How I Manage My Blog

Posted on January 4, 2016 «
Categories: Behind the Curtain, Features «
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Some of the best advice I got when I started blogging back in 2013 was to seek out other blogs and make note of what I liked and didn’t like about them. The next step was to emulate those things I liked best on Second Run Reviews. Because I manage following blogs by emails, I quickly noted that I prefer following blogs that have one quality post per day. It doesn’t make a difference to me if it is a review, a discussion post or a meme, I prefer a single post per day.

The benefit of posting a single post per day is two-fold.

  1. I have more content. By focusing a single post per day I can spread out my reviews over several months. I also opted not to post every day. This gives me some flexibility to do memes that interest me, like That’s What He Said, when the inspiration strikes or promote a book or author via a tour company request.

  2. It is easier to promote my content. With a single post per day, it is easier for me to promote posts via social media and there is only a single email going out to subscribers each time there is a post. Also, since I have chosen not to post every day, I can promote posts for multiple days over the course of the week.

 

How I Manage My Posting Schedule on a Macro Level

I don’t know why, but when I started, I chose to post on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also don’t know why, but I decided to post my reviews on Monday and Wednesday. Sunday used to be The Sunday Post and is now Scenic Sundays. Friday is now my In the Spotlight feature. I manage all of this with 2 tools—a Google Spreadsheet and Asana.

My Google spreadsheet has the following columns: Date of the Week, Month, Date, Post Title, Post Type, Number, Review, Giveaway, Written, Scheduled, Proofed, On GoodReads, On Amazon and On BN.com. I put an entire year on one tab.

Next, I created filters for the normal posting days so I can easily create filters for my post types. I do consider holidays a posting type as I don’t normally post on holidays. So grab a calendar and block those big ones off like the 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Heck, if you know when your vacation is mark that as a holiday as well.

blog management

With those basic filters in place, each Saturday, when I start working on my blog, I start with my reviews that need to be written. I pull up my Google spreadsheet, filter on Book Reviews and see where my holes are and drop that review in on a Monday or Wednesday. I usually highlight tours and ARCs in yellow so I don’t move those.

I might move things around so I don’t end up with too many negative reviews in a row. Or if I found a particularly romantic quote in a book, I try to schedule that review on a Wednesday to take advantage of the That’s What He Said meme on Thursdays. I make sure that if a tour is coming up that I have that post written, I’ve received the tour information and updated the post with the tour information.

My next step once I have the Google spreadsheet updated is to transfer that information over to my Asana project where I keep track of each step I like to take with each post. (More on Asana later as that is more micro managing and we are talking macro managing in this post.)

Will a Google spreadsheet work for everyone? Heck, no. I’m a project manager by day and I will be the first to admit I work on a different level of detail than most people when it comes to planning things out. So start small…

Google Sheet Blog Post Planning Spreadsheet
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Take a look at the first tab to see the simple details I include for each of my posts. Open up WordPress and start plugging in the posts you already have scheduled for this month on the 2016 tab in the spreadsheet. Review the types of posts you have scheduled.

  • Do you have multiple posts on one day?
  • Do you have too many negative reviews in a row?
  • Do you have too many similar post types in a row?
  • Do you have a post on a day you plan to be away or is a holiday?

Start moving things around using copy and paste to reschedule things on the Google spreadsheet and then mirror that in WordPress. Take advantage of the filter option in the spreadsheet and WordPress to focus in on the month you are working on.

Got that done? Take a look at next month, mark off known holidays. These could be official holidays (you’ll notice I put in the the bigger holidays for you already) or days you know you won’t have time spend a lot of time blogging. Mark in known tours and ARC reviews that must be done. Do you participate in a meme every week? Filter on the Day column and add that as a Post Type.

The trick is to start small. If reviewing a whole month is overwhelming, start with a single week, then move up to two, then three and then four. Have a brilliant idea for a discussion post? Put it in the spreadsheet and strive to have it completed by that date. Don’t have it done? Move it! Nothing is set in stone.

I know that scheduling can feel like you are forced into something, but unless you have a set obligation like a book tour and an agreement with a publisher or author, your schedule is not set. Setting a schedule should help you. It should give you some freedom. Even just making the decision NOT to post on a holiday relieves some stress for me. Knowing I have a break.

The goal of scheduling should be to provide regular quality content for your followers. You need to define what that means to you and then follow through. But, REMEMBER, you must allow yourself to switch things up if you find something is not working for you or if you find a better way to manage things. In the end, your blogging schedule should give you freedom.

Blog Management. How do you handle it?

Do you have a set schedule for posting? How do you keep track of tours and ARCs? How do you stay organized in your blogging life?


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33 responses to “How I Manage My Blog

  1. Hey! Thank you for your work and excel spreadsheet. I also run a blog for my personal use and your instructions will help a lot. Was reading your blog for a while now, but never decided to comment, so here it is 😀 Happy New year from Austria!

  2. I post every day and keep to a fairly regular schedule — if I didn’t post every day, I’d read too fast and I’d never get to the end of my scheduled reviews, haha. I’d be months behind within a year. I try to never ever post more than two things in a day though.

    • I love blogs with limited posts per day. While one is ideal, I understand the need, sometimes to do two. I’ve done it before.

      I wish I had time now to do a post every day, but time is an issue.
      Apparently, once married, it’s required to spend some time with your husband now and again. 😉

  3. Wow you are very organized Terri! Good for you. 🙂
    Thanks for all the great info and for sharing the spreadsheet!
    Unfortunately, blogging has become a completely different thing for me since I took that second job because now I only have less than 3 hours a week to blog (write, format, post, visit blogs, read posts, comment, create images, maintenance, social media, etc… ALL in less than 3 hrs!).
    So, now I only post once a week. I don’t post negative reviews because I don’t have a lot of time to read either so if I don’t like a book I stop and move to the next one. And I don’t believe in reviewing a book that I didn’t finish.
    Now I open the schedule calendar plugin in WordPress, draft and schedule all at once because that is all I have the time to do 🙁
    I will save your spreadsheet for that beautiful day when I have to blog more again. Your is one of the few blogs I have subscribed too because of your quality content. this post is a great example 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind words, Daniela. I love the spreadsheet because I can easily see things at a glance. I’ve been checking out CoSchedule the last few days and really like the features. However, I see myself sticking with the spreadsheet for macro-managing because, after some testing, CoSchedule isn’t great on a mobile device and sometimes I just like to see a certain post type.

  4. See I don’t even have the time to proofread my comment LOL! I meant to say: “beautiful day when I have TIME to blog again” and “Your is one of the few blogs I have subscribed TO because of your quality content” Oh lord… 🙂

    • Thank you again, Daniela. I used to have a plug in for editing within X number of minutes, but removed it at some point. 🙂 I wasn’t using it once I figured out I could edit my replies on the back end when I found an error.

  5. I’m on my phone right now, so I didn’t look at the spreadsheet but I’m going to take a look when I get home. I’m afraid I may not be spreadsheet savy enough to use it as well as you, but it seems awesome! I use Google calendar but since school started I’ve only been semi using it. I need to get back to it (I started this week) because I agree – a calendar really helps take the pressure off and organize things. I also agree with one post a day. Every now and then I do a couple, but my goal is always one. Sometimes with the events I’m doing I end up with a couple. Like you, I don’t want to overwhelm followers with too much content and like the flexibility for promoting posts (though I’m not too good at tha) Anyway, great post!

  6. Oh my gosh, Terri! This is exactly what I needed! I have been thinking about assigning posts to certain days and not just post them willy nilly whenever I like it.

    I use Mondays for discussion posts and Tuesday for Top Ten Tues and then spread the reviews around whenever I feel like it but maybe that isn’t the way to go.

    I agree with the one post per day since it doesn’t clutter my inbox a lot (I mostly subscribe via email). I recently unsubscribed to one blog I loved to follow because she was posting multiple (like 10) review posts and her email feature didn’t have the digest feature.

    I’m looking at your planning spreadsheet and will definitely look at adapting this to my blogging schedule 🙂

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Good luck, Zeee! Let me know if you have questions about the spreadsheet.
      I’m happy to help.

      10 posts per day?! Whoa. And I feel bad when I post two…it hasn’t happened in awhile, but I’ve done it a time or two.

  7. This is brilliant. We do a planner in a calendar format on Asana, and typically have certain days of the week for certain types of posts. So we don’t post every day but most days a week.

    Also, please to have tutorial on how to put a spreadsheet in Google Sheets and share?

  8. I also do one post per day, I want to be able to give enough attention to every post. Although sometimes I do 2 posts on a day, but not often. I usually do reviews on monday and wednesday and sometimes on saturday when there’s not my to-be read list post. Then on sudnay I have the sunday post, Lola’s ramblings (AKA discussion posts) on thursday, recipes on friday and my to-be read list meme on saturday or a review. Tuesday is often my day with no posts.

    I use google calendar to plan most of my posts, I use different colours for planned post and when I actually have written and scheduled them. Deadlines for reviews or other tasks are always red and I also keep track of my tours and personal appointments in the same calendar, all with different colours. Your spreadhseet looks really handy too! I also like moving things around if necessary. That’s what I like about planning, you have things planned, but can still move things aroud if necessary too. Great post, it was interesting to see how you organize and plan your posts and blog!

    • Thanks, Lola. I’m obsessed with filtering things and seeing the ENTIRE title. I tried Google Calendar when I first started, but just couldn’t see everything I wanted to about a single post.

      I’ve done multiple posts in a day too. It happens. 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing about your process, Terri. I love how you lay everything out in spreadsheet format. You are so organized! I wish, wish, wish I was better with using computer programs to help organize and plan my blog. I’m not. I have begun to make use of spreadsheets but only in tracking things like challenges. 😉 I don’t use the calendar…basically, I’m a paper girl. I crafted my own planner for 2016…that’s how much of a paper girl I am. You use programs I’ve never even heard of! I’m sure they’d make my life easier but they take time to learn. Maybe some day I’ll get there. 😀

  10. Blog management. You’re too cute, Terri 😉 My answer is obviously that I have NONE and that I drool with envy when I see someone like yourself who has her act together. It isn’t that I don’t want to, or don’t know how to- it’s that I have been behind for so long that there simply isn’t time to do any organization. It’s like this: if your boat has capsized and you had no lifeboats, this would not be the time to think about how you need to bring lifeboats next time, it’s time to find a piece of driftwood and hang on 😉

    I DO have an ARC spreadsheet- it is incredibly basic, but it’s all I need. But I also have an oddly good memory for things like that- dates and publishers and such- so I don’t have too much of a problem there. Same with tours and stuff. I DO add them to calendars (both physical AND Google) but I usually end up not needing any reminders. So there’s the plus side.

    As for reviews and such, I just kind of look at the ones I just posted to make sure I don’t have too many negative (or flailing!) ones in a row, and then pick the opposite. Of course, that is the “perk” of doing everything at the absolute last minute hahha. But this is SO impressive! I am excited to find out what Asana is too 😀

    • Everyone has their own way that works for them, Shannon. 🙂 I use Asana for what needs to be done before a post goes live. And I use it along with YouCanBook.Me to manage my In the Spotlight feature. It’s pretty slick and I can’t wait to finish that post. It’s taking me ages to sketch out and write.

  11. I am with Shannon in the grab-the-driftwood situation, and like Daniela in that I couldn’t possibly post daily while still having time to read, visit other blogs, etc. All the same, I appreciate your ideas for organization. I haven’t used filters on Google spreadsheets and am interested in playing with that, as I use spreadsheets sometimes at work as well.

  12. I love hearing how others manage their blogs and I love your organised approach. I also love your excel spreadsheet, I work with them on a daily basis too so it was only natural for me to create ones for my books/blogging. I haven’t heard of Asana before but would like to know how that you use that and what value it adds. Like you I spend a lot of time managing my schedule and planning my posts but I enjoy that and it works for me. For managing my blog, I use a mixture of a paper planner (for day to day tasks), the wordpress editorial calendar and my spreadsheets. It sounds quite the mixture but it works for me!

    • I don’t really write anything down on paper unless it is an idea or a list of reviews I have to write. I am such a technology focused person. 🙂 My spreadsheet is my big picture and Asana is a breakdown of what needs to done on each post. It might be overkill, but as a new blogger I found it helpful. I am working on the Asana post. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to share the project with those that are interested.

  13. I’m setting up a new book blog right now (my second attempt at a book blog), and this time around I’m keeping things much simpler. No schedules, no calendars, no backlog of blog drafts waiting to be published. I’m going to try and be a lot more laid back and ‘free’ about blogging. Maybe I should label myself a ‘free range blogger’ lol. I have no idea if this way is a good idea yet or not, and most bloggers would say it’s a terrible idea, but I’m going to give it a try and see what happens 🙂