Most people start a blog thinking they’ll have instant success, make tons of money, and have a huge following. How hard could it be, right? Unfortunately, most also don’t end up that way because they figure out just how much work it is to have a successful blog. Those who are most successful, I’ve found, have ways to organize their blog, ideas, stats, etc. so that they can make sure they’re consistent and see their growth month-to-month and year-to-year. I personally LOVE using a bullet journal for bloggers (“bujo for bloggers” if you’re in the cool crowd) to keep track of everything I need to do, write, the ideas that flit into my head, and my numbers so I can convince myself that yeah, it’s really worth it!
The one thing that has always made me nervous about using a bullet journal is not knowing how many pages I’ll need for a specific section. If I put the sections too close together, what do I do if I run out? As a result, I tend to put more than enough pages between them, just in case.
Of course, you also need your supplies to create a useful bullet journal for bloggers. I get all of my bullet journals from May Designs which I’ve found to be extremely high-quality while also reasonably-priced. Plus, they have super pretty designs for the covers! I only use PaperMate InkJoy pens in something like 14 different colors. They write super smoothly, have gorgeous colors, and don’t bleed.
Bullet Journal for Bloggers (“Bujo for Bloggers”)
If you want to get somewhere, you need to know where you’re going. I include my mission and goals at the very front of my bujo for bloggers. My mission reads “To live each day wth courage, compassion, and creativity as I become a better version of myself as a woman, a wife, a mama, and a writer. My goal is to help others do the same via my blog and my business.” When I set goals, I try to think about where I’d like my blog to be and set goals according to that. My goal for the first year of my blog was to hit 10,000 views a month. It felt like a stretch, but I actually hit it 8 months in! I also set goals as far as income from the blog and my business (which tend to be pretty intertwined at this point) and social media (specifically, which ones I want to grow, how many posts I want to put up each month, how many followers I want to have on each one, etc.).
Of course, in order to know if you’ve hit the goals, you have to know where you are! Even before that, you have to know if you’re on track to. If you’re nowhere close halfway through the year, you know you need to change something. You may not know what it is yet, but it’ll at least help you know that SOMETHING needs to change so you can start doing the research to find out what. In my bullet journal for bloggers, I record the months on the left column and then the different stats I want to track across the top. This lets me see visually how I’m progressing. I track my page views, Facebook likes, Instagram/Pinterest/Twitter followers, BlogLovin, and how many posts I wrote that month (because number of posts often correlates to page views). On the bottom, I track my income– from my business, Amazon, and other affiliates– with the months across.
Blog Post Checklist
This one, I keep in my bujo for bloggers, but I also have a printable version of it that I hang beside my desk so that I don’t have to pull out my bullet journal every time I write a post. On it, I make sure I have each step, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, so that I don’t miss anything that could help that post become one that’s not just sitting on my blog, but actually working hard for me forever. After all, that’s the beautiful part about evergreen content– it’s theoretically good year-round, for years to come! I have it broken up into sections with “before hitting publish” and “after hitting publish” so that I can easily see what needs to be done before I hit that button that lets everyone see my mess. For all the steps on my blog post checklist (and to get your free printable), check out this post!
Social Media Tracker
There are SO many pieces to social media these days. It’s no longer the days of posting to your personal Facebook page and maybe Twitter and calling it a day. Facebook group, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (extremely important for blogs!), LinkedIn, you name it. Ideally, you’d be on all of them and remembering to post to each one (and re-post later on!). I use a bunch of scheduling tools (you can find my list of them here) to make sure that they go out when I want with my personal touch on them, but I still have to make sure I’ve scheduled something to go out on each platform. So, I plug in my post name and then write the date that each post is supposed to go out under the different platforms for quick reference in my bujo for bloggers.
Blog Post Ideas
Y’all, I have post ideas pop into my head all day, err day. It’s crazy how many I get as I’m playing with my kids, cooking in the kitchen, surfing Facebook, or hanging out with friends. I keep my bullet journal for bloggers with me ALL the time so that I can quickly jot down the idea I had and come back to it at a later date. It’s also great for when I’m on Pinterest, looking for ideas. I never open a pin (because I don’t want to risk their words being stuck in my head and causing me to accidentally plagiarize) but I do write down titles of posts or pins that might make a great blog post for my own blog one day. I alternate colors going down the page, partially because it’s prettier, but also partially because it helps me read it more quickly when I’m looking for a post idea to write about one morning in my bujo for bloggers.
Instagram (or Other Social Media) Post Ideas
I keep a list of nothing but Instagram post ideas in my bullet journal for bloggers because I have a grid that I try to keep looking really pretty (I mean, is this not the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen? You should go follow me.). I have to alternate between pictures with no words and pictures with words on them. Sometimes that’s easy if I’ve been writing a TON of blog posts, but mostly, I have to be creative about it. So, I keep a list of ideas for Instagram alone. That said, you could do the same for Facebook (since you need to be posting way more than just your blog posts– something I need to get better about). Keep a list of funny anecdotes about your kids, awesome articles you’ve found, funny cat videos, whatever floats your boat!