How to plan your blog posts

7 May

This is not an A-Z list about how to plan your blog content! But I’ll tell you some of the things that have worked for me while blogging for my jewellery business Rangoli. And I’ll show you tools and techniques that I find useful. I discover new stuff all the time. I mix and match my note-taking tools!

I have a good friend called Ayelet and I have marveled at her idea capturing technique for years! Whether we’re stationery or striding down the street, she will whip out her special notebook, when she hears an interesting idea. I used to laugh but now I do the same!

blog notebook
 

Ideas need to be recorded when you get them. They often need time to brew!

So what are the best ways to catalogue these idea seeds? Back to Ayelet! One day, I watched her try to ‘scribble’ a flow of ideas using a mobile phone application. It wasn’t as quick as writing with a pen and she lost her train of thought.  So what I’ve learned is that it’s good to have a mix of old-fashioned paper notebooks with online or phone applications.

Here’s what I currently use:

A functional, un-lined, brown paper notebook! It’s small enough to fit in my handbag and I scribble down notes to trigger ideas for later. One side is for post ideas. The other is for doodles. I never know when a new design might dazzle me!

Then online, I have two favourite tools; Evernote and Google Drive, (previously Google Docs) .

In Evernote, I create individually named ‘notes’. Some examples include ’how tos’ which contain links to technical tutorials, or ‘Inspiring posts’, with articles to trigger new posts.

I find Google Drive is great for collecting tables of cross-referenced content. I recommend this for all new bloggers as a way to record the blog elements that you like. You can make a table with headings to suit the information you need to collect. This is especially useful if you are planning to get your template professionally designed. You will have a clear list of examples to show the style and content that you like. Here are some categories that I use to save my favourite online inspiration:

‘Visually beautiful blogs’, ‘Good storytelling’, ‘Good ‘About Me’ pages’, ‘Good taglines’, ‘Inspiring videos or podcasts’, ‘Quirky design details’ and ‘Clean navigation’. To these, I add a link to the source and a brief description for future reference.

Here’s one more useful application; Instapaper. It allows you to save web pages for reading later. If you browse as much as I do, you’ll find this is a great tool for storing interesting content to read when you have more time…

Are you thinking about starting a blog? If so my Three Thought Bubbles workshops will show you how to choose content and write like ‘you’! I’m taking bookings for my next class now! Let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to answer!