I’m so excited to bring you my free 2016 blog planner today! As you may or may not know, I’m a total planner addict. I rely on my planner and bullet journals 100% to keep track of every aspect of my life. I use planners to manage my family life, my health and of course, my blog. I also rely on my blog planner to organize my blog ideas and track important information like statistics, passwords and income vs. expenses.
Last year, I created a 2015 free blog planner and the response was fantastic. I’m happy to share with you my updated 2016 blog planner to get you started on the right path toward your blogging goals in 2016. Whether you use my blog planner online in Google Drive or download it to Excel or print, I hope you’ll find it a useful tool to ensure your blogging time is more productive and your thoughts more organized. So let me tell you about the planner I created and the secrets of how to get the most out of it.
Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog should you decide to purchase.
The Benefits of an Electronic Blog Planner
After NaBloPoMo last year, I learned 7 valuable lessons about myself, my productivity and my blog. I needed a planner that could offer these 3 benefits and that’s when I decided to create it myself.
No matter where and when a great blog post idea or idea to improve and grow my blog struck, my paper blog planner was rarely nearby. I needed a planner at my fingertips to ensure my idea wouldn’t get lost in the chaos of my day. My blog is my passion. Ideas are constantly whirling around my head, so I needed an easily accessible place to get them all down. So I began using the Google Drive on my smartphone whenever I got an idea I didn’t want to forget. When do I get most of my ideas?
* in the carpool line or walking home from school
* waiting in the doctor’s office or grocery store
* in the shower
* folding laundry
* while cooking
While I could carry my paper blog planner to most of these places, I don’t. My purse is heavy enough already. I could jot it down on a zillion scraps of paper or post it notes but I risk losing it. The Google Drive app captures the idea efficiently and effectively since my smartphone is always nearby.
When do you get most of your blog ideas? Make sure to capture them as they happen so you don’t forget it and keep ideas in one central location so you don’t lose it.
[bctt tweet=”FREE 2016 Blog Planner that is easily accessible to help you achieve your blogging goals”]
2. Ease of Use
I’m a functional planner. I love pretty planners but I need my planner to corral my ideas and tasks from my racing mind. I’m limited by Google Drive’s font choice which is not stellar, but the functionality and efficiency help me overlook the lack of pretty fonts.
Here are some ways the planner helped me gain efficiency because it’s easy to use:
* respond in a timely manner to blog tours and guest post email requests since I could access my editorial calendar from my phone
* jot down chats and webinar schedules
* add blog post ideas to my editorial calendar which eliminates the need for the WP Editorial Calendar plugin (keeping plugins to a minimum helps maximize your site’s load speed).
Are you a functional planner or does a decorative planner inspire you more?
Have you found perfect & complete “planner peace” for your blog? You know that state of bliss where you have everything you need for your blog all in one place when and where you need it?
With blogging, best practices, technology and social media are always changing. As bloggers, we’re constantly learning, growing and changing how we work towards our blogging goals and our blog planner needs to be able to change to fulfill our needs.
I found printable blog planners limiting. The planners included sheets that were important to the planner’s creator. But my blog is different, I blog about a variety of topics and found I always needed something more…a blog checklist so I didn’t forget an important step before publishing a post, help remembering to cross-post book reviews, and a stats tracker to see my views and where my traffic is coming from.
With my free 2016 blog planner, it’s a breeze to add or delete another sheet, column or row to make sure you have what data is relevant to you and your blog. I gained efficiency by having all my blog data in one place and customized just for me. My free blog planner started as two sheets but easily grew to 33 sheets before I published it last year and I added two more for you this year.
Here’s a few ways I’ customized my planner in the past year:
* added Notes sheets for each of the classes I took like Pinning Perfect e-course*
* added a blog post index
* added an affiliate tracker
What do you need from your blog planner? What information do you need to track that you aren’t able to? What do you keep forgetting? Start a new sheet, get that great idea down and don’t lose your train of thought.
[bctt tweet=”Get your FREE 2016 Blog Planner that you can customize to your blog’s needs #blogging”]
Peek Inside the Planner
Ready to see what this year’s free blog planner looks like? Well, here’s a peek inside the planner. There are 35 spreadsheet tabs/pages in my free 2016 blog planner.
[bctt tweet=”Peek inside this FREE 2016 Blog Planner with 35 worksheets to get you organized in 2016! #blogging”]
Here’s a breakdown:
1. 12 Editorial Calendars – Monthly View
Type in your overall goals for the month and important dates/events at the top. Enter blog post ideas, chat and webinar dates on the respective day to see an overview of your blog content & schedule for the month. Can’t write what you thought you would or had a new better idea? Just copy and paste your idea to a different day. A separate tab for each month, January – December 2016.
2. 12 Editorial Calendars – Checklist and Social Media Promotion
This version of the editorial calendar allows you to keep track of post title, date, category and status for each post. Do you forget to check SEO, set a nofollow link, a featured image or fix the Facebook image before you publish? I do, so I included this checklist so I don’t forget. Since I am a book blogger, I included columns to cross post my reviews to Goodreads, Amazon and B&N too.
3. Evergreen Blog Post Ideas
Evergreen blog posts are those posts that are not time specific and readers can search for anytime. Examples include book discussions, nonsponsored product reviews, recipes, home organization and blogging tips. I used to include an unscheduled draft in WordPress every time I came up with a blog post idea. The problem is if I didn’t write the post relatively soon, the unscheduled draft was pushed down further and further until it falls off the main posts page. Out of sight, out of mind. Instead, by jotting down the idea in my Evergreen Blog Post Ideas Tracker, I can access it anytime I am ready to write and I don’t lose the fabulous idea in the cemetery of forgotten drafts.
4. To Do List
What would a planner be without a to do list? Jot down those blog maintenance tasks, ideas to grow your blog and things you’ve been meaning to do. I sort mine by how long I think it will take me to complete so when I have a block of time to blog, I know just what tasks I can set out to accomplish.
5. Monthly Reminders Checklist
A checklist to remember important monthly maintenance like backing up your blog, cleaning up your sidebar and updating your income/expense reports.
6. Google Analytics Statistics
See your users, sessions, pageviews and top 3 traffic referrals at a glance with this Google Analytics Statistics Tracker. Taking some of the key elements from Google Analytics and putting it into a chart form will help you get a better understanding of how your readers find you and what they enjoyed reading during the month.
7. Subscriber and Social Media Stats
Track your blog and comment subscribers and followers on various social media platforms. I’m a numbers gal, I like to see how my readership is impacted from the content, linkups and events I share.
8. Income and Expenses Tracker
Track blog income and expenses in one place and get a general idea of your blogging net income/loss. You still should hold onto your paperwork to substantiate your income and expenses but this tracker gives you a simple overview of estimated net income or loss on your blog.
9. Password Tracker
I made this primarily to be printed. While much of my blogging information I am ok with being on Google Drive, I do not want my passwords on any sort of cloud. Still the tracker is here to print because it’s near impossible for me to remember all my passwords.
10. Linkup Party Schedule
Are you a linkup fanatic like I am? Linkups are great ways to get new readers to your blog and share your content with a new audience. Jot down the info regarding your favorite linkups including host URL, type of linkup (ex. recipes, books, general), the time the linkup goes live & duration and any restrictions or requirements to complete. I have taken the liberty (aka shameless plug) of adding the Small Victories Sunday linkup I host as examples because I would love to have you link up with us!
11. Posts Linked Up
Do you forget what post you linked up where? Or when a post earned a Featured Blogger spot? Use this tracker to indicate which posts you’ve linked up with which parties and when Featured Blogger awards are earned.
12. NEW! Notes Page
A simple notes page to keep track of ideas discussed during chats, webinars or classes. I added this to my planner during Pinning Perfect and figured you could use them too. Add as many as you want in the electronic versions so all your info is in one place.
13. NEW! Blog Post Index
During one of our Small Victories Sunday Linkups, Krafty Owl shared Why You Need a Blog Post Index. I thought this was a useful tool especially as I’m going through old posts and making sure categories and tags are consistent and seeing which ones need updated photos and writing. So I added a blog post index to my personal blog planner and thought you’d find it useful too. I think this sheet is better for those using the planner electronically on Google Drive or Excel since it’s easy to copy and paste a URL into the spreadsheet.
Get Your Free 2016 Blog Planner Now!
The best part is that this planner is it is free, my gift to you. Subscribe now and the links to the Google Doc, Microsoft Excel and PDF versions of my 2016 blog planner will be sent to you in my welcome email.
You can save copies to your computer and customize the Google Doc and Excel versions for your blogging needs. This planner is for personal use only, please do not mass distribute or sell without permission.
I will be updating this planner and making subscriber exclusive printables throughout the year so stay tuned, you don’t want to miss any of them!
All Linked Up
What is important to you in a blog planner? What tools do you find most helpful?