Regular readers will have realised that I’m embracing 2014 with “practice what you preach” attitude. A big part of that is improving my blogging and putting more thought into my social media output. A lot of that is around structure and habit, which means I need a new tool.
Sadly, not an excuse to go out shopping or try some bit of new technology. It’s free and really rather old school.
Use a blogging calendar
Like many people, in January I find my desk littered with an array of free calendars, from people who want to sell me things, companies that want me to sell things for them, magazines that want to be sure that I don’t miss the next issue or even the local takeaway. And, despite the rise of the smartphone, there are still a couple of diaries buried under there too.
My life lives in the Google Cloud, there’s no way I’m going to carry around an address book or a diary. But there is something nice about a calendar, something that says “look at me and cross my days off!”
Blogging is more than just writing blogs. There is a list of post-publication tasks that I have each week, all around what I share, where and when. Depending on my blog subject and which site I post it on, these can include…
- The fairly marvellous Facebook page (tweets to @fm_kentweb)
- The Dear Geek Facebook page (tweets to @deargeek)
- My Google+ pages and profile
- My personal Facebook profile
- My BNI Facebook page and twitter account
…and I don’t want to do them all at once. Each one has tends to have a different message or “angle”, along with better times to post. I like to spread them across the week, too.
I’m not a huge fan of automation (sounds like another blog topic, to me) so marking out my schedule on one of my free calendars and crossing each day off ensures nothing gets missed.
It’s a great way to form the “blogging habit” – a key point for many people. If something becomes a habit you keep doing it and, if you’re going to invest some time in your blog, you want to make sure you don’t waste it by letting the tumble-weeds creep in a month down the line.
Other uses for the calendar
I use Google Keep on my tablet to keep a little list of blog ideas, but you could use your calendar to plan the order of your blog topics.
Plus, if you follow the inspirational advice from Hubspot’s Beth Dunn in the video below (which I’m considering) then you may just need somewhere to make some big red crosses…
What do you use to keep up the blogging habit? Do you have any tips on how to manage your schedule? I’d love to hear some ideas…