I’ve worked in the newspaper and magazine industry for many years. Publications don’t just happen. It takes a lot of careful planning.
At the beginning of each day, week or month (depending on frequency of publication), something called a flat-plan is made and a copy is given to everyone working on the paper.
It is basically a piece of paper with a box representing every page. Some will be adverts but some will be news, features, that kind of thing and everything has its place.
Think about your favourite title. You will know instinctively which page you will find horoscopes for example.
You will know if you turn to the centre pages, you will always find fashion for example or puzzles.
Readers like to know what they’re getting.
Why should blogs be any different?
The reason I enjoy blogging so much is it is second nature to me. I feel I am writing a column or a feature every time I write a post.
I try to stick with a similar theme each day. Monday is my linky #MaternityMondays. Tuesday is a list post-like this one. Wednesday is a recipe, Thursday is parenting and Friday is lifestyle whether that is crafts or anything else that wide topic encompasses. It doesn’t happen like that every week-even magazine deviate from time to time but, it helps me to plan my blog-just as I would plan a publication.
So I’ve come up with five ways of treating your blog like a magazine.
1.Features list. This is a list of themes for each publication a magazine would send to advertisers or writers. I sat down at the end of December and planned the year ahead on the blog. Nothing major-just things like Valentine’s Day, Easter. Summer, Christmas etc and then I looked to see if there were any notable events like World Cups or Olympics. Write it all down month by month and then you have a schedule to stick to.
2.Decide on topics which will fit your blog-back to school, lambing, summer make up picks-what ever fits and you think your readers will like.
3.Get seasonal. Christmas magazines will be written up to three months before so don’t leave it until December to get in touch with companies for their festive releases. Just like the shops, start thinking about Easter now.
4.Plan, plan, plan. If you have a rough schedule of things going on with your blog in any given year, it will be easy for you to file ideas. Have a page in a note book dedicated to different months so you can jot down any ideas and inspiration as it happens. I have a post scheduled for December which was left over from last Christmas and is not time-bound.
5.Display your features list on your blog or send to Prs so they know what you are up to and can send you things which may fit with a particular theme.
A little planning can make your life a lot easier. There are few times that I am at a loss about what to write anyway but, just having a blog features list in my head really helps me out.
What do you do to plan for your blog?