Wednesday, August 4, 2021

New Blog Post Method

As I mentioned the other day, I've already hit 100 posts this year.  It's hard to believe considering how hard of a time I've had with posting regularly in the past.  But this year, I seem to have been on a writing roll.

I've written a bunch of posts each month: January (15), February (11), March (14), April (9), May (16), June (16) and July (19).  This year, I've been pretty steady other than when I had a little bit of a dip in April when Happily Ever Hatter really started to pick up in anticipation of Disneyland re-reopening at the end of April.

Each year, my goal is to write 150 posts.  That probably sounds like a lot, but I guess that's me and my high achieving goals.  In the past 8 years of blogging, I have only hit 150 blog posts once- with 163 posts in 2016.  But I have been close a few other times: 147 posts in 2014, 122 posts in 2015 and 125 posts in 2020.  

The other years, 2017-2019, you can see how little I wrote.  2017 (43 posts) was when Happily Ever Hatter really took off and Eliot and I had to adjust.  2018 (18 posts) was when I was barely keeping my head above water between HEH and my job.  Then, in August of 2018, I left my part time job to be at home working full time.  In 2019, I had a more respectable 63 posts, but I had a hard time adjusting to being self-employed.

When I made the goal of trying to hit 150 posts in a year, I calculated that I'd have to write about 12-13 posts a month.  That's about a post every 2-3 days.  Sometimes, it's hard to think of something to write.  Other times, I'm full of inspiration and I can't stop writing.  It's been really hit or miss these past 8 years.

The pressure to write a new blog post every 2 to 3 days got to me sometimes... even though I really wasn't letting anyone else down other than myself.  Over the years, I've gotten a lot more relaxed about my blogging goals.  They're in the back of my mind, but sometimes I just have to focus on other things.  This isn't what makes me money and while I love doing it, I have to prioritize.

Like I said before, I've been posting a lot more often these past few weeks.  Mid-July, I thought of a new method and it's been making it a lot easier to write and to work on posts.  I tend to like to work on posts here and there when I have a few spare minutes, so I decided to model my blog the same way I've been doing our social media plan.

For Happily Ever Hatter's social media, I plan posts out about 2 month in advance.  I also look ahead at the calendar to find ideas for posts based off of things like holidays, national days and Disney movie release dates.  One day, it suddenly occurred to me that I could do the same thing on my blog.  But instead of writing the plan down in a note, I could actually start making each individual post on it's date.  

Suddenly, within a few hours, everything changed.  I became entranced by this new method of planning my posts.  Before I knew it, I had a ton of posts planned months in advance.  Within a week or so, I counted all of the blog post drafts I'd started and I realized that I had already reached my goal of 150 blog posts for 2021. 

In the past, I've tried to write blog post ideas down in my notes on my laptop or my phone.  But those ideas don't always translate over to the actual blog.  On here, I can set up posts by date and they're all in one place.  I've made sure to date all of the posts and tag them with the correct labels so it's easy to find them.

The second part of the equation was my genius idea to do themed blog segments.  I've kind of been doing them all along, but it took me a while to get the idea to do more.  I have been writing Fun Find Fridays for years.  Then, I thought of doing my Throwback Thursday segments in February of 2020.  Then, in June of 2020, I did my first Small Shop Saturday post.  A few days later, I did my first Magical Merchandise Monday.

Suddenly, the reoccurring segments I came up with were making it easier to fill my blogging calendar.  Instead of trying to find ideas and topics to fill the calendar, I could lean into my segments based off the day of the week.  That has made it a lot easier this past year.  But I never imaged how far I'd come a year later.

These past few weeks, it's been almost as natural as breathing.  I've kept my notes with the ideas for each segment separated by category, but I also have drafts of all those posts over here on my blog.  The best part is that I've been writing posts faster than ever.  By planning my blog posts out a few months in advance, I'm able to pop into a post here and there whenever I have some time.

I really love this new method and I can't believe that I didn't think of it sooner.  I feel like this is much more sustainable for the long haul.  Plus, I haven't felt as much pressure to keep coming up with ideas.  I've already hit my 150 blog posts for this year.  Now I just have to finish writing them.  I can sit back and relax a little knowing that I have topics and ideas to fill the calendar and there isn't any pressure.

Now, I've already gone ahead and written full blog posts weeks and even months in advance.  (True story: I finished writing this post on July 22nd when I was resting after my surgery and I just had to go in and quickly double check my editing and add a few photos in order to post it today.)  I've already finished writing posts days in advance so I just have to click a few buttons and occasionally add photos.  I've also already started making my photo folders in advance as well.  I even have a few posts as far out as December and January completed minus the photos!

With this new method (that I basically stumbled upon), I truly feel unstoppable.  Most importantly, I feel less stress and less pressure to create.  I'm not sure if I'll continue to strive towards writing 150 posts a year, but with this new method, I do feel like it will be easier to keep up with my blog without feeling like I'm behind or in a creative rut.

Cheers to new ideas and my exciting new blog post method!!!  °o°

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blogs; they are fun, full of content and great pictures! (jv)