Caroline's Corner:

My blog planning habits

If there’s one thing I’m known for among my colleagues, it’s for my obsession with notebooks and planners. I have not one, but a total of three planners in my bag. Three, ladies and gentlemen. Is this insane? Yes, it is. Is it too much? No, you can never have too many planners. And oh my gosh, did they launch new bullet journals? Because I swear, I need a new one, even though my old one isn’t half filled yet. Today, I’ll fill you in on my blog planning habits.

My struggles and habits

I love planners. So it’s only natural I get asked a lot what my blog planning looks like. There are weeks that I answer: ‘I post daily in this exact order’ and there are weeks that my answer is: ‘Planning? Pff, who needs planners!’ while looking at the stack of papers on my desk. Today, it’s time to say: I’m still figuring it out. I want to share my struggles and my habits that come with growing your blog and this little thing they named ‘blog planning.’ Quick fun fact: I wrote this post exactly an hour before it was due. Another quick fun fact: this probably isn’t as fun for my colleagues from the blog team. I’m sorry.

Update whenever I want or plan my posts?

For a long time, I’ve been blogging whenever I wanted to. I had weeks where I posted daily, and months where I published only one or two posts. You can imagine that it shows in my statistics. As you get more serious about blogging, you might want to become more serious about upping your frequency as well. I’m always an all or nothing kind of person. So when I decided I wanted to grow big, I decided I wanted to post daily. Seven times a week. It went well for two weeks. And then I didn’t blog for a few days, because my toddler decided that he only wanted to nap for 20 minutes and I decided I’d rather watch Pitch Perfect than work on my blog in the evenings.

Priorities: check.

As I’m in a competitive niche, apparently everyone owns a mommy blog nowadays (just kidding) and have insane goals to reach; I want to update frequently. I decided I wanted to publish a post every weekday, so that’s Monday through Friday. During the weekends, I usually write my posts for Monday and Tuesday. My Wednesday post is written during the toddler’s nap, as I’m not in the office on Wednesdays. On Wednesday night I write and schedule my post for Thursday. Usually, I get cranky doing so, as the lighting is never right for photos. And on Thursday I either finish my post for Friday or manage to squeeze one out right after dinner time. Did you get dizzy following my sort of schedule? I got a headache too. It’s driving me insane. I need planning. And more hours in a day, please!

Planning a blog

I’m currently struggling to find the perfect post schedule. As many of my fellow bloggers out there probably already know, there are days where you can write five perfectly good posts. But there are also days where you cannot get even one remotely good post. You don’t want your readers to know your struggle, so ideally you might even want to have around ten posts that are ready to be scheduled for those off days.

And then there’s a thing called balance. I might have seven posts ready about Disneyland Paris, but my readers who don’t like Disney (the horror) might not visit my blog for a week or decide to ditch visiting altogether. So I made Mondays my Disneyland Paris and travel related posts. On Fridays, I post recipes and the other days I go by YOLO! Or is there another new buzzword, because YOLO is already outdated again?

Balance is key. Structure as well. But you might not get happy doing a travel post every Monday, a DIY post on Tuesdays, a personal post on Wednesdays, a shoplog on Thursdays and recipes on Fridays. If that’s your thing: go for it, but I know for one I don’t thrive on strict rules I’ve set myself.

My conclusion? Every blog planning is personal. You need to figure out for yourself what you and your visitors expect from you. You might be one of the few that gets tons of hits because you write an epic, 5000-word post every month. Or you might be the one that updates twice or even three times a day.

I know what I’m missing right now. I need a proper editorial calendar. I’ve tried Trello, and I’ve tried various editorial plugins, but none worked for me. So I’ll be signing off now to go to the nearest stationery store.

I need a new paper planner for my blog.

Read more: Blogging: the ultimate guide »

Caroline's Corner series

Caroline's Corner series

Caroline blogs about her experience as a blogger, from making sure you keep going to optimizing your blog.

12 Responses to My blog planning habits

  1. Raphael
    Raphael  • 3 years ago

    Hi Caroline,
    I am blogger myself and also webdesigner. I have a job that is pretty challenging and I do not know how I could ever write an article in my blog everyday. Sorry, but if I write an article, first I read and investigate a lot about my topic, which is usually something technical or something about webdesign. (e.g. colors or fonts…) So only the planning take me several hours. And after the planning we have the writing and the images… so – to be honest – a blogpost costs me aproximately 4-5 hours if it should be interesting for my readers. I could never imagine to write one post per day!

  2. Tunde Sanusi
    Tunde Sanusi  • 3 years ago

    Having a Blog Planner is really essential as it helps you to jot down post ideas, stick to schedule and likewise stay on Track.
    I once plan to publish at least 4 times in a week but i couldn’t make it. Sometimes due to electricity outage, while another time due to lack of resources, and etc

    But with a blog planner, i guess one would be able to find balance no matter what. Isn;t it?

    • Caroline Geven

      I’m sorry you couldn’t make the 4 times in a week. You can plan the posts in advance in WordPress. It’s my biggest help. But then you’d have to make sure you have enough blog posts to schedule in case of an electricity outage.

  3. Adam Bermingham
    Adam Bermingham  • 3 years ago

    Hi Caroline great post.

    My issue is always blog topics. I am recently blogging again after a break of around 18 months. My previous blogging duties for a kitchen & furniture company was straightforward.

    We completed between 50 and 60 contracts per year. Add to this product reviews and how to guides, and that generated around 100 blog topics a year, or 2 a week… great.

    They had juicy long tail keywords and performed well for the business. I have 2 blogs to manage at the moment, one for a T-shirt company and a project providing online solutions for small tradespeople going online, with websites and social media, for the first time.

    Any tips and generating blog post ideas?

  4. Connor
    Connor  • 3 years ago

    It might sound counter-intuitive but do you have any advice for limiting the amount of time that you spend on a blog post?

    I often find myself getting lost inside of a blog post as I find new and interesting angles to take the content down that weren’t originally planned in!

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes! Definitely. Somehow it helps me if I write my blog post in Word, because I get easily distracted in WordPress. And focus on one thing. If you have all those different angles, you can create multiple posts. That’s how my Disneyland series started. Write all those ideas down and see if you can split it up in multiple posts and make one cornerstone article. And: practice, practice, practice. I spent 3 hours on one blog post a few months ago. Right now I write 1-2 blog posts in an hour, without losing quality.

  5. Karl
    Karl  • 3 years ago

    I plan to do a couple a week at least but then I get to involved in one post and it turns out to be a mega post that I never seem to get finished and publish. Then the other problem is I do one of your course and think I have to revisit old posts to update them to make them technically sound from a SEO point of view. I do have a question as well, tags, when you remove a tag from a post because it was competing with a KW, do you go into your tags and actually delete that Tag ?

    • Adam Bermingham
      Adam Bermingham  • 3 years ago

      Deleting the tag is one time fix. That will remove it from every post that has that tag. This would be the way to go if you find a keyword conflict.

      Hope this helps. Adam.

      • Karl
        Karl  • 3 years ago

        Would you then Go to the trouble of making that tag url 410 ?

  6. awaywithkatie
    awaywithkatie  • 3 years ago

    May be a silly question here, but ever heard of the bullet journal? I won’t lie and say that my blog planning is down to a tee perfect – because it definitely is not – but I use a bullet journal style idea for my blog planning and it mostly works for me! Basically just setting out pages for the months content plans, and then using all pages in between for stats, ideas and any other planning I need. My website link leads to the post where I show the most important pages!

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes, I do! I have a bujo for my job and I bought one Wednesday for my blog. I’m going to check your page out, because I haven’t found out how to plan everything yet for my blog.

      I have a notebook where I track my blog ideas and blog goals and I have now a bujo for my planning. I’ll check your link out. Thanks!