Fall-Discount
Jul 19, 2011

Posted by | 8 Comments

Planning Tips Every Blogger Should Know

How do bloggers decide what to post, and when?  It seems so effortless when you are reading a blog, but do you ever think about the behind the scenes planning that must go into place to provide consistent content?  Bloggers usually aren’t strapped for what to write about.  Sometimes they think of ideas in the middle of the night. The problem becomes keeping these ideas corralled so they can be used effectively in the future.

Here is my process for planning for blogging to ensure I keep all the creative “right brained” ideas I have floating around at bay, while still maintaining a sense of structure.

First, make a running list of every single idea you have for blog posts, writing prompts, content and ideas.  This method could also apply to planning lessons, or planning for any type of writing.  Mine looks something like this. Recently I revamped it, because it wasn’t as organized as I would have liked. The list had gotten so HUGE I couldn’t find my ideas anymore.  Sometimes ideas do fall into my Brain Book and eventually get transferred to this list.

Break your master list down into categories so when you need a new lesson idea post, you will know just where to look. Here is a sample of one of my lists.

 

Next, I lay out the month or week by days and decide which posts you’ll feature that week. I’ve already talked a little bit about how I plan for blogging by pre-scheduling out my posts and working on the weekends when I may have blocks of quiet time to write.

The participants from our Blogging for Art Educators class in June learned some tricks and tips to keep their blog content alive, as well as strategies to make their posts more engaging.  But first, we must plan!  A great idea is only valuable to others when there is a plan in place to get it exposed, and, from all the research I’ve done on blogging, a blog is not appealing when it goes weeks or months with no content. Again- This is where planning helps.   I recently sorted out my Google Reader and put blogs who post regularly at the top and those who don’t at the bottom.

Even if you are not a blogger, writing is important to share and connect with others about our discipline. The Teaching Palette recently posted a wonderful article – Why Art Teachers Need to Write and How to Do It, that might be of interest to you as well!

What systems do other bloggers use to organize themselves?  

Maybe you just post when the feeling arises? Maybe you have a strict daily plan? I’d love to hear! 


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  • http://theonlyingrid.wordpress.com The Only Ingrid

    Hi!
    This just happens to be the next hurdle I am working on. Setting a schedule that works for me is going to be important. One of my favorite bloggers posts the same “type” of posts on Sundays and Fridays. Or at least has them in the chute to go out on those days- something I haven’t tried in wordpress.
    Also, she uses the “use a previous post format” type thingy on wordpress too, which seems like it would give a good framework.
    I’ve been taking a great class at the AIC- actually, gotta run and go get ready-But keep an eye out for a new press from me this afternoon!
    Ingrid

    • http://theartofeducation.wordpress.com Jessica Balsley

      I have not tried the “Use Previous Format” feature but have thought about it. Thanks for the tips! :) Can’t wait to see what else you come up with! Sniff Sniff. So proud.

  • http://educationcloset.com Susan Riley

    I do something similar to you. I have a running list that I add to all the time. Usually once a month, I run a week-long theme and I also leave 2-3 posts a month open to feature guest bloggers. I tend to write a bunch of posts all at once, so I schedule out 2 days a week that I have an hour or more to write. Then, I simply schedule them through WordPress. I also do something called Free Fridays where I provide a lesson plan, a technique sheet or something else that people can print off and use for free. I believe in consistency – it doesn’t matter if you write every day or 2-3 days a week. As long as you communicate that schedule with your readers and you’re focused on great content, that’s all that matters. Great ideas here, Jess!

  • http://artprojectgirl.blogspot.com Erica

    Awesome! I think this works really well. I kind of just use my blog as an open conversation so if something comes up I’ll respond. Or if my students make something awesome I’ll post it. I don’t consider my blog a resource as much as a conversation. If I did make it a resource I would want to get PAID:) It’s a lot of work. This is more fun for ME and the blog community. I see a lot of people getting paid to blog now or finding ways to make money from their blogs. We all dream of it but it is hard to do. I know one blogger who quit her day job and her husband did too. Now I don’t even read their blog. I feel like a blog has to be a conversation about real life. Sometimes I plan to write something then the next day there might be something more relevant in my life.

    • http://theartofeducation.wordpress.com Jessica Balsley

      Erica,
      With so many different types of blogs out there, it’s so difficult to find that balance between professional and conversational and no doubt each blogger will find their own “voice” in the matter. I keep a schedule more for MYSELF to stay accountable as well as for my readers so they know what to expect from me. It just fits my personality! I think creative jobs are the jobs of the future and online businesses are booming. More power to ya! :)

  • Anonymous

    I want to start a blog for my students and parents. Would you recommend wordpress? Is it free?

    • http://theartofeducation.wordpress.com Jessica Balsley

      I do like WordPress, and in the Blogging for Art Educators course (see Classes above) most of the participants used WordPress and liked it. Blogger is also user friendly, but I think WordPress has a lot more features, once you get comfy running the “back end”….Your parents and students would love to look at a blog!

  • Sarah

    I’m new around here but not to teaching. 7 years middle school art, in my second year elementary. It’s been a big change and I’m hunting classroom management more than anything. I see whole brain teaching on your “list” up there in your pics and look forward to your writing about it! This is one of the best blogs out there for explaining how to manage 30 classes without marble jars and star charts that everyone thinks elementary requires! : ) Here’s to a smooth new year!