Welcome the last day of the Blogging For Beginners email course!
We have saved one of the most important lessons for last.
Today, we will go over how to properly manage your blog, set up your editorial calendar and begin brainstorming post ideas.
1. How to manage your blog
For this portion of the course, I am going to have you hop on over to this link: Blog Planning 101. Blog planning and management are so important and there is so much to it, I don’t feel like I would do the subject justice with just a small blurb in this email course.
2. Set up your editorial calendar
Just as the information in the link above provides, I recommend you set up your calendar at least two months in advance. This is one of the most asked questions that I’ve seen from new bloggers: “I want to start my blog now. How many posts do I really need?!”
I usually see the advice given to them and cringe. “Just go for it!”
No! I just went for it. Well, I had four posts ready to publish and then suddenly I had no posts left. I had to scramble to write a post and then life happened. I was in a panic-publish mode for weeks and then…I burnt out. Don’t let that happen to you.
Create content in advance (I recommend 1-2 months worth) and be consistent about writing and finalizing posts at the same rate they release. This is key.
In Blog Planning 101, I provide a link to the blog management tool I created. I opened it up for a handful of testers and am in the process of creating an entire course for blog management and planning.
I urge you to jump on this tool if it is available. I strongly suggest this because the only reason I was able to stay blogging was due to this tool.
f you can’t get in on the management tool beta, be sure to join the waiting list for the course on blog planning and management that will include the final polished tool.
To summarize, I would advice having two months of blog posts ready to publish (edited, polished with Pinterest pin etc.) and a place where you organize all of your posts with a release date and goals like the blog management tool. Launch when you are ready. When you do launch, make the time to write blog posts each week and keep two months ahead of schedule.
3. Brainstorm 50+ post ideas
Go back to your blog categories you filled out on Day 2. If you want to make money blogging right away, I would suggest thinking of blog posts where you can include affiliates and be sure to take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course. Like I mentioned before, I made far more than I paid for this course because I took this course.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen, open up a document or navigate to the ‘editorial calendar’ tab on the blog management tool where it keeps track of all your blog ideas. Let’s get going:
- Think of your target audience, your expertise, and your blog categories. What questions might your audience have regarding your topics and how could you answer them? At first, it may be hard to think of concepts but once you get going, the ideas will come!
- Narrow or broaden your scope. For example, if you’ve written out a post idea like “Essential Gear For Newborns,” then narrow it down for another topic like: “Best Baby Bassinets of 2018.”
- Address various demographics in your target audience. For example, some of your audience might be a “beginner” on a topic and others more “advanced.” Another example would be something like “Diaper Bag Essentials: Toddlers” and “Diaper Bag Essentials: Newborns.” Target different levels of experience, age (in like in the diaper bag example) or positions like a post on task management for a blogger versus a virtual assistant.
- Try negative and positive posts. “10 Must-Follow Blogging Tips” and “10 Things NOT to do when Blogging.”
- Hop on Pinterest and type in a topic. Write out topics that inspire you and match your categories and demographic.
4. Suggestions for prioritizing & managing your new blog
When I started a blog, I felt like I had to do everything all at the same time. There seemed to be so much to learn and do. I felt like my wheels were spinning and no matter how much I did, there seemed to be so much more to do.
Some bloggers who teach other bloggers how to blog (wow, what a sentence already) try to tell you to ‘sign up for all these things all at once, right now’! It can be pretty profitable for them to do so.
But you don’t need to do everything at once. What’s best for you is to take time learning what you need to learn effectively and moving onto the next thing.
You will be receiving an email from me in the next few weeks of all the tools, courses and plugins that I suggest, so you can tackle them when you are ready. I will send you course suggestions only if I find a course I think is absolutely worth taking. I won’t spend a penny on something (not even a $40 course) unless it’s highly suggested and has proven to help many others. I’m very picky about it! So, I’ll only send you something if I think it’s top notch and it if it has helped me tremendously.
Below, I have rounded up my suggestions for starting a new blog the right way (in my opinion).
My first advice is to try to take things slowly as a new blogger and prioritize. You may feel like you need to do everything at once but you don’t! I spent three months just preparing my blog for launch!
- Create your name, logo, brand, about me page, and have your website all set up – including plugins
- Take the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course to help you understand exactly how to monetize your blog from day 1. In this course she also has you create a gigantic list of affiliate post ideas. This is perfect to help start your blog. I know it’s a lot of money for a new blogger, especially when you haven’t made any money yet! I remember feeling the exact same way. We were on a tight budget at the time and I had just left work to stay at home in order to raise our brand new baby. I only suggest this course because I honestly think it is amazing and it sets you up right away to be profitable with your blog. You will know how to write your posts and monetize them and you will learn how to utilize Pinterest to drive traffic. I feel like it is invaluable. I made much more with affiliates than I paid for the course, because of this course within a few months of blogging.
- Download the Blog Management Tool so you can organize your blog right away and prioritize everything you need to do in a digestible way. I only suggest this because when I started my blog, I had a plan but not a place to carry out my goals, prioritize my tasks, create my editorial calendar or layout all the overwhelming things I needed to do in an easily digestible way. This tool helps you do all of that. Since I have used it, I never feel burnt out, I can stay ahead of schedule and I’m crushing my goals.
- Sign up for the free version of MailerLite and create a simple freebie pop-up. Don’t overthink it. Keep it simple. This is very easy to redo later.
- Read up on basic SEO and the Yoast plugin. Make sure you do this because adding SEO to your posts retroactively is much more difficult.
- Write 8-16 blog posts and decide if you are going to post once or twice a week + as well as what day and time those posts will go out.
Have 4 – 6 pillar posts to launch your blog. That means a post for your top categories (you don’t have to write one for every category). Posts are your bread and butter as a new blogger -> produce content. The biggest key here is just to keep going. Use Grammarly to help edit your posts, let go of perfect and just keep writing another post without re-reading your other ones a zillion times. Keep moving forward.
- Write newsletters to go with your post and schedule them (but if you are feeling overwhelmed, you don’t have to start this right away! Your key focus is just to get into the swing of creating content and to write posts.)
- Join Facebook blogging groups, ask questions, network and learn from other bloggers.
- Announce your blog’s launch day with everyone you know! LAUNCH!
- Research one social media outlet and learn, learn, learn it over the course of the next month or even two. At this time, just focus on finalizing blog posts (ready for publishing) to keep one – two months ahead of time. Try to really time manage your writing time, note how long it takes you to create a blog post ready to be published and schedule accordingly.
Priorities After Launch:
- Create/Blog Content: Your very first priority is simply to establish a consistent flow of content.
I know there are a ton of things to do but if you glaze over this fundamental step, you may burn out. Keep up with your editorial calendar and just take it slow. Learn how to create good headlines and captivating content. Plug in good SEO. Follow other bloggers in your niche. Don’t be afraid to just take a month or so to only focus on content creation. Before launch, I thought writing eight blog posts was a huge task to take on. However, after I blogged for three months, I was amazed at how proficient I became at writing and reading posts or publishing.
- Traffic: Learn everything you can about your selected social media outlet.
Once you feel able to consistently create blog posts, focus on upping your social media game. Don’t disregard Pinterest. I was getting 300+ views a day from Pinterest alone when I started out. I did this by following Michelle’s Pinterest advice in the BONUS section of her MSOAM course.
- Email List: Focus on your email list. Learn what you can about creating a good email list.
After a month or two has gone by, you will get in your writing groove and you’ll start to see traffic flow in from your social media. You may not have a lot of traffic yet at this point, but that’s okay! Learn more about MailerLite or take a look at ConvertKit. Take coursed or read ebooks to help understand how to optimally connect with and grow your readership.
- Monetize: Create a product.
After you’ve got a minimum of 30,000 pageviews or so (you’re with a better ad network) and you feel more in the swing of blogging then start brainstorming a product idea.
That’s it! Thank you for joining A Silver Lined Life’s Blogging For Beginner’s Email course. I am in the process of writing another course on Blog Management and Planning. Join the waiting list here.
I wish you all the success on your blogging adventure. I know with SLL, I’ve learned, grown and loved so much of it. Starting a blog has truly been a wonderful thing. In the future, as I run across blogging tips and resources, I’ll make sure to send them your way.
Day 1: Is blogging right for you? How to succeed as a blogger
Day 2: Successfully name your blog & find your niche
Day 3: How to set up your blog EASILY
Day 4: How to brand your blog
Day 5: Make money from your blog right now
Day 6: Drive organic, engaged traffic to your blog
Day 7: Create your editorial calendar, 50+ post ideas and start blogging!