this is the second part my blogging advice series. part 1 was about self-branding, how you want to portray yourself to your audience.

Planning

blogging takes planning more than i ever imagined when I first started. part 2 of this blogging advice series is about planning and includes my best tips. 

my dad has a saying that he shared with me while i was in college; i'm sure he wasn't the one who originated this phrase, but he's my superhero so i am going to credit him for the brilliance - the 6 p's

 proper planning prevents piss poor performance 

simple, yet ground breaking. 

planning is something i love to do, sometimes though, i feel like i can slack off when it's related to my blog. no one is going to mind if don't post for a week; oh, i have a great series and will post the first one and will write the next posts later (read as, "never does a second part in the series"); i will have time every day, i don't need to plan. these are all thoughts i have had; these are all things i have done. the reality is though, people do care, and you are included in those "people".

after a couple years of blogging, i have finally realized that doing the heavy lifting earlier in the process truly saves time and stress. plus it allows you to generate thoughtful and unique pieces. 

here are some tips that have discovered over the course of developing my blog.

  1. determine your topic - lifestyle, photography, home decor... you name it, there's a blog for it. it's a good idea to have a general direction of your interests and in turn, what your readers will be interested in. While this sounds exceptionally simple, it's not. don't worry if the specific topic of choice is a little fuzzy and your posts a little all over the place at first; it takes time to truly know what suits you best.

    try finding a theme between a couple of your interests. for example, maybe you love building architecture, interior design and photography - turn your blog into a structural piece that discussed the history of architecture, your favorite styles, the interior styling of your favorite buildings and include gorgeous photos of your topics. then develop your content to include the furniture and accessories for decorating or the choices in colors. having three related topics allow for your content to grow and take multiple direction while remaining cohesive. 
     
  2. decide on your posting frequency - do you want to post every other day, once a week, bi-weekly? it's easy to think that you are going to write every single day, but it's just as easy to fall out of that plan. think about your schedule and how you want to spend your down time. of course since it is your blog, your time is flexible and if you miss a self-made deadline, it's not the end of the world, but it is something to think about. i have found posting once or twice a week to the blog and keeping up with my social channels daily is a good schedule for myself. it's all about the balance that fits you. 
     
  3. schedule your content in advance - scheduling content is truly a life saver! writing posts, finding themes and developing collaborations in advance will save you so much time and stress. 

    i've found that using the scheduling feature in Squarespace really helps too. When I write a draft I try to finish it one fell swoop. I include all of the links, social blurbs, tags and photos at one time. Wordpress, Blogger and other CMSs have this feature and can’t stress enough how helpful it is.  
    Of course, scheduling content is not complete without the coordinating social posts. Buffer, HootSuite, ScheduGram and Pingraphy are great services that allow you to write your content, attach photos and set release times ensuring your content flows smoothly.  I will say that I love to use my Instagram and Pinterest in real time and do not schedule any content for those channels, so feel free to use these services as often as you feel needed.  

so planning does take a lot of work at the beginning but the amount of headache it saves you is well worth the heavy lifting. do you have helpful tips for how you plan best? let me know what works or what doesn't by sharing your comments below.  keep your eyes peeled for part 3. any guesses what it might be? hope you have a fantastic Friday! 

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