If you are an avid reader of my blog you probably read the title and had to do a double take. I know, I know. I am not always the model example of a blogger when it comes to sticking to schedules but it’s through making mistakes that I have learnt important lessons. Today – a day late! – I am going to outline just how important it is to be consistent with your content uploads.
Now I have read millions of posts on topics similar to this but they are always written by these full time professional bloggers who have been practising and perfecting the art of blogging for years. I haven’t; which is why I feel I can add a different perspective to the discussion. Many of you may already know but in case you are new here (Hi!) I will mention it again – I am in full time education which means I rarely have hours of free time to plan, write and schedule posts. Just posts let alone all the extras that go along side this such as social media and photographs. So for my fellow bloggers out there who are passionate but find it difficult to squeeze in the time for everything around work/school/kids. I get it.
Having said all that I still believe you should be attempting to make the time to schedule your blogging. Why?
- It will help you keep track of and organize past/future posts
- You can plan ahead if you know you won’t have time to write
- Consistency brings people back
- It’s less stressful!
I don’t care if you have paper stacks around you, cheerios in your hair or your suit still on. Sit down, pick half an hour or so in the upcoming week where you will shut the door and draft a schedule for your blog. All you need is a pen and paper. First decide how many times a week you can realistically get to the laptop, I find that at least three times a week for my blog is ideal but this will vary greatly depending on your blogs niche, target audience and post length. I know people who only blog twice week but have great viewing figures because the two posts they put up consist of quality thought out content. Similarly I know people who blog everyday because they can and they always have something new to write about. If you are struggling have a look at your calendar and see if you have any free time at all – don’t be alarmed if it looks as though there isn’t, there will be things that don’t take as long as you though they would and snippets of free time will pop up.
Once you have got an idea of how many times you can realistically post in a week work out what you actually want to upload on these days, I’m not talking about specific post topics but just the general categories. For example I post a recipe, a DIY and a blogging tip each week. If your blog focuses on only one category try and split it into smaller sections i.e. DIY could be split into furniture, paper craft and five minute makes. Recipes could be split into a breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe each week. Again it’s just what you feel comfortable writing about.
Pencil in the categories a day each, then decide whether you want to write and upload on the same day or whether you would find it more manageable to write, edit and upload on separate days or during certain times throughout your allotted day. Make sure you are comfortable with your schedule then write it down, type it up in a bright font, email it to yourself – do anything that will make sure you see it frequently and be reminded.
Finalize the details then make sure you post it on your blog so that your readers know when to come back for fresh content – it helps them feel like they are in the loop and if they always know which days they can find new material they are more likely to come back and stay awhile. Why not leave a note with your schedule post so they understand why you’ve chosen the days or topics you have.
If for any reason you mess up your schedule and forget/lose a post let your readers know why. I’m not saying you have to go into personal details but when you can give them a small paragraph explaining if/when the missed post will be. If you don’t they make think you have changed your schedule without letting the know or that this is likely to happen on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if it happens on a regular basis as long as you outlined to your loyal readers at the beginning that your life is very unpredictable and demanding so posts may get moved at late notice. The only time it is not okay to miss a post is when you just start losing motivation or can’t be bothered that day – blogging is supposed to be fun but it’s still something you have to work on and motivating yourself is a huge part of it. Prioritize.
99% of the time if I communicate with my readers blogging is easier and much less stressful.
Your audience will grow as your post consistency improves especially if it’s quality material. If you know that for some reason or another one days post is going to be a huge rush to write make use of the scheduling feature on your writer. This way you can have a catalogue of material waiting in the wings for any dire situation; simply choose the date and time you would like your post to go live then sit back and put your feet up. Make use of every moment – if an idea for a post comes to you on the bus scribble it in a notebook or put it in your phone, the scraps can mount into something with more sustenance at a later date.
For a sixteen year old I am way too obsessed with organization and scheduling! How did you like the first instalment of my blogging tips series?