Raise your hand if your sole job is blogging. No hands? Right – didn’t think so. The truth is that most of us blog as a hobby or a side hustle. We are passionate about writing. We want to share our experiences with the world. Given that most of us are blogging on the side, staying organized and planning posts ahead of time is essential to sustain success. Good organization prevents burn out. Keep reading for my 8 must-try tools that make scheduling blog posts insanely easy.
At first, the thought of planning ahead can feel daunting. How do you plan ahead when you’re already behind?! The truth is that there are a TON of tools available that make the process of planning and scheduling blog posts super easy. So, if you want to get organized and have the drive to make this your best blogging year yet keep on reading for my 8 must-try tools that make scheduling blog posts insanely easy.
If you’re not careful, blogging can get really expensive really quickly. Typical expenses can include buying a website domain, web hosting, e-courses (on everything from social media to SEO), content editing applications, equipment, paid social support etc.
Although it is worth it to invest in your blog, I always recommend that new bloggers start with free services before they commit to any paid tools. First, many new bloggers start out with a ton of vigor and excitement. However, that excitement can quickly fade until those bloggers stop posting. Second, as a new blogger, it is easier to be fooled into purchasing services that do not give you what you need.
The below suggestions are completely free options that are well worth trying for new and seasoned bloggers, alike.
Apple Calendar is a great free tool for keeping your blog calendar in sync
Apple or Google Calendar | Create a Visual Posting Schedule
First, Apple and Google Calendars are a great way to create and maintain a content calendar for tech-savvy bloggers who want the freedom to sync their edit schedule across multiple devices. Second, these calendars are easy to share with others.
Both applications enable bloggers to use helpful, color-coded labels to plan content schedules. Additionally, users can add notes, define launch times, and set reminders for upcoming deadlines. All-in-all, these calendars are great options for visual thinkers who prefer tech-based apps for staying organized.
Pre-plan your perfect Instagram feed with the Preview App
Preview Application | Plan out your Instagram Feed
Is there an application that truly causes as many headaches as Instagram? Out of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the hardest to grow organically.
Therefore, I cannot promise that planning posts ahead of time will suddenly skyrocket you to Insta-fame. However, planning ahead of time will certainly help you plan an aesthetic and cohesive feed. Moreover, planning ahead of time will make it easier to post consistently.
Preview is my all-time favorite application for planning and organizing my Instagram feed. This app makes it easy to play with your Instagram grid, save captions, create hashtag groups, and schedule posts.
Ready to Take on 2019
Plain Notebook or BuJo | Design Your Own Custom Planner
Before I purchased any planners, I used a regular notebook that I customized using Bullet Journaling techniques. By using my own notebook, I was completely flexible to design edit calendars to fit my exact needs. Moreover, this type of planner works wonderfully for free-spirited thinkers who find traditional planning tools restrictive.
Helpful elements I outlined in my notebook included brainstorming pages, monthly content overviews, and monthly and daily calendars. However, this method is not without its drawbacks. Designing everything myself took up a lot of time that could have been spent planning or writing, AND I found this method ineffective for scheduling social posts.
WordPress | Pre-write & Schedule Blog Posts
If you have a blog on WordPress, then taking advantage of the Scheduling Tool is a non-negotiable. The WordPress schedule is key to my ability to maintain a regular posting schedule and upload time.
For example, I use the scheduling tool to upload every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday between 6:00-6:30 AM EST. Without scheduling my posts ahead of time with this free WordPress feature, I would not be able to maintain a consistent posting scheduling.
Moreover, many bloggers don’t realize that the WordPress scheduler makes it super simple to schedule social media promotion. All bloggers need to do is connect their Facebook or Twitter account in order to schedule social media promotion. This is a a huge time-saver for anyone who doesn’t want to hop between a bunch of different apps.
Although I wouldn’t encourage a new blogger to subscribe to a ton of paid services, I don’t discredit their value. There are paid tools and services that are pivotal to helping bloggers grow. The below tools are essential to helping me plan and schedule my posts.
The Content Planner
The Content Planner | Visually map out your content
I purchased this rather expensive Content Plannerafter seeing a fellow blogger on Instagram posting about it. Due to the high price tag, I feel extra AF recommending this product. However, I love it. Not only is this planner super cute, but it does a great job in helping me to plan out all of my blog and social content in an easy to follow way.
The planner comes with a set of fun stickers meant to spice up your planner, as well as some decorative paper clips. Also, the planner includes helpful holiday lists and micro-moments to look out for each month. If you struggle to think of cohesive content themes for each month, then this is a great planner to help you get the creative juices flowing. Furthermore, this planner encourages you to think beyond just scheduling posts. At the start of each month, I’m able to write down my to-do lists and major goals.
Finally, the company’s founder sends out free email challenges aimed at helping you reach your content planning goals.
My one complaint with this is the pre-set monthly social trackers since they don’t have a slot specifically for blog follows or views, or Twitter. I just keep track of these by writing in the lines allocated to email or to YouTube.
This planner sells for $59.99.
CREATE Blog and Editorial Planner | Visually map out your content
I contemplated picking up the CREATE Blog Planner after reading the rave reviews on Amazon and reading the free online preview. This planner goes above and beyond a traditional content planner because it provides tangible tips for growing your blog and setting attainable goals.
Also, this planner is particularly great for anyone who wants to turn their blog into a source of income because it takes you through step-by-step stages for creating a blog with a solid foundation on earning money for blogging.
This planner sells for $14.95.
Hootsuite | Schedule Social Posts
Social media can be overwhelming because there are so many platforms that we are encouraged to be active on. Hootsuite is a social media management and scheduling platform that enables users to pre-plan posts across three or more platforms. Additionally, the platform provides analytics into how your posts are performing.
If you’re finding yourself tapped out trying to organically promote your content across too many social platforms, then Hootsuite may be right for you.
Monthly plans start at $29.99.
Tailwind | Schedule Pinterest Posts
Honestly, I feel like I can’t escape Tailwind because every blogger raves about how this platform has skyrocketed their growth on Pinterest. While I have yet to try this application, I intend to start my free trial this month. Since this trial doesn’t expire after a certain number of days, but rather a certain number of posts, I feel like this will give me the time necessary to play around with the tool’s features.
Did you enjoy reading about these must-try tools that make scheduling blog posts insanely easy? Consider reading more of my posts sharing blog tips. Check out this post for top Twitter Tips and How to Write a Kickass Blog Post.
Have you tried any of these must-try tools that make scheduling blog posts insanely easy? Or are there other tools or methods that you use? Please let me know in the comments below.