Blogging: Top organizing tips for bloggers

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If you’re like me, you probably opened a blog to share some ideas and have a bit of a fun. Sure, if there’s anything else ‘coming’ from it, we won’t say no, but for many of us the start was just the need to write and join the community.

As times goes by, though, we start realizing that taking our blog a little more serious takes some time and effort. With few organization tricks we can keep the time we waste to a minimum, post good content on a constant basis and never fall victims to what’s any writer dreads: the writer’s block.

Here are some tricks that I personally use to help me manage my blogging time better, have enough hours to run my business and also post consistently here for your entertainment:

blogging

1. Write down ANY ideas you get

For years I used to think my wonderful brain is better than my laptop’s HDD and it can remember anything. I used to dream things and be so happy in the morning to have gotten such an amazing article idea. Sure, I didn’t write it down, I just knew it was a great idea. Even minutes after this I totally forgot about it.

Same thing happens when I read blogs. I do visit almost 200 blogs each day and just by reading some new articles or by looking at the design, I get at least 5 ideas for some useful content here. If I don’t write them down at the moment I’m thinking about them, it’s just good ideas going to waste.

So, make it a habit to write down your article ideas. For some people (self included), even just a title is good: ‘How to blog daily’, ‘What do I love about my freelancing business’, ‘How to potty train my child’ etc. It doesn’t matter what topic you’re writing on, the title, a sentence or a short paragraph will help you get the inspiration, when you’ll need it and not let good inspiration ‘fly’.

2. Save links to good articles

Each day I get to see some nice information in the niches that interest me. For quite a while I’d just pass the article and think that I’ll know tomorrow where to find it. Well, I never do. Now I either keep a list of links, bookmark the pages or any other trick that works for me and allows for the inspirational article to be visited again, when I need it.

Whether you use the bookmarks in your browser, write down the links or use various social bookmarking tools and sites, make sure the resources you can use in your research are saved. It’s easier to just find them in a place, than to waste 30 minutes of your writing time, trying to figure out where to find them, jumping from site to site, in a desperate attempt to get back to your ‘breadcrumbs trail’.

3. Have a posting plan

It helps you decimate that writer’s blog, it keeps your readers entertained and it showcases your full potential when it comes to the topics you write about. Even if you’ll surely skip some days or maybe let the natural flow of your ideas mess with your topic allocation, overall, having a plan will help you be more effective and inspired when it comes to writing. Use the scheduling feature of your WordPress by preparing articles for the next days. Or even weeks.

I used to write whenever I wanted to and it wasn’t such a great idea. I’d either post 4-5 articles from the same topic, driving my readers insane or have no inspiration for weeks. Let’s not forget that, when you’re also running a business, so you have clients to care for, your blog will be left there inactive. Instead of having this happen, you can spend few hours in a more relaxed day and prepare your content for the week to come. Whatever comes your way that week, your readers will still find articles to read and your traffic won’t drop.

4. Batch your tasks

If you’re writing articles, don’t check your social media sites, don’t read other blogs, don’t pet your dog. Just get into the writing ‘zone’ and whip out as many articles as you can. Then start your activity on the social media outlets, share articles, discuss etc. If you’re now ready to read blogs, check your feed reader or open your bookmarks (whatever you choose to find new blog posts in your niche).

5. Use mind mapping or any other system that allows you to get ideas

I love writing about our travels (should actually start posting more about this). We have visited some places in Europe and the US (plus a short stint in Tanger, Morocco). If it was to prepare myself a nice list of possible articles ideas for the blog, I’d clearly make some big categories: US, Croatia, Germany etc., then subcategories (Munich, Budapest, NYC) and then the topics ideas would be so easy to find “best 5 places to see in NYC”, “top tourist attractions in Munich”, “best beaches in Dubrovnik, Croatia” etc.

If you’d ask me now to write something about my travels, I’d need some minutes to get an idea, but, if I have these small lists written down (or at least the categories/subcategories as I see them for my travel topic), I’d just click “Add New” in the posts section of WordPress and get going.

It doesn’t matter what system you use or how you call this, what matters is to take a little time, look closely at the niches your posts are about and start breaking it down in small chunks. Finding ideas for a new article will be a breeze and you’ll clearly have all the inspiration you need.

6. Keep it all simple

Don’t use 10 tools to organize your ideas, don’t subscribe to countless useless sites and make huge plans. Even a .txt document can gather a lot of info and inspiration. Maybe a collection of bookmarks and, if you like to use one, an ‘editorial calendar’ plugin for your WordPress. If not, you can do with even less. You don’t need to run 10 separate apps for the same thing, you really shouldn’t waste time with updating all that junk. What we’re after here is to be effective in our ‘notes’ and have time to actually do the blogging.

These few tricks have helped me personally find more time to blog, be present in the community and also manage a business / family. What else do you usually do to keep yourself better organized and more productive as bloggers?

28 COMMENTS

  1. Great tips. I need to start a posting plan and schedule posts instead of rushing to get one out or going a long period without having any because other commitments take priority. My favourite tip is #4. I write a couple of sentence, check social media, loose train of through, get some food, come back to writing with a completely blank mind. I need to build the discipline to just write.

    Do you have any tools or ideas for tracking and organizing good posts? They just fill my bookmark bar.

    • I don’t use too many ‘tools’, but here is what I do:

      1. notepad – the software on my PC – I have a file there where I place links to the posts that inspire me.
      2. I bookmark the blogs I visit in my firefox bookmarks. I hate RSS readers and getting email updates, so I just put 20-30 links in a bookmark folder, then a second one etc. Then I open all links in the folder (it’s an option there) and quickly close the pages that haven’t been updated. Am left with the blogs that have new content, so that I can read and then comment (if I have something to say).
      3. I also have a regular ‘notebook’, where I write few ideas.

  2. I use an app called AwesomeNotes on my iPod Touch to record down ideas.
    Then it’s just a Mac program called Sticky Notes where I jot down quick ideas I want to write about today, and I delete them as I finish them

    I find if I start a post and leave it as a draft, it never gets done. I need to do it all in one shot.

    • Well, at least you know how it all works for you. I can keep drafts and get back to them, otherwise I’d also write the entire article and then schedule it.

  3. Great tips! I need to get better at writing down ideas. Sometimes I’ll have a brainstorming session where I write down general topic ideas and save them as a draft in an email. Other times I’ll think of something when I’m away from my computer and forget to write it down or put it in my phone. I also find that my drafts stay drafts. I need to work on going back to them and fleshing out ideas.

    • Well, not all ideas are great or can turn into good articles. I did delete drafts after trying to get an article from them and realizing there’s not much to work with 😉

  4. Getting S Memo and Gtasks on my phone really helped me keep things organized. I try to post daily but don’t get discouraged if I miss a day. Posting everyday takes some serious dedication especially when you have a lot going on outside of a blog.

    I use the same process you do for visiting other blogs and reading new content. My list of blogs keeps growing every week though. I might have to find a way to trim the list some. Don’t worry your blog will make the cut 🙂

    • Trimming the list is a normal process, I’ve also made changes myself. You need to focus on the blogs that are active and publish your comments. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.

    • That’s why I try to also have something prepared from time to time. If I’m too busy to write or just don’t feel like it, at least the blog is not inactive

  5. Great tips here, Dojo! I need to be better about writing things down, I always think I’ll remember those great post ideas come morning, and I never do. Love your tip, too, about saving links to great articles. Thanks for the great stuff!

  6. Love this, especially #1 and #3. Any time an idea pops into my head, I type it away on the computer, on the phone or on a scrap piece of paper. And I also use my Google calendar to schedule posts. Nothing like a due date to hold you accountable for your posts.

  7. These are really great tips – I’m going to bookmark this page! I have definitely started writing ideas down. I was like you in thinking I would just “remember” everything, but now that I have thoughts about different topics all the time, I need to keep track of them. I am also now starting to get more organized about the blogs I want to visit regularly.

    • You will never remember everything, no matter how smart you are. Because you’re being bombarded with information all day long, so the brain does its thing and ‘deletes’ some of the ‘files’. Writing stuff down always helps 😉

  8. Great tips! If you had one for increasing the day by at least 8 hours, it would’ve been perfect. I’ve been applying your first two tips for a while now and I have tens of article ideas and even more links saved up.. and they keep adding up and I keep cutting some off the list, but I am sure that I will never have time for all of them. Which is not necessarily bad, after all: having the time and nothing to do with it would surely be a lot worse.

    • Well, at least, when you do get the time, you can create more articles and schedule them. It’s always better than to have the time and stare at the blank screen

  9. Excellent tips! Our brains certainly are pulled in so many directions nowadays its just so easy to forget even the best of our ideas. Jotting them down as soon as they occur is a sure way of remembering them down the road.(Yeah, I should really start on that…most mornings I wake up, stare at a blank word document and can’t come up with a thing…lol)
    May I suggest POCKET to save those links to stories you want to read later…its one app that have saved me tones…just install a browser plugin and whenever you see something interesting, with a click its saved. The beauty of it, you can access your saved links from other computers online. Bookmarks tend to get unmanageable overtime.

  10. I like how you mentioned writing down every idea you get! I have like 10 of those little pocket notebooks fills with new article ideas. I have so many ideas I don’t know what to do with them, haha. But If I don’t write them down, I may lose them later on! Good post, Dojo!

  11. Great tips!! I have just started making sure to write down ideas for posts as I get them. I have had too many days of post-block, and am trying to grow my blog a bit.

    Thank you!

    • When you have some ideas written down it’s clearly easier to find inspiration and fight the writer’s block. Happy to see you’re starting using the ‘trick’ 😉

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