Although I was a freelance writer way, way before starting my own business and blog, deciding titles, researching my own ideas, creating content schedules, budgeting for blog excursions, and putting my Spyn on things is a bit of a game changer. But thanks to some super cool office/blogger tools, I found a way to bring my A game... and bring you a list of 9 blogger Must-Haves.
I started Pyns. Poems. Potyns (my blog) the Summer of 2021. I had no idea how much time and effort would truly go into writing and creating my own catalog and portfolio of interesting articles. To come up with fun ideas I need journals, budgeters, planners, a computer, and a few other things to keep my content fly and consistent. I have battled with consistency for years and often give up at the first sign of difficulty. But having systems and tools in place to keep me going has been key. The hardest parts of blogging are brainstorming and writing, the rest is all about dragging and dropping creative ideas.
Productivity tools are lifesavers, especially when you plan to batch create enough content for a month or two. So, below, I've put together a specific list for bloggers who are also looking to kill the game!
Journal x Pyn
First things first is a JOURNAL. You will need to write down your thoughts and ideas in order to expand on them in your articles. You can use your phone or computer, but studies prove that using penmanship to jot things down allows you to actually remember information better, and longer.
In your journal, you can outline and expand as much as you need to. Use your journal to break down blog series into title ideas, structure articles, create timelines, make to-do lists, site/research sources, write out photoshoot details, and anything else your articles need before you sit down to type a final draft.
With all of your ideas thoroughly written out and organized, it'll be alot easier if you set a budget for blogging material, like outing costs (for articles where you review experiences, merchandise, wine, or food tastings). If I'm planning to try out a new item or review wine, I budget in advance for the products and wine bottles.
My budgeting notebook has pages for sorting any kind of monetary obligations and includes at-home bookkeeping-- from monthly to yearly saving goals, motivational spending, and paying bills. I also enjoy the stickers & reciept tracker.
Once you've written and drawn out your ideas in a journal, it's time to develop some habits that will propel you forward as a blogger. You want a successful blog, right? Well, it's time to possess the powers that be.
For me, becoming disciplined was a big deal. I could never sit down long enough to batch write articles. But once I wrote down some new habits I wanted to adopt, I was able to track my progress... making my blogging journey more progressive.
A few habits on my tracker are Write 4 articles a week, publish 2, decide on 3 title ideas a wk, exercise 6 days, read 8 pages of a book, and journal daily.
After you have planned everything and decided on new habit developments, it's time to motivate yourself to execute the plan. The worst thing ever is to be so unmotivated that you let yourself down. Remember, it will always be you vs you and there won't always be people in your corner egging you on to get things done. In the photo are a few affirmations I wrote on transparent stickies and displayed in my office as reminders, when I need a push.
Use a weekly planner to break your blog ideas down into time-lined goals. I use my planner to schedule article publishings. I simply write the title of the articles I plan to publish on the days I desire to publish them. This helps me stay consist and allows me to see an entire week at a glance. Depending on the type of planner you get, there should also be a place to track your habits, prioritize a top 3 (your most important tasks for the week), and sort out a to-do list.
Pull out your daily planner every morning and fill it in using the information on your weekly planner for a clear focus each day. It's great to have your week at a glance, but it is a lot less overwhelming to look at and tackle one day at a time.
Break your weeks down into days by sorting your top 3 priorities, tracking your water intake, reflecting on your progress, drawing out your schedule, note-taking, and setting affirmations and intentions before you even begin your work and watch how easy it is to make magic happen. A daily planner is like having your very own assistant in your hands.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
Blue light blocking glasses are perfect for bloggers who sit at their computer, tablet, iPad, or cellular device writing articles for hours a day because blue light bounces off of digital screens and is very damaging to your cornea. So, protecting your eyes while doing (writing) what you love is a key for a lasting career as a writer, in todays era.
Carpal tunnel is real for writers who sit at their desks and type, or hold pyns, with our wrists at an angle all day. Arthritis is another health issue writers deal with from sitting in the same place, utilizing the muscles in our hands for long periods of time, elaborating on hot topics. However, using keyboard risers and wrist pads have been wrists savers in my life! You should definitely invest in some... and a bluetooth mouse.
Computer + Calendar + Space to Wryte
Duuuuh, of course every blogger needs a computer and a place to wryte; but, adding a calendar and peace changes the game.
After you get your wrist pads and planners filled out, a monthly wall calendar is important because it allows you to plan the entire month. A week of planning in advance is cool, but the real magic happens when you batch create and plan enough content to stay 10 steps ahead. It's always good for consistency when you have more than enough articles in the vault in case you run into those days when you don't feel like writing anything new. A comfy space to wryte promotes long working hours to produce ideas without distraction. I love to mentally be in the future, rather than struggling to publish articles during crunch time and having to put out less than my best.
Of course there are a million other high-tech matierals out here that bloggers can benefit from using, but this list of items really helped me advance through my procrastination by allowing me to create systems. I hope you can also benefit from creating a system with a few, or all, of these things.
Procrastination and mediocrity happen when our lives are less than organized. So, make a plan to organize yourself and watch God do the rest. It's easier to excell when you're already moving than when you start at 0.
Good luck, blogger.