Sorry for the delay in this week’s blogging tip! #LifeHappened over the weekend. Nonetheless today’s informative post reveals my strategy in keeping organized with regards to my weekly content. It involves an age-old concept many of us probably retired after we graduated school and didn’t need an agenda to remember assignments due. Well the nerd in me kept this very handy idea in mind when it came to my blog’s structure each week; from scheduling posts to keeping track of what should arrive in the mail.
I’m talking about writing LISTS
Now I’m a natural list writer and I have been for years, so adopting this idea when organizing my weekly posts and staying up-to-date was not a question. However for those of you that tend to rely more on “memory” with upcoming dates/schedules, I can PROMISE you there’s no way you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed, especially the busier you get with your brand’s success. Besides writing a list can be done on any device these days with something called “Microsoft Word” so there really isn’t a reason not to think about list writing/typing; it’ll only benefit you, I promise.
Since I find myself remembering specific things through the physical act of writing, I keep all my lists in a specialized lined notebook small enough for easy carry yet large enough to write neatly. This allows me to write anything down, wherever I am, if something comes to mind. The best part about creating lists is that it’s totally customizable to your schedule and organizational tactics.
Here are the (4) Lists I Write/Use Most Frequently when it comes to keeping my weekly content organized and myself on track with dates and brand partnerships:
– WEEKLY POSTING SCHEDULE
Remembering what posts I have scheduled for each day of the week can get confusing, especially when each day of the week is assigned to a specific sponsored post for a brand. The importance of remembering what day you assign what post to is crucial. For starters, the brand being featured is compensating you in monetary terms, so not delivering on your promised post date previously agreed upon should be treated essentially like a “breach in contract.” On top of that failed delivery, you damage your reputation with the brand you’re working with which might close doors to any future collaborations.
It’s important to deliver when you say you will and follow through on your end as a blogger when it comes to sponsored posts. Therefore, keeping a Monday-Friday list of drafted/expected posts allows you to know exactly when each feature is expected to go live and helps you avoid any issues down the road with failed organization.
POSTING SCHEDULE LIST EXAMPLE:
MONDAY (DAY OF WEEK)
– TOBI.COM (BRAND TO FEATURE) | 9:00 AM EST (TIME SCHEDULED TO GO LIVE)
– BLOG TIP (SECOND POST, IF APPLICABLE) | 2:00 PM EST (SAME ABOVE)
– INCOMING PACKAGES
The busier your blog gets (which is a great thing!) the more frequent your daily deliveries become. I have at least 4 packages arriving for me daily, Monday – Saturday, from brands I’m working with for featured posts. However, there have been many times when an agreed upon package for a brand post fails to arrive. Of course, this becomes very frustrating on my end because I’ve assigned a specific spot on my calendar to plan this brand post around – so when the package doesn’t arrive in the time expected, my entire schedule gets thrown off and other posts become delayed. The domino effect of this can lead to trouble if I don’t do extreme damage control with the other brands I promised to post for.
What I’ve started to do is create a list of INCOMING packages to expect from brands that I’ve agreed to work on. I make sure to include the following info next to the package listed to remind myself when the agreement was made, in case I need to write a follow-up email promptly after the expected delivery date passes.
INCOMING LIST EXAMPLE:
TOBI.COM (BRAND NAME)
– SHORTS/DRESS (ITEMS IN PACKAGE)
– MAY 17 (DATE OF ORIGINAL EMAIL)
– MAY 20 (DATE OF DELIVERY, IF APPLICABLE)
– MAY 24 (POST DATE, EXPECTED)
– EMAIL: JANE DOE (REMINDER TO INFORM BRAND CONTACT)
If a package fails to arrive, you should definitely send a follow-up email to the PR contact of the brand that you originally heard from. It’s not considered nagging if 1) they’re the ones that reached out to you first and 2) you have a schedule to stick to with other clients. At the end of the day, if you fail to receive an update on a package’s delivery and more than a week (unless expected later delivery) goes by, then you’re only benefitting yourself and the disorganized brand by sending a follow up reminder.
FOLLOW UP EMAIL EXAMPLE:
– BRANDS TO FEATURE/POST
Now once those packages arrive, it’s important to keep track of what needs to be featured to your site. I always write a list of BRANDS TO FEATURE/POST and indicate what dates they are intended to go live (if applicable.) This allows me to organize my OOTD selection for when I shoot my outfits for the following week.
When I get the images I need and draft the post completely, that’s when I can cross the brand item off the list and breathe a sigh of relief it’s completed. I then send an email to the PR contact of the brand and let them know what day to expect the post to go live, as well as a screenshot draft of the post itself if they request. *Note: I never cross the brand off the list unless I physically draft a post with it being featured – many times I shoot images and end up hating what I originally put together; therefore, not posting it. If I cross out the brand after taking images, then I lose track of what actually has been scheduled to be posted and what needs a re-shoot.
– LOOKS TO PHOTOGRAPH
Since I shoot close to 5-7 outfits in one day for my content the following week, keeping track of what I actually put together was very difficult (especially in the early morning.) Since I travel to most of my shoot locations and change into each look packed in a suitcase, having a list of each look in full item description allows me to remember what I styled together without having to use too much brainpower in memory.
Simply writing your looks out as you try them on keeps the style you pick out fresh on the mind as well – plus, this is where having a notebook is very helpful as you can easily pack it with you when you travel to your shoot location.
This also allows you to make sure certain items get photographed that might be forgotten about – especially when it comes to jewelry and certain accessories. I’ve definitely shot a great look and been so satisfied, only to realize I forgot a necklace that NEEDS to be incorporated in the post I photographed for. Trust me, when you shoot 5-7 outfits at once you really don’t want to shoot any “do-overs” if you can help it.
LOOKS TO PHOTOGRAPH LIST EXAMPLE:
white dress, nude heels, red bag
ruffle shorts, blue sneakers, crop top, gold necklace
beach cover-up, black & white tote bag, round sunglasses