Organizing Tips for Bloggers
For the regular blogger, especially somehow who manages multiple blogs, keeping everything organized can be quite the challenge. You’ve got to deal with posting schedules, brainstorming and all that other fun stuff that goes along with a presence in the blogosphere.
But here are some ideas to keep article ideas straight and hopefully keep that blog up-to-date.
Create a “To-Blog” Bookmark Folder or Tag
A popular feature on any blog are links to pages that readers might not otherwise have found on their own, but when you’re the writer, how do you keep track of all the pages you want to mention as you’re browsing the vast web?
I personally use del.icio.us to manage my bookmarks and have recently created a “to-blog” tag, which I quickly throw on any site that seems noteworthy for one the blogs I write for. When it comes time to post (or when I’m low on ideas) I just run down the items in that tag and remove them as I write about them. Kinda of a to-do list of bookmarks.
Of course, this works with any bookmark manager, though others require the creation of a folder, whereas I prefer the speed of del.icio.us’ tag system.
Use a Note-Taking App or Web-Clipping System for Saving Fast Notes
While researching for a pitch I was writing for a video game article, I came across a multi-page interview where a game I wanted to find out more about was mentioned deeper into it.
Rather than bookmarking it, then having to remember why I saved it and search the title of the game I simply hi-lighted the title and in one click, it was saved to Google Notebook, where I could access it easily, along with other titles and short paragraphs I wanted to reference (the app also saves the URL automatically, so I can go back for attribution.)
Julie Bonner’s Blog Binder
The anti-clutter blogger recently wrote a guest post on Problogger about keeping a binder to organizer her blog. It contains a work schedule, article ideas and to-do lists.
While I haven’t implemented a similar binder, I do like to have a non-computerized method of tracking all my bits and pieces. I carry a Moleskine notebook everywhere, along with a small arsenal of notepads and pens to make sure I’m always able to catch ideas as I think of them and write reminders as I, well, remember them.
Mapping Your Blog
Whether it’s graphical brainstorming like mind-mapping,concept-mapping, or straight
stream-of-consciousness writing – just dumping everything out of your brain and either onto a page or screen is one great first step in getting work done.
Outlining like this is more commonly done for longer articles, but you could also map the entire blog. For example, what is the blog about? Draw connections to anything related and what’s related to that, etc. When you start working out the connections, you should have no shortage of article ideas.
While I don’t believe any one method of mapping or spewing ideas is superior to another, my preference is just writing stream-of-consciousness on paper and using Freemind to map when I’m at a computer.