Once you commit to starting a blog, you should work out systems for meeting your blogging deadlines. Few things look more neglected in the online world than a blog that has not been updated for years.
Consistency is essential when running a top-notch blog. There are many ways to successfully manage your blogging schedule. Every writer is different and each of us has his or her own flow. I like to prepare my blogs for the week on the weekend. Others write posts for a month at a time.
WordPress enables you to write a post today and schedule it to be published a week from now, a month from now- on a specific day and at a specific time.
Here’s a 4-step process that’s worked well for me and my clients based on the best practice of goal setting to help keep you on track: setting goals and working backwards.
1. Create a publishing schedule
Start by deciding when and how often you will publish. A very general guideline is to shoot to publish at least one post weekly. If you can keep up that schedule, you can choose to publish bi-weekly as well. Once you start publishing regularly, review your metrics to see what posting schedule works best, but for now, choose a schedule that works for you and that you can commit to.
2. Set Specific Dates for Specific Posts
Do a brain dump of all the possible topics you can think of to blog about. This is your idea list. If you already have an idea list, assign a specific date to each subject or idea. This is a provisional schedule, so you can switch posts to different dates once you start to see a pattern, logical or relational flow in the content ideas. For right now, it’s good to just have blogging deadlines you can commit to and work with.
3. Identify the Steps
Identify the steps necessary to create a single piece of content. You may be able to sit down and dash off excellent blog posts on the day they’re to be published, but it’s highly probable you’d be missing out on maximizing your effort. On the other hand, you may decide to write all of your posts at once in one “writing” day or afternoon to make keeping your blogging deadlines easier.
Examples of preparation steps might be:
- Planning and research
- Rough draft writing
You may find that it’s best to plan and outline one day, write the next, and edit and post on the third day. Decide what works best for you and if you’re not sure, use the list above and see how it goes. You can always add or adjust your steps later.
4. Schedule or Time Block the Steps on Your Calendar
Finally, assign a specific date and time to complete each step (use your calendar’s duplicate or repeat function to set aside so it becomes a habit). Work backwards from the publishing day and set aside time for each step on your calendar.
For example, if you have just the three steps of planning, writing, and editing, your publishing schedule might look something like this:
• Friday morning: Edit post and publish
• Thursday morning: Write post
• Wednesday: Create outline
With each step entered consistently on your calendar, you’ll have a good blogging schedule where you never feel rushed. There’s plenty of time to give each step the attention it deserves. This helps ensure you consistently publish quality content within your blogging deadlines.
Debra Lloyd and I prepared a 4 week online course called Blog Like a Pro: From Post to Profit. You will get lots of concrete tips to make blogging easier when you sign up for this course. Get your seat here.