When I started this wee Instagram last May, I never anticipated it to snowball into what it has become now. After I built some momentum I got involved with social media strategy and establishing my blog – but I didn’t get serious about it until January when I said, “Ok I can actually make this a thing now.” And… here we are.
But what became clear was that I desperately needed a system and a process to keep this shit under control, and get proactive rather than scrambling and being reactive. Mainly I was writing on other monthly somewhere and jogging to keep ahead a post or two, kind of keeping up but feeling less in-control. Then, last month, I stumbled on a beautiful planner from Paper Source. It was pre-dated, so I felt a little guilty about it. But as I mention in other posts – I wanted to work *smarter, not harder. So I pulled it into my routine and it has been SO helpful. Here’s how I’ve incorporated it into my system.
Here’s the 2016 planner from Paper Source. It’s basically my favorite color and I had to have it. With planning my blog I needed the pre-drawn calendar grid to visualize what was going on, so I was pretty excited about it!
This monthly view saves me. I first put thin washi over weekends where I’d be gone – which was an indicator that I needed to work ahead to have posts ready to go for those days. Then, I have my bank of ideas on the right-hand side to pull from into the month. I indicate with icons what platform I’m using for what post. This shows you that I was living out my intention of being more consistent at posting. From this, I can see how balanced my posts are between videos, blogs, lettering, and bullet journaling.
For planning, I jot things down in pencil. See how scribbly my actual handwriting is, friends? April is a little more full since the #LetterArchive is happening – but this is how I visualize my editorial calendar. From here I know exactly what work I need to do to prepare those posts, which photos to take and edit, what body copy to write, etc.
From the monthly, I zoom in on the weekly to identify my social media plans. Every month I participate in a number of Instagram challenges (#Planwithmechallenge, #RockYourHandwriting, #brushletterpracticechallenge, #togetherweletter, and #letteringleague to name a few!) – it gets difficult to remember which days belong to what prompts and how to prep my posts. I do a lot of my work on the weekends because I don’t have much time (or light!) after work. To stay in a creative zone, I usually pull the prompt list together so I can strategically plan my time and posts. I don’t do every single one, just the ones I feel called to.
Every day I wrote in the challenge prompts on the left. On the right hand side I mapped out what I felt I had to share related to the post for the upcoming week, identifying what I would be creating. Then…
Once I’ve identified what my posts are going to be, then I break down the individual works I’m creating, photos I’m taking, videos I’m filming, blog posts I’m prepping . I add these tasks to my weekend spread in my bullet journal (in case you were worried I forgot about my bujo!). This way, I feel like I have identified that I’m doing the right work, not just work in general.
Then of course I photograph and film the works.
Once I’ve got my videos and photos, I touch them up in the Snapseed App and sync them to my Google Photos. That makes it easier for me to pull the images for my blog posts and featured images.
After editing, I am ready to schedule posts for the week. With the support and counsel of Kim and Kara I am trying out the HootSuite app to schedule my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. This works great for sharing my own content, and I can write them all at once while I’m in flow rather than breaking my focus at work or other events to share my latest blog post. In theory, I’ll save time on this and then be able to use that time to either better focus at work or better engage with other users, reply to comments, etc. Cross my fingers!
I’ve been following this process for a few weeks now and it has helped me get more strategic and intentional about what I’m sharing – for SURE the blogging planning has helped a lot! I’m always refining, so I’m sure I’ll have more to share with you in the future. I’ll circle back in a few months and let you know how that’s going. Until then, what tips do you have for managing your blog and social media? Let me know down below! Share this with a friend who might think it’s useful!