Blog Brainstorming – Creating Blog Post Ideas in One Easy Session

Blog Brainstorming – Creating Blog Post Ideas in One Easy Session

Planning out your blog post ideas is one of the biggest parts of creating regular, consistent content and utilizing your content calendar. This post is part of a blogging series utilizing the pages of the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner. Check out all my posts on blogging in my archives!

I went to college to be a writer. It was the PLAN. At some point in my journey an advisor asked me, “How do you plan to make money?” I said, “Writing.”

I thought he was completely forgetting the conversation we just had about me wanting to be a writer. GEEZ, man.

But, alas, he had not, “Well, that is fine and good, but how do you plan to MAKE MONEY.” He made it very clear that writing for a living was, well, hard. He also made it clear that it wasn’t impossible and that I simply needed a good plan.

That was when I decided to become a journalist. Working towards my journalism degree was fairly easy for me because one of my strengths was the ability to quickly think of story ideas. I have a LOT of weaknesses in writing which is why I find it challenging and fun, but my greatest strength has always been in my ability to come up with endless ideas for stories.

Blogging for me has been the most fun due to the fact that I get to develop my own ideas based on my readers and my whims to create stories.

Create a year of blog post ideas in one easy session

Three Tips for creating full year worth of blog post ideas

Putting in the work for blog post ideas is key to creating content that is unique to your blog, but I promise, if you utilize a few of the following tips, the ideas will flow easily!

  1. Use Holidays and days of special recognition to inspire your posts.— Going month by month pick out the holidays and days of special recognition and think about the ways that those days may inspire your posts. Try thinking about the holidays in different ways than what you always see. When you plan a full year of ideas out you can then working on getting your content out early enough that readers can use your tips, DIY posts and personal stories in their own expression of those holidays. This works for a variety of blog styles from lifestyle to DIY , food, budgeting and beyond. While these posts aren’t exactly “evergreen” if you don’t make it too specific to the current year, you can promote these posts year after year.
  2. Use the old classic, the 5 Ws & H.— The 5 Ws are Who, What, When, Where, Why and How. Answer a question for your readers and use the 5Ws to come up with a couple of posts. For example, if you write about meal planning for a family you could say write a post on:
    1. (Who) Top Bloggers for Meal Planning Tips
    2. (What) Stock your pantry with these items to make meal planning easier!
    3. (When) When to buy in bulk, and when to skip the “sale”
    4. (Where) My favorite stores to shop at when planning my weekly meals.
    5. (Why) Why I meal plan— Saving $300 each month makes meal planning worth it.
    6. (How) How I make my weekly meal plan + free meal planning printables!
  3. Recycle your best posts. — There is no sense letting your best posts just sit in your archives! Take your most popular posts and spin them off to create more content. Utilize the 5Ws and H to come up with additional ideas.

Now… get planning!

 

A Year of Ideas

Use the Blog Post Ideas pages from the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner to help you layout your blog ideas. The Year of Ideas page has planning space for each month of the year.  The Blog Post brainstorming pages let you flesh out your ideas! Sign up for my newsletter to access your free printable blog planner including the blogging planning pages as well as access to all of the subscriber only printables and posts.

Blogging Goals – Make & Achieve Your Goals!

Blogging Goals – Make & Achieve Your Goals!

The freshness of the new year is starting to wear off now that I seem to be able to remember to put 2016 on all my paperwork. While I am still feeling good about my resolutions and blogging goals for the new year, I’m not feeling the fire to accomplish my goals quite as intensely as I was around the 1st.

I often see bloggers (including myself) starting strong in the new year and then petering out as the year gets going. It is natural after all, but I am trying my best to not let that happen again this year by setting achievable focused goals.

I published the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner earlier this month and have just now started working out exactly how I want to put MY personal blog planner together using the sheets. In putting my book together I’ve decided to take some of the sheets that I use often and explain how I use them here on the blog.

Tips for Creating and Keeping your 2016 Blogging Goals

How to make achievable blogging goals:

 

Do I want 100,000 page views this month? Yes, of course. Is it really feasible when I’m currently averaging around 20,000 in a month? No, probably not. I am pretty sure the biggest downfall of New Year’s Resolutions is that often we set unachievable dreams as our goals for a year. Then, when things don’t really start to pan out as quickly as they need to so that we hit that dream, well, we give up. Do I want to be debt free? YES, that is the dream. Is it possible this year? Not unless I won the lottery, and well, that didn’t happen. Is it possible that I pay off a few credit cards so that I am well on my way to living the dream? Absolutely. When taking the time to sit down and write out my goals I do the following steps to help make sure that they are achievable:

  1. Write down the dream: Where do I want my goals to eventually lead? I want those 100,000 page views in a month. I want to be debt free. I want to lose 50 pounds. Whatever your dream is, write it down and get that out of the way.
  2. Go through the steps (goals) that need to happen in order to achieve that dream: I then think about the steps that need to happen in order for me to achieve that dream. For my page views it may be writing regular content and becoming more consistent with my postings. Steps may include guest posting or being featured on blogs that I admire. Whatever those steps are, I write them down in detail and in order in which they need to happen. Those steps then become my goals.
  3. Prioritize the steps. In writing out the steps I try to write them down in the order that they need to happen in order for me to reach my goal. However, sometimes, a lot of items could help me reach my goal and there is no discernible order so I need to prioritize those steps. In prioritizing the steps I think about which items are easiest to achieve and which will garner the best outcome. 
  4. Plan my course of action: Finally, I make my plans. What do I need to do in order to have consistent blog posts that will eventually help me reach the dream of 100,000 page views? I need to have a content calendar that I can follow and post on planned days. I then need to schedule out those posts on my calendar and get working on writing. Setting small, manageable goals such as a workable content calendar with weekly deadlines will go a long way in helping me achieve the steps that lead to me realizing my dream.

 

Creating and Keeping Blogging Goals - A Well Crafted Party

Ways to KEEP your blogging goals:

 

What is the use of setting blogging goals and spending time assessing and planning out your dreams if you aren’t going to work at achieving them? Sure, blogging can be a lot like dieting and while you know what is good for you it is easy sometimes to let things go at times. Heck, life can simply get in the way (see my entire last year with the pregnancy and birth of my second child). A few ways I help myself KEEP my goals throughout the year:

  1. Make small, manageable goals: As I said above, I like to take my dreams and really break them down into small steps that lead me to where I want to eventually end up. These smaller steps help make big dreams seem doable. When I achieve each of those smaller steps I have reason to celebrate and faith that I will eventually hit that goal. If I were to simply say, “I will hit 100,000 page views in a month this year” then each month that I don’t hit that goal would knock me further down in my faith in reaching that goal. However, if I say that I am going to consistently post two days a week for three months and then hit that goal I will see progress and feel more confident that I will eventually get to those 100,000 page views.
  2. Set deadlines: Maybe it is because I was trained as a journalist, but deadlines motivate me like nothing else. I set deadlines to reach certain goals in my calendar with reminders that email me at certain intervals before the deadline so that I don’t forget. I will also put up checklists on the wall (washi tape is an awesome way to post goal sheets for a reminder until a goal is hit!)

 

Blogging Resolutions

One of my favorite pages from the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner is the Blogging Resolutions page. It has area for 5 big goals or “dreams” that you have for your blog, space to break those dreams into steps, and a place to mark a deadline for the goal. There is also a short description of how to make a S.M.A.R.T goal. Sign up for my newsletter to access your free printable blog planner including the blogging resolutions page as well as access to all of the subscriber only printables and posts.

What are your blogging goals for 2016? Comment below!

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

Have you made your goals for 2016 yet? I know that some of you had because before the New Year came around I had several requests for the 2016 free printable blog planner— bloggers ready to get started making their 2016 goals happen! So, I finished up the updates and sent them out to A Well Crafted Newsletter subscribers on January 1. So, I guess I got my very first goal of the year checked off the list. Woohoo!

So, with no further ado… the 2016 Free Printable Blog Planner is ready for download! Read on to see what is included and to sign up for your free printable. If you are already a subscriber, search your email for the Free Printable Blog Planner.

Build Your Ideal Blogging Planner

First, this is a “build your own” style of planner. The reason I chose this style of planner is because one does not fit all in the blogging world. Some bloggers blog multiple times a month, others blog once a week. Some bloggers are hobby bloggers and don’t need pages of financial planning while others use their blogs as a business and welcome a little financial organization. The pages included in this planner all coordinate with one another. Pick and choose which pages will make the perfect planner for you. If you are just looking for one quick download then I also have a planner built into a PDF that is a fairly complete and general planner. You just need to download and print!

Free Printable Blog Planner from A Well Crafted Party

There are over 41 different planning worksheets to help you build your ideal planner, including:

Blog Brainstorming Worksheets:

  • Blog Resolutions
  • Focus Your Blog Worksheet
  • Post Brainstorming Worksheet
  • Year of Ideas Worksheet

Organization Tools:

  • Affiliate Program Tracker
  • Finance Tracker
  • Pitch Minder
  • Project Budget Worksheet
  • Sponsor Tracker
  • Collaboration Tracker
  • Stylesheet Worksheet
  • Password Tracker
  • Analytics Tracker
  • Social Media Platform Tracker NEW!
  • Monthly Income Report NEW!
  • Post Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Weekly Blog Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Monthly Blog Maintenance Worksheet NEW!
  • Year in Review Worksheet NEW!

Calendar Planners:

(Note: I keep all my planners without dates listed on them so that they can be used at anytime. I always hated it when I had some bad months and didn’t use a dated planner and then had to simply throw it out when I hit a new year!)

  • Month at a Glance Planner  (List)
  • Monthly Blog Post Planner (Calendar View)
  • Weekly Blog Planner (7 Days)
  • Three Posts Weekly Planner (3 Days)
  • Three Posts Daily Planner (For those over-achievers out there or large blogs out there)
  • Single Post Planner
  • Social Media Planner NEW!

Covers:

(Last year’s version of covers had some typos! YUK. I’ve revised the covers.)

  • 2016 Blog Planner Cover
  • Plan the Work, Work the Plan
  • Money, Money, Money
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016

Free Printable Blog Planner 2016 Edition

What’s new?

Each year I go through and modify pages from the previous years and adding new pages as I see fit. I fixed some mistakes on the 2015 edition and made a couple of the sheets more user-friendly. In addition, I added in several new worksheets, including:

  • Monthly Income Report — I find monthly income reports SO inspiring. This past few months I’ve been tracking my own monthly income and find these worksheets incredibly helpful.
  • Post Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Weekly Blog Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Monthly Blog Maintenance Worksheet— Earlier this year my newsletter subscribers received a file with my Blog Maintenance Worksheets. I edited the version to coordinate with the blog planner and have included it in this year’s planning downloads. These worksheets are perfect for using over and over again by slipping into a binder sleeve and using a dry erase pen.
  • Year in Review Worksheet— This new worksheet is a great way to reflect over the past  year and will help you in planning out your next year. I’d print one to fill out for 2015 and one to put at the end of your binder for next year!
  • Social Media Tracker— Keep all your social media information in one convenient place with this Social Media Tracker.
  • Social Media Planner— This is another one that I released earlier in the year, but not with the 2015 planner. Track your social media goals and make a loose plan for your social media postings.

Want to access your free printable blog planner downloads? Subscribe to the Well Crafted Newsletter below:

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