EPISODE 012: THE POWER OF PLANNING AND SCHEDULING WITH ALIDA RYDER
Blog Title: Simply Delicious
About Alida: I started Simply Delicious after being a stay-at-home-mom to my twins, Aidan and Abigail for a year. I used to be a Met-up and hair artist and had always loved food so I thought blogging would be a good way to indulge my love of cooking and my creative side.
After only 2 years, Simply Delicious has become one of the top food blogs in South Africa. Now, 10 years later, the blog is our family’s sole source of income and employs both myself and my husband.
Notes from Episode #012: The Power of Planning and Scheduling
Fun fact: Alida lives in South Africa! You’ll notice her accent right away and enjoy listening to the show to hear more of it.
Alida notes that when she’s calm, her family is calm too. So learning to embrace planning and scheduling helped her personally and professionally.
Simply Delicious is a husband and wife team. Alida’s husband handles all their back end of the site as well as filming and editing video. This allows Alida to focus on recipe development, scheduling, cooking and blogging.
Alida used to post when and if she had content. Previously she had been working on commercial and editorial content for clients as well as trying to run a blog alongside - the workload was intense.
In 2018, Alida’s blog’s income had increased enough to supplement the client work so they decided not to accept any more freelance work. Their focus became Simply Delicious.
Because Alida had a busy job and a full family life with being a mom of 2 x 10 year olds, who had their own school schedules, she knew she had to get organized. Planning and scheduling became important so her family could take holidays together and she could enjoy them and not have to work.
Planning and scheduling give you freedom to do the things you want or take time off to spend time doing what is necessary or important.
Peace of mind comes with scheduling out your content.
Alida started scheduling out every single day. Alida went through a lot of trial and error but figured out a way to schedule weeks so they could be more productive. Google Trends was a helpful tool that let her know which content would be good to schedule and when in the year to do it.
Alida currently has content scheduled through January 2020 and just under a month’s content ready and waiting. Her goal is to get to 3 months of content done and dusted.
She leaves about 30% of her recipes open-ended/unscheduled for last minute popular ingredients or food themes to be brought into the schedule but the rest are tightly scheduled so she won’t have to think about that content.
The more Alida sticks to remaining in planning mode, the easier it is to turn out ideas. However, Alida cautions that If that doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t pressure yourself to do it.
Alida uses Google calendar and color codes her posts so she and her husband can stay on track.
Alida enjoys seeing numbers - so she went to put a number to show herself and us what planning has done for their business.
Income up 42% June 2018 - June 2019
Traffic 29% year over year
Because they’ve been consistent and diligent with planning and scheduling and putting up new content, they’ve seen success.
Alida suggests that you take some time with pen and paper and ask yourself some questions:
What are you working with at the moment?
Is this schedule working for you?
What do you want to do? Are you happy with it?
If the answer leads you to you want to grow your blog, your business, she recommends adding one more day a week of posting content to make a baby step. Look at Google and determine what days perform the best? Shoot for that.
Map out for yourself what are your goals for the year and then work backwards from that to try to attain your goal(s). They can be things like:
Make and stick with a grocery list
Stick to a cooking schedule
Find short cuts to help make you reach that goal (i.e. buying prepared rice that’s a side for the main dish you’re preparing to cut down the cooking time)
Only you know what your schedule looks like. So it won’t matter if you have to move other items up in the calendar to schedule to help you get back on track to meet your goals.
Helpful references from the episode:
Hashtag Jeff offers a course that is incredibly valuable.
There are many blogging Facebook groups to join.