I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions, but I have made a goal for myself to be a more organized blogger. Well, by “more organized” I really mean “organized”, because I currently have no organization for my blog. My ideas and recipes sit in my brain or are scratched out on extra paper (I even have a few recipes written out on napkins), and I type up posts at random. So I’m making a promise to myself and the blogging world to get organized.
I began doing research on blog organization and found a ton of great tips. Many bloggers are looking for ways to be more organized, whether it’s because they want to grow their blog, earn income, or just maintain their sanity (like me). So, here are some of the best tips I found for organizing, as well as a few tips of my own.
Write it Down. Keep a notebook of your recipes, ideas and inspiration. Keeping all of your notes in one place makes it easy to reference them when you need them. If you prefer to organize electronically, you can keep notes in a document on your computer (such as Microsoft word); saving it in a document means you can easily copy and paste information into your posts. Create a document for your recipes or completed projects, and one for recipe ideas and inspiration and keep it all in a folder labeled with your blog name.
Another popular way to organize your blog electronically is Evernote.com. Evernote is an basically an online organizer; you can keep notes, save recipes and ideas, bookmark sites, and it even has an application called Skitch which allows you to sketch electronically! And with Evernote you can access your information from any device. Pretty cool!
If you prefer handwritten notes, keep a notepad or notebook handy to write down all of your inspirations. If you really want to keep it organized, get a binder and dividers and divide your notebook up into sections for ideas, recipes, inspirations, general notes; whatever method helps keep you organized!
On the topic of recipe inspiration, Pinterest is a great way to keep track of things you find that you might want to re-create. I have a Pinterest board for Recipes I want to Make, and Recipe Inspirations (Recipe Inspirations would be recipes I like but might want to change up a bit). That way, when I’m ready to try the recipe out, it’s easy to find.
Use a Calendar. One of the most popular organizing tip for bloggers I found was to use a calendar to organize posts. Google Calendar is a simple to use calendar that can be synced with other programs as well as mobile devices. With this calendar, you can schedule time to work on blog posts, as well as schedule posts. For example, if you know you have 3-4 posts you want to create, schedule dates for the posts on the calendar to give yourself a deadline. Then set aside time on your calendar to work on those posts. You can set yourself alerts to remind yourself about the posts as well. I think this can be especially helpful if you want to have regularly scheduled posts, or have a goal of publishing a certain number of posts per week.
Here on Daily Dish we also have a calendar plugin for our WordPress Site, called Editorial Calendar. I have installed this calendar on my own WordPress blog to help me keep track of the posts I want to create. This has been really helpful with planning for posts; once I have a few ideas in mind, I put the posts in my calendar as drafts, and it acts as a deadline for me to finish them. In the past, I just published posts when I had free time, but I sometimes ended up going several weeks between posts. Having a calendar of posts helps me schedule in time to work on my blog vs. working on my blog when my schedule permits.
Organize Photos. This is one area I’ve been working on for awhile. I take a lot of photos for my blog, and if left unorganized it’s extremely difficult for me to find what I need when I need it. I now have a designated folder on my computer just for my blog photos, and I’ve begun creating sub-folders by recipe, that way when I’m ready to write up my post I can easily find the photos I’m looking for. Also, periodically make a point of going through your folder and removing photos you don’t need. I don’t know about you, but I’ll often take 20-30 pictures or more of one item just to be sure I get a photo I like. If I don’t delete those extra photos I’ll quickly run out of storage space on my computer.
Make a Blog Organizer. There are a ton of great, FREE blog organizers out there that you can print and place into a binder. This is especially great if you prefer handwritten vs. electronic organizing. White Lights on Wednesday has a great step by step guide to creating your own blog organizer, complete with notes, a calendar, project ideas, you name it. Just put it all in a great big binder and you’re set.
You can also find some great free printable blog organizers on Pinterest that are fun, functional and attractive. I found this collection of free printable blog planners from DIY Home Sweet Home. Here you’ll find printable calendars, project planners and note paper. Homeschool Creations also has a free printable 60 page yearly blog planner with everything you’ll need to organize your blog in 2013.
I hope you’ve found a few great tips for organizing your blog, I know I have! Good luck and happy blogging in 2013!