Thoughts

Thoughts #22: Scheduling Posts

thoughts_16

Today I wanted to discuss how I schedule posts for the blog, and I wanted to hear your methods!

I’m really not organised compared to many of the bloggers I know. July was the first time EVER, in two years of blogging, that I managed to get the whole month scheduled. By the end of the first week, everything was planned out, written and finalised. I felt a serious sense of satisfaction, and a lot less stressed out as various days approached and things were already done.

Quite often I’ll write a couple of posts far in advance, but most of the time I just have the following week sorted. Sometimes I’m feeling lazy though, and various features don’t get scheduled until the night before, or occasionally I’ll skip one.

My blog planner!

My blog planner!

When it comes to blog planning, I have two notebooks, one for reviews and the other for notes and ideas for each of my features, as well as a planner that I printed off, and you can see above. I actually prefer to hand write each post on there than use an online calendar. I write the post titles in black when I decide that they’re going up, so regular features are usually written in at the beginning of the month, although sometimes I’ll take a bit longer for the specific post title. Then, as each post is written and scheduled, I tick it in green to show it’s all done. If I skip a post or move it around, I cross it out in red. As you can see, in June I skipped a couple of posts!

I’ll also just randomly jot down things that I need to include that month e.g. specific reviews around publication dates – in this example it was for two graphic novels that I got from Netgalley. I don’t do this too often though, because I’m kind of rubbish at posting around the release date…

I try to write posts all in one go, but sometimes I just don’t have the motivation. Sometimes I’ll just do the basic outline, which makes me feel like I’ve been quite productive even when I haven’t, sometimes I’ll bash out the whole thing in one go and other times a draft will just sit there for aaaaages, or I’ll work on it in several parts.

Ever since I started using a planner, I’ve felt a lot more organised when it comes to planning my posts. Now I know exactly what is going up each day, what needs to be finished, what’s completely scheduled and where I can slot in reviews – I tend to pencil in my features first, then put the reviews around them. My post count has shot up since I started using this method too – I post almost every other day, sometimes several days in a row, and I’m happy with the amount that I post.

But most of all, I try to remember that I don’t HAVE to do this. If I want to take a break, if I don’t feel like writing that post, I don’t NEED to. I can put it off until another day or drop it altogether – it’s my blog, after all.

How do you schedule posts for your blog? Do you like to sort them out far in advance, or write and immediately post them?

44 thoughts on “Thoughts #22: Scheduling Posts”

  1. I use a paper calendar and notebooks too. I schedule pretty far out in advance so I can make sure that I don’t double book things and that I remember when I am up for different tours and such. Also I try not to have too many similar books back to back! Though I’m keeping my November pretty open for SciFi month 🙂

    1. I haven’t managed to double book myself as of yet, but I definitely did before this system 😉 However, now I don’t take part in many blog tours at all so chances of something being pre-booked are slim.

      Glad you’re joining us 😀

  2. I have a blog calendar, one that I write in, and I love it! I found that electronic calendars just weren’t working for me. I usually have a set schedule – so Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are for book reviews, Tuesdays for Top Ten Tuesday, and Saturday for Book Hauls. This really works for me, although sometimes I might switch it up, but very rarely. I’m a creature of habit. And I have Fridays for miscellaneous posts such as discussions. And I rarely post anything on Sunday.

    I don’t always schedule all my reviews in advance, though. Usually I will write them close to when I finished the book (often I just write basic thoughts out) and then I will go back days (or weeks) later to do a final edit before scheduling. I really like letting the posts sit for a bit before finalizing them, especially if I’m having trouble getting my thoughts to make sense. But I pencil in all the reviews in my monthly blog calendar so that I see what my blog is going to look like in the future.

    1. I don’t know why they don’t work – it’s odd, isn’t it? Do you have a review for each of those days every week? I couldn’t post 3 reviews every week, must be a lot of work – I admire you for it 😀 It’s nice to have some days to just play around with though, either post what comes to you or skip entirely.

      Sounds like we have quite similar ways of scheduling, although you’re much better with reviews 😉

  3. I don’t often publish posts straight away. I try to review books as I finish them, which isn’t always an easy thing to do. I used to do my Top Ten Tuesday post the day before, but I found that quite stressful, so I always try to make sure I have a few weeks scheduled. I’m not the most organised, but I’m getting better.

    1. I used to, when I was on Blogger, but now I’m on WP I will ALWAYS schedule a post – even if it’s just the day before.

      I agree about reviewing as you finish something! Sometimes the last thing you want to do is sit down and write a proper review.

      At least with the TTT you have that flexibility, as they provide the topics for each week quite far in advance 😀

  4. I wish I was that organized lol I am happy if I have the week plotted out! I need to do the same and plan more in advance!

  5. I used to be very scheduled and meticulous with keeping with scheduling but then I moved this year and that consumed months of my time and my blog fell by the wayside. I have just started the last week or so trying to get back into scheduling and I’m making good progress, ideally I like to be about a month out from the current day. Normally I like to do is on Saturday or Sunday sit down and add another week to my blog schedule and draft/schedule those posts. I try to have my review drafts two months out if I can help it because it motivates me to write the review as soon as I read the book 😛 I love using paper planning as well!!! I have both a paper planner and a computer planner. I like to use both just incase (of what Idon’t know hahah).

    1. Yes, weekends – especially Sundays – are great for just sitting down and getting several blog posts scheduled. The other day I think I got four written in one morning, which left me feeling very productive 🙂

      I need to take tips on being good with review dates! I’m so bad for getting reviews around release dates. I have about six/seven ARCs coming out in September that I should read soon – but then I’ve also got some from this month, and July :/ And… even further back.

  6. Great system! For me, I use an online calendar just because I find it a little easier (and I can update it on the go), but I have a similar system. It’s pretty simple, actually. I have most of my posts scheduled out a couple months in advance — or at least, like, what the post will be. I know which days my discussion posts will be, which days certain features will be, and which days my reviews will be. Occasionally there’ll be an empty slot, so I’ll write down “post something today!” so that I remember to fill it in with something later. I schedule a lot of my posts in advance, too. Sometimes it gets a little down to the wire, but I usually have about a week of posts written in advance, more or less.

    I really like reading about how other people do it, though. I’m kind of obsessed with organizational stuff haha. Great post! 🙂

    1. I did try an online calendar but for some reason it just didn’t work for me. It’s so nice to have that much scheduled ahead, isn’t it? 😀

      I like it too, and it’s so interesting reading how everyone else does it in the comments! Thanks for sharing, Miranda 🙂

  7. There’s an amazing WP plugin called Editorial Calendar-I seriously could not blog without it! You can schedule posts, move them around to different days and even work on drafts right in the calendar. And there’s a side section for unscheduled drafts, so I can start ideas and then save them, to place on a date later on.

    1. I do actually have that plugin, but I had some problems with my site a few months ago which magically resolved itself after I disabled it :/ So I’m kind of scared of reactivating the plugin…

  8. I have no calender, nor organization. I write reviews as soon as I can after finishing a book, posts as they come to me. If I get a few extra lined up I just space them out, trying to hit three posts a week on average.

    1. Three is a nice number of posts per week 😀 It just goes to show that we all have totally different ways of organising our blogs, and they all work.

    2. That sounds like my style. I do sometimes wonder if my blog would be more “successful” (more traffic, etc.) if I did have more structure.

      1. Hmm, I’m not sure! I suppose with regular features, you might get people who check the site on specific days for that certain feature, but I’m not sure!

  9. I can’t imagine posting posts for an entire month! Bravo! If I am going out of town I will do posts for that week. And my Comic Adventure posts are usually done in advance. But otherwise.. I just post everyday. I would like to get ahead on those Top Tens Tuesday I want to do. Those can be so time consuming.

  10. Wow that’s pretty organised!
    My method of organisation: no organisation lol. I have a list of ARCs in a google doc, which I use for reference as to when abouts I should post reviews, but that’s about it.
    I like to write a post, leave it for a few days and then go back to proofread. Then I’ll schedule it for the next free day (I usually post about every two days, so whenever the next day I’m supposed to post is). Probably the furthest ahead I’ve ever scheduled a post is a week-ish 🙂

    1. Seems like we’re all fairly split: some of us schedule ahead, others post when the mood takes them 😀

      It is nice to let a post sit for a few days though, then you can really decide whether you want to post it or not.

  11. I can’t use a computer system for a calendar either. I need to write with my hand, LOL! I found an awesome 4 month white board and you can fill in the dates and then erase it when the month is over. It lets me stay just ahead of things without being too overwhelming. Plus I can just turn around and see it easily without having to try to find a piece of paper on my desk.

    1. Oh that’s a really good way of doing it – environmentally friendly too 😛

      I just find it more memorable writing by hand to be honest. And it’s just quicker to pull the planner out of my desk drawer than log onto a site and find the calendar.

  12. I have a small pocket like calendar where I write down which posts I have planned already or features that we run weekly. Then I draft them in WP as an outline so we have something to work with and schedule when ready. Not super organized to do a bunch in advance though, but we do try to draft all the weekly feature posts for the month at the start of the month so the reminders are there in WP when we log in.

    1. It’s great when you have stuff already scheduled to write in, it feels like you’re really prepared 😀

      Oooh, so you create each one as a draft? Do you add everything you can beforehand, like proper title, tags, categories etc?

      1. We use templates in WP to set up these recurring features, so it puts the basic skeleton in our blank post. Then we just click the categories, pick the date, and save draft. I don’t always remember to add all the tags until after the post is finished though.

  13. I tried scheduling in the beginning, but for some reason it didn’t work for me and it made me feel more stressed. Being laid-back and deciding what I want to post that day works so much better for me 🙂 But I think I will get much busier starting with my internship in September, so I might need to look into a schedule and a system to make things easier for me. I think I will definitely hand-write my stuff like you 🙂

    1. Yes, I guess because I’m currently (almost over!) in a regular job, I know when I’ll be working and when I’ll have time to work on the blog. However, at uni I don’t know what my time will be like so it will definitely be helpful to schedule!

  14. I always schedule posts, mostly because I like writing a whole bunch of posts in one go and then leave my blog to run for a while. I took a three-week break where I wasn’t writing many posts, and my blog was taking care of itself. 🙂 I think it worked out fairly well!

    As for how I stay on top of it, I use that little Editorial Calendar for WP. It’s been so useful! 😀

    1. Yes, I love that about scheduling! I don’t feel the pressure to get something written, although sometimes I leave posts until the last minute. Then I can just concentrating on commenting etc 🙂 Or working on more posts…

  15. Honestly, I’ve never been an organised person when it comes to anything. >< At one point, I used to plan out which post would go on each day of the month and I'd be able to plan a month ahead. I used Google Calendar. But then one day, I just stopped doing that and kept a general plan in my head. That didn't work out too well for me though and so I'm going to have to start doing it a different way. I'm going to try out a few different things to see what works for me. Right now, I'm using a whiteboard. 😀

    When it comes to scheduling posts though, I can never write posts in bulk. It's just not my thing. I like writing posts and then posting them right after. But that's gonna have to change too! I'm only getting busier! Lovely discussion Rinn!

    1. I tried Google Calendar but didn’t get along with it. Oh interesting, someone else using a whiteboard!

      Sometimes when I write a post I just want to post it there and then, but I try to stick to my schedule because it means I’ve got posts scheduled ahead of time, and therefore more time to write the other posts.

  16. I quite often schedule posts weeks and months in advance, but I don’t plan out things like:

    * I need to post this review on this specific day
    * a review needs to go up on Wednesday, followed by a Thursday discussion

    Etc.

    So I do schedule in advance but my actual days aren’t planned out. I just get an idea, write the post, and schedule it for the next available spot.

    1. I guess that’s quite nice, being able to pick and choose from a selection. So I guess if you thought ‘I’ve had quite a few reviews lately, perhaps it’s time for a discussion’, then you’d be prepared? 😀

  17. I only just started a schedule recently. Since I’m going to start school again in September, I feel like the only way I’m going to get things done is if I schedule. I used to write all my posts in one go and then immediately publish them. I also didn’t really have a solid idea of what post I was going to write, I kinda just went off the top of my head and that worked really well for me for a really long time but I feel like it’s time for a change! I still don’t do much like I don’t keep notebooks or notes. I just have this calendar thing that I made with the next month ahead of me and I just go in and fill the posts that I want to get up. I make sure to leave days in between for planning or just rest. Since this is something that I’ve only just implemented, I can’t say for sure if it’s working well but I definitely feel a lot more organized! I think I’ll still have to write some posts the day of because I’m such a procrastinator but I think it’ll be a lot better than what I was doing before.

    1. Definitely, I think for things like this we need to be prepared – particularly if we want to balance school and blogging! You can still write spontaneously, but you could just schedule the post for ahead of time when it’s written 😀 So you still get to write the idea down right away.

      Oh procrastination… sometimes I actually have several post drafts on the go, because I get distracted by a new idea!

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