"Do you ever sleep?"
"I don't know how you do it!"
"I wish I could blog as much as you do."
Those of us who blog, write, photograph, podcast, and basically create content on a regular basis (I'm looking at you, Marie and Molly) are told some variation of these statements from time to time. I admit I have a moment of preening where I think, "Well, you know, it's just something I do..."
Actually that would be bullshit.
It does take a lot of hard work to maintain a steady stream of content, in whatever form, but even if you don't want to post every single day (or more) like some of us, getting yourself organized will help quite a bit. I couldn't do half of what I do without the tools and methods I use to keep myself organized.
A To-Do List
Some bloggers have a spreadsheet. Me? I combine technology with old fashioned pen and paper. In my previous vanilla working life, I swore by a pad of paper, a pen, and a clipboard (which I carried with me everywhere). As a writer, that same method works.
Whatever I want to get accomplished in a given week is written down on a piece of paper that stays next to my Chromebook. As I do something, it gets crossed off the list. My to-do list has morphed over the years. It's now three columns: work that I'm paid to do, blogging, and "other" which is whatever project I'm working on or anything that doesn't fall into the first two categories.
If you prefer digital methods, you've got options. Open up a spreadsheet (or Google sheet) and type it all in. I use a spreadsheet, too, but it's to keep up with all of my paid writing assignments in a given month. This would work for anyone who's trying to keep up with weekly memes, topics, guest blogging opportunities, or anything else that falls outside your normal blogging routine. You can also use apps like EverNote or even the Notes function on your phone.
Track Your Projects
I discovered a tool a few months ago that big tech companies like Buffer and others use. It's called Trello. It can be used to create to-do lists, but I've been using it for my projects. I create "boards" for different parts of my working life (Kayla Lords and the vanilla side). Each project I want to tackle: books I want to publish, topics I want to touch on for different memes or the podcast, and goals I want to accomplish - are turned into "cards."
I use the cards to create lists for each topic which allows me to type out notes, add links - good if you come across a resource you know you want to use but not immediately, and anything else that may help the project. There's even a calendar function so I can organize tasks by due dates if I want.
For erotic authors, I would use this for book launches, blog hops, and even publication goals (what books are on your to-do list?). As a sex blogger, it's a great way to organize anything you want to do that falls outside of your normal blogging - is there a blogging challenge you want to try? Maybe you want to add a new element to your blog, like a podcast - this will help you make a to-do list of what you need to do to reach your goal. As you complete an item on your list, you can archive it so it doesn't clutter up your space.
Best of all, Trello is FREE to use. I use it primarily in my web browser, but you can download an app so you can use it from your phone or tablet, too.
Create a Content Calendar
I've mentioned before that setting up a publishing calendar (when you're going to post what) is a good method to help you publish more blog posts. It's also an excellent way to stay organized. I use a WordPress plugin called WordPress Editorial Calendar. There are several out there, if you do a Google search for "wordpress publishing calendar plugin" you'll find all kinds.
What I like about this particular plugin is that it gives me an extra option under "Posts" called "Calendar." I can go directly to the calendar every few weeks and map out what I'm going to write about each day. Sometimes I go when I'm feeling inspired and I don't want the topics to vanish from my mind. Sometimes I use it when I know I'm about to be insanely busy and I need one less thing to think about (knowing what your blog topics will be makes it much easier to write a post).
I also use it to keep all of my blogging plans straight in my head.
- Monday is Masturbation Monday (of course)
- Tuesday is Erotic Promo Tips
- Wednesday is Wicked Wednesday, whatever is on my mind, or nothing
- Thursday is Shameless Promotion or book review - having the calendar means I can tell an author at a glance when they can expect their promo or review post to be published.
- Friday is the podcast (of course)
- Saturday is for guest bloggers
- Sunday is for product reviews or sponsored posts
Do you want to know how long I kept all of that straight in my head before I added this plugin? Too damn long. And trying to keep up with who I promised what slot was a nightmare. With the calendar, I click the "new post" link in the plug-in on the date I want to schedule something, give it a working title, type a few notes (or add a link for future reference), and I don't worry about it again until it's time to write a blog post. It's automatically saved as a draft.
Best of all, you can use the calendar function to view all posts - draft or published - at a quick glance. It's a more visual way to keep your blog posts organized, see what's coming up, and remind yourself of what you've already published.
I use a lot of tools to help make my publishing life a little easier. Sometimes it makes it seem like I'm always working - and I admit to putting in a lot of hours - but when you find the right tools for the job, you don't have to work quite as hard. Best of all, you have more time to devote to what you really want to do. For me, that's creating new content in different ways.
Okay, y'all, time to share. What tools do you use to keep yourself and your blogging organized? Do you think you'll try any of these methods to help you out? Share in the comments below!
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