How I plan a year of blogging and social media.
This is part two of my series about how I plan a year of blogging. If you haven't read part one, you can read it here -The Planner-
In my last post I talked about how I set up my planner as I like it. This time I’m gonna explain how I plan a year of blogging. My progress is done in steps and I’m gonna do my best to make it easy to follow <3
Step one: "National" days/weeks/months
I started planning the years blogging by finding out what each month have going on. There is so many "national" days and weeks and months and they are fun and great inspiration. January for example is National Hot Tea Month and as a writer I loved that idea. I choose a theme for each month, and while I don’t follow them religiously or anything, they do help the inspiration grow.
After choosing a subject for each month, I sat down and found all the national days I wanted to include. I write a very long list and then chose which of them should go to the blog and which was “only” social media worthy. I used this website as my inspiration LINK. It only took me a few hours to go through the whole year, pick the things I wanted to include and note down in my planner. Each time I added a day, I marked it in the planner with one kind of washi tape.
Step two: Decide how often you want to blog.
When I first started planning this years blogging I decided I wanted to blog every single monday as a minimum.
That means 52 blog posts as a minimum. That number sounds crazy, but once you break it down it’s only 4-5 blog posts a month. And that's a lot more dourable.
Step three: Ideas
Now I admit that I’m a list maker, so I made a list with 52 points. Every point represented a Monday that needed a post.
And then I started to fill it in. At this stage I didn’t think about themes, or the order of posts, I just wrote down ideas. If I felt stuck I went on Pinterest and checked out other blogs and in less than two days I had almost 60 blog post ideas.
Some months I used the national month celebrations and others I didn’t. March for example is women’s history month, and so every Monday blog post that month is about a female writer that I enjoyed reading or had an impact on books and writing.
I also decided to join A-Z April blog challenge again this year (I failed miserably last year but I’m determined to get through this year) where you post a new blog post every day except Sundays, following the alphabet. Which of course added a lot more blog posts, because I like being evil to myself.
Step four: The fun part
Once I had all my blog posts written down, I started filling them into the planner. I figured out what posts might go best where and when a post had been plotted into the planner, I marked the page with another kind of washi tape.
And there it was. A whole year filled with blog post. Damn I can’t tell you how great that felt. Since I’m a big scrivener fan I made a new project and gave each month it’s own folder and started filling in blog posts. That way I can write ahead. Start working on projects and so on. Once a project is finished I can then schedule it on my blog, add formatting and pictures and all that. That way even if I get sick or are away from home, my posts still go live. (If you don’t know Scrivener you can check it out HERE – it’s a tool created for writers and I love it.)
How I plan a year of blogging and social media.
This planner I didn’t get started in on before a few days into January. There was a train accident on the bridge from the island my parents live on, so I had to wait some extra days after new years to get home to my on island. I have taken these unused pages and simply glued lined paper on them. I use these pages for new blog ideas, and to keep track of reoccurring blog shares on twitter. If you’re not one to keep planners from year to year, and don’t have a need to go back and look at what have already happened, you can take more and more days as needed and glue lined paper on, turning your planner more and more into a notebook as the year goes on. Personally I like to just add notes and other things through the year, and keep the planner as a reference for next year (and it’s just a nice keep sake)
Once the inside of the planner is as I want it I made a new cover for it. While the planner comes with the choice of four covers that can be changed as the mood strikes, I like to make my own cover to make the planner truly mine. This year I made a cover using some of my favorite washi tape, and just used a black marker to write 2019 and my web address on it. I think it’s cute and whimsical and represent the mood I want to set for 2019 – happy.
I adore twitter because of the great community. It’s funny, it’s quirky, and it’s silly.
I adore Facebook because it lets me get up close and personal with writers and fans, and I can post my half assed photos with funny stories.
But Instagram. I love Instagram, I really do. The pretty pictures are amazing. But, honestly I’m not sure that Instagram is for me. It takes time, a lot of time. And the quality of pictures have to be extremely high to get any interest. And let’s be honest. I’m a writer, not a photographer.
I decided to give it this month with posts every day, but I just don’t feel I can get into it. I like to make pretty pictures, but I don’t want to spend hours trying to get the perfect shot. I don’t want to spend time constantly finding the perfect picture to post.
And the truth is that Instagram is all about glamour. And my life is many things, glamour is rarely one of them. I spend hours sitting behind a screen editing the same line again and again. I stay up way to late and get up way to early. It just doesn’t make sense for me.
So while I’m not gonna delete my account, I am going to stop posting there regularly. Instead I’ll be more present on Twitter and Facebook.
I hope some of you who have enjoyed my pictures on there will join me on Facebook and Twitter. And I promise I will still be there to enjoy your pretty photographs.
And, remember to join my February Motivation Challenge.
I'm sure you know the feeling. Januray, new goals for the year. The motivation is high and you're pulling ahead like some sprinter trying to set a world record. And then february knocks on the door and all steam have left you and you feel like dying. Clearly we had all forgotten this was actually a 12 month marathon.
So, this February I've made the motivation challenge.
Every day is all about getting and keeping the motivation to keep going with whatever goal you have set for yourself. I've made this challenge to help keep the head in the game. The challenge is meant to fill your social media with everything motivation and keep the momentum going the rest of the year.
I would love for you to join me.
This blog post was inspired by Hello Bexa's post about stationery essentials for bloggers.
It is no secret that I love notebooks. In fact I have a very hard time walking past a pretty looking notebook and not buy it. Even if the truth is that over the last year or so, I'm using notebooks less and less, and phone and computer more and more. But they are just sooo pretty.
But, If I'm not using that many notebooks any more, what do I use?
Well, let me show you
My planner is my most important tool. I use it for all my planning when it comes to writing, blogging, and social media. Without it I would be a ship lost at sea.
(If you're interested in knowing how I plan a whole year of blogging and social media, I'm doing a post about it Monday, January 28th)
The washi tape
Okay, so I admit I'm a bit of an washi tape addict. But I do use it a lot. Mostly I use it in my planner. Every day I have a planned blogpost, I mark it with one specific color so it's easy to find. National and international funny days (chocolate day and coffee day anyone?) is also marked with their own color. Publishing dates, another color, and so on. It makes it easy to find the right days, and it's a great visualization tool.
Yes, I know I said I have gone electronic, mostly. But I still like to always have a notebook beside me when i work, just like I have one in my bag in case inspiration strikes.
Pencils, erasers, tape, and sketchbook
I try to only use pencils in my planner as I like to have the option of erasing and moving stuff around. I made the mistake of beginning the year with using a pen, and every time i see those black letters I get a little bit annoyed at myself. Because I use pencils I of course also need a few erasers. And because I sometimes need to put something in my planner where washi tape isn't useful, I have normal clear tape. I also have a stabler, but didn't remember to take a picture of it. It's white, and boring, and looks like a stabler hehe.
My sketchbook is my last stationery I'm gonna talk about. If I feel stuck on a project, drawing helps so much. I used to just do it on random pieces of paper, but I saw this one on January sale and just had to buy it. It's still completely unused, but I'm sure that'll change soon.
I think that was it :) Of course I got like a million other things. Stickers, colored pencils, pens in all shapes and sizes, colored paper and so on, but the things in this post, are the things I use every single day. Except the scethbook, but it's pretty so I got to join the other things hehe.
What kind of stationery do you use and love?
I love dragons.
Small dragons, big dragons. Those who live in water, and those who hide in mountain caves. The dragons of stenght and those of peace. Doesn't matter, I'll probably love them.
In my upcoming novel, Dragonslayer, I have a lot of different dragons.
I got the giant fire dragons. Massive beasts that breaths fire and take down buildings with a swipe of their tails. I got snow, glass, cave, water, and so many other kinds of dragons.
Dragons are facinating. Not only as elements in writing, but because they are a creature that have been told about in stories for thousands of years, across all the continents. Dragons have been a symbol of evil, og courage, of strenght. They have been the symbol of the fear that holds you back.
So tell me, what dragon is your favorite dragon?
To kick off the year "easy" and to just get into the habit of using social media daily, I started the year with a photo challenge. The challenge was one I saw repeated on pinterest a lot, and it was easy to just jump into it.
I try to put my own writing spin on it, of course, but this month is all about the habit.
Jump in, and join me in this fun little challenge.
Today is National clean your desk day.
It's a perfect opportunity to start fresh, and get a clean slate to start on. There's something satisfying and mentally pleasing when your desk is clean.
This year I went a step further and completely cleared my desk. I removed everything, wiped it down, and I'm only putting the things I really want, back in the desk.
I'm a bit of a hoarder. Not the bad, fill your house with junk kind of hoarder, but I do like stuff and it can have a tendency to sneak up on me. So one of my new years resolutions is to clean out. Scale back. So over the next week, I'm going through every piece that used to clutter my desk and only keeping the things I really need or love.
Here's to a fresh start.
I really wanna up my social media presence this year, so I’ve decided to do 12 months of social media challenges.
Each month is a new challenge, that will hopefully help me be better to use my social media.
I’m also gonna use my blog more (at least a post every Monday) and I’m gonna do a follow up on each challenge on here to see how the month went.
In case anyone want to join me in these challenges, I’ll list them below here. If you join one or all of them, let me know so I can check out all your postings.
- Love, Raven
January - photo challenge
This one was just to kick off the year and get in the habit of posting daily. I found a photo challenge online and post the daily theme. If you want to try it, the challenge is on my instagram.
February - Motivation challenge
It’s easy to keep the New Years resolutions going in January but when February comes knocking it begins to become hard. So this month is all about motivation. Every day I’m gonna post something motivating. Quotes, memes, funny pictures. What ever it takes to get me going that day. (There will be lots of coffee pictures that month)
March - female authors challenge
March is female history month, so nothing seems more right than to post a new historic (or living) female author every day.
April - A-Z challenge
For those unfamiliar with the A-Z challenges it’s a challenge to post 26 blog post going from a-z in the alphabet. I tried it last year and failed miserably, so I’m determined to make it this year. So each day my social media posts will be inspired by my blog topic. If you’re not doing the a-z blog challenge, you can just post something fitting with the letter of the day. Sunday’s are off days for posting so you’ll have to get creative that day ;)
May - Quote challenge
Every day is a new quote. It can be inspirational, about writing, humor, what ever tickles your fancy that day.
June - Doodle a day challenge
Being creative for me isn’t just writing. I need other outlets too, and one of them are drawings. I’m not talented and it’s purely a fun little hobby, but I like the idea of a new doodle a day. I’m following a doodle a day challenge I found on Pinterest.
July - get outside challenge
It’s summer, it’s school holiday, and while it’s easy to get lost behind the screen, I want to make sure I get outside every day for some fun time. So I’ve made a scavenger hunt kind of theme that fits with my location, so every day I’m going outside and finding a new thing.
August - Happiness challenge
The happiness challenge is all about what makes you happy. Every day you have to post something that makes you smile. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it makes you smile and gives you that happy feeling.
September - Love yourself challenge
September is the month of my birthday, so it seemed fitting to make a month of self-love. Post about all the positive things. Do things just for you and share it with the world.
October - Booktober challenge
October is all about the books. Online and on Pinterest you can find the booktober challenge. Every day you post something book related. It’s fun, and gives you an opportunity to learn about new books from other people doing the challenge.
November - writing challenge
A lot of writers do national november writing month, also known as NaNoWriMo. I’ve done it twice, but I have to many projects going that I never have the time to do a full NaNoWriMo, so instead my goal is simply to write every day and post about it.
December - Christmas challenge
This is my favorite challenge. A bit like a countdown to Christmas.
The first 25 days, you post a Christmas related photo to your social media. The last 6 days you post photos related to either Christmas or New Year’s Eve
This month is Hot tea month. A month dedicated to all tea lovers in the world, and the hot beverage of their choice.
Now I’ll admit that coffee is more my style, but that doesn’t mean I can't enjoy a lovely cup of tea. My favorites are fruity teas, but there is a few others tucked in there.
Every time I brew a cup of tea, my mind always goes to old british detective movies. I grew up watching Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot along with Midsomer Murders. And one day I wanna get my hands on a pretty tea set like you see in some of those.
My local tea pusher sells a black tea with truffle and chili. And this tea is an experience from start to finish. When you open the bag this mix of chili and truffle scents hit you and it just smells like the most wonderful dessert in the world. I don’t know what that dessert is, but I know I wanna eat it every time I open the tea bag.
Then as you brew the tea the scents get a warmer feel, and the chili gets stronger. When you drink it you can feel a tiny bit of bite on your tongue without it in any way becoming strong or uncomfortable. More like a little lovebite from the tea to remind you how wonderful it really is.
Another great tea from my local tea pusher is their blue berry tea. It contains real blue berries and strawberry pieces and brewing this tea just makes my mind go to late summer days.
Of course, I’m difficult and always drink my tea with milk in it.
So in honor of Hot tea month, tell me what’s your favorite kind of tea?
A writer's life
This is the blog where a slightly crazy author writes rambling posts about everything and nothing. There's posts about my books, writing and social media. Posts about cooking and reviews. And there's posts about life and the challenges I have set myself in 2019.
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