Looking for a more efficient way to plan your blog content free? Let’s be honest; people love paper. They do. I do. I love the pretty looks of cute notepads and seeing myself check things off when I complete them. But, I am a one-woman show that has a lot of projects. And, things change. I need to rearrange my schedule often. This is why I traded in my pen and paper for Asana.
Look, you need to be open to this post. If you’re not going to budge on your pen and paper, then I suggest ignoring this post because I get it. You love that paper planner. I won’t discount that. I want to share what works for me, and why I use a digital system.
Please, understand that this is NOT an affiliate post! I don’t pay for Asana nor Google Spreadsheets for that matter. I’m simply a firm believer in sharing cool stuff.
Plan Your Blog Content With Idea Brainstorming
First, I have to come up with content ideas that are going to work with my quarterly topic. By that I mean I ask myself: am I creating a product that I want to promote and monetize that quarter? And, if I am, what blog topics can I plan around that?
Even if you don’t have a product, having some primary focus for your topics is helpful and will bring people back to your blog versus being all over the place. Substitute paid product for a free worksheet if that makes you feel better.
Track a list of topic ideas in a spreadsheet, the simplest way to brainstorm. In fact, I have a mega spreadsheet over in my Brand Clarity Facebook Group where I help you plan your products and other things like your blog posts, opt-in freebies, marketing and more. Join us to access this and watch the video that helps you use it!
Using Google Spreadsheets (because it’s free, too), create a few columns to help you with your brainstorming. Your columns should have a place for your topic idea, the opt-in freebie you will give with the post, an email idea for your list that is exclusive from your blog post, and any notes you want to associate with it.
Prioritizing: Plan Your Blog Content
Once I have all of my blog content ideas brainstormed, I start to look at them and determine which ones I actually feel will be best to develop further. I only blog once a week, on Tuesdays, so for me, I know the total number of posts that I need to create each quarter.
I also know that I need to pick a launch date for my new product (or your free worksheet.) I keep that date in mind so that I can effectively create posts that can be easily redirected to the product. Or, I make notes to myself to go back and edit any posts I wrote before the launch to mention the product.
Another thing that I do is look at my list of ideas and make sure that I am not overwhelming myself with posts that take a lot of time with research and development. I space out these types of posts with simpler topics that I know won’t burn me out quickly.
Scheduling: Plan Your Blog Content
Here’s where things get fun! I use Asana to plan all of my workflows, not just my blog posts. Having the ability to use one primary calendar to see all of my projects justifies my brain’s need for simplicity.
Please note, I DO NOT PAY FOR ASANA! I use the free version.
My blog posts publish every Tuesday morning. Therefore, I have scheduled the prior Wednesday as my writing day. I use this day to write my posts. I break down each blog posts tasks like drafting and editing my posts, formatting and optimizing for SEO, creating my social share graphics and scheduling social media, and writing the email that goes to blog update subscribers.
Let me show you how I use Asana in this video:
Asana Now Has Boards (Think Post-It Notes, Like Trello)
I am super excited that Asana has introduced boards to their platform. I used Trello in the past but found it clunky and difficult to navigate. With boards available now in Asana, if you’re not a task list person, these might be more your thing.
The reason I chose to use Asana over Trello was that I prefer a calendar, and I prefer the color-coding love that Asana gives me. Plus, who doesn’t like the unicorn or narwhal flying across your screen when you check off that you completed something?
If you want to create a project for your new paid product, this can prove helpful too. You certainly don’t want to miss a step. You can assign date due, time due, recurring dates (I do this for a reminder to schedule weekly social media sharing), and you can easily move them around on your calendar.
To learn more about what you can do with Asana’s new Board View click here.
While I use the most basic functions of Asana, there are even more features if you’re working with a partner in crime. You can create conversations with each other and attach files from your Dropbox or Google Apps. But, I honestly wanted to show you how I use it to plan and schedule my content in addition to my other work tasks, I just love having it all in one spot.
And, again, I do it all for free! Want to work on your content planning with my Facebook Group? Come join us!