Trying to launch an artist blog but can’t seem to get things organized? There is an entire market out there that sells items to bloggers and entrepreneurs that aim at getting you organized. This blog post talks about the pitfalls of designer blog planners and workbooks and tells you how to get organized on the cheap and productive.
Planners: I’ve bought a business planner (to have the best badass year every), and I’ve bought a blog planner (to plan epic content). Both turned out to be a glorified workbook and a waste of money. I know these are poor quality for a number of reasons, but here’s an example of why one was so bad. The blog planner that I recently bought, started off planning your social media posts and ended up with goal setting. Seemed like they never asked the user what would be necessary or following any sort of logical business approach. Upon searching Amazon, I found countless blog planning books to create a blog in 20 minutes, to plan a year’s worth of content, and the lists keep going.
Planners are meant to get you more organized and productive, so if managing another planner creates more work, ditch it.
Free Options: If you are interested in a blog planner or need a way to get organized, you can get a free blog planner online. Yes, for free. Try a free version before you order something that looks cool on Amazon. Free planners are oftentimes beautifully designed and frequently available on Pinterest.
If the process of using a free blog planner works for you, then it’s you can continue printing out additional content sheets and planner pages when you get low. If it ends up sitting there unused, then you can recycle it when it no longer serves a purpose.
Dashboard Planning: Actual blog planning isn’t cookie cutter. Ideas come from everywhere at random times. What’s great about actually working in your blog dashboard is that you can start blog posts, save them as drafts, and come back to them when the idea has fully formed. A few notes and ideas are just fine, and when you are ready to write out the content you have a good starting point. Whenever you log in to your blog, you have all the content you need to get started. Planning within your dashboard keeps everything together.
If you get a glimmer of inspiration while you are out and about, send yourself and a quick email to capture the idea. Later, transfer the emailed idea into a blog post draft and save it as a draft.
Tracking is Important: Don’t get me wrong, tracking and planning are necessary when it comes to blogging. It’s important to know your goals and be strategic about how to get there, but you don’t need a blog planner to get there. Sometimes these planners and books make tracking overwhelming. The simpler goals and metrics are, the easier they are to remember and reach.
Track what’s important for metrics, have a few easy to remember goals, and get on with content writing! Three big picture goals are plenty.
Perspective: Another challenge to blog and business planners (and some blogging resource books too) is knowing where the user is at. You may be a beginner or advance in your blogging career. Some books and planners are designed and published assuming you already have a blog. Be careful to avoid choosing one that’s not appropriate for your level of blog and business activity. Seemingly helpful resources can easily overwhelm the novice blogger especially when the resource is telling what you should be doing and you’re not quite there yet.
I’m Still Stuck: If after reading through this content, you still feel lost and stuck but know blogging is your thing, then it’s time to take a few steps back and re-work your brand development. Get to the root of who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Get clear on your purpose. Then figure out the audience who is going to read about your content. When you start with answering these questions, you provide yourself with a firm foundation to position yourself as a blogger and content creator. These are the tough questions and the hard work of blogging, but starting here will reap you more success than a planner.