I remember way back in the day when I used to record YouTube videos at 2am and then go to class at 8am. That was cute in my early twenties, but now, between being a mom, blogging full time, running two other businesses, and still trying to make time for myself, my husband, and my friends, staying organized is imperative to staying sane. Whether you blog full time or just as a hobby, here are a few strategies and tools for how to stay organized as a blogger.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Since I create unique content for my website, YouTube channel, weekly newsletter, and Instagram, I like to use something a bit more robust than a standard WordPress editorial calendar plugin. I really like CoSchedule’s calendar since it integrates direcrlt into WordPress, and also allows you to add in any non-blog projects to your calendar, including your social media and newsletter campaigns. I use the monthly Essential plan with two users, so it runs me around $60/month, but it really helps streamline so many of my processes (more on that later), that it’s well worth the expense.
Track Your Income & Expenses
Regardless of whether you blog full time, part time, or just for fun, it’s important to keep track of how much money you make and spend on blogging. I recommend opening a separate bank account for blogging activities to make this easier, but the most straight forward way to track your income and expenses is by using a spreadsheet. I use the annual business budget template in Google Sheets (copy this one or search for it in your own sheets account) to track my blog income and expenses, and it makes it really easy to visualize my average earning and spending each month. It’s a bit granular, but I like to be really detailed with my accounting so I know exactly what’s happening with my money!
Keep a To Do List of Blog Related Tasks
You never know when you’ll get a really good blog post idea or a request from a follower to touch on a specific topic, so another way to stay organized as a blogger is to keep a to do list of blog related tasks. When you’re starting out this might just include blog post ideas, but as your blog grows this might include submitting drafts to brands for collaborations, paying estimated taxes, or creating a monthly analytics report.
Once you outgrow a regular list, you can experiment with a project management system to stay organized. I currently use Asana, and love how easy it is to visualize everything I have going on and collaborate with my team to get everything done. Although I use Asana now for just about all my projects and businesses, I have several projects that I use for the blog: a content calendar where I plan out my blog and social content (I’ve been using this more than CoSchedule lately), an operations project where I list to dos like blog post ideas and team meeting notes & tasks, and a campaigns project where I can stay on top of my brand partnerships. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve been able to do with the app (which is on both desktop and mobile), all for free!
Save Inspiration Photos on Instagram & Pinterest
Gone are the days when you screenshot cool photos on Instagram, or even more throwback, cut pictures out from magazines that inspire you. Save your phone storage by using your Instagram Saved folders or secret Pinterest boards to save outfits, poses, locations, ideas, and other pictures that inspire you. Be super detailed with your folder and board names, so when you have a shoot idea that needs a little help going from basic to bomb, you know exactly where to look for inspiration.
Schedule Out Your Social Shares
A huge part of being organized is streamlining your processes, and one process you can easily automate these days is social media posting. Take photos in several outfits at once, edit them all at the same time, write a few captions (bonus points for saving them in Asana), and schedule them out using CoSchedule or an Instagram planning app like Planoly or Preview. Not only does batch content creation help you stay organized, it also helps curate a more cohesive Instagram feed! When you publish a blog post on WordPress using CoSchedule, it also allows you to schedule out shares to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for any time in the future, making it super easy to regularly post content on all those platforms.
Store Your Documents
Last but not least, make sure you invest in a physical and cloud storage system for all your photos, videos, and documents. I have an external hard drive that I keep all my video footage on and use Adobe Creative Cloud to store all my photos edited in Lightroom. I also use DropBox and Google Drive for securely saving and sharing things like contracts, photos for campaigns, fonts and logos, and anything else I need easy access to. By having both a physical and cloud copy of most things, I can ensure that I don’t run into any issues with losing any of my content or paperwork!