How to plan, what to share, and how to share it without losing your mind! Have you ever sat and stared at your computer screen blankly, not because you didn’t have any ideas to write about but because you had too many? I confess it has happened to me. There are days I struggle with how to put something into the right words, but there are few days when I don’t have at least a dozen things I’d like to be writing about if given an unlimited number of hours to work with. But I don’t have unlimited hours, and the more I tried to blog, the more overwhelmed I became.
I’m a lover of epic stories, like Lord of the Rings. I never want the story to end. Twelve hours of movie just isn’t enough. I want more, and I probably always will. But there is a problem with approaching your blog or your social media like an epic twelve-hour film. You still have to write each scene. While it is important to have the big picture in mind, if you don’t break it down into manageable pieces, Frodo and Sam will never leave the Shire.
That’s where Content Brew changed how I look at my blog. Please don’t misunderstand. This is not just another sales pitch. I considered whether to purchase the course for months. I had heard countless people talk about how great it was for helping you come up with content to create, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. I needed something to teach me how to organize the ideas I had and increase my productivity. And do you know what? It did that, too.
Here’s how it helped me. Do you remember how I said that in order to write an epic, you have to write the scenes? Here’s my mission statement for this blog and website:
My blog and my website exist for the following reasons: to help writers connect with homeschoolers and to bless homeschoolers with writing opportunities and homeschooling materials while we work together to build the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
But how can I do that?
That’s how Melissa and Content Brew helped. I had only reached the second lesson when I realized something important. I didn’t have a plan for my website. I had a goal, a picture in my mind of what it would become, but I had never written out the steps to getting there.
Melissa provides an awesome content calendar template for your blog and teaches you how to use it. One of the keys to making it work is being able to see your blog posts by topics or category. I spent days on this one assignment. I had categories set up on my blog, but they were a bit scattered. There wasn’t any real rhyme or reason to them.
Tips to Organize Your Blog
- First, I had to know what categories existed on my blog. I made a list of all the categories and subcategories I had. I typed them onto a spreadsheet so I could keep track of parent categories and subcategories.
- Second, I looked for any I no longer needed. Was there a category that only had one post in it? Did I have any plans on ever posting on that topic again? If there was, and I didn’t plan on ever needing that category again, I could move that post to a broader category, allowing me to delete a category/subcategory and simplify my list (and therefore, my life!).
- Third, I looked at my mission statement. What types of posts do I need to publish in order for my blog to reach my goal? Writers looking to connect with the homeschool market need how-to posts and information on writing opportunities. Homeschoolers need curriculum resources, coloring pages, copywork, freebies, timelines, and more ways to make learning fun. And doing it all for the kingdom of God influences how I create those posts and also leads to other posts about topics close to my heart like missions and serving the persecuted Church.
It took a few days, but I moved posts and re-categorized them. I deleted categories and created new ones. I worked to make them all easily accessible from the menu. And then finally, I was ready to complete Melissa’s second lesson and move on to the next one.
But those days of reorganizing my blog and learning to see the big picture broken down into scenes changed my approach to this website. By following her instructions on creating and filling in my content calendar, I was able to see the steps I needed to accomplish each day. I don’t have to sit down and stare at the screen wondering which of a dozen things I should write about today. I have a chart that shows when it’s time to post a freebie or a writing tip or a post about missions. And the best part? The calendar is flexible. There are days when I sit down to write one topic and a totally different post comes out. That’s part of being a writer. When that happens, I just move the blocks on my content calendar and continue.
Social Media Sharing Tips
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a LOT to learn about social media and how to use it effectively. You’re busy; I’m busy. How can I share with you the content you want to see and that I want to share? How can I help you find the information you are looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible? How can I reach new readers who might also enjoy the content I am creating?
Content Brew has some lessons on that as well. The course focuses on Facebook and Twitter, teaching you the best ways to share information with your readers without spamming them and without requiring the author or reader to spend twelve hours a day in front of the computer. I don’t want to give away all of Melissa’s secrets, but she shared helpful–and free–online tools to streamline creating great content and sharing it with others.
How to organize my blog and how to share it on social media without living online–these are the two key skills I learned from Content Brew, skills that made it well worth the investment of my time and my money. If you’d like to check it out and read more about it, stop by Blog Clarity (home of Content Brew) and take a look. She’s got some great blogging freebies there for you, too!
Tomorrow I’ll share a tool I’ve discovered that has made it possible to schedule my social media posts without making me lose my mind in the process!