Jul 29, 2015

LITHW #4: On Being An Organized Blogger

Having a disorganized blog with lots of cluttered ideas can be pretty overwhelming. We may often tend to forget the things we should do at the blog, or sometimes we get overwhelmed to the point where a break is needed. Blogging organization is very important, yet it's something most bloggers may tend to lack.

 That's why today we have a friend to help us all out! Say hello to Rachel from A Perfection Called Books because today, she will talk about blogging organization and tips!


Hello everyone! I'm Rachel and I blog at A Perfection Called Books. As you might be able to tell from my blog title and my social media account name (yaperfectionist), I am a bit of a perfectionist. For my sanity, I need to keep things as perfect as possible. When it comes to blogging that means keeping things very organized. I'll share some tips on how to become an organized blogger, the pros and cons of organizing everything down to the teeth, and the various techniques and hardships of being an organized maniac.

TIPS ON BEING ORGANIZED


- Figure out your blog niche. How do you want to blog? How often to post? What types of posts? Will you comment back? Etc... Once you know this information, it'll be easier to organize yourself accordingly.

- Plan ahead. I use Google Calendar to plan out next month's posts. You can make calendar events and give them post titles. I color code mine. Green -- Review, Yellow -- Discussion, Red -- Blog Tour Stop, Blue -- Promo Post etc... It's a good way to easily see which posts you have most of, and it's good to have a diversity of color. It's a lot of placeholders for the most part. I haven't written some of the posts yet, but it's good to know what you have to write and when it's going to be posted.

- Schedule posts ahead of time. Instead of scrambling to write by midnight to post, I like to schedule posts ahead of time. You can do that by setting the date and time of the posting on Blogger (don't forget to hit "publish"), and it will automatically post at the set time. On WordPress you can do the same. This keeps posting low stress and allows you to focus on future posts. Also, my post quality is much better when it's not last minute.

- Have backup posts ready. Life happens. You go on vacation, school gets tough, testing begins. Unexpected things occur sometimes, so it's good to have a few reviews or discussion posts as backups for when you're busy. When I went on Spring Break vacation, I used up my review reserve so I could post a bit and not leave the blog empty for two weeks. It's like saving for a rainy day!

- Organize your ARCs. I know it might be hard to do but in order to review books in an organized and timely fashion, I like to make a document or Notes page on my phone organizing my ARCs (both physical and eARC) by month (and sometimes by release date under the month). It's a good visual to show you what you need to read and what book reviews should be posted soon. It also ensures that you read the books coming out sooner before the ones coming out later. Some people use spreadsheets or Excel or Evernote. Whatever works for you!

- Make reading goals and tentative TBRs. There are lots of challenges that start up at the beginning of the year to encourage you to read a certain genre or a certain number of books. The only reading goal I can remember to commit to is Goodreads, but here's a list of other challenges. I don't normally stick to a monthly TBR because I'm a mood reader, but I like to figure out which ARCs I should read for the month. It keeps your reading schedule organized a bit while still giving you some free reign to choose. I like to alternate by reading an ARC I need to read soon and then reading a book I purely just want to read without a commitment attached and then repeat.

- Find a commenting back groove. I highly recommend commenting on other people's blogs and commenting back on the blogs' of your commenters. You meet lots of people, learn about new books, read awesome posts, and discover new book blogs to check out! Sometimes commenting back gets overwhelming if you get really behind on it, so I suggest you NOT let yourself get far behind. When I comment back, I like to do it consecutively by post. I'll pick the earliest post I haven't commented back on, and click on the profiles for all the commenters of that specific post. Then I ex out of the window, and I see my tabs become fewer and fewer as I comment back more and more and ex out more windows. It's a nice way to track your progress. Every time I publish a post, I like to comment back for one post. I suggest not being more than one week behind on comments.

- Keep a blogroll or list of blogs to check out. As I mentioned before, commenting is a great part of blogging that I encourage you to use. I think it's most beneficial to have a blogroll somewhere on your blog (or use another blogger's blogroll) to easily click and access your favorite blogs to comment on. It's a great way to organize your favorite sites.

- Do monthly wrap-ups. Monthly wrap-ups are a great way to organize your monthly blogging. I like to post what books I read that month, highlight my favorite blog posts, and recap on what's been going on in my life. It organizes you while also adding a personal side to your blog. Here's an example.

PROS AND CONS OF BEING ORGANIZED


Pros:

- No last-minute frenzy/stress to post
- Can focus on future works and posts
- No uncertainty

Cons:

- No quick posting
- Can't post instantly, thinking so far in advance
- No spontaneity

TECHNIQUES & HARDSHIPS


Techniques:

  • Write a certain number of posts each week. I like to write 2-5 posts each week.
  • Have a blog schedule or to-do list. "Today I will comment back for the commenters on these two posts. I will finish this book and write the review."
  • Review the book you just finished before reading another book. <---- This is my golden rule!! Less stress, less generic review, more memory, more substance.

Hardships:
  • Having to scramble your carefully laid plans to work in a time-sensitive post
  • Knowing people won't see your review/post for another month or five....
  • Going cross-eyed while commenting back
  • Struggling to fix the formatting of a post because Blogger is moody

I hope these tips help you on your way to becoming a more organized blogger!

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