In the last post we discussed your reasons for planning ahead for your blog. In this post we will discuss how to do that.
In Darren Rowse’s ebooks Guide to Your First Week of Blogging and 31 Days to a Better Blog he discusses the most effective ways to plan for success. First, you should brainstorm for post ideas. Just get out a sheet of paper (or type it into a document on your computer) and just start writing down topics you want to talk about on your blog. Be sure not to limit yourself during this process. All ideas are golden. One of my most popular posts was nearly brushed away because I thought it was too simple. It seems there are many people who don’t know how to swaddle a baby.
A good rule to follow is don’t spend more than 10 minutes doing this. After writing down all of these topics do the following:
- look for a common thread. For example, let’s say you wrote down topics were something like this: date night with hubby; projects that strengthen marriage; books that help marriage; and intimacy in marriage then your common thread would be marriage. “Marriage” would be what you want to use to create some anchor posts and devise some marriage related tutorials.
- expand upon the list you made. Break down certain topics into series or a couple of different topics. A good example is I had “pantry staples” listed as an idea from my brainstorming session. I then realized that I could expand on that by doing a post for each pantry staple then once I had several of them I could create an anchor post on the overall topic and link to each of them. Then, as I made more posts on individual pantry staples I would just add them to that anchor post.
FYI: An anchor post (also called a “pillar article”) is a post that will always be relevant and helps solidify your blog’s authority in whatever your niche or common thread may be. It is typically longer than your daily posts and will contain lists and links to other posts you have written and/or it may contain several popular keywords that will bring others to that blog post via search engines.
Another great place to find inspiration for blog posts is over at Copyblogger’s. Read: Brainstorm Blog Topics.
Tutorials and project posts are great because most people do searches to find out how to accomplish something. You will also want to stay ahead of the game when it comes to seasons, holidays, and events. A good time frame to post is 6-3 weeks prior to the season, holiday, or event. This gives people time to take advantage of your ideas and advice.
Once you have your ideas for these posts you will use your editorial calendar (a free printable provided in the footer of my RSS feed) to schedule your posts. Most bloggers post a minimum of 3-4 times a week. Monday and Tuesday are the most popular days for readers to check in on you so you will definitely want to include those days. You will just have to decide what is best for you and your family then schedule accordingly.
Use your forms as a guide for posting but leave room for inspiration. It is also good to write several articles at once and simply schedule them to post on the appropriate days.
Find the rest of the series here: 31 Days to Online Ministry