How To Plan, Schedule And Promote A Blog

20 Aug 2018

This blog launched back in March 2018, 5 months ago. It grew slowly at first, but I've seen a big boost in views and engagement recently. Yay! This post contains a lot of information about how to plan, schedule and promote a blog post and other content, and I'll tell you exactly what I do with mine. Don't forget to grab your free scheduling calendar while you're here from the Resources section. Here's a list of everything that will be covered:

 

The Basics of Blogging

Where do I host my blog?

How do I use SEO?

Where do I find free images for my blog?

How often should I post?

What other essentials do I need to know when starting a blog?

 

Planning Content

How to plan a blog post

How to plan resources

How to plan and schedule promotional content for social media

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

 

10 Ways To Promote Your Blog Post

 

Calendar


My Blogging Checklist And Other Organising Tools

 

 

Let's start by outlining some basics about how to start a blog, really briefly for those who are even newer than me to this. Then I'll go over how I manage my blog- from planning and scheduling content to promotion and how to actually get people to read your blog!

 

 

The Basics Of Blogging

 

Where do I host my blog?

I use Wix and Wix Blog (old version). Wix is free but I pay for a premium membership which includes my own domain- www.amodestargument.com and some other functions.

 

How do I use SEO?

This means search engine optimisation and it's essential to get your pages to show up in search results on Google and to draw people into reading what you produce. It involves knowing what your key words are (what people might search to find your content) and knowing where to place them- as your titles, in the 'alt tags' of images, in your meta descriptions, and throughout your posts. To find out more about SEO join our NEW Facebook group A Modest Community and learn from other bloggers!

 

Where do I find free images for my blog?

You shouldn't just use any image you find and include it in your own content because it may be copy written. There are loads of free websites to find images that you can use, often with no credit necessary. I use unsplash.com and pexels.com. The image that will show up when you share the link of your page shouldn't be too big, otherwise it may not load. Generally I download the smaller version of the files from Pexels, which are around 640px x 640px. Personally I'm no photographer, but you could always use your own. Don't forget to edit the 'alt tags' as mentioned above!

 

How often should I post?

Aim for consistency, and quality over quantity. That's my advice!

 

What other essentials do I need to know when I start a blog?

Let people subscribe to you and have an easy way for them to sign up to notifications of new blog posts and other things you can offer them. Create social media accounts for your blog - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus and whatever else you're familiar with. It'll take some time to build an audience on each platform, and we'll go over ways to do this and how to use the different platforms to promote your blog further down this post.

 

Planning Content

 

There are several types of content which I plan that are a part of promoting the blog. I'll go over them separately below.

 

How to plan a blog post

I plan my posts in a notebook rather than electronically. First I write down ideas for titles, these will be any topic or concept that I want to explore, and will probably not be the final title. Examples of good blog post titles I had in my planner are 'Why Muslim Women Must Wear Hijab' which turned into this post, and 'Gaslighting' which became this post.

 

Once I have a title written down, I plan the content of that blog post on its own page. This includes main points I plan to cover and ways to encourage followup engagement, ie. directing the readers to a resource or asking for a specific share on social media. 

 

When I have several posts written down like this, I can choose what I'm going to write about when a new post is due- or if I'm being really productive then I might write it in advance and schedule it.

 

How to plan resources

I plan my resources in the same way as I plan my blog posts, but sometimes only a list is necessary. Often ideas for resources will come when I'm actually writing a post, and I don't produce resources as often as blog posts so they don't require as much planning.

 

How to plan and schedule promotional content for social media

I have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus specifically for A Modest Argument. They're all @amodestargument or /amodestargument at the end of the URL which is important to make it easy for people to find them. I'll cover how to use different social media platforms to promote blog posts, how to schedule your social media and I'll explain what kind of content I post and how I plan it.

 

Facebook

I use the integrated Facebook page scheduler to manage content on the Facebook page and post 1-3 times per day on average at what I've figured out is optimal times based on how much engagement my posts get at these times (for my page that's at around 9am, 3pm and 6pm).

 

I schedule and post:

 

- new and old blog post links

 

- new and old blog post excerpts, usually with a link in the comments or as a short url without the preview

 

- verses from the Qur'an and hadith, and duas, as text and sometimes as images created on Canva, all of which you can find here on the Motivation page

 

- inspirational quotes usually from famous people relating to Islam and social issues, as text and sometimes as Canva images, also on the Motivation page

 

- my other social media profile links and follow requests for them 

 

- questions and comments to engage followers

 

- relevant external content including Facebook posts, links to websites and Youtube videos

 

How do I build a Facebook following for the Facebook page? Mostly from inviting Facebook friends, and this can mean joining relevant groups and first gaining new friends to invite. Create good content so people share it and encourage others to like your page. More on how to use Facebook to promote your blog posts later.

 

Instagram

I post similar content as what's on Facebook, but all with images (obviously) and usually this means the text is written on the image and the caption is generally casual comments or observations to with them, along with 30 popular but not over-popular hashtags.

 

Although you can save drafts posts within Instagram, this would often stop working for me so I stopped using it. I've recently been using Tailwind's free trail for Instagram scheduling and it's SO much better being able to write out the captions on a desktop, and schedule 1-2 posts per day at optimal times determined by Tailwind.

 

How do I gain Instagram followers? I follow other people! I like and comment on other posts and I don't unfollow people. Aim to actively include hashtags well, using popular hashtags but not over-popular ones which you can check by searching them and seeing how many results they have. If they have millions of results, then the results page is going to move fast and your post may not be easily seen. I switch up the order of my hashtags often as apparently Instagram starts to make them ineffective if you use the same sequence a lot. 

 

Twitter

I use tweetdeck.twitter.com to schedule all my tweets, with most of the same content as on Facebook but with text only. I have separate lists on Twitter for general bloggers, Muslim writers and bloggers, and community organisers and activists and I'll use these lists to retweet lots of relevant content throughout the day along with thoughts and questions that come to mind.

 

Twitter moves fasts and posts are generally on the feed for a lot less time than with Facebook, so you can post much more frequently and even repost the same content without appearing spammy.

 

How do I gain twitter followers for my blog? Like with Instagram, I follow other people and don't unfollow. I use blogger follower trains occasionally but this wont always result in higher engagement because the people who follow back might just not be interested in your kind of blog. Post good content that people will want to retweet and share and post your own blog links often with a variety of captions to mix it up a bit.

 

Pinterest
Pinterest is my new found friend. I used Pinterest before my blog launched but not often and not properly. It's a visual search engine and allows you to create different boards to save different types of pins (images with links), post to other boards with multiple collaborators, and all of these pins will show up on individual feeds who follow you or have searched something similar to your key words included in your image title. I use Canva (also my new found friend) to create lots of images really quickly using several different templates, personalising them with images and catchy blog titles.

 

On Pinterest, I post images which contain:

 

- a variety of catchy titles for the same posts (Ones like 'How To-' and '5 ways  to-' are good as an example of good blog titles) I note these down in my notebook and tick them off when I've made an image for each title

 

- verses from the Quran, hadith and duas as above

 

- quotes and comments as above

 

As an example of boards for Pinterest, mine are:

 

- A Modest Argument board with 3 sections for blog posts, Quran and Sunnah, and Inspirational and Motivational Quotes (this board contains my content only that links to different parts of the website, each board below contains my own content as well as other people's content)

 

- Islam

 

- Islamic Opinions - Blog Posts

 

- Quran Verses and Ahadith

 

- Social Opinion - Blog Posts

 

- Community Resources

 

- Blog Business

 

- Inspirational and Motivational Quotes

 

- Writing Tips and tricks

 

As you can tell, I'm able to pin the same content multiple times into different boards to keep it circulating. If you want to check out or join any of my boards just click on the names to take you there and message me on Pinterest so I can add you!

 

How do I schedule my Pinterest Pins? I use Tailwind and you can try Tailwind for free here. It's proving worth the cost- my unique monthly viewers jumped from 8.3k to 23k in two days after I started scheduling Tailwind properly using Canva images and repinning other people's pins a lot (apparently this is important and you should repin other content more than you pin your own content). In less than a week some of my blog posts views have increased by the hundreds and that's definitely a benefit of Pinterest and Tailwind!

 

10 Ways To Promote Your Blog Posts

 

How do I promote my blog posts? The main methods of promoting blog posts I use are posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest as I've covered above. These in addition to good SEO practice are the obvious ones. One other important way of promoting your own blog is by using is using Facebook groups. Facebook groups have proved really useful in increasing the reach and likes of my Facebook page, as well as increasing views on blog posts.

 

Here's a list of 10 ways to promote your blog post:

 

1. Post on your personal Facebook at optimal times

 

2. Post on your Facebook Page at optimal times, and share this again on your personal Facebook

 

3. Post in lots of Facebook groups at different intervals

 

4. Post on Instagram with useful hashtags at optimal times. Use Tailwind to make it easier

 

5. Post on Twitter, again and again and again, use Tweetdeck to make it easier

 

6. Post on Google Plus, with the text and a link

 

7. Post on Pinterest multiple times to multiple boards, using different images and a variation of catchy titles. Use Tailwind to make it easier

 

8. Claim your blog on bloglovin' so your posts appear automatically on there

 

9. Send out your posts automatically to subscribers, and make sure you've made it easy for people to sign up and actively request them to subscribe

 

10. Send to friends and family through Whatsapp and tag them in your social media shares

 

Calendar

 

With lots of different platforms to manage, and a lot of cross-posting as well as unique posting happening, it's essential for me to keep some kind of calendar and record of what's been scheduled and what needs planning. I use a spreadsheet do to this. This spreadsheet involves the months, days, types of content and other lists including a list of 30 Facebook groups that I share my blog posts in almost every week.

 

You can download a free calendar template with instructions from the Resources page.

Just subscribe for your password here.

 

Stuck for content ideas? Join our Facebook group for inspiration, A Modest Community here.

 

My Blogging Checklist And Other Organising Tools

 

I organise my blog using both a notebook as well as my laptop. In my notebook I plan my blog posts as mentioned above, and also keep a list of things I might need to review.

 

My blogging checklist looks like this:

 

1. Any website updates?

 

2. Next post scheduled?

 

3. New resources?

 

4. FB group sharing?

 

5. Draft images to schedule on Tailwind?

 

6. Blog pin images to create on Canva?

 

7. Motivational images to create?

 

8. Twitter scheduling?

 

9. FB scheduling? 

 

10. Buffer scheduling?

 

11. Google Plus update?

 

13. Blog text saved?

 

14. Comments/replies to respond to?

 

15. Invite to like the FB page/follow new people?

 

I wont do each task every day, but this list prompts me to review what needs to be done urgently and what tasks can be done in advance so that I don't have to worry about it for a while. 

 

Finally, other folders and documents I use to organise my blog are saved on Dropbox and include:

 

- a word document of Islamic content like Qur'an verses, ahadith, duas and quotes that are yet to be scheduled

 

- a word document for general quotes yet to be scheduled

 

- mailing list information

 

- blog links, so they're easy to find rather than going through the website

 

- actual blog text, just in case anything happens to the online blog and I lose the content

 

- hashtag list

 

It's a lot, right? But don't let it put you off. Managing a blog and knowing people read and relate to your words and use your resources is great, Alhamdulillah (all praise and thanks belongs to God alone).

 

If you want to connect with other bloggers and people involved in Islamic and community work, why not join our Facebook group: A Modest Community

 

Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE at the top of the page and connect through the social media links across the website!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Please reload

Please reload