Organization Tips and Tricks:
Hi, I’m Lori; I’m the ‘owner/founder’ of the Contagious Reads. I’ve been blogging for more than two years, and have had my fair share of ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot in those past two years. One of the things I learned is that I’m not the greatest when it comes to being organized. If it weren’t for all the little tricks I found in the past two years of blogging I would probably be drowning in a pool of my own stress tears. It’s amazing how much these little things help me out. Most of them are simple things that most people probably use, unless you’re like me and have to learn to be organized the hard way.
- Get a Calendar: I know, I know. DUH! At the very least utilize Blogger or WordPress’s scheduling tool. I have missed posts simply because I didn’t write them down and the email got buried. After having this happen I started scheduling things in my Blogger blog as soon as I got the confirmation email. I really should keep a physical calendar as a backup, but I’ve got this disease called ‘Lazy’. So this is what I use now.
WordPress: I use this amazing plug-in called the WordPress Editorial Calendar. It’s laid out like a calendar and with a simple click of a button I can go in and easily see what we have happening on the blog for months to come. This plug-in is FREE!
- Back up your Blog: I know this seems like it doesn’t really help you stay on task. But it’s something that should be done, and done often. Having your blog deleted or lost is something that can be a huge setback. I know. I’ve had it happen. One day it was on Blogger, and the next it wasn’t. I was lucky, Google gave me my blog back and I very quickly jumped ship to a self-hosted WP blog. And no, I didn’t have a current back up when my blog was deleted.
Blogger Backup: There are some really good tutorials out there on how to do it. :Parajunkee has one. She also shows how to back up WordPress blogs in that one too.
WordPress (Self- Hosted) Backup: I use a plugin called UpDraftPlus. It does all sorts of cool stuff. But I just use it to back up my blog weekly. This plug-in is FREE!
- Organize your email: This is something I struggle with all the time. But I find the few extra minutes I spend cleaning out and organizing my email really helps.
- Keep a blog schedule: Now this is different from scheduling your blog posts. This is something that works for us, and might not appeal to everyone else. What we do is we set out a ‘type of posts’ schedule to help balance our creative original posts vs. promotional posts. So for example you could say; Blog Tours on Sunday through Thursday only, Friday and Saturday are for original posts. Reviews are allowed every day. I just like knowing that when someone comes to my blog they are rewarded with things other than book blitzes. Which are fine, but when you see the same book blitz on five different blogs you’re not going to stick around to see it again.
- Keep a Review Diary: This is something I just started. I am so scatterbrained that I sometimes forget what books I bought, and what books I took on for review. I know some people use their physical shelves for paperbacks, and categories on their e-reader. I’m a pen and paper girl. If I write it down. I’ll remember it. I also list them in order of when I need to have them done.
- Odds and Ends Plug-ins for WP: I know not everyone uses WP. I didn’t. There is still a diehard Blogger girl in me. I will say that if the day ever comes where I have to move back to blogger or another free platform I will miss the crap out of my plug-ins. Here are a few more of my favorites that help me be a more efficient blogger.
Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-in: After purchasing my hosting, the first thing I bought was the UBB. You just type in the information and it formats the post for you. How cool is that? It also keeps your reviews organized, adds an about the author box to the end of your posts (if you tell it to and fill out the info), and has built in rating stars, FTC and content warning labels. The UBB is $35 but I got it on sale for half price. So keep a look out because she does do sales occasionally.
SumoMe Image Sharer: We all know how hard it is to reach an audience, especially on social media sites. This plugin lets me share pictures from my posts easily. And we all know that photos are more eye catching than text. It eliminates the need to copy/past an image from my blog. Any picture at all. SumoMe has some other plug-ins that are really cool too. The list builder helps you get more email subscribers if you utilize it. The best part is that they are all FREE!
- Give yourself a break. Each of us is only human. Getting behind happens to most of us because we all have lives outside of this crazy little blogging world. And don’t forget to read non-review books from time to time. We all do this because to read.