Blogger's block: if you're a blogger, you've probably faced this form of writer's block at one time or another. Today, I'm going to share my productivity steps that helped me beat this block and it's all thanks to one super tool - CoSchedule! If you're not a fan of CoSchedule (no judging!), you can still benefit from the tips in this post so please don't run away!
*Referral links are included in this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own though.*
I was recently introduced to CoSchedule by a friend. I'll admit - I was skeptical that I would like the website, especially since it ultimately costs. However, I decided to give it a try since it came so highly recommended (and there was a free trial option). After a week of using the website, I fell in love and discovered that it increased my productivity tenfold!
Today, I'm bringing you a few of my tips for using CoSchedule to beat blogger's block. You'll never again stare at a blank page wondering what to write for your next blog post!
1. Write down topics as they come to you.
This is probably the only tip that I'm going to give you today that I developed before I found CoSchedule. My best ideas always come to me when I'm away from the computer. For a long time, I lost these ideas when they came to me. Then, I discovered what a useful tool the "memo" app on my phone can be! I simply add a blog post into a notes page on my phone and access it later when I need it. Since my phone is almost always with me, this keeps me from losing great ideas!
2. Plan out your posts about a week before each new month begins.
Right before a new month begins, I pull out my phone and look at my list of post ideas. Then, I start to schedule them out on the editorial calendar that comes with CoSchedule. I love that it has a title analyzer that helps me figure out the best wording for each title as I put it on the calendar. I start by scheduling any series since they have set days (Bloggy Brunch, Plate for One). Then, I reference my phone list and fill in the blanks from there. I have two blogs that I keep up with and I love that I can color code the posts as I schedule them out. (purple for Hodge Podge Moments and orange for The Coastie Couple). It's all right there where I can see it. This makes post writing easier - I simply look at the calendar to see which post I should be writing!
3. Be flexible.
Scheduling out your posts and determining which ones you'll publish on which day is great, but you also have to leave some room for flexibility. This post is the perfect example of that. I originally had this post scheduled for yesterday. However, I was hit with a stomach bug and this particular post was a bit more labor intensive (screenshots to take and such). So, I switched it around on the calendar with a simple drag and drop. A post was still written, but it was one that was less involved. Problem solved and I was still productive!
4. Write your posts in advance.
I highly recommend writing your posts at least a day in advance. This allows for editing and review before it goes live. It also allows for those days when life gets in the way. (Normally, I write mine a day or two beforehand but travel had me ahead through Tuesday and not today - hence the stomach bug getting in the way.) CoSchedule can help you keep track of which posts you've written and which ones still need to be written with their "draft, pending, and published" labels. You can even adjust which posts you're seeing on the calendar if you want to minimize the amount you're viewing at one time! (This can help when you feel overwhelmed.) The picture below shows posts that have been completed and social media that has been scheduled. Even the social media is color coded! There are countless ways to organize your calendar to make it visually appealing.
5. Schedule social media when you finish your post.
I have gotten in the habit of scheduling social media as soon as I finish my posts. CoSchedule allows me to upload a picture that matches the post. Then, I can go to the bottom of my scheduling tool and schedule social media for Facebook and Twitter that goes along with my post. You can even schedule social media to appear in a year or two! This helps so much with seasonal posts! Some of my holiday posts are scheduled to appear next December - no extra scheduling needed! I think this is one of my favorite features of CoSchedule. Below you can see an organizing post that I've scheduled to reappear on my social media next January when people are making resolutions again.
6. Stay on schedule with additional tasks by scheduling them on your calendar.
There are so many other features available on CoSchedule! It would probably take several posts to cover all of the great things this blogging tool offers. You can schedule additional tasks (such as newsletter deadlines) and guest posts to write on the calendar. This is another place where color coding can help you keep track of things. I'm going to recommend that you click on this link and check it out for yourself! Remember - there's a free trial to help you figure out if CoSchedule will help your blog. Feel free to get in touch with me if you need help or would like to discuss CoSchedule further!
Now, go sign up for your free trial and work on beating blogger's block for good!