Welcome to day 9 of #BookBlogWriMo! Today we’re talkin’ bout that #blogflow.
So if you can’t already tell from some of my other #BookBlogWriMo and Bumblings Blog Tips posts, I’m a bit of an organizational and productivity nerd. Actually, a bit of a nerd in general, but this is neither the time nor place to talk about the TARDIS onesie I’m currently wearing.
But yeah, I love coming up with anal retentive workflows and systems when it comes to my book blog, even though I try not too treat it too much like a job or business instead of a hobby (which isn’t to say I don’t take it seriously).
I’ve built workflows for reviews, blogging tips, and blog tours, all with varying degrees of complicatedness. One, two, three, let’s #blogflow!
My Review Workflow
When I receive an ARC, I send it to my Kindle create a card for it in my Trello workflow as soon as possible, with it starting in the “To Read” list. If my review needs to be posted by a certain date, I add that as the due date.
Creating the Trello card also adds the due date to my editorial calendar on GCal and a blank note to jot down my thoughts in Evernote (read more about the blogging tools I use).
Once I finish the book, I move the Trello card to the “To Review” list on my Trello board. I also head over to the note in Evernote and make a quick bulleted list of things I want to mention in my review – initial thoughts, aspects I liked, aspects I didn’t, etc.
After I make that quick list, I add a link to it in the comments of the Trello card and move the card into the “To Post” list, which signifies that work for the review has been done, but the full-fledged blog post still needs to be put together.
I archive the Trello card once the review is scheduled. Once the post is live, a Zapier zap will add the URL to the Google spreadsheet I use to keep track of which reviews I’ve cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
Note: If the ARC came from NetGalley, I write my full review there as soon as possible. In the link section, I enter the link that my blog review will have. If the review isn’t live yet, I indicate that in the link’s title. For example, I just submitted a NetGalley review that won’t be live on my blog until Tuesday. So I titled the review link “Book Bumblings Review (Scheduled for 11/11/14).”
For Books I Buy:
I’m much more relaxed for books I buy, since I’m not obligated to post a review on a certain day. They usually skip the Trello board, since I use that as a to-do list and editorial calendar. I need to prioritize reading and reviewing ARCs first.
When I finish reading a book I bought/haven’t committed to a review for, I move it into a bookshelf on my Kindle called “To Be Reviewed.” I also make an Evernote note for initial thoughts and stuff. These notes are usually more detailed than the ones for ARCs since it might be months until I actually have a change to flesh them out into full reviews, and I want to be sure I remember my opinions.
My Blog Tour Workflow
Most of my blog tour stops are release day blitzes, excerpts, and reviews. I cut back on cover reveals and am also trying to cut back on release day blitzes, since as a reader, I don’t find them all that interesting or helpful most of the time.
As soon as I sign up for something through a PR company, I add it to my Trello board. For review tours, it goes through the ARC workflow mentioned above. For release day posts and excerpts, it goes directly into the “To Post” list with the publish date as the due date.
If the PR company had me enter which three dates I’d prefer or something along those lines, I set the due date as the earliest date and comment on the card with the other possible dates. This way, the due date reflects the earliest possible day I’d need to have the post finished by.
My Blogging Tips Workflow
So, I have a list of around 100 ideas for Bumblings Blog Tips. Some of them are even ideas for multi-post series. I have my favorite ideas (which I’ve also already created outlines for in Evernote) on a public Trello board that anyone can view.
Why? Because if you create a Trello account, you can vote on the ideas you want me to write the most. I always take votes into consideration when choosing what to write for the week, but if I’ve had a burst of inspiration around a certain topic, like keyboard shortcuts, or don’t have enough finished to quickly put together a post with a lot of votes, I’ll choose something else.
(I haven’t had a lot of voting activity on the Trello board except for maybe the first week I created it, so that’s another reason I write what I feel like writing…if I’m not excited about the post that day, it won’t turn out as good)
Anyway, every idea on that Trello board, along with several others, have their own notes in Evernote. Some notes are blank, some have a few sentences about what I want to say in the blog post, some have full outlines.
I work on these outlines whenever I get a chance – usually on my phone while I’m in my office’s conference room waiting for a meeting to start. Things like that. A minute here, a minute there.
Once a post is fully outlined, I’ll likely put it in my main Trello board for one of the upcoming Saturday slots (with an exception of this post since it’s not technically a Bumblings Blog Tip, BBTs are always posted on Saturdays).
Once it’s posted, I use CoSchedule (more on that in my toolkit post) to share it out. I promote BBTs a lot more than things like new release posts or reviews, since they’re more evergreen, and I’m trying really hard to be seen as a resource for book bloggers and want to make sure they see these posts.
I also go back and add it to the Bumblings Blog Tips page.
I’ll always be trying to figure out ways to better systemize my blog, because organization is awesome. What’s your blogging workflow?