This post is about how to plan a year’s worth of blog posts in two hours! Getting your blog up and running can take up a lot of time but the upside is that starting a blog shouldn’t be expensive. In fact, blogging seems to be the most cost-effective side hustle I’ve found. I love my blog and waking up to email box money has been phenomenal!
If you’re thinking of starting a blog I started mine on Bluehost and it was only $3.95 per month and I got my domain for free because I bought a one year plan! That’s less than the cost of one Starbucks coffee a month to start a business where you could replace your income or work from home! How much do I love that?!
Blogging does require both time and the ability to keep multiple things moving forward all at once. Planning content out in advance can bring you much better results. Instead of running to catch up with your blogging, you’ll have a roadmap and can actually run it like a business.
The blogging schedule we’re about to lay out will help you plan, create and bank: Post Ideas, Content, Pins, Affiliates and other social media marketing so you can focus your efforts and really monetize your blog!
Planning and Banking Your Content
I like to plan and bank my content about two-to-three months in advance but for this post I will go over how to plan an entire year’s worth of content in a couple of hours! I tend to find that if I work in batches it maximizes my time. You’ll always have your daily blogging checklist which should include checking in with quick analysis and maintenance type tasks. After you’ve gone over those daily blogging tasks you’ll want to take on the bigger items like researching and creating more content (posts and pins) or more marketing. A day or two of writing then a day or two of creating pins and so on.
To start with you need to decide how often you will be posting. Right now I’m posting every other day for the next week or two until I can get a decent amount of content up on my blog. Once that’s done I plan to post once or twice a week depending on traffic and growth.
For the purposes of this article let’s plan on you posting once a week and you can always double it or halve it depending on what’s right for you. To be extra prepared we’re going to plan on writing five posts per month so you have four to publish and one extra in case something needs to be dropped or shifted. Google rewards blogs which post regularly and consistently and I would rather be over prepared than miss posting for a week.
*This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase by clicking a link on this page we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. The opinions expressed here are our own and we only recommend products and services we know, use and love. Thank you for supporting our blog!
Spreadsheets Are Your Friend
Start with an excel spreadsheet and create a line for each month.
We will be adding columns to this later…
Then in the next column I add all the appropriate holidays and seasonal changes for each month
St. Patrick’s Day
New Year’s Eve
And so on…
This way, I can be thinking ahead for a certain holiday or season. Since I write a personal finance blog, I’m not as concerned about all holidays and seasons as someone who writes in the crafts, food or fashion niches might be but I can still use a holiday or a season in my promotional marketing. Your blog niche will inform your choices.
This type of schedule will help you plan your posts well in advance. It also gives you time to buy or organize what you need to complete the images or ingredients for the recipe or whatever you need to gather to make your process most efficient. As I write this post today I remember seeing pins today for homemade Christmas gifts and I even saw two posts for Halloween recipes. Halloween and Christmas in August! Don’t laugh, those bloggers are ON IT! They want to make sure their content is front and center for those readers who do start making their holiday gifts EARLY!
How Often Will You Post?
Decide if you will have a weekly, a monthly or any recurring types of posts. For example, will you be doing a monthly income report? That makes planning that week’s post very easy every month because at least that post will follow a pre-set format every month and you’ll just be updating your figures! Will you be doing an end of year report? A quarterly report? Add those to your schedule. See how fast it gets filled in?
What Will You Post?
Brainstorm ideas. I like to follow a few of the top bloggers in my niche as well as a couple that are just slightly bigger than I am and check out which of their posts are trending using BuzzSumo. Once I see what’s trending (side hustles or working from home are a hot topic in my niche), I’ll use the search feature on Pinterest and Google to see what readers are looking for around those topics and what’s trending in the area I want to write about and go from there and I fill in my blog post content schedule even further.
Keep Your Ideas Organized
Keep a list of possible ideas down below the monthly section to track inspiration and ideas. I only keep my ideas in ONE place on an excel spreadsheet because post it notes or keeping the list in three different places doesn’t always work and great ideas will fall through the cracks. It doesn’t mean that a blog post idea I have at midnight requires me to power up my laptop. I keep a notepad and pen by my bed but it means that note will get logged into my spreadsheet as soon as I sit down to my laptop so I can make sure it’s been saved and not forgotten.
Create the next column for pins. I indicate when my pins are completed for each post. When my pins are done, I immediately download them from Canva and import them into my Media Library in WordPress so they’re ready and waiting for me when I’m ready to publish.
Maximizing All This Awesome New Blog Post Content
Create another column for affiliates. I track which affiliates I plan to incorporate into each of my blog posts. If your goal is to monetize your blog then you need to set out which affiliate partners each blog post will be promoting or you will be leaving money on the table. If I know a blog post is going out this month and I haven’t quite gotten all my affiliate codes or my relationships with those companies established then I know what needs to get done before I can publish that post or that I have to move it on my schedule. Sometimes those affiliate codes can come together in an hour or in a day but often they take a couple of emails back and forth and it’s better to have it all organized and ready before publishing. *Pro tip: you can always go back and add in affiliate links to a post later.
Color Coding. I color code my posts according to status: Red for published posts, Blue for posts I’ve written and banked. Green for ones I’m currently researching or writing and Pink for new post ideas. And before I sit down to write any of my posts, I also do research on all my new post ideas on buzzsumo or google to see what is trending and working for other bloggers in my niche. There is nothing worse than putting all the effort into writing a post only to realize you could have focused your post differently so your topic could have been more in demand or easier to find by people searching for that topic on Pinterest or Google.
I also tend to copy all my affiliate ideas into the word document I’m writing my post in before I start writing so I have them handy and don’t forget to include each and every one in my article. I will also include keywords and #hashtags there on a separate list at the top to make that document a ‘go to’ resource when I’m publishing and pinning that post.
It’s worth it to mention here that I love affiliate marketing as it’s the first way I was able to monetize my blog.
I learned pretty much everything I know about Affiliate Marketing from Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing whose blog is called Making Sense of Cents. Michelle makes over $50,000 per month on affiliate marketing alone and I’ve already starting making affiliate money with what I learned in her course! If you’re serious about monetizing your blog you need to check out her course here!
By now you’ve no doubt got most of your year of blog post content scheduled out. But have you covered enough of your reader’s pain points? By this I mean have you included enough posts that solve your reader’s problems? People used to think blogs were personal diaries written for yourself. Nowadays if you want to monetize your blog it’s all about serving up solutions. People go to Google and Pinterest to solve something, to find ideas or answers. In order to serve our readers our posts need to solve a problem they’re facing. They might be looking for ways to earn extra cash or are on the hunt for a legit side hustle or ideas to reduce debt. When we write about solutions for the problems our readers are facing we help them! And in turn that helps us!
My Blog Post Schedule Is Filled Out – Now What?
Congrats! You’ve done it!! I knew you had it in you. See how easy that was? Doesn’t it feel amazing to have a roadmap of blog posts to go by? Now when you sit down to write your content you have a jumping off point. If one post idea isn’t flowing for you write another one. Just keep creating your awesome content and fleshing out your posts and the rest will follow. Don’t worry, if you need to, you can always change the order of things up. Once you have your posts mapped out changing your mind and shifting things around later is always fine. Nothing is set in stone and I often go in and move things around and make adjustments as needed. Plus since we have that extra post scheduled per month you’ll always have a backup plan in case you need it. I’m glad we worked on how to plan a year’s worth of blog posts together!
Was this helpful? How do you plan content for your blog? I’d love to hear what’s working for you!
Some Of My Favorite Resources…
*This page contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend things I personally use and like. Thank you for supporting my blog!
If you need to make some quick cash I recommend Survey Junkie. It’s free and is something easy and quick that you can do from your laptop or smart phone or even possibly on the go in your spare time to make some extra cash quickly. Just give them your honest opinion and earn money for it! Try Survey Junkie and earn $10 just for registering today!
Inbox Dollars pays up to $35 per poll and will give you a $5 bonus just for joining today! They pay you cash (not points) for taking surveys, playing online games, searching the web and more! Check out Inbox Dollars and start earning side hustle money today!
Vindale Resesrch is another great survey site where you can answer market research questions about new products which are going to be released soon. You will not only make side hustle money but you’ll also be getting to learn about brand new products before everyone else does. Sign up with Vindale Research today!
Honey is my favorite new way to save and earn! I love it because it automatically applies the best coupon code to whatever I’m buying online! How great is that? I’ll never have to search for another coupon code while I’m checking out again. It’s a simple browser extension and I already used it to save money on an Amazon purchase I just made. And, it’s free! And for the side hustle aspect, for everyone you refer to Honey on your blog or social media with your link you will earn $5! Now that’s awesome! Try Honey today!
Another great way to get cash back for your everyday shopping is Ibotta. Just do your normal shopping, scan your receipt in their easy to use app and Cha Ching! Cash back! It’s basically free money. And just for signing up with my link you’ll receive a $10 bonus! Sign up here today!
Blogging is one of the best side hustles I’ve found. It’s low-cost, can be done remotely and when you put the work in, it can provide passive income that comes in even on days when you can’t make it to your laptop! The first day I made an affiliate sale on my blog I was sitting on the beach with some friends in town! That was THE BEST feeling EVER! Start Your Blog Today!
To help you start your blog today, here are some of my favorite blogging resources…
Bluehost: I’ve been with them from the beginning and have had nothing but a great experience. You can self-host your blog for as little as $3.95/month plus with my link you’ll also get a free domain ($10 value!)
Tailwind: My go to Pinterest scheduler – oh where would I be without you! Tailwind has automated my pinning and I simply couldn’t live without it! I started with the basic plan and have since upgraded to their unlimited tribes power up so I can make the most of my tribes and their reach to grow my traffic!
Fiverr: Freelancers can be invaluable to bloggers. Finding someone in a pinch to help you with an aspect of your blog can save you time and make you money!
You can also find a full list of my favorite resources and online tools here!
*This post may contain affiliate inks which means if you click a link on this page and make a purchase we may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products we use and love. Thank you for supporting our blog! Our polices page can be found here.
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