A lot of people assume that blogging is done quickly and when creative inspiration strikes. And those people definitely could be correct. After all, some of my best posts are written exactly when I have the inspiration to write exactly about what comes to mind.
However, life isn’t like that. We can’t only write when we have inspiration; after all, that might mean that it could be months between posts sometimes, and that’s an awful way to leave your readers hanging. That’s why it’s important to learn to do some tentative scheduling with blogging. You don’t have to do anything that’s too strenuous, but having some general “back-up” posts that you can use in case of your busy schedule, or lack of inspiration, can make you feel a whole lot less guilty about not having the time to devote to your website.
There are two ways that I seem to see most when seeing how people schedule blog posts.
One route you can take is pre-scheduling some of your content in advance for specific days. That way, even if you aren’t feeling inspired, you can easily schedule a post about something (such as business office furniture ) to go live. This way, your readers will have a steady flow of content and know that your site is up and alive. For example, you may have a prescheduled post ready to go live on Monday and Friday, but if you feel inspired, you might end up posting on a Tuesday or Thursday too.
The other way that I see other people pre-scheduling is by using a queue. In this manner, they have posts saved as drafts, but they don’t have any specific timeframe for them. They might have 5 posts in their queue, and when they feel it’s been awhile since they’ve posted, they may post one of the posts from their queue. Obviously, this method doesn’t work nearly as well for time-sensitive information such as life events or sponsored content. However, in a pinch, you’ll never have to worry about being desperate to have something to post – since there’s always something available to post if need be.
How Scheduling Blog Posts Helps
Don’t Feel Stressed: I don’t know about you, but when I haven’t posted in awhile, I start to get stressed out about accidentally upsetting or disappointing my readers. I like the progress I’ve made with my website, and I don’t want to mess it up by being unreliable to my readers.
Enjoy Your Life: Is your friend inviting you out to a late-night movie last-minute? Did you plan to write a blog post instead? Well, with this option, you don’t have to feel bad about accepting. You have a back-up post ready to go that you can post instead. No more feeling bad about last-minute plans!
Post at Optimal Times: If you’re really getting into blogging and getting the most for your time, you can schedule your blog posts to post at optimal times such as when you know your readers will most-likely to be around. This requires analyzing of statistics and readership, but assuming most of us can’t sit around the computer all day, scheduling in advance gives you the optimal viewing without having to sit at your computer all day.
So, how do you get your blogging on a schedule? First off, follow these tips:
Use One Method: Decide how you want to schedule your blog posts. Once you do that, decide what method you’re going to use to keep track of this schedule. I personally use Google Calendar, but you could use a written agenda, some other online calendar, your family calendar, or anything else that appeals to you. Make sure to stick to one method though – if you start doing multiple methods, you may find that some posts get lost in the cracks.
Understand This Means Writing When You May Not Want To: Just like anything else, following this scheduling may require writing when you don’t want to. You may not want to take the time the write that day, but set a goal for yourself to finish a post that day. On the bright side, this flexibility also gives you the ability to spend more time brainstorming and perfecting some of your posts while still having regular content.
Join Themes and Challenges: While I very, very much recommend being cautious about this, if a particular weekly “theme” appeals to you (likes ones that a quick Google search of “Weekly Blogging Challenges/Events” will give you), do it ever week. However, don’t go nuts with this! While your readers may love to see you try and take a new, creatively-themed picture every week, they are going to end up disliking your blog if you do a new themed challenge EVERY day. After all, where’s the original content if you’re always just doing random challenges? So if a weekly challenge appeals to you and would push you to make content, go for it, but don’t go overboard!
Understand Your Content Manager: Most people use Blogspot or WordPress to run their blog. Scheduling your content in advance, via this platform, means understanding exactly how to do that. If you don’t know how to use the scheduling feature on your content manager, do a quick google search for “How to Schedule Posts On _____” (with your content manager’s name there), and you’ll find tons of tutorials with step-by-step pictures.
Make Your Social Media Go With: You’re scheduling blog posts, aren’t you? Why not start to schedule your social media posts as well? This way, everything’s scheduled to go live, and you can know that your content will be seen by the people who want to see it. This way, if you want, you can easily schedule your social media to Tweet or Facebook something multiple times at different times for maximum exposure. This way you don’t have to keep remembering to post something – you can schedule something to post once now, once in a couple days, and once in a week. Facebook now has the ability to schedule posts right on the website itself, but for Twitter, you’ll need to use a third-party application such as Hootsuite.
With those tips in mind, go out and enjoy your blogging! It can be a very, very fulfilling experience, and once you take some of the stress out of regular posts, you can start to feel completely in-charge of your blogging – instead of feeling like it takes too much energy.