Reality check: What do you feel when you sit down to write a blog post?
Stressed and overwhelmed, not knowing where/how to start and what to write about?
Or confident, positive, knowing exactly what step to take next to get that post done and dusted and in front of your audience in no time at all?
If the former rings true for you, you are definitely not alone! I’m the first to admit that creating new content consistently can feel really daunting.
That being said, there are some systems you can use to make your blogging life easier. Enter: the blogging workflow.
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Three Reasons Why You Need To Create A Blogging Workflow NOW
As a new blogger, you might have decided to publish at least one blog post a week. Cause we all know Google loves fresh content, right?!
Consistently putting out awesome new posts keeps your readers as well as Google happy and is a great way to increase your traffic. So far, so good.
And you see lots of successful bloggers publishing new content regularly, so it’s definitely possible! But HOW are they doing it, you wonder, when you yourself feel totally lost trying to do the same thing?
I’ll let you in on a little secret: They have a strategy to tackle those recurring tasks.
Success doesn’t happen accidentally. It’s something you purposely build.
What is a Workflow?
By definition, a workflow is an “orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activity enabled by the systematic organization of resources“.
In plain English, that means that you create an ordered series of action steps to achieve a specific outcome AND that you follow this routine every time you wanna reproduce that outcome.
Back in the days, when I still worked in the lab, we would call it an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). In a lab environment, this ensures that people are consistent in running their experiments. If you didn’t follow that same protocol for a specific experiment every single time, you’d never know whether the variance in your results was caused by the variable you are actually testing, or just by you changing the experimentation procedure.
Obviously, having an SOP or specific workflow in place is less critical in blogging than it is in the lab. Although, whenever you get down to the nitty-gritty of analyzing and tweaking your strategies, be it in the lab, on your blog or anywhere else, following the same routine every time eliminates one variable that might otherwise confuse your results. Just something to keep in mind.
Workflows are often visually represented by flowcharts, diagrams or ordered to-do lists. There’s no one-type-fits-all solution here. The best way of documenting your workflow depends on the task at hand as well as on your personal preferences. Whatever floats your boat and helps you keep on track. Personally, I am the to-do list person. I write lists. Lots of lists…
3 Benefits of Creating a Blogging Workflow
How does creating a blogging workflow make your blogging life easier and much more pleasant? Here are three reasons to start creating your own blogging workflow(s) now:
1. A Blogging Workflow Saves You Precious Time
By streamlining your blogging procedures, you’ll save a ton of time. Imagine skipping all the confusion and overwhelm when you are starting to work on a specific goal. Instead, you’ll just jump right into it, knowing exactly what to do and how to do it. No need to invent the wheel all over again every time you wanna achieve that goal. Just follow your workflow.
2. A Blogging Workflow Increases Your Productivity
This one is closely linked to the first one: When you save a ton of time on one activity, you can spend that time creating even more awesome things. Also, when you skip that initial confusion, you lower the resistance of actually starting to work on your goal. You know how sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to start? Following a blogging workflow will help you with that, too. Cause at the point where you internalized your workflow to a point that it has become a habit, you won’t have to debate with your weaker self whether to do your work or spend some time on Facebook first. You’ll just jump into action, start your working routine and get it done. Thus, having a blogging workflow in place will supercharge your productivity.
3. A Blogging Workflow Will Help You Identify Pitfalls And Chances For Improvement
This one is a biggie. While it’s important to follow your workflow – don’t follow it BLINDLY. When you notice that you don’t get your desired outcome or things are just not running smoothly, it’s time to do a workflow analysis to figure out what’s going wrong. Once you did, you can adjust your workflow accordingly. Then you follow the improved workflow and enjoy how everything runs like a well-oiled machine. =)
Documenting Your Blogging Workflow
To reap all those benefits, it’s important for you to document your workflow. As I mentioned before, your documentation depends on your task and personal preferences.
It can be as easy as grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil and jotting down a specific blogging workflow.
Or writing a to-do list in Word.
If you belong to the people who love tidy graphics, you can use free graphic design programs such as Canva or Easil to create a chart or to-do list for a specific recurring blogging task like writing a new blog post once a week.
In case you find those free programs too limiting and/or wanna improve your graphic design skills, this is also a neat wee project to learn your way around Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. I don’t know about you, but I always learn much more easily when I have an actual project to work on, instead of just playing around with a new program.
If you are not into creating your own graphics but aren’t a paper-and-pencil-person either, you could have a look at using specific software to visualize your workflows. I have read that Trello, Asana, or KiSSFLOW are good for creating your own workflows online.
Personally, I haven’t used any of these online tools, because I either use paper and pen or a graphic design software to create my workflow visuals.
Blog Post Workflow Template
I know that you are busy and it takes time to create your own workflows. So to help you out, I created a free weekly blog post planner template that you can use to streamline and plan your weekly blog post. This is what it looks like (click on the image to go to the download page):
It comes in three different designs, so hopefully, you’ll find one you like. 🙂 Of course, you can also use all three designs, if you happen to love them all.
In the ordered checklist on the right, you’ll find the main steps of writing your blog post. You can then specify and break those tasks down even further and plan which task you’re going to complete on which day of the week.
This should help you establish your own blogging workflow that will make creating new content consistently much easier for you.
Long story short, here are three reasons to take the time and create your own workflows for your recurring blogging tasks:
- A blogging workflow saves you precious time in the long run.
- Having blogging workflows in place increases your productivity.
- A blogging workflow will help you identify pitfalls and chances for improvement.
That’s why investing the time to set up those workflows early on in your blogging journey will pay off big time in the long run. And come the day you are ready to hire an assistant – you’ll already have the protocols for them to follow. Woohoo!=)
Now I’m curious: Do you have specific routines or workflows in place for your blogging tasks? Or do you just wing it? Is whatever you are doing working out for you? Or are you going to change some things? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. =)
PS: If you found this post helpful, it would mean a lot to me if you shared it with more like-minded people. 🙂
PPS: I created the weekly blog planner in Adobe InDesign , in case you were wondering. If you’d love to get started with using InDesign, I highly recommend taking Daniel Scott’s
Adobe InDesign CC – Essentials Training Course over on Skillshare. Dan is my graphic design hero and his courses are as fun as they are informative. Big thumbs up! You can even take this class for free when you use my link because it will hook you up with two FREE months of Skillshare Premium. Within those two months, you can take as many classes as you like at absolutely no cost to you. Woohoo!