How to create a blog posting schedule

How’s your blogging week been?

A little bit chaotic if you’re doing the school holiday juggle like me?

It’s times like during holidays that I really do rely on the organised part of my brain to get me through to the other side … while still attempting to publish good, consistent content on my blog.

I want to do stuff with my kids so I work around them, often jumping on the computer at night after spending the day with them at the beach.

So, if you email me at the moment this is what you’ll receive back from me:

Hi, part of the reason I went into business for myself was to be more flexible and more available for my kids … so over the next couple of weeks if I don’t respond to your email so quickly, it’s just that I’m off doing important and fun stuff with them. If the matter is urgent please text me. Thanks for understanding. Nikki

It’s not unusual for me to receive on average 300 emails a day so this auto-reply is essential for my business, my sanity and a bit of balance.

Many bloggers take breaks. That’s fine. You should feel that you can.

Many bloggers write and schedule ahead. This is fine too.

Since this blog became my full-time job, I aim to publish every day. I’m not saying you should do that. Not at all.

Blogging is about finding what works for you, your life and your time.

I’ve been asked a lot about how I schedule and plan my posts so today I thought I’d share that with you.

How to create a blog posting schedule

But before I do that, I’d like to let you in on a little secret.

I rarely stick to my planned blog posting schedule

Want to know why?

I come from a media background where I could write something up to two weeks before it was published and read by my readers. It was a bit frustrating.

Now, the excitement of knowing that I could – if I wanted to – get on my blog and publish something in five minutes is always in the back of my mind.

That immediacy in publishing is a super power we have in the media landscape.

So, in my mind, we should use it.

I believe it’s essential that my blog post writing remains relevant to what else is going on in and around the world, my neighbourhood and in my home.

The journo in me thinks it’s “old news” to write a post about what’s going on in my world today, only to schedule it and publish it in two weeks time.

Mostly I’ll write a post the day or night before it’s published. I schedule my posts to publish at the same time every morning. We are all creatures of habits and this consistency has worked in building my readership.

However. Within that consistency of publishing, I want to have enough breathing space in my schedule to react to something that’s happening around me and write about that instead.

So why then plan a blog posting schedule?

1. Planning a blog posting schedule is good for maintaining diverse content on your blog. I blog mainly about fashion and beauty but throw in a weekly blogging post and a bit of lifestyle as well. I need to make sure I’m keeping a good balance of my main topics because that’s what my readers come to Styling You for.

2. If you have a monthly, weekly or daily plan, you have a framework within which you can work. It means you don’t have to sit staring at blank screen waiting for inspiration to strike. I have draft post ideas earmarked for dates up to a month ahead. Every Friday I’ll look at the posts for the following week and see how I feel about what I’ve put down to write. If I’m not “feeling” a certain post or I’ve come up with an idea that excites me more, I’ll switch it around. I apply this same test each day when reviewing what I’ve drafted for the next day. If it’s not exciting me, there’s a fair chance it’s not going to be exciting for you to read!

3. Creating a posting schedule is a great way to keep your post ideas in the one place. I use the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin (see below).

4. If you’re working with a loose post scheduling structure, you can better test which posts get the better responses. If I re-jig the diversity of my content and move around the days on which I post on my different topics, I can check whether that is a good or a bad move. If it turns out a bad move we can just forget it ever happened.

5. A schedule helps me to ensure that my sponsored content is not publishing too close together. This is for both keeping a good balance of advertising and editorial on my blog but also to ensure that those brands partnering with me get the best possible exposure too.

Blog scheduling tools

1. A good email folder filing system. I need to manage my email inbox well for my sanity and for keeping possible post ideas (press releases) in places that are logical for me to find. Happiness for me is a cleared inbox. Even if there are hundreds of “flagged” emails just dragged out of the inbox and into folders. Someone looking at my email filing system may not see the same logic.

2. WordPress editorial calendar plugin. I’ve been using this for a couple of years now and could not imagine blogging without it. It’s installed in my dashboard and looks like the boxes you’d find on a regular wall calendar. I can look at a month at a time, scroll back and forward and start draft posts attached to certain dates. The big, big win for me is that, as I’ve said above, I like to change my mind and go off schedule. With this plugin, it’s an easy drag and drop to a new date. Or a delete if I’ve really gone off the idea. If you’re on WordPress, you’re mad if you don’t use this.

3. Evernote. I don’t use Evernote so much for my blog post drafting but I know a lot of bloggers do. How I use Evernote for blog posting ideas or linking and sharing is that I “clip” blog posts from my FeeddlerPro RSS Google Reader app straight to Evernote. This files them ready for me to look at and possibly use at a later date.

4. An old-school notebook. Now, some may say I still use a notebook just because it gives me the tax-deductible licence to buy pretty stationery on a regular basis. They may be right. I do love my notebook for creating a daily to-do list. Something I can keep on my desk and look to see how much I haven’t got finished in a day.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way when it comes to scheduling or not scheduling and planning your blog posts. It’s a matter of coming up with a system or routine that works for you.

Do you plan your blog content in advance? Do you write in advance? Do you write in a block and schedule? Tell me how you do it?

——————————————————————————————————-

Share your blogging know-how

Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.

Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.


( Collection closed )
Link tool by Inlinkz

Stay in touch

For a daily email update, click HERE. Or hit the subscribe button below for weekly news in your inbox.
  • Pingback: Valuable Tips For Creating A Blog Publication Schedule | Autoparts online()

  • Pingback: Valuable Tips For Creating A Blog Publication Schedule()

  • Pingback: Tips For Creating A Blog Publication Schedule | KillerStartups()

  • http://www.kympiez.blogspot.com/ Kymmie

    This is a great post. I’ve been enjoying the linkys. I’ve been blogging for seven years (on and off) and STILL learning. It’s been a fun journey! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      There is ALWAYS something to learn Kymmie!

  • http://www.liahalsall.com/ Lia Halsall

    Hi Nikki,

    You mentioned in your post that you installed the editorial calendar in your wordpress dashboard. I’m struggling to figure out how to do that also so that it’s more visible. Do you remember how you did it?

    Lia xxx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      The plugin is WordPress Editorial Calendar, Lia. Once installed, to access it, hover over the “Posts” part of the left hand side of the dashboard and it shows up as an option. Hope that helps!

      • http://www.liahalsall.com/ Lia Halsall

        Yep I see that, so it’s not actually one of the dashboard screen options per se?

        • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

          No, but easy to go to once you log in … I kind of do it by default and create all my drafts via the calendar.

  • http://www.allthingsfabulousblog.com/ Courtney

    WOW I only just saw this post, thanks SO SO much for sharing Nikki! Such wonderful tips! Your blog is so fabulous and well organised so very happy I now know some of your secrets ;)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Courtney … I’m organised but allow change to come in as required. I think that’s the key to keep things dynamic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661975047 Sarah Welsch

    I just started blogging, but I have a notebook(that i decorated of course!) that has a calander attached to the inside cover, and then I divided the notebook into sections with tabs with catagories that I want to write about(ie tutorials, week in pictures, etc) and then when I write things in there I add them to the calender.

    http://owleyevintage.blogspot.com/

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/OwlEyeVintage

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Love this system!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=661975047 Sarah Welsch

        its working out good so far!

  • http://www.thriftyfashionista.com.au/ thriftyfashionista

    Hi Nikki, I have a bloggy question for you. I posted about a brand and their PR rep wants to know my EAV stats and circulation. My site has no advertising (yet! I would love to make some money one day but still finding my feet … and audience, for now) so how do I calculate the estimated advertising value of appearing in my blog? Zero?? Thanks x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I just send PRs my UVs (unique visitors) and Page Views – they can then work it out for themselves. They ask for this for their monthly reports to clients. Here is a great post which Nicole from Planning for Kids wrote about setting ad rates: http://blogcoachingboost.com/aussie-mummy-bloggers-advertising-rates/

  • http://twitter.com/ShesSonic Sonia // She’s Sonic

    Another fantastic post about blogging, Nikki – thank you. Melinda and I do create a schedule (usually 2 weeks at a time)…but on more than one occasion we’ve swapped out one post for another, more relevant one. As great as it is to be organised, sometimes you’ve got to act on a whim or fashion trend! x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Good to swap on a whim, Sonia … there’s a reason while you feel the need to do so … so go with it!

  • http://twitter.com/abeachcottage abeachcottage

    hello, here is a friend who needs iphone cases ;-)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Will bring spares to Melbourne!

  • B

    It would appear I am going in the right direction with my schedule… very relieved. I schedule a few weeks ahead and then jig things as I go. I do need to make sure I write about the full gamut of things I write about – I have not posted a recipe in an age – being sugar free means I am not baking as much and meals are all a bit dull at the mo… But – I will take this challenge on.

    Thanks so much for sharing this – I have often wondered how you keep pumping out the goods. Now I understand a bit more. Mwah!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Sugar free recipes would be a hit B!

  • I Heart Bargains

    So very helpful to me having just had my website 8 weeks! I’m finding I’m constantly checking your site because you’re a great inspiration. I think I need to learn early that switching off is ok, especially when you have a little one…but it can be really addictive to want to post/email people back non – stop. Will take a leaf out of your learnings and ‘switch off’. Love your site!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for your kind words. If you can get that pattern in place from the start – in a way that works for you – I think it will be better for you long term. Keep playing with a balance that works for you.

  • http://twitter.com/JohannaACastro Johanna Castro

    I so so need to become more organised and I’ve just made a pact with myself to begin scheduling posts even if I don’t use them as planned. The way you manage life, kids, blogging and having fun is admirable, Nikki and it’s no wonder that you have a big readership – people can rely on you and that’s important, isn’t it. Thanks for a useful post.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Johanna … I do need to have some structure to my blogging to fit it in my life but it’s a matter of creating a system that works for your life x

      • http://twitter.com/JohannaACastro Johanna Castro

        And my lack of systems shows in the Linky … I’m sorry somehow the first one I added doesn’t link to the blogging post I meant it too. I’ve added the correct one at 11. Please delete mine at 9. Thanks and so sorry for confusion x

  • http://twitter.com/TheFunMommy Amanda Jayne

    I’m just getting into the swing of posting regularly, and I like to write my ideas down on my (paper) calendar and then write all my posts for the week on the weekend. I like the flexibility of having all my ideas mapped out, but I’m still able to switch them around if something comes up or an idea just doesn’t excite me.

    Thanks for pointing out the wordpress plugin! I’m definitely going to check that out, it sounds like something I might actually use. My drafts are a little disorganized right now.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Do have a play with the plugin – I think you’ll love it!

  • emily @ thebeetleshack.com

    dude, i SO need to get on top of this!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Only if it works for you … find a system that makes your blogging life easier x

  • Anh Le

    Actually I’ve never scheduled posting since the ideas come out really spontaneously. I basically draft everything and on the day I feel like a new blog post needs publishing then I browsed and picked up one of the draft and re-wrote it.
    In a way I think posting schedule is a genius way to organize everything but for some reason I am still not getting used to it yet :) Anyway I will take your advises into consideration. Maybe try it out and see how it works

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s very much each to their own – I get asked a lot about how I plan my posts – and this is how I do it so I can publish the same time every day.

  • Tonya, The Crafty Mummy

    I would be lost without the Editorial Calendar! Mine wasn’t working for a littl while last week and it really put me off.

    Thanks for the advice and the chance to share

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, I’d struggle with that – have been using too long!!

  • 3picklesMarnie

    Thanks for sharing this info, Nikki. I’m working on a schedule today and I plan to follow it. Have a great weekend. x Marnie

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great stuff Marnie … create it but don’t let it constrict you!

  • Claudia littlecottagebiglife

    What a great post Nikki! Lately I have been writing my posts the day I post them as I am getting quicker with my writing and posting and have been enjoying exercising the immediacy superpower. But thanks to this post I now see the fantastic benefits of a schedule and am excited by the thought. Thank you!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks Claudia … and I love that you’ve been using the immediacy superpower – it makes it so much more fun to write and, therefore, for others to read, I think.

  • Pingback: How To Find Your Authentic Blog Voice — Little Cottage Big Life()

  • http://www.sugercoatit.com/ Melissa Walker Horn

    A thinking woman’s guide to scheduling, I love it.

    I schedule my posts and have a loose plan on my blog that works to keep me focused on what I want to deliver as content and what I want to say TODAY when I could say something about everything all at once.
    I used to have a fortnight’s worth of drafts that I could schedule days or even a week in advance. Especially for outfit posts etc and this worked beautifully. But it got to the point when I wasn’t overly connected to what was being published on my blog that day. Which was just weird. So I stopped scheduling more than a day ahead and if I get a roll on and write a billion posts at once, I tentatively book them in and come back to them in draft form before I schedule them.
    My blog is a bit commercial though, I think it’s more relevant to people doing business on their blog. When I was just blogging for the heck of it. I would just do what I wanted when I wanted, as often as I wanted. It’s different now. Not entirely, but sort of.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Or the crazy inner workings of my mind ;) And totally agree – the structure is only of help or point if you are using your blog in any way shape or form to build a business. A personal blogger blogging when they want to about anything they want to would not need this.

  • Guest

    From a fledgling new blogger still finding her feet – thank you for these blogging posts and subsequent links to other bloggers posts. I am on a free wordpress.com blog so dont know if all these things you mention work with it. I have never heard of things such as evernote, feedler, etc. etc.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      You would not be able to install the WordPress Editorial Calendar because it’s a plugin but all the other things mentioned are apps for your phone or tablet (if you have one). Congrats on starting to blog!

  • http://twitter.com/26YearsCounting 26 Years & Counting

    I use Evernote to manage all my blog posts – because I often get bored in my day job and write them at work :) Using Evernote I have them on me at all times. And for general clipping use too.

    My next computer will be a MacBook Air so I can work more portably. My 15″ MacBook Pro is good, but a bit heavy for carting around.

    I tend to write in chunks then schedule my posts ahead of time.

    For scheduling, I just use iCal – I have a calendar set up for my blog so it’s automatically colour coded. I schedule using wordpress.com’s built in options. I blog as a hobby though, so if I can’t be bothered to post, I just don’t!

    And I agree about notebooks. Technology rules, but I get exciting going notebook shopping. (Though I regret reading that part about tax deductions to my husband, who now wants me to work out a way to tax deduct an inflatable dinosaur. It makes no sense to me either.)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for sharing what works for you! And could the dinosaur be office equipment ;)

  • http://themummyautobiography.com/ Miss Pink

    I have always said how you are one blogger who does blogging right. Always got your own quality content up as well as making the time to reply to comments etc. That’s not an easy feat and yet you make it seem effortless.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh thanks Miss Pink … I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to blog but I do take my content seriously and I do believe in replying to readers who take the time to talk to me. Blogging is a conversation – and I love a chat! x

  • http://www.athomemum.com Bronwyn

    I started using the WordPress Editorial Calendar when you mentioned it at Blogopolis 2011 and it is one of those plugins that I think I use every time I work on my blog. I find that it helps to keep me alot more organised with my posts and I love its flexibility to change and move posts around easily.

    I would agree it is a must-have plugin for any WordPress blogger.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Bronwyn, I love that it’s worked for you as well as it has for me.

  • http://twitter.com/SaveMumSanity Belinda Peters

    I’ve just started using the WordPress editorial calendar in the last few weeks and its really changed the way I blog. I rarely blog what I’d planned that day and keep moving stuff around but it’s helped me get all my ideas in some form of workable plan and stopped the dreaded bloggers block.

    I agree that you can’t beat a handwritten to do list in a nice notepad to get the satisfaction of the big tick through completed items. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Belinda, it’s that moving around function that makes it such a great tool, isn’t it? You can see at a glance how it’s looking for the week, the month etc and move things around.

  • Evelyn (cottoncandydiva)

    Thanks for this! I am generally unorganised and am slowly starting to organise everything (important for a Uni student!)…just installed the editorial calender plugin! xo

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great – let me know how that plugin works out for you and if it helps!

  • http://www.ubersimplicity.blogspot.com/ Leanne @ Uber Simplicity

    For a very organised person I have NO blogging schedule! Up until now this worked for me but I need to get some structure happening to make things easier and as you said to ensure I have the main topics covered that drew readers to my blog in the first place. And stop me from staring at a blank screen!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It does really help with the blank screen thing – and I’m ok with going off plan if the plan doesn’t feel right.

  • http://vicky-lifeonthehill.blogspot.com.au/ Vicky Finch

    I’ve start using Evernote to dump my ideas down, and I like that I can record them as we’ll. my lap top has only just come back from the doctor, and while I love my iPad with a passion, until I have a keyboard for it, I don’t particularly like using the onscreen one. So right now in Evernote I have a whole lot of ideas to work on now that my laptop is back, and my brain is starting to function again post move.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh, moving is stressful Vicky – be kind on yourself!

  • http://www.redcliffestyle.com/ Rachel from Redcliffe Style

    I have a very hazy blogging schedule. I’d like to blame it on something instead of my laziness but I don’t think I can :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      That’s ok you know Rachel – it’s about what works for you!

  • http://www.duckprint.com.au Joey Thomas

    Some great ideas there! Unfortunately I don’t use WordPress for the duckprint blog however I am creating another blog on WordPress at the moment an will definitely be installing the plugin. Sounds brilliant!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think you’ll love it!