule. - Check for and respond to comments (after publishing.) - Check analytics and statistics (two weeks after publishing.)
Blogging can quickly overwhelm you if you don’t have a process in place. While this will be different for each writer, a blogging planner can help keep all of your tasks and thoughts in one place, whether that’s using a physical version or a digital one. This can include basic elements such as the title and the progress of the piece. However, you can include the outline, promotional considerations, a CTA, and much more. Even better, you can refer to it whenever you need.
Once you have a blogging planner in place, you’ll likely have room 🚪 for more work. To fill those gaps, check out some of the latest blogging jobs and content writing gigs on our dedicated board. We update it every day, so there’s always something new to peruse!