One aspect of my business involves coaching clients on various aspects of running a blog like a business, and far and away the question I get asked most often has to be, “How do you keep everything organized?”
One word: LISTS.
I love lists. Like Brock in Anchor Man loves lamp. I depend on lists to get me through my day, to launch products and services, to keep my podcast episodes organized, to manage my workflows, and everything in between.
Of all the lists I use, there are 10 Lists Bloggers Need in order to help you run your blogging biz more efficiently and make your life so much easier.
Before we get into the lists you need, it’s important for you to create a home for these lists. Do NOT use a bunch of post-it notes or random pieces of paper. My recommendation is a spreadsheet – one singular spreadsheet with tabs for each list.
Not sure how to make a spreadsheet? Take THIS free course first, create one in Google Drive, then come back to this post and create your lists.
10 LISTS BLOGGERS NEED
There are way more than 10 lists that I use on the daily, but these 10 lists are my sanity savers and help me run my bloggy biz more efficiently.
LIST #1: FEATURES & GUEST POSTS
Keep a running list of links to posts or blogs on which you have been featured or shared a guest post. These links are essentially your online resume or examples of your authority in your niche.
You can link to these in other relevant posts on your blog, share them in your media kit, use them to help you land speaking gigs, etc.
LIST #2: AFFILIATE LINKS
I don’t know about you, but I have a bunch of affiliate links for various products, services, and websites I use and love to recommend. Rather than trying to dig through your emails to find the links every time you need one, or forgetting you even have an affiliate link for something, keep a running list.
When you write a blog post that mentions one of these products or services, you’ll have easy access to the link. And, the next time you see someone ask for a referral for a particular kind of product or service, you can easily grab and share your affiliate link as you sing its praises.
LIST #3: CONTENT UPGRADES
I won’t even get into what they are and why you should be using them. You can go HERE for that. But I do recommend keeping a list of all the blog posts that have content upgrades in them, and links to the actual upgrade.
I get emails from people who forgot where they put their PDF and ask me to resend it, or I repurpose some of my content upgrades as part of some course material. It’s nice to have them all in a handy list so I can just grab the link to send wherever I need to send it.
LIST #4: LOGINS & PASSWORDS
Duh. Do I really need to explain this one? I have a bazillion and one logins and passwords, and forget them all the time, so I have to have a list handy.
Plus, if something happens to me and I’m out of commission for a while, it’s nice to know my husband can login to my sites and take care of things if I need him to do so….not that he’d know what to do once he was logged in, but we won’t talk about that.
LIST #5: COLLABS
Oh, how I love a good collaboration! (Want to put one together? Click HERE for a great email pitch.) I’m currently neck-deep in my latest collab project, the Blog Fuel podcast, and there are a lot of moving parts to track.
I keep lists of people I want to collab with, as well as lists of ideas for types of collabs. Each collaboration that I’m currently working on then gets its own spreadsheet to keep up with all the nitty gritty details.
LIST #6: POST IDEAS
Raise your hand if you were trying to go to sleep one night and thought of a phenomenal blog post idea. (Me!) Or you’re out and about and suddenly inspiration strikes.
Keep a running list – in your phone, in a notebook, wherever – of all of these great ideas. When you have a little extra time, open up a draft in WordPress and make notes about this topic idea. That way, when you have time to write the post, you’re ready to go!
LIST #7: LOCATION OF FORMS & EMAIL LINKS
I learned this the hard way. When I made the switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit, I had to update the sign-up forms all over my blog, as well as any text or image links that linked to my sign-up form.
For several weeks after making the switch, I was still getting notifications of subscribers to my old MailChimp list and it took me forever to figure out where they were coming from. Had I made a list of all that goodness from the beginning, I could have used it as a checklist to make those changes and saved myself the headache.
LIST #8: SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
Part of my blog writing tasks include writing three tweets and a Facebook post for every blog post, and all of those tweets and Facebook posts are saved in a spreadsheet. Why not just write them on the fly and move on?
Well, my friend, I hope you don’t think you can share social media posts about your most recent blog post once and call it done. When I schedule my Buffer for the week, I use pre-written tweets from new and older blog content to keep eyeballs on it. I also use that Facebook blurb for each post in my Weekly Digest emails. Less work for me if I write it once and share it over & over.
LIST #9: HASHTAGS
We use hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to get more eyes on our content. Make lists of your most-used hashtags so you can copy & paste them easily.
Particularly for Instagram, consider creating several categories of hashtags that relate to whatever you share on your Instagram account. For example, the hashtags I use when I talk about email marketing are slightly different than the hashtags I use when I promote a new product or service, or share general blog tips.
LIST #10: NEVER-ENDING TO-DO LIST
You know you have this already, but it just might be living in your head. Every time you think of something that you need to do to your blog, write it down. From now on, when you have a few spare minutes, pick one thing from this list and get it done.
Chipping away at those tedious tasks over time makes them so much more manageable, and having them all written down in one list means you’ll actually be able to accomplish them instead of just stressing about them.
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