Time for a serious truth bomb: If you want to be a successful blogger, you’ve gotta get your crap together and get organized.
Last week, I talked about how to start a successful blog (and make money!) but there is so much more to blogging than just setting up your blog and writing a post.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been the best at organizing stuff. I hate planners, because they’re just not flexible enough for everything I need to schedule and include, so I never use them.
But once I started my blog, I knew that I needed to organize my posts, my blogging schedule, and track my social media in order to be successful.
That’s the great thing about the bullet journal system- it has the capabilities to organize everything needed for your blog (and life!) It’s totally customizable to your needs and wants, so it’s perfect for keeping track of your blog and business.
Here’s exactly how I use my bullet journal to organize everything blogging-related, from blog post ideas to tracking my social media growth!
(Today I’m using the Leuchtturm1917 hardcover notebook, by the way!)
Don’t have a bullet journal yet? Here’s a helpful guide on how to start one!
The first thing I always do when a new month starts is layout a calendar for the month.
I don’t actually have a whole lot going on this month (oops) but it’s really helpful to see what kinds of events are scheduled for the month.
For instance, keeping up with holidays (like Thanksgiving, yum!) is a great way to inspire a new post that gets a lot of traffic. If you’re a food blogger, maybe you can do a post about best pumpkin pie recipes, or travel bloggers can blog about the best places to spend Thanksgiving around the US. Planning your posts like this can help you get some more traffic to your blog, since more people will be searching for holiday-related things during this time.
Something that I haven’t done yet but want to start tracking in my monthly spread is holidays from other countries. I get a lot of traffic from Canada and Europe, so researching when some of their major holidays are gives me a chance to see what they’ll be celebrating so I can mention it in my posts. This is a simple way to connect with your readers and include everyone!
Next to my calendar is my weekly schedule. Rather than do a weekly layout and write what I did for my blog every day, I’ve already set up what tasks I plan to do each day for the whole month.
Last month was the first time I tried this strategy, and it actually worked really well. Already it‘s been so helpful in growing my blog and keeping me on track.
I snagged the idea from Pinterest, after reading about how important setting goals are and how to set up a blogging schedule. Because this is a super new concept for me and my blog, I’m also going to keep an eye on my stats and see how this affects my blog!
Also, this is totally changeable. If this month I decide that I’ve been writing all of my posts super early, maybe next month I’ll only allow 2 days for writing (pfft, yeah right!), and add in something else, like working on my Facebook page. That would still benefit my blog and keeps me on a better track!
Ah, yes, the editorial calendar. This is just a fancy name for blog post schedule, but it’s super important to keeping your blog organized and consistent.
This is what my editorial looks like:
I’ve been super distracted (AKA lazy) this week and haven’t planned out all of my posts yet. Typically, though, my editorial is full of planned posts and social media posting plans.
Typically I write my blog posts down in pencil. That way, if I goof up or decide to change the arrangement later, I still can. After the post has gone live, I’ll go back over the post in pen.
If nothing else, make sure you are consistent. If you find that posting 5 times a week is kicking your butt, stop. Limit your posting to twice a week, or even once a week. It’s okay to change things, but you want to determine what works for you early, so your readers, and potential brands, aren’t turned off.
Setting goals for your blog is so important for becoming a successful blogger. Think about it: how do you know whether or not you’ve succeeded at something if you don’t even know what you’re trying to accomplish?
Whether it’s yearly, quarterly, weekly, or daily goals, it doesn’t matter. The best goals are SMART goals.
By SMART goals, I mean:
- Specific– Rather than a goal like, I want to make money, try I want to make $100 by the end of the month.
- Measurable– make sure it’s something you can physically track and measure.
- Achievable– we’ve gotta stay realistic, people. Be sure it’s something that’s reasonable.
- Relevant– Think about why you’re blogging. Does your goal help you achieve that? If not, then it’s not relevant.
- Time-based– By this I mean give your goal a deadline. So you want to gain 100 followers? Great! How much time do you have to achieve your goal? This helps keep you on track and accountable.
I put my goals and trackers all on one page this month, because they’re fairly small and don’t require a lot of space.
In my bullet journal, I set blog goals that I want to achieve each month. This month, for example, my goals are to hit 2,000 Pinterest followers, hit 115,000 page views on my blog, and sell 5 items in my Etsy shop. These are all SMART goals, and help to further my blogging career.
Social Media and Income Tracker
Tracking your social media growth is a great way to see what’s working and what’s not.
(My Pinterest count hasn’t been added yet because I took these photos earlier in the week. Just so ya know.)
Currently, I’ve been focusing on my Pinterest reach, so tracking my Pinterest follower count is an easy way to see if what I’m doing is working or not.
Recently, I purchased Tailwind and it’s been a game-changer. For those of you who don’t know, Tailwind is a pin scheduling tool that helps boost your reach on Pinterest. It has already skyrocketed my Pinterest following and engagement, and in turn has increased my page views on my blog. (If you’d like to try Tailwind out for yourself (for free!), you can use my link and get 100 free scheduled pins!)
Anyway, by tracking my follower count, I can see that Tailwind is working! Little things like this help me recognize what’s worth doing and what isn’t, so I know what’s I should keep investing in.
Finally, my income tracker for my blog. I actually have a separate tracker page for my Etsy shop, so I don’t really need a whole lot of room for my blog income tracker. You can tweak this to fit your needs, and there are tons of income tracker ideas on Pinterest, but I just like to keep track of what incoming money I should expect and when I was paid. That way, if I never get paid, I can look into it.
Blog post ideas
Whether you’re a newbie blogger or a veteran, you should definitely write down any and all blog post ideas that you have. Even if you don’t think a post idea will actually work, write it down anyway!
I’ve got both a Trello board and a bullet journal page dedicated to any blog post ideas I get, and both are tremendously helpful for when I’ve got no idea what to write about.
Organizing everything in your blog can seem so overwhelming. Luckily, the bullet journal system can make it so much easier! And for more inspiration, be sure to follow my bullet journal Pinterest board!
How do you organize everything for your blog? Let me know!
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