If you’ve read my articles in the past (or had a conversation with me), you’ll know how important I believe blogging is. You’ll also know how much I actually detest writing them. I’ve been procrastinating for the last two hours, and now my mac book is down to 11% battery. I’ve left my charger at work, and my deadline is… well. NOW!
But it’s ok!
Because I have a way of organising my thoughts that means I can bang out this blog before my battery runs out and send it over to the wonderful Jane to proofread, style and upload to the website, and I’ve already slacked the title over to Mark to create a suitable title image to make it stand out when it appears on the site. (We’re a dream team when it comes to this blogging business).
My biggest issue with blogging is getting started – and in order to get started, you need to have a topic or title in mind. I used to sit and agonise over what to write about; but not anymore! I have a strategy to remove that particular issue.
In order to maintain my knowledge of what’s happening from a social media and digital marketing perspective, I consume a lot of content. When I say a lot, I really mean a tonne. It’s not good enough to read a story from one source; I need to find write-ups from multiple sources to form my opinions and figure out how best to explain or implement the changes I come across. Some of that content comes via email, some is picked up via my RSS reader, some appears in my social feeds, some via my Twitter lists.
While I consume all of this – my mind is ticking away. I should write a blog on this. I should be blogging on that. I need to do a guest blog on that for whoever… So, I log the ideas along with the inspirations on a Trello board!
Using Trello for blog planning
Trello is a fantastic tool – you’ve probably heard of it, but if not, think of it as being an online production board.
My board of blog ideas is split into themed columns. Each column contains a specific card that represents a blog title or subject. All I need to do is work through these and each week knock off at least one of my cards. Some of those cards have a few resources attached to them. It’s ideal. I currently have 99 blog ideas to work through. It sounds a lot, but when we’re producing four blogs a month for ourselves plus guest blogs that are being posted on other sites – we’ll soon get through those!
Working this way has also allowed us to ensure we’re covering all bases and not spending too much time talking about one topic in particular. It’s also allowed us to identify the themes we need to invite guest bloggers to contribute on.
If you have never seen Trello it looks like one of those T Card systems you sometimes still see in garages. You have columns that are dedicated to a specific function in a production process, or, in the case of our blogs, a particular theme. Then you have ‘cards’ in each column that you use to monitor a job or a function. So, for example, our video producer will have columns for pre-production, production and post-production. Each card will then be for a particular job and have script, visual, graphics, and so on as comments to be completed. For our blogs, the columns will be themes such as Email Marketing or Facebook Strategy. Once a task is finished, the card is either moved to the next column or removed as completed.
The best thing about Trello, though, is that it is visual. That is invaluable to me. When you see 99 blog cards stacked up in a colourful, kaleidoscope of work waiting to be done, it tends to focus the mind.
Well enough to make me write this blog at least.