Hey all, Dani here.
It’s time for another discussion post. And I actually came up with the idea for this one a few weeks ago when I was starting to do my planning for my October posts. I realize that we all go about the blogging process a bit differently, in terms of planning, generating ideas, writing, interacting and socializing, and more, so I thought it would be cool to go over how I try and keep myself organized and posting on a consistent schedule. If you want to either leave a paragraph in the comments on this topic–or hey, write your own post and link back to me–that would be cool. I’d like to learn how others handle their blog in case I can incorporate some of those ideas into my own process.
Okay, so I guess I’ll start off with the planning stage of things. How I start off is by creating a blogging calendar at the back of my blogging notebook. I used to try and use an actual calendar, but that just didn’t end up working that well for me. So I write the month at the top of the page and then write down each of the days of the month down the left side of the page.
The first step after that is to mark the recurring posts for my blog. This is where I will mark up my month wrap up and TBR post, my Weekly Wrap-Up posts, and the headings for my Manga Review, Calendar Girls, Weekend Writer, Recommendations, and Discussion posts. Obviously for some of those the actual theme or title will be added in a later step.
From there I can start adding in titles and/or themes. So I’ve already picked all of my Recommendations and Discussion topics for the month — Discussion: Blogging Process, Recommendations: Cover Love, Discussion: Readathons, and Recommendations: Spooky Reads. Then I start adding in my manga review titles, which only happens in this stage because I read manga so quickly and have a pretty decent backlog of reviews I need to write up. If I have a couple book reviews figured out then I start adding them in to my empty Review slots.
Oh, and at the bottom of my page I’ll include dates for any important book events (like Banned Books Week in September, or Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in October). That helps me keep a tiny bit more organized as well.
I don’t try to fill in all of my posts at the beginning of the month, though. And posts can shift around if absolutely necessary. Mostly I try to make sure my week is planned out in advance, at the very least.
Then, if I have the time, I’ll start creating drafts on WordPress. I’ll add in the title, the categories and tags, and the day and time I’m planning for the post. Then, depending on the type of post, I’ll add in the standard template. So, for a review, I’ll drop in the headers for summary, review, purchase links, etc. Then I’ll pull up the book cover, the summary, and my Goodreads review (if I’ve written one), and make sure I have the correct purchase links set up. They aren’t affiliate links, but I try to make it easier for people to get to the book if it sounds interesting to them.
I do most of my blog writing on the weekend…or at least, I try to. Some weekends get busy, and that’s when I end up having to hastily type up a post the day before I plan to post it.
Thankfully it doesn’t take me all that long to write up my posts. Weekend Writer takes the longest, but it is the longest blog series by a long shot. Seriously, most of my posts end up in the 300-700 word range, but Weekend Writer is usually 1500+ words. After that I’d say that discussions take me the longest, again because of the length of my content within the posts.
Reviews take nothing, which feels weird to say because I know so many people take such a long time on their reviews. It takes me probably five minutes to set up a review post using my template, and then depending on motivation for the post it could take 15-30 minutes to write up the intro and the actual review.
The only reason posts like Recommendations or Calendar Girls takes so long is because I have to comb through all of my books (physical and digital) to sort out the appropriate ones for whatever the post’s theme is. The actual writing content only takes a short while, but finding the books I need to talk about can take ten minutes here and ten minutes there over several days.
Honestly, that’s about all for my process. It’s not all that detailed or extravagant, especially compared to some of the AMAZING blogs out there, but this system works for me, and I guess that’s what really matters.
All right, well, let me know about your own blogging process–whether in the comments or with your own blog post–and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.