Today we are sharing a little bit of insight into how we run our site as a two-person team that happen to live a thousand miles apart. As you can imagine, staying connected is vital for the operation of this site. We are partnering with HP today to share how the Alice & Lois team of two gets things done and we’re sharing one of our favorite planning tools – a free printable blog planner!
The thing we love the most about our HP Spectre laptops is how lightweight they are. As businesspeople and moms, we are always on the go and do not necessarily keep office hours. The new Spectre has been amazing in our creative process. The right tools can make the creative process so efficient and inspirational. The Spectre lives in our bags when we’re on the go, so we can hop on them when creativity strikes!
Read more to get the free printable blog planner…
We are a true definition of a tag-team. We both do all blog-related jobs – from shooting the pictures, to editing photos to writing the copy. But there is a vital stage before all of that – inspiration gathering and brainstorming. Once our ideas are on paper, we then put them on our computers in our digital editorial calendar. This allows us to be more efficient with our workflow, which allows us to be more creative and put out better quality content in the long run.
Here are the steps we follow:
- Inspiration gathering. We get creative ideas and inspiration from all kinds of places – nature, old books and magazines, fabric, color and design. Honestly, everywhere around us there’s inspiration. But we find that taking time for ourselves to go for walks, runs or bike rides with our girls is when our heads clear and inspiration flows.
- Blog Planner. Since there are two of us, tracking our ideas is key. We use this Free Printable Blog Planner to create high-level ideas and themes for each month. Often we use holidays, seasonal food, on-trend colors/design/techniques and what posts have been trending with our readers to focus on when coming up with ideas.
- Editorial Calendar. We use Google Calendar to map out each blog post, sponsored work, contributing work and events. This is a great tool for a team, since we both can edit and update the calendar.
- Blog Posts. Often Sara is the one to shoot the blog post and Melissa will edit photos and plan and write the editorial copy. But this can be flexible based on different variables (sick kids, vacations, other work duties, etc). That’s one of the beauties of working as a team, when you need help, you can lean on each other.
- Social Media. Sharing our posts is key in getting our content seen. We use social media platforms and sites like Craftgawker to amplify our DIY posts even more. And social media scheduling software such as Buffer help take the headache out of always being on all the channels.
A good example of how the tag-team approach works is the creation of the Free Printable Blog Planner. Sara sketched out a high-level drawing of the design she had in mind for the printable. Melissa took the hand-drawn sketch and designed it on her Spectre, using a graphic design program. A little back and forth of sharing ideas and the blog post was born.
We feel so lucky to work on this site together. Not too many sisters get to work on a creative business they love together. Hope our tips and the Blog Planner printable help you guys stay creative and efficient! – Sara and Melissa
This post was sponsored by HP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Alice & Lois.
photos by Sara Albers.