On Friday night the lovely Ffion from A South Wales blog tweeted me to say she had been reading a few of my posts and noticed I mentioned in them that I track my blog with spreadsheets, and she wanted to know what I tracked. After sending a note to Fffion on Twitter a few people were also surprised by how much I tracked with my blog organisation and why I did it, so I thought I would do a little post on what, why and how. Also, I am in no way bragging about ‘how clever and organised I am’ or saying ‘this is what you need to do to blog’. I am saying this is what I do and what I find helps me the most. I also need to say thank you to Sammie who prompted me to start tracking my stats every week after telling me on holiday it’s her new addiction. So wanna see how much of a spreadsheet nerd I am and how much I need to get out more and get a life?
I have had to remove my scheduled posts from this as I don’t want to be ruining the surprise now do I? But I plan about 5-6 weeks in advance and pop each days post title (or idea) on the schedule, these are then colour coded so I know where I am with each post. It may seem a little extreme to be this far in advance & note every post down, but as I (try to) post 6 days a week it makes it much easier for me to remember what is going out on what day and where abouts I am in the post.
I also have a section on this sheet for post ideas that I have yet to fit into my schedule or fully think out how the post will be. Plus there is a deliveries section so I can keep track of what is being sent to me, what I need to follow up and what I need to let the PR know I have received. I tend to pick my parcels up on Saturdays, but tend not to do my blog emails until Monday/Tuesday so knowing what has/hasn’t arrived makes it so much easier to remember who I need to email and why…. Yet, I am still bad when it comes to follow up emails and seriously need to up my blog organisation game there.
This little blog organisation gem came from the lovely Sammie as mentioned above. Previously I had been using Google Analytics (you can find my post on using that here) to track my page stats, and nothing to track my follower stats. Sammie mentioned she keeps all hers noted down, so the next day I opened up my schedule spreadsheet and popped another tab on for stats. It’s so much easier to just go in and have a quick check on the numbers that it is to go into GA and run reports. You can see what I track in the picture above and that I need to work on my Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram numbers as the rise in these isn’t much each week.
A quick glance at the analytics data also shows that the week 14th May – 21st May wasn’t so good for pageviews and then another quick look at my schedule shows why; I only managed to post 4 times that week. So it might seem like a lot of effort and a little bit over the top, but within 2 minutes I can see what is wrong and then figure our pretty much straight away why it went wrong.
This is for all my payments in and out relating to my blog, what payments I might be waiting for and what receipts I need to keep. If you get a couple of sponsored posts in a month it’s a good idea to keep track of what payments are coming in and when as it can be easy to forget, meaning you might miss out on a payment or get it 2 months late without realising. Also, you need to be keeping track of all this stuff for HMRC (or whichever Tax service rules your country).
I hope you haven’t fallen asleep or judging me too harshly for taking my blog organisation too seriously? I am not trying to suck the fun out of my blogging hobby, but I take my blog seriously and want it to be the best I can make it, so sticking to a schedule so far in advance keeps me on track, and stops me from getting those ‘no idea slump’ moments. I also don’t stick to it too rigidly, and if I get a post offer email I can always switch my schedule around.
Was this blog organisation post helpful at all? Maybe take something away from it or adapt little bits, also feel free (pretty please) to leave me any organisation tips on how you manage your blog/life in the comments… I am always in need of new spreadsheets.