This should be the first page in your notebook/planner.
You can get collect this information from Google Analytics by reading your audience’s demographics and in time when people reply to you or purchase your products. My audience is mainly between the ages of 18-35.
80% are women readers and they are into arts, home crafts and education. By learning who your target audience is, you will be able to write posts that are catered to them and this in turn will increase your conversions and sales!
Basically when you know whom you’re writing for, you will be able to plan your blog content in advance, thus increasing your traffic and making more money.
Whenever I get an idea for a blog post, I go through my audience profile and see if it is suitable for them. Therefore, this particular record is mainly to serve you as a reminder to whom you’re actually writing for.
Paying attention to this one metric will really help you increase your conversions. Otherwise, you’ll just be getting pointless traffic that leads to nothing.
2. Social Media Goals and Pageview Stats
Currently, my main Social Media is Pinterest.
So, keeping goals for each month and recording your stats every single week/month is a good way to record your growth.
Other than Social Media, it’s also a good idea to record your Blog Pageviews.
Knowing how much you grow will give you a fair idea of what is working for your blog. Certain Blog Posts you write may pull in a lot of traffic.
It’s always a good idea to know where your traffic is coming from.
Pinterest Hack: See your most popular blog posts by opening your Google Analytics and heading to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. Create 2-3 additional pins for those posts and schedule it to Tailwind to watch your traffic explode!
True, you can keep an Excel Document maintaining these, but I like to carry this information everywhere with me.
Hence, I have a dedicated set of pages in my notebook only for Blog stats. Before I begin my work each Monday, I flip through my blog stats to see how much I’ve grown in the past couple of weeks.
It not only motivates you to do so much better, it also never lets you forget how you started.
3. A list of all your Blog Post Ideas
Being an Illustrator and Blogger, means never being able to shut off your mind.
A Eureka moment can pop up at anytime! Whether you’re in the loo, or snoozing in a bus – it is always crucial you write your ideas down before you forget them.
And therefore, you should keep a huge list of ideas for your Blog Posts so that you never run out of things to write about. Reading through the list will also help you generate related ideas!
Additionally, you can also take a popular post that’s gone viral and create a Mind Map.
To do this, simply write your popular post title in the centre of the page and write similar ideas around it and connect it with arrows! You can branch those ideas into more ideas and so on! This is basically how mind-mapping works.
4. Keyword Strategy
When I’m using UberSuggest or SpyFu for my keyword strategy before writing down a post, I note down the keywords that I’m going to use along with the Search Volume and SEO difficulty.
This helps me narrow down what long-tail keyword I’m going to use for my Blog Post.
Once I’m done coming up with all the keywords, I keep the notebook open while I outline/flesh out the post.
By having everything right in front of me, I am able to write seamlessly and systematically without any loss in focus.
5. Blog Post Titles
The headline of your Blog Post is extremely important because you can spend 3 hours writing the best post in the world but if no one clicks on the headline to read it, you’ve failed.
So, spend at least an hour writing only headlines for your next blog post!
Once you’ve decided on the blog post idea you’re going to write, you have to test out a few titles before you find the one that you’re going to use.
Use the best one for your title, and the other 8-9 for your Pins.
And there’s no better way to do this than to use your notebook to scribble down a few plausible titles.
Using the keywords that I’ve already come up with, I am able to draft 9-10 powerful but quirky headlines under an hour.
Pauline from Brand Glow Up has written an astounding article on how to come up with catchy blog post titles! Additionally, she even offers a free template that you can download and use to come up with your own clever titles!
6. Blog Post Outline + Call To Action
Once, I’ve usually decided on a blog post idea and written down the keywords I’m going to use, I like to state my call-to-action for the post.
What is my post going to do? What is the main purpose? For instance:
- Collect leads
- Raise Brand Awareness
- Promote an Affiliate Product
- Help readers enter a sales funnel like an email course
- Garner Traffic
Once I’ve decided on my call-to-action, I pour out all my thoughts into my notebook and outline the content or the skeleton of the post onto a few pages in my notebook.
This helps me understand what topics I need to cover in the blog post in order to do it justice.
When I outline the post in my notebook, I’m also able to arrange and organize my points better.
This is usually a very messy and raw process, but trust me it speeds up the writing process. Because when you sit at your WordPress Editor, you’re no longer staring at a completely blank canvas – you have the complete outline in your notebook!
7. Editorial Calendar
I like to plan my blog content in advance.
I try and focus on 1 theme for each quarter. For one quarter, I may focus on posts that talk about just gaining blog traffic. In the next, I may cover side hustles, and so on.
And I like sprinkling productivity posts in between like this one you’re currently reading to keep things interesting.
Although I don’t maintain my Editorial Calendar in my notebook (I use Trello for this), I know loads of people who do!
You simply create a Monthly Template in your notebook and write your blog post ideas for the month on post it notes and stick them on the days that you wish to post them. Like this:
The benefit of doing this is that you can move the post it notes around in case you want to move the blog posts around. So, no mess!
8. Business Strategies for the next Quarter
Doing this has really helped me focus my time and energy on things in my Business that actually matter.
Every Quarter, it’s good to focus on 1 area of development.
We’re adorable but you will feel a world of pain if you step on us.
For instance, on one quarter, you can focus on guest posting on websites that you look up to. Or you could spend your time updating extremely popular posts so that they get you more traffic and boost your SEO.
I usually like to draft all of these strategies when I’m writing my Business Plan for the year.
If you like pretty printables, you can just get my printable Business Plan that will help you grow your blog from scratch the right way!
9. Newsletter Outlines
I like to send out a newsletter every week and during the week, I write down points I want to cover in my Newsletter.
You can form a brief outline of everything you want to say in your Newsletter in your notebook/planner.
For instance, on one week you can talk about a helpful tip that you just discovered in your industry that will really help your readers, or maybe talk about a product that you’re affiliate for or hold a sale in your shop and so on!
Raelyn Tan has a humongous post on Newsletter Content ideas you can use for your next newsletter!
10. Weekly, Monthly and Quartlerly Goals
As a blogger, it is important to focus on your goals in order to measure your growth and success.
Your goals for the week, month and year, and so on.
When writing down your goals, remember to be as specific as possible. For instance, this month my goals were:
- Edit and update my Traffic eBook
- Update accompanying Email Course
- Research and Validate new product idea
- Redo Front Page of my Website
You can organize your goals according to category – content creation, marketing, digital product, social media and so on.
When you reach your goal, remember to put a little tick next to it so you feel a strong and refreshing feeling of accomplishment.
11. Daily To-Do list
Being a home-maker, dog-mommy, illustrator and blogger means finishing a list of never-ending tasks. Forgetting even one of them could result in total chaos.
Therefore, it’s a good practice to keep your daily list in hand so you don’t waste any time trying to remember what you need to complete for the day.
I use my Blog Planner to make my life a tad bit easier.
12. Inspirational websites
Sometimes, a daily dose of inspiration is just what you need to start your day.
I have a couple of lists that I maintain in my notebook. Here are some lists of websites I currently maintain:
- Blogging Websites that teach me more about Online Business and Blogging.
- Tech Websites that help me become a clean coder.
- Creative Websites that give me ideas for color and font combinations and designs.
- Positive Lifestyle Websites that always supply me with happy and helpful articles to inspire me.
You can also maintain a swipe file of websites you like and want to learn from.
For instance, I noted Websites that I signed up to and asked myself what drew me to them.
Note these points down. This will help you create digital products and offers that your readers will not be able to resist.