So you want to start a blog? My last post, I gave you lots of handy tips on where to begin. You have to start with a clear vision, some passion and a plan. This installment, I’m going to share some handy practices that work for me and probably will for you. The first? Get organized.
Here are some great tips to keep you going once you start to blog!
Create an editorial calendar
When you first get started, this isn’t a big deal as you’ll probably only post once or twice a week. However, once you get going, you’ll need to come up with a schedule that makes sense for your posts (especially if you plan to monetize). I’ve used a plain old Google calendar for over a year and it works well for me but I know other bloggers that use planners and hard copy calendars. It really doesn’t matter what you use, just that the method works for you. Staples has a nice selection of calendars, white boards and all kinds of blogging supplies.
Carry a journal
I get crazy ideas for blogs and if I don’t write them down right away POOF! they are gone. Start carrying a notebook (or if your tech savvy you can use Evernote) to capture your thoughts. That way there’s no way that a creative idea will slip through the cracks. And remember, you need to go back through your journal periodically and check out the old stuff. It may be timely now.
Set a schedule to write
When I started blogging, I had an editor and a deadline. When I no longer wrote for a paper, I discovered that there were weeks where I’d forget to write. If you’re really serious about blogging, you need to write consistently. Find a time in your schedule that works for you and make it a solid appointment. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself with all kinds of great ideas and no time to write. (I am a big lover of time blocking which I’ll share that strategy later).
Figure out how you want to promote
You can’t put a post up and just hope people see. It just doesn’t happen that way. Your first readers are going to be your friends and family. Ask them if they’d like to subscribe then decide which of your social media channels you plan to use to promote. I get the most traffic from my personal Facebook page and Pinterest but every blog is different. I also use Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule.
Get comfortable using spreadsheets
At first, you don’t have a lot that you need to track. However, after a while, you’ll hopefully have some expenses and you’ll be generating revenue. If you get accustomed to using Excel in the early blogging days, you will not be sorry when you have stuff all over the place that you just can’t follow. Get disciplined early and you’ll be off to a great start. Starting to make some real cash, you may want to start using Quickbooks.