Whether you are currently a blogger or just thinking about it, you should take a look at a new blog planner released by Home Educating Family Publishing (HEDUA), creators of A Well-Planned Day Homeschool & Family Planners. HEDUA has just added My Blog Plan to its line of beautifully designed, dated yearly planners. (See our recent review of My Well-Planned Day.)
Written by A Well-Planned Day author Rebecca Keliher, My Blog Plan is designed for both newbie and experienced bloggers who want to strategically plan, organize, track and assess their blogs in a convenient planner format. Along with 18 months of monthly and weekly planning pages (a six-month bonus!), My Blog Plan also includes a complete blogging tutorial in the form of 21 helpful articles placed throughout the planner.
Here’s a video walk-through of My Blog Plan:
What I Loved About My Blog Plan
Smaller Size: In the past, I’ve used both free and for-purchase printable (PDF) blog planners that I downloaded online. Because they were printable planners, all were designed in an 8 1/2 x 11-inch format and could be either spiral bound or placed in a binder. My Blog Plan is a more portable 6 x 9-inch spiral bound planner already assembled. This works for me because I’m unlikely to tote a binder around with me, but I often plan and work on the go. Now I can stick my blog planner in my purse, along with my iPad mini, and work on our blog from anywhere.
Included Planning Pages: I found that the provided planning pages cover all my needs for planning and maintaining our blog. Going beyond just dated monthly and weekly planning pages, My Blog Plan provides overall strategy and goal pages, community and social media pages, media kit and advertiser tracking pages, and monthly assessment pages and the end of each month. I liked the way these extras were designed and presented.
Included Blogging Tutorials: Yes, you can find a lot of blogging tutorial information online for free, but why not study up on your blogging while planning your blog? Everything you need to know to start, manage and grow a blog is covered, including monetizing strategies. I think these articles are a great starting point, and you can always search online for further details or find a consultant if you’re serious about turning your blog into a business.
Attractive Design: I have to admit that I like “pretty” planners, and I’m more likely to use them if they are visually appealing to me. I appreciate that there is a diversity of color throughout, yet the page designs are consistent overall. Once again, size and portability make a difference to me when deciding whether a planner’s overall design will fit my everyday needs.
Six Bonus Months: For the price of $19.95, you receive the six remaining months of 2014 and all 12 months of 2015. It does make the planner a little thick, but I am excited about getting the bonus six months plus all of next year in one planner. One less planner purchase for next year!
What My Blog Plan Doesn’t Provide
Customization: If you like printable planners because you can customize your planner to fit your needs and print only the pages you want to use, then you may not like the fact that this planner is limited by what it contains — there’s no easy way to add pages or move things around (unless you want to take it apart and rebind it). If you have more than 60 advertisers, for example, you will run out of room on the pages provided.
Some Extras For Big Blogs: Although this planner provides enough bonus planning material for my use and for bloggers posting only once per day and running six or less product reviews and giveaways in a month, it may not be enough for higher level blogs with much more volume. If you post more than once per day, the weekly planning pages only provide space for the details of one post. There’s a page to track guest bloggers contact info, but no pages beyond that for managing site contributors and tracking their assignments, etc. If you manage more than one blog, you don’t have additional strategic planning pages for additional blogs.
Undated Pages: If you purchase this planner right now for use from July through next December, the dated pages are ready to go. However, if you like undated pages so that you can decide the scope of your planner, you might find the dated pages to be limiting. You could still use the planner as is (there are enough pages for a full 18 months no matter when you start) but would have to mark out the dates and relabel them if you plan to use them for a month other than what they are printed for.
Tabs/Dividers: There are no side-cut tabs or divider pages with tabs to separate months or sections of content. Most planners I’ve used don’t come with divider tabs, so I have my own work-around for this: I use a moveable sticky tab to mark the month I’m on, and I move it each month. Or use 18 sticky tabs and mark and label all of the months.
It’s not free: The retail price is $19.95, and there is a shipping charge (unless you find it for sale in a store or convention booth). However, you receive a lot of value in this blog planner (such as 21 tutorial articles) when compared to free blog planner downloads out there — and it is already printed, bound and ready to use. Printing blog planner pages from a PDF isn’t “free” either: Ink costs money, paper costs money, and however you choose to store or bind it will cost money. And I have yet to find a free printable blog planner that isn’t formatted for 8 1/2 x 11-inch binders, making this planner very favorable for on-the-go planners like myself.
Overall, I am really excited to use My Blog Plan to manage our NextGen Homeschool blog. It has the features I need for the volume of content we produce and the level of monetizing that we currently use, and I love the smaller size to make it easy for me to work on our blog on the go. If you’re looking for a beautifully designed, full featured blog planner to manage one blog that posts once a day or less, this planner should meet all your needs no problem!
What are you looking for in an ideal blog planner? Do you like planners that are ready to use out of the box, or do you prefer customization or binder-ready planners? Have you found the perfect blog planner that meets all of your needs? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to enter our giveaway for a new My Blog Plan blog planner!
Review Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review post but did receive a free planner for evaluation purposes. However, my opinions are entirely my own and based on a personal review of the product. We also receive a small commission for any affiliate links that are used on our site to make a purchase.