I usually keep a running list of things I’d like to blog about in a small notebook filled with notes, thoughts and doodles. As soon as an idea sparks, I try to write it down as soon as possible so that I won’t forget it. Of all of the blog post ideas I come up with, only a handful actually become posts.
It’s easy to run off a hundred ideas for awesome blog posts, but so much more goes into creating a post than a good idea. If it were that easy, I’d blog 3 times a day, every day… okay actually I probably wouldn’t, but you get the point.
There are a few habits you can put into practice to help take those ideas from the notebook to the ‘new post’ area of your blog. Here’s how to sift through all of those ideas, and turn your awesome brainstorms into even more awesome blog posts.
01. Write descriptive ideas.
When I get a great idea for a post, I try to write down the vision I had for it when the idea first came to me. This way, when I sit down to write, I have more than just a few keywords in front of me. The initial idea may become part of the post title, but the description is what will help you develop the concept better.
02. Keep your ideas together.
When an idea comes, I try to write it down instantly, right where I’m at. I usually have a few post-its or lines in my planner with random phrases or thoughts that I want to turn into posts. But I’m always sure to transfer these ideas into a notebook where I keep ALL of my blogging materials.
03. Create an Editorial Calendar.
Using an editorial calendar is great way to get a bird’s eye view of your upcoming posts. It makes it easy to space out different topics, so you aren’t showing any one topic more attention than others. I love the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, because it easily let’s me move posts around and see what I’ve focused on one week, so that I know how to plan for the next. I also use a good old fashioned pen and paper planner for my blog, because pen and paper is just that awesome.
04. Don’t just save words, save images.
Visual elements are always important when planning out a blog post. If I see something around the web or on another blog that sparks inspiration, I’ll bookmark the link, and then take a screen shot, just in case. I have a folder saved to my desktop with screenshots that became blog posts. I clean it out once I’ve made use of all of the resources inside.
If you plan on using images that aren’t yours in a post, I’d also be sure to bookmark and save the link someplace safe. There is nothing worse than finding a great image for a post, and then not being able to link back to it.
Those are just a few simple methods for organizing blog post ideas, but I know everyone has their own method to the madness. So what tricks do you use to keep your posts organized?