How to Create a Workflow for Your Blog Posts
Workflows can help you streamline your work, and they give you a predictable routine to follow. They’re ideal for large, involved projects, especially when the projects involve more than one person. Even your blog post writing process can benefit from a workflow, especially considering how time-consuming it can be to go from brainstorming a post to scheduling it on social media.
Having a workflow in place for your blog post process gives you a schedule to follow and can help you plan out your time better. If you’re hesitant to create a workflow for your blog posts because it’s such a big project, now’s the time to bite the bullet and dive in.
The process I’ll outline below will help make workflow creation effortless. Plus, I’ve got a handy workflow cheat sheet that you can use to help you create your own workflow.
How to Create a Workflow
Write Down Every Step You Do
The first step in creating a workflow is knowing exactly what steps you perform for your project. Close your eyes and imagine yourself going through your blog post process. Write down everything you do, even the smallest blog post related task.
Right now, it doesn’t matter if your tasks are in order or not. If you remember a task that you do at the beginning of your process that accidentally got left out of the list, just add it to the end and keep walking through your process. You’ll want to go through your process mentally a few times to ensure that you’ve listed out all of your steps.
Pro tip: The next time you write a blog post, be aware of the steps you go through and check them off against the list you created. If you find you forgot to write down a step, add it to the list.
Once you have all of your steps on your list, go through and organize them from start to finish. This will help you create the first overview of your blog post process.
Create Task Bundles
After you have all of your steps written down and organized from first to last, you’re going to go through the list and circle the tasks that you often perform together in one sitting. I like to call these groups of tasks “Task Bundles.”
For example, if you format your blog post, create graphics, and then add them to your post all at once, then circle all three of those tasks. You just made a Task Bundle. Start at the beginning of your list and work your way down, circling the tasks you do together.
You may find that some of the tasks are left by themselves. If they’re a more involved task, like writing the blog post, you can leave them as a single task. However, if you have several smaller tasks left out, consider which Task Bundle they would naturally fit with.
If the task “Add graphics to blog post” is left out on its own, you could add it to the Task Bundle that includes creating the blog post graphics. That way, you’d go from creating the graphics to adding them to your blog post all in one sitting with no major task-switching involved.
Fit the Bundles in Your Schedule
Now that you have your Task Bundles established, estimate how long each of the bundles will take. If you really have no idea how long a bundle will take, try tracking your time using a time tracking tool. My favorite one for personal use is Toggl.
Once you’ve assigned a time requirement to each bundle, it’s time to add them to your schedule. The easiest way to do this is to look at your schedule in terms of open and closed blocks of time. Google Calendar makes this part particularly easy.
If you need to, you can create a new calendar for your blog post workflow. You can call it “Blog Post Workflow Calendar”, or something similar to let you know exactly what that calendar is for. Mark off all of the times during which you’re busy. If you have a 9 to 5, mark off that time in your Calendar. If you have a regular weekly schedule and do client work on specific days, mark those off.
After you’ve blocked off the time you won’t be available to work on your blog posts, look at the remaining time you have. Fit your Task Bundles into your calendar by time requirement and chronological order.
If you have a 30-minute gap between finishing client work for the day and making supper, fit a 30-minute Task Bundle in there. Just be sure that you’re not trying to put the cart before the horse by scheduling a Task Bundle that includes editing your blog post before you actually write your blog post.
Keep Track of Where You Are
With your task bundles figured out, you’ll need a way to keep track of them and determine where you are in your workflow. This is where a Master Workflow Sheet comes in handy. Write out your new workflow (divided by bundles) in your master sheet, along with the due dates for each bundle.
If you’re a paper person, you can tape your workflow sheet to your office wall, so you’ll see it often and check off which task bundles you’ve done. If you’re like me and prefer a more high-tech approach, you can transfer your workflow into your favorite organizational app. Mine is Trello, but Asana would work just as well.
Simplify With Workflows
Creating workflows not only saves you time and stress, but it makes your processes easier to replicate. If you wanted to hire a VA to take over the more tedious parts of your blog post process (like formatting and scheduling on social media), you already have a clear workflow in place that explains how to do things.
Don’t forget to grab your Workflow Cheat Sheet for a peek at my blog post workflow along with a template to help you create yours.
Ardelia Lee is a content roadmap engineer and copywriter who helps small business owners create intentional, goal-oriented content that supports long-term business growth. When she's not scheming with her clients, you can find her curled up with an obnoxiously long novel and a warm cup of coffee. She'd love it if you connected with her on Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.