Setting yourself a blogging timetable is a great way to stay focused and achieve any goals you set out for yourself.
Here’s my weekly blogging timetable.
I’ve always loved diaries and planners. Spreadsheets are like a comfort blanket for me, when I start finding the endless lists of tasks overwhelming.
Now that I’ve been blogging for a little over three-and-a-half years, I think I’ve finally found the planning template that works for me. It’s not an expensive scheduling tool or a fancy notebook, it’s just a timetable created in OneNote. I create a new page for each week and I refer to my plan every single day.
Looking back at my previous entries, I’ve been using this system since 18th July 2015, and I’ve stuck with it (unlike the other systems I tried during my first months of blogging).
Will I continue to stick to this method in the future?
If it was just me, then yes I probably would. But now Chris has joined me full time (and now that we have two blogs to manage), I might have to change. We’re reviewing a few tools, but so far haven’t found one that covers everything we want. If we settle on one, I’ll let you know!
Now, I know we’re only talking weekly plans here, but it might be worth mentioning that I also have a yearly plan and a monthly plan. They all feed into my weekly plan, so I’ll touch on them first before talking more about the weekly plan.
Each year, generally in December, I like to set myself some goals for the year ahead. I think this really helps for a number of reasons:
- Gives me focus for improving the blog – where to I want to be by this time next year?
- Gives me a starting point for breaking down bigger targets so that I can build the steps needed to achieve the big target into daily or weekly tasklists
- Helps me to prioritise – if I know I have something do to that will help me on the path to completing a larger target, I’m less likely to get distracted (i.e faffing around on email and facebook for hours)
- Allows me to give myself a pat on the back whenever I meet a target (nothing wrong with feeling a sense of achievement for completing something you set out to do!)
Here’s an example of a basic yearly plan I created for last year:
My monthly plan generally consists of looking at how many freelance/brand posts I have to create for the coming month, and also how many Kitchen Sanctuary Posts I need to complete for the month. I usually already know which recipes I’m going to be creating for my freelance/brand posts. I also try to list out the recipes I’m going to make for Kitchen Sanctuary. This involves me going through my recipes ideas list (I have a running list on my phone that I add to every time I think of an idea) and picking out the ones I’d like to make for the month (taking into account holidays and season). If I find that my freelance posts are heavy on the dessert/cake theme, I might try to make the Kitchen Sanctuary posts more on the savoury theme. If I don’t do this, I end up with mountains of cakes and nothing for dinner!
Once I have my list of recipes for the month, I group them into weeks so that they’re evenly spread out, and I don’t find myself making 20 recipes in the last week. It’s also handy to look at our personal diary when deciding which recipes to do during which weeks. For example, if I know my daughter is having a sleepover, I’ll make sure that’s the week I’m going to be making cakes!
I’ll also have a look at my yearly plan to see if there are any tasks I need to complete during the month. I add them to a simple list, which is then portioned out over the month. The list looks something like this:
Freelance Site 1
- Week 2 Recipe 1
- Week 3 Recipe 2
Freelance Site 2
- Week 1 Recipe 1
- Week 2 Recipe 2
- Week 3 Recipe 3
- Week 4 Recipe 4
- Week 1 Recipe 1 for Brand X
- Week 1 Recipe 2 for Brand X
- Week 4 Recipe 1 for Brand Y
- Week 4 Recipe 2 for Brand Y
Activities from Targets
- Week 1 – Chicken tenders video
- Week 3 – Update amaretti cookie and butter chicken posts with affiliate links
Kitchen Sanctuary Posts
- Week 1 Picnic foods roundup
- Week 1 Chicken tenders
- Week 1 Churros with white choc dip
- Week 2 Strawberry rhubarb sorbet
- Week 2 Lasagne potato skins
- Week 2 Nutella cookie bites
- Week 3 Income report
- Week 3 Ice cream cake
- Week 3 Goat’s cheese croquettes
- Week 4 Rum cocktail
- Week 4 Persian Curry
- Week 4 Hazelnut mocha mousse
- Confirm recipe idea and timelines for Brand xx
- Chase up XX invoice
- Watch sponsored content training videos
This is where we start getting into the detail. The weekly plan has slots for recipe photography, recipe write-ups, social media, analytics, site maintenance, training, planning tasks, accounting and anything else I can think of. I try to make the tasks for each day achievable, but I often move one or two tasks around each day if I run out of time. Each time I complete a task, I highlight it green. This makes it much easier to see what I have left to do during the day.
In addition to the task lists, I also link each day with our food menu for the week. I do this for a few reasons:
- So I can line up the blog recipes I need to make for the week to ensure we have dinner sorted if possible
- To easily see when I don’t have a blog recipe for a given night, and fill in those days with other meals
- To better plan our weekly shop – I can look at the menu for the week and look at the blog posts for the week all in one place to pull my shopping list together.
You might notice I do most of my photos during two or three days of the week, then laptop work during the rest of the week. Over time I’ve found I’m much more efficient if I’m not moving back and forth between the kitchen and laptop. I look forward to cooking days and I look forward to write-up days. I don’t look forward to days when I’ve got to do both – I find the other task is always preying on my mind.
I’ll also sometimes include non-blog-related tasks – especially if I know they’re going to take up a large chunk of time. Things like trips with the kids during holidays, meetings that I expect to take more than an hour etc. If I don’t do this, I know I’d end up adding more tasks than I can achieve on that day – because I feel lazy if I only see two or three tasks in there.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I add tasks that I’ve already completed (if I forgot to put them in my planner beforehand). It makes me feel good, seeing those boxes highlighted in green 🙂
So that’s my weekly plan – coming from someone who LOVES their lists.
Could it work for you?
Do have a better planning process in place? I’d love to hear if you do!