While I was away... | Blog Planning

Monday, 13 April 2015

In my last post I mentioned that though I have been quiet for the past couple of weeks, it doesn't meant that I haven't been doing any kind of blogging - I've been doing what I call behind-the-scenes blogging (though I'm not entirely sure if that's the appropriate word for it). I've basically been doing a lot of planning. Planning anything, let alone your blog when you're feeling unmotivated and a little lost, can be overwhelming, but luckily I have had Regina of byRegina to guide me through it all (in spirit, through her amazing products). 

I already owned her EpicBlog one-year editorial planner, a beautifully designed A4 paper planner packed packed with everything that you need to meet your editorial planning needs for the year - including pages for your (mini) blog business plan and to record your blog post process and style so it's always to hand. However, since I got it at the beginning of the year, I haven't felt like I used it to its full potential. It was like I had acquired a great tool without really knowing how to use it. 

So I started reading her blog posts in search of a deeper understanding of the different elements that go into blogging, and I found what I was looking for. I realised that blogging - especially when you eventually want to kick it up a notch and turn it into a source of income or a base for a future business - is a mindful enterprise. We can all blog, but to blog well requires you to really think about all the different things that go into the mix like content, images, styles, social media, and so on and so forth. 

Since I'd been feeling so confused and aimless when it came to the content I wanted to produce on my blog, when I came across The Guide to Creating A Stellar Content Plan, it only took me a week of trying to convince myself I didn't really want it to finally hit the buy button. I wasn't entirely sure whether I would enjoy the eBook format, but the instant download meant I could get cracking instantly, as a pdf it looked great on my Surface, and I could easily print of the pages that I wanted (which like everything Regina makes were beautifully designed, with a navy 'stellar' theme). 

I am so glad I bought this book. It was exactly what I needed: a guide to helping me plan what goes into my blog. Though I think I initially wanted a step-by-step detailed guide that I only had to follow blindly to get me to desired results, in the end I prefer the way The Stellar Content Plan Workbook is more of a guideline. It provides you with the backbone of what you need to know, provides you with all the elements you need to have amazing content and then leaves the rest up to you. I found that it really got my creativity flowing again because it forced me to really think and then for all the things I was still stuck on, I could go out and research for myself and find answers to questions to I could have head earlier on if I had known to ask. 

The book covers everything from 'Topics + Categories' (with a fun exercise using note cards to help you figure them out) to how to produce email content when you reach that stage (a stage I am far from reaching). It really helped me get my content figured out, and now I have plan, it's easier to see where I'm headed, and hopefully I'll be less likely to get discouraged. I'm also really liked the way that 'The Guide to Creating a Stellar Content Plan' and the 'EpicBlog Editorial Calendar' are really complementary. Though I guess that makes sense - it's difficult to plan your content when you don't have your content in the first place.

I know that a lot of the time they say that you gain confidence by doing, but I really feel that the past couple of weeks taking time out to just plan have helped my blogging confidence grow so much, and I'm really excited to see how euhnella will turn out as a consequence. 

Do you plan when it comes to your blog or do you prefer to just figure it out as you go along?

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