There once was a time when blogging was simple.
Remember The Julie/Julia Project? *sorry, I’d link to it but it no longer exists.
Well, I do.
Here is how blogging used to work:
- Go to Blogger.
- Pick a template.
- Choose a title.
- Write a one-paragraph “about me”.
- Upload a photo.
- Write a blog post.
- Within a year, receive a lucrative book deal.
Note what is missing from this equation:
- No email updates to your list.
- No list – just blog subscribers.
- No social media blasts.
- No Photoshop, Canva, or Illustrator…
- …because Pinterest didn’t exist.
- No online marketing of any kind.
- No blogging income to speak of.
- No spending hours dealing with the logistics of publishing a measly 500 words.
- No backend website shit to deal with.
- No agonizing over branding.
- A bazillion other bloggers and no more book deals.
Looking back on my own blogging history – which began when I published my first post on 6.8.10 – I can certainly relate.
With the passage of time, my blogging has evolved.
Even if you are brand spanking new to blogging, yours will evolve, too.
Maybe you started out blogging for fun and decided that monetizing your efforts made sense. Or, maybe you got blog envy from a super rad blogger and decided to borrow some of her techniques.
Either way, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that there are a bazillion things that you need to do just to have a blog that gets read by someone other than your mother.
Without systems in place, you will need to be a goddess of the super hero variety to accomplish said bazillion things.
For mere mortals, keep reading…
You need systems. And, organization.
Okay, so this header is a bit of a misnomer because I’m not actually going to offer you any systems in this post.
But you still need them if you want to retain an element of sanity during your blogging escapades.
Instead, we’re going to talk about organizing your systems.
Yep, we’re going to talk about creating a system for organizing your systems. Using spreadsheets.[clickToTweet tweet=”Stop blogging overwhelm! Organize your systems & processes with a few snazzy spreadsheets.” quote=”Stop blogging overwhelm! Organize your systems & processes with a few snazzy spreadsheets.” theme=”style1″]
*Psst – if you want my spreadsheets for organizing some of my systems, you can snag them here. But, because your systems are undoubtedly different from mine, I would suggest that you only download my spreadsheets if you dig their layouts, colors, and fonts (which may change if you use Excel), or if you need some ideas to get you started.
First, identify your systems & processes and put them into a spreadsheet.
Here is a list of some of my blogging activities for which I have (or am currently creating) systems and processes. Yours may be different, so tweak this list accordingly:
- Planning content
- Creating blog content
- Creating blog post images
- Creating content upgrades
- Posting to the blog
- Creating social media posts
- Pinning to Pinterest boards
- Creating an email broadcast
Here’s what this spreadsheet looks like for me:
Second, organize each system in a spreadsheet (unless you have it organized elsewhere).
The “unless you have it organized elsewhere” bit assumes that you may use scheduling apps, mind mapping tools, and other cool things to organize your systems. And, redundancy is rarely beneficial in reducing blogging overwhelm.
So, create a new spreadsheet for each applicable item that you identified in the first step. Column headers will clearly vary, depending on the specific system or process and the tools you are currently using for said system or process.
If you already have your systems and processes established, this step should be easy.
But, if the first thought that went through your head when you saw this post is
Wowzers! Creating and organizing systems is such a novel concept! Maybe I ought to try it?
I would, at a minimum, suggest that you create your spreadsheets while you are actually working through the process. Otherwise, you are bound to forget things, etc. Then, consider how you can make your process more efficient. Anyway…
Here are some suggestions for column headers to get you going:
- Go-To Resource
Here is a screenshot of one of my processes:
Finally, put these spreadsheets to use!
These spreadsheets won’t help your blogging if they never see the light of day.
Despite my love for spreadsheets, in many cases I am more efficient when I work with pen & paper. So, friend and blogging strategist Cristy Cates suggested that I print out my processes, insert them into clear plastic sheet protectors, store them in my blogging binder, and pull them out as needed. Then, I can simply check items off the list using a dry erase marker as I complete them.
If you are 100% into doing things online or in an app, just use Google Sheets’ app. You can even highlight or strike through completed items if you want.
Some final considerations
If you batch your content creation – and it may behoove you to do so if you aren’t already – create a spreadsheet of your batching process.
If you intend to hire a VA down the road, organizing your systems in such a manner is going to make her life easier (unless you also happen to be a control freak…so don’t be a control freak).
And, know that many apps and programs integrate well with spreadsheets. In fact, that may be a future blog post, so if you want to know how to integrate your spreadsheets with a particular program or app, let me know in the comments below.
Finally, you may be interested in some of my other organizational posts:
- How to Organize Your Pinterest Boards & Pins
- Organize Your Instagram Hashtags to Help Drive Traffic to Your Site
- Disaster Struck! What’s Your Plan B?
Thanks for reading! Now it’s your turn.
How do you organize your blogging systems & processes? Do you have any awesome tips that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!