“What’s a blogstorm,” you say? Well, I’m glad you asked! A blogstorm is what I’ve done to organize my content ideas and save me so much time in managing this blog that it’s almost unbelievable!
You see, I’m a super busy mom. I have 5 kids, including 4 year old twins, and homeschool all of them. Two of them (at least) have specific special needs. I sell Tupperware, and am staying quite busy with that. (Praise God!) I’m a massage therapist and about once a week (sometimes twice), I have a private clientele that comes to see me. I’m very active in my church life, including running the women’s breakfast group, playing on the worship team including learning new piano skills as we transition to live music, and this year I’m in charge of the youth and kids’ conference during the summer.
And I run this website, including working with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine as a part of the TOS Review Crew – all in addition to trying to keep up with normal family obligations including keeping a clean home. (Remember those 5 kids? And we are seldom away from the house for more than a couple of hours!) Time management is just a big deal here, and while I was also working a part-time job, we had to keep a strict routine. I haven’t had much time to write good content, besides keeping up with my review obligations.
But, in my own head, I’m quite the planner. I can totally do lists. I guess I take after my grandmother; you should see some of the things on her lists! (She even writes down things like “brush hair” sometimes. I think she just likes to be able to cross something of the list every day! HA!) So I knew that in order to help me write good content, I really needed a list.
I know that I have a TON of blog post ideas, but every time I sit down to write, I draw a blank. So, finally, I sat down and created a spreadsheet. Every “sheet” is one topic on my blog; I have 5 major categories (one for each day of the week, because I’m OCD like that).
I’m going to assume that you already have decided on a niche for your blog, and that your categories and tags are established (or at least a work in progress). Most bloggers suggest that you pick just a few categories, and then each of those categories can have subtopics.
- Family & Kids
- Character Training
- Biblical Parenting
- Beauty (DIY)
- Health & Weight Loss
- Decorating & Organizing
- Being a Godly Wife
Then I just did a brainstorm. Actually, in my own brain, I thought of it as a “blogstorm.” (LOL Again, the ocd kicks in….) I just wrote either titles or subject lines for blog post ideas. Sometimes it’s something like “How to Homeschool SERIES” without specifics. Sometimes it’s things like “you have two ears and only one mouth,” to remind me what I want to preach about. Sometimes it’s “9 Variations on Cheese Sauce,” where I totally made up that number but it’s a working title for my idea.
If it’s in your brain, get it down somewhere! MAKE A LIST!! Even an auditory list, if that works better for you. Use paper, if that works better. Just get it down.
I finally made one, and this is how I did it. I think you can easily adapt this list format to work for your own blog, and I hope it saves you some time! I’ve created an editable spreadsheet for you to make it easy.
You can edit the sheet names (just right click and choose “rename”) to match your categories, and then edit the column titles to match your subtopics. If you want to, you can stop right there and print it out so that it can be used as a hard copy with paper and pen.
When I made this planner, my first goal was to come up with a dozen post ideas for each and every subtopic. That came easily for some, and harder for others. Through the next week or so, though, many of the ideas I’ve had over the past couple of years came rushing back to me. I used the record audio function on my phone to get them “down” somewhere if I wasn’t near my computer when they came into my head.
I went back through my Pinterest boards and those sparked memories and ideas for me. I only started this system a couple of weeks ago, and right now I have over 30 content ideas for every single subtopic in the spreadsheet. In case you weren’t counting, that’s 20 topics with 30 ideas each for a grand total of 600 blog post ideas! And some of those are series ideas, or source ideas (like my recipe subtopic, for example).