Blogs take a lot of organization, from planning the launch to writing content and setting up widgets. There’s a lot that you can learn along the way, but the earlier you know how to organize your blog life, the better. Once you have your domain name and WordPress hosting plan purchased, it’s time to make the most out of your blog.

Store Your Login Information

There are a lot of logins you’ll have to keep track of when you launch a website. You’ll need login and password information for your domain name provider, the company you purchased WordPress hosting from, your WordPress login and possibly more. There also may be access keys for some of the plugins you use that you’ll want to keep track of. Keep all of this information organized in an easy-to-access space since you’re going to be using it a lot.

Build Your Email List ASAP

There’s no time like the present to begin building an email list. It’s never too early to start one, even if you don’t have a single subscriber (other than yourself) yet. There are tons of email providers to choose from and many of them are inexpensive or even free. Not only will an email list give you an easy way to engage followers, but if anyone asks about your blog, you can direct them to the newsletter signup page so they can start automatically receiving your posts. This is a lot easier than sending out individual emails every time you write a new blog post.

Keep Track of Your Content Ideas

Odds are that once you start blogging, ideas will pop into your head several times a day. You’ll want a way to log and organize these ideas so you can access them the next time you’re ready to write. You don’t want to have to go digging through your bag to find the napkin you used to write down that amazing blog post idea. Evernote is a free note-taking application that can sync on two of your devices. You can also tag your notes so they’re easy to find. For a paid subscription, you can sync your notes on all of your devices. Alternatively, you can also use a regular journal or the Notes app on your iPhone to organize your ideas. Try to keep them separated by topic so that you can easily find what you need.

Track Your Analytics

From the very beginning, track your blog analytics. The most organized way to do this is by creating a Google Analytics account, which you’ll need a basic Google account for. Keep track of your analytics on a weekly or monthly basis in a Google Drive spreadsheet to easily compare results. Google Analytics will also let you create reports that you can export to get snapshots of how well your blog is performing. You can also use WordPress’ built-in analytics to keep track of which of your blog posts are attracting the most readers and getting the most comments.

Setup a File System on Your Computer

A lot goes into each blog post. The content itself – the words you write – is just the beginning. You’ll also have photos, resources where you got your information, meta data and more associated with each blog post. You’ll want to organize all of this so you can easily grab it later. Also, if you get questioned about where you got a photo or a fact from, you’ll want to easily be able to reference the source. Create a folder system on your computer and store information for each blog post in the same way every single time you publish. If the files start taking up too much space on your computer, compress them in zip files to free up room.

Create an Editorial Calendar

It’s always a good idea to have an editorial calendar. You won’t let important dates go by when you want to publish about certain topics. You won’t overload yourself with trying to get too much done at once because there will be a day for every topic. You also won’t have to try to remember what you wanted to post when because it will all be done on a handy calendar.

Blog Post Checklists

Every single time you post a blog post, you’ll want to do the same things to optimize, organize and promote it. Instead of trying to remember what those sequences of tasks are, create a blog post checklist. You can create one that you use across the board or you can create variations of a master checklist that you’ll use depending on the type of blog post you put up. Your checklist will include things like updating SEO, adding alt text to photos and sharing links on your social media.

Use Labels and Categories

When you use labels and categories on each of your blog posts, you make it easier for both you and your readers to find the information you’re looking for. Categories can be hierarchical on WordPress. For example, you can create a “parent” category, such as “Social Media,” and then create sub-categories under that, like, “Facebook” and “Instagram.” Labels, also called tags, cannot be created in a hierarchy and they’re great for tagging blog posts in ways that wouldn’t make good categories. For example, if you blog about social media and you post about using hashtags on your Instagram landscape photos, the categories you choose may be “Social Media” and “Instagram,” while the labels can be “hashtags,” “photography” and “landscapes.”

Since blogging is done primarily online, it’s tempting to just wing it. How out of control can it get? You’ll be surprised at how difficult it is to stick to a blogging schedule when you lose your passwords or forget all those great ideas you had last week. By staying organized, you’ll be able to spend a majority of your time doing what matters most – creating compelling content that will connect with your audience.

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