I signed up for the A Beautiful Mess Blog Life e-course when it launched a few months ago.
I haven’t finished the lessons yet. Actually, I’ve taken a month off from it entirely. But it’s been a month full of moving, so doesn’t speak for the course. I’ve also moved the blog to completely self-hosted, purchased a domain, and started blogging more often. So maybe that speaks a little bit for the course. It’s been pretty inspiring.
I have a binder I’ve been filling with notes from each section. Sometimes there are prompts and questions to answer. But most times I’m taking notes on the content. I don’t want to give away too much, since they are selling this as a product, but here are a few highlights so far.
I love Emma’s lesson called Play To Your Strengths. We’re not all going to be great at everything. We aren’t supposed to be. But we all have different strengths that make us awesome. And that should come through in our blogging. Blog to showcase what you’re great at.
And I love Elsie’s lesson called Create A Content Plan That Inspires You. This is the only lesson I haven’t marked as complete and continued past. I haven’t actually finished it… and I’m not sure that I will. It’s all about identifying your focus and your topics. It’s got some great questions to work through.
I just had to take a break from thinking about it. My topics will always be all over the place, but I embrace that. It isn’t an issue as long as there’s a consistent voice and perspective, which I will always be working to develop. After a couple of days reflecting on the questions, I realized the most important thing about blogging — creating new content — was taking a backseat to this. So I got back to work on blogging.
One thing I did take away was that I wanted to start using an editorial calendar again. Elise talks about hers and how she relies on it, and I thought it would be helpful.
Sticky notes are the only way it works for me. My “plan” changes so often. But it’s still helpful to see it all laid out, and post ideas for when I’m scrambling.
I created a calendar that I could print out and stick in the binder with my e-course notes. One month spans two pages, and the blocks are the perfect size for 1.5 x 2″ sticky notes. Bam.
You can download a PDF of the calendar to print out and stick in a binder. It runs July – Dec 2014, so it’s a great six-month planner. ;)
You could also use it as a regular calendar, obviously. But it’s post ideas only for me.
Everything is in order, but you’ll have to collate the pages once it’s printed. The first six pages are lefts, and the last six pages are rights.The title font is also different than in the photos.
Do you use an editorial calendar? Or another way of planning blog posts?