As of June 2018, I have been book blogging for one full year. It has proven to be a great way to 1) keep in the habit of writing regularly, 2) keep an account of the books I’ve read & reviewed, 3) connect with others who love reading and discussing the books they read.
I haven’t learned everything there is to know about the process but as I reflect on my year, there are some things that I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share through a series of posts about book blogging. I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. Feel free to tell me what you’ve been learning too in the comments.
Today’s post will cover Tip #5: Plan Ahead and be prepared. Keep a calendar of important celebrations, themes, and topics that you want to blog about in the future.
Reflecting on my Journey | How well did I plan ahead this past year of blogging?
I will stick with the same Q&A format that I used in the first four blog posts in this series that covered, Blogging Regularly, Getting Social on Twitter, Using Images to make your blog engaging, and Following Other Bloggers.
Q: How well did I do at planning ahead for blog posts this past year of blogging?
A: I honestly did a terrible job of planning ahead. My method was: Read a book, write a blog post about the book, done. I did it with no real rhyme or reason. Now, I actually try to think through this process and try to:
- Post on strategic days. Think about the hashtags and memes that are used (posting a book review of a MGLit book, for example, on #MGBookMonday or sharing an old book review on #ThrowBackThursday) – I cover this a bit more in Getting Social on Twitter.
- Set a writing goal for my blog posts and mark specific “blog post release dates” in a planner. I just purchased a planner last month and have already started plugging in dates. This is making me feel extremely organized at the moment. I hope I can keep it up!
Plan Ahead & Be Prepared by Using a Calendar
This next 12 months of book blogging I want to incorporate posts that highlight literary celebrations, holidays, or special times of the year like Back to School, for example. As mentioned, I bought a planner and have started brainstorming blog topics that I want to write about. Here are some of the celebrations I’ve been thinking about writing a blog post for in September:
- Library Card Sign-Up Month
- Roald Dahl Day
- International Dot Day
Additionally, I have started to mark book release dates for books that I’ve read an advance copy of so that I can 1) Design a Happy Book Release Day image to share on Social Media, and 2) So that I can share my review of that book on release day too. Whether I read an ARC or not, there are tons of books that I am excited about. Jotting down release dates then is super helpful!
Another part of my plan as I look ahead is to start writing early. WordPress will let you save drafts, so why not take advantage of that feature? Here’s what I mean, let’s say that you have an idea for a title for a blog post but don’t really know what to write yet. Hit that ‘write’ button, type in the title, type out your initial thoughts, and walk away until you are ready to sit back down to add content. And that could mean later on that day or later on in the month.
On the other end of things, you might have a complete post that you are ready to write but, its topic or theme is for an event or celebration that is months away. Write it today. Save the draft, and then post it or schedule it to post on a future date. This actually happened to me while working on this series. I wrote Tip #6 last week. It’s saved and ready to post next Tuesday.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be an overnight process. Take your time and learn from the experience.
Extra Tip About Images
When you plan, remember also to think about the images you will use. Maybe a part of your planning then would include designing relevant images for future blog posts. I have so much fun using Adobe Spark to design images to use.
If the event or celebration you are writing about is widely celebrated, take a look to see what image resources are available, that you have permission to use on your blog.
For more information about using images to make your blog more engaging, read my post here.