How to create and work with a blog plan – A guide for freelance writers

how to create a blog plan
planning flickr photo shared by yasuoogle under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

If you’re working in the world of freelance writing, chances are you’ll be asked to come up with blog topics at some time or another. This task can seem simple, but after you’ve come up with a few titles, you may start wondering what on earth you’re going to write about next month! Below are some easy to follow steps (after briefing your client) for creating and filling out your blog plan:

Get Organized First

You’ll need to get all of your ideas in one place and in a way that you can keep track of them. Spreadsheets are a great way to work on this. Use one tab for actual posts that are in progress or have been published and another sheet for ideas. On the in progress or published tab you can keep track of the title, category, due date, publishing date, and any other details you’d like to track. The other tab is for ideas, so you can usually just have categories and titles on this sheet.

Categories

This is a way to organize your ideas – not only for yourself, but for your readers. Most clients or blog pages already have categories made. Use these if you have them, and then ask if you can add more. If you can, this can be a way to expand your content and also will give you more ideas to work with. When considering categories, you’ll want content that relates to the main topic of the blog. For example, a blog for a gym may include categories such as: Exercising On Your Own, Group Classes, Healthy Eating, Exercise Apparel and Lifestyle.

Brainstorming

Once you have some categories set, it’s time to brain storm. Think of as many blog titles as you can for each category and put them in your “ideas” tab of your blog plan sheet. You can write as many titles as you want here, as you’re not prioritizing them at this point. Once you’ve got as many ideas as you can think of recorded, it’s time to get some more inspiration. Look at other websites promoting similar products or ideas. Check out the news. Snoop around and see what stands out to you. Then, come up with your own unique titles based on your research. Don’t copy – this is for inspiration only.

Prioritize

Now that you have a nice base of titles, you can start prioritizing based on your client’s needs or your interest in writing them! One way to prioritize is placing the titles you’ve picked in the main tab with due dates. You can reorder them so that the upcoming posts on top.

Once you’ve started your blog plan, be sure to keep it up and repeat the steps to rebuild your title list. By keeping track of your titles, you’ll also be sure not to repeat topics. Once you’ve started, you’ll find that you don’t have such a hard time coming up with new posts and writer’s block will trouble you less and less.

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