This week I’m focusing on how you can improve your blog. Enjoy! Tomorrow’s post will show you how to get people into your carnival booth – I mean, web site.
The question bloggers ask me over and over is, “How do you blog so often?”
The answer is simple: stop clicking Publish and start clicking Schedule.
Fail to Plan and You Plan to Fail
Blogging is no different than any other IT work; if you’re always doing things at the last possible moment, you’re going to do a crappy job. If you start doing your work in advance before it’s due, then you’ll find yourself putting more and more polish into your work. You’ll stop sweating bullets, stop stressing out over quality versus quantity, and stop approaching your blog with guilt.
I schedule my posts for publication on weekdays, often a week or more ahead of time. I’ve gotten into the routine of scheduling posts on Mondays and Wednesdays, leaving myself Fridays for spontaneous stuff. If I have an urgent flash of news that I just have to push out ASAP, I’ll write it up and then rotate out my next scheduled blog post to later in the line. This post is a great example – I’m writing it on Monday, August 3rd for publication on Wednesday, August 19th, but if something comes up, I can reschedule this post later and later. (Edit – sure enough, I pushed it back, and I had enough blog entries about blogging that I built a whole week of ’em.) It’s a timeless post – not good for eternity, but at least it can be published at any time without losing its impact.
Plus, when I schedule a blog post ahead of time and sleep on it, often I’ll return to it the next day and remember something I should have added. I can take my time to refine the post rather than hitting Publish and cringing.
Write When You Can, Not When You Gotta
Scheduling posts ahead of time gives you a sudden flexibility. When you feel creative, write, and write until you don’t feel creative anymore. Write as many blog posts in a row that you’ve got time for, and then quit.
My best blogging time seems to be Saturday mornings. I’ll pile up a list of blog ideas in my favorite task management tool, RememberTheMilk.com, and on Saturday morning I’ll pull up the list to see what strikes my fancy. If I find the words coming easily to my fingers, then I’ll blog until I get constipation of the word processor. Usually I can bang out 3-4 entries at once, which buys me two weeks of time.
Next Saturday, if I’m not feelin’ the love, I won’t feel guilty – because I’ve already got enough articles to tide me over. Voila: stress-free blogging.
How to Get Started Scheduling Blog Posts
Brace yourself: just go cold turkey.
The next time you write a blog post, schedule it to appear a week from now – minimum. Yes, you’re going to feel guilty. Yes, you’re going to think that your readers will be horrified at your lack of blogging, but no, none of your readers will actually notice.
What they WILL notice is your sudden increase of quality from that point forward.
Isn’t it worth 7 days of silence for a lifetime of better blogging?