Since I am new to blogging, I spent a lot of time trying to find information on how bloggers organize their process for writing posts. And I couldn’t really find anything that helped me out in the way I needed. So I just wrote a couple of posts and figured it out as I went. But now that I have a couple under my belt, I have started to think about my process and some ways to streamline it. As I have written in quite a few posts, I love Trello. I decided to set up my editorial calendar in Trello and to document my process there as well.
I created a “Blog” board and added lists for to-dos, my writing schedule, and any courses or articles I might want to reference. Then I started to document my process for writing a single blog post. I made a card on my Writing Schedule list for use as a template which I can copy and then edit for each post. It also gives me a place to brainstorm a post before I write it.
My Blog Post Template Card Set-up:
- The title of the card is “Blog Post Template Card (REPLACE WITH BLOG POST TITLE)” which reminds me to copy the card before I edit it.
- I then have a couple of reminders for myself in the description. These will definitely change over time. For now, I just have reminders for how to use the template card.
- “Overall” Checklist: this includes things like title, keywords, alt text for images, description for images and pins, etc. Basically, I want to be able to copy and paste from this section for each image and pin I create. Filling in this section before I write also helps me think about SEO and allows me to attempt to optimize my posts for search engines.
- “Category” Checklist: I already have categories established on my blog, and this is simply a list of those categories. I check off the categories that I want the blog post included in. This also serves to remind me to make sure I add categories to the post before I publish it.
- “Tags” Checklist: Same idea as the “Category” checklist.
- “Sharing” Checklist: This is a list of all the social media sites I want to share the post on and reminders for the best image sizes to use and any other relevant information.
- Labels: The labels I use are Not Started, In Progress, Ready, and Posted. This allows me to see, at a glance, where I am at with each blog post.
- Due Dates: I publish a post every Wednesday so each blog post has a Wednesday deadline. Setting deadlines and using labels allows me to see how far ahead (or behind) I am. I try to have blog posts ready at least 2 weeks in advance so if I see a blog post due in less than two weeks without a Ready label, I know I need to get to work. Plus, the cards with due dates will show up on my Blog board calendar within Trello and on my Google Calendar! (Need help setting this up? See this post!)
- Attachments: I attach any images or reference links I need for the blog post. I also attach the pin and make that the cover image for the card. This makes it easy to see if my pins are following my branding and are unique. One of the great things about using attachments in Trello is that they are then available for you to download and use on any device you are working on, and you don’t have to search through folders on whatever cloud storage service you use. It really saves a lot of time for me.
- Comments: I can add comments for anything else I might need to remember for that post.
How Template Cards Help Me
Setting up a template card like this forced me to think about my process for taking a blog post from idea to published and how to make that process better and more efficient. As I am writing posts, the card for each post helps me maintain consistency throughout my blog and ensure that I don’t miss any little details. It also saves me a huge amount of time because it automates everything which allows me to focus more on the actual writing and less on remembering all the little details like how big an image should be for Facebook or Instagram. If you’ve been blogging a long time, this may not be as useful. But when I was first starting out, something like this would have helped me so much!
Because I am very new to blogging, my process might seem pretty basic. But it serves its purpose of reminding me to do all the little things that publishing a post requires, and I’m sure it will evolve as I get more experience. I just wanted to give you some ideas for ways you can use Trello to set up your own process.
What does your process look like for writing a blog post, and what tool do you use to stay organized? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!