How to organize a blog post while writing

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You may not think much of writing a blog post… it’s just a matter of logging in, writing and publishing, right?

Well, the more you blog, the more you’re going to want to have some sort of structure and organization to your posts.  So how do you organize your posts now so that they’ll still be relevant (and easy to find) months or even years from now?  Read on to learn how:

01. Creating a Mind Map

A mind map, whether made by a software program, online service or just plain old pen and paper, can be an invaluable tool to help you get your ideas on paper (or screen). I recommend doing so digitally, however, since it’s easy to re-order and sort your posts accordingly.

  • Break down your mind map into three major categories:  Ideas, In-Progress, and Published.  Under each category, you’ll want to do a bit of brainstorming in terms of:
  • Unique perspectives or strategies you’d like to cover on your blog
  • Specific case studies, images, research, charts or other information that can add credibility to your post
  • Insights from industry leaders in your niche
  • Examples that illustrate the concept you’re talking about (where applicable).

02. A Place for All Your Stuff

As you continue researching post ideas, you’re eventually going to come across something that will spark another idea.

It’s all too tempting to go off on a tangent, so why not save it for later?  You can use an easily accessible, go-anywhere app like Evernote or Pocket to store your links, graphics and other tidbits that you find along the way, for easy reference later.  Because all your snippets and articles are synced together, you can access them on your mobile device and computer alike.

03. Crafting Your Post

When writing your post, you’re going to want to consider some important organizational strategies that will make it easy to write and find later.  For example:

  • What category or categories will the post be found under?
  • What specific tags will you be using to mark it?  Remember, tags are not the same thing as keywords. Keywords help other people find your website, whereas tags provide visitors with one-click access to all topics that fall under that particular tag, regardless of which category they’re found in.
  • What keywords will you use so that visitors and search engines alike can easily find your post?
  • When will you schedule it? Do you have a blog “theme” where certain types of posts are relegated to specific days?

And speaking of scheduling, if your old-fashioned calendar and a desk full of sticky notes aren’t reminding you as well as they should be, consider theEditorial Calendar plugin for WordPress.  This plugin lets you drag and drop different blog posts into different slots, and makes it easy for you to see at-a-glance where things are missing.

Plus, if you have multiple guest bloggers, scheduling their posts can be hectic, but Editorial Calendar makes that a snap!  And did I mention that it’s FREE?

04. For the More Traditional Bloggers

If you’re the kind of person who remembers and organizes better when things are written down, you’re in luck.  Some crafty soul has created a free, printable blog planner that you can use to write down post ideas for future scheduling, bloggers to encourage and much more.  This printable guide is assuming you’ll be posting three times per week, so be sure to adjust accordingly for more or less postings depending on your own schedule.

05. The Bottom Line on Organizing Your Posts

When it comes to keeping a blog organized, don’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work to do.  Just organize it like you would a drawer in your home – one piece at a time.

Before you know it, that huge backlog of drafts becomes a much more manageable mind-map and you’ll have neatly slotted every post into its own category with corresponding keywords and tags.

So what will you do with all of your new-found free time?  Why, go off and read those notes you saved in Evernote or Pocket, remember?

What are some of your favorite blog organization strategies?  How do you keep everything together? Are you more of a modern organizer or a pen-and-paper traditionalist?  We’d love to hear your thoughts – share them below in the comments!

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