Ok blogger friends . . . this one is for you! I’m sharing my Blog Post Worksheet.
I’ve been blogging for over a year now. Along the way, I’ve developed some processes which have become best practices for me. As we are well into the new year, I see a lot of my blogger friends have recommitted to their process and are evaluating their organization and best practices.
Struggling for post ideas has never been a problem for me. I usually jot the ideas into notebooks or save them in my phone as I think of them. Instead, it can be overwhelming to turn each idea snippet into a plan. And this my friends, is how my Blog Post Worksheet was born. It’s not just about the idea, but instead the execution!
First I review those loose ideas for practicality and choose a handful to put onto this sheet in rough form, breaking each out into actionable steps. I typically prepare these in bulk about once a month so that I have solid ideas to work on looking ahead.
This process also helps me with editorial planning. I have a collection of real, ready to go ideas and can plug them into my calendar so I’m ready to roll come post time.
Let’s walk through the worksheet.
Idea: These are taken from brainstorming or inspiration notes. I want to compose my initial thought into a more formal, practical idea.
Title: I usually fill this in last. Sometimes what starts as one thing will morph into something else.
Post Date: I usually start with the month that I want to post this. Once I’ve reviewed the editorial calendar, I can apply a specific date.
Supplies Needed: This is super important for me to stay organized. I need to know if there are going to be any special items to pick up as I shop to prepare the recipe or craft. I can also go through my props and supply closet to pull what I already have available.
Photos Needed: I plan the shots that I’ll need in advance. When I photograph recipes, I almost always do an initial ingredient shot and then think about what stages of the recipe I want to capture shots, along with any ingredients to hold back for garnish or plate staging. It’s similar for crafts, but I will usually include some props or staging elements with the finished product.
Post Links: This is where I include any other posts that I can link to within the post. For example, maybe link to another recipe with similar ingredients. This helps your SEO ratings, so I don’t want to miss this opportunity.
Follow Up Post Ideas: Continuing this line of thinking, I will consider any add on posts that I could create that would relate. For instance with a recipe post for a roast, I could do a follow up post on how to use the leftovers in soup. Or a craft item could be reformatted to fit a holiday theme.
Social Media Links: I choose which ones to use ahead of time so that I can make sure I capture images that can be reworked for the graphics needed. It also allows me to consider the “style” of the project to fit the social media outlet.
Keywords for SEO: I include this on the form because I have found that when I’m sitting in front of the computer, long after the idea was formulated and executed, these key words often elude me. While it’s fresh, I capture them here. I also use these words in the “tags” block on the wordpress post form.
If you use this, please take a moment to share your feedback. I’d love to hear how it works for you, or what your process includes!