Regular readers of my blog will have probably noticed that I publish a post every 2 or 3 days and occasionally on consecutive days. I never run out of things to write! But how is it done? Well, I’m going to share my scheduling secrets. If you’re not a blogger, this may not be very interesting for you, so all you need to do is wait another a day or two for a book review to come along 😉
Firstly, how do I keep track of my blog posts? Nothing fancy, just a basic spreadsheet in which I list all the dates I want to publish posts. I use it to plan what goes where, to note what I’ve already scheduled and what I want to write in the future. It then becomes a record for every post I’ve ever published. The schedule is not set in stone. I frequently change things around to ensure a variety of posts or to prioritise new posts which have a bearing on current events.
Secondly, how do I ensure I don’t run out of content? Well, I’ve always got at least one book on the go. I read an average of eight per month. As I review the vast majority of the books I read, there are always reviews to schedule. I also have regular features such as ‘film of the book’ and various discussion posts which I write whenever the topics are fresh in my mind. I can then space them out, so I might have, for example, three book reviews, followed by a post that’s something different. If I’m reviewing a live event, I’ll schedule it for as soon as possible, in case other people are searching for reviews of it. I do have a broad range of interests and an enquiring mind, so I never run out of topics. Blogging should be fun, in my opinion, so if I’m not feeling it, then I don’t force myself to write.
Thirdly, how do I get the time to write and schedule all of these posts? Some people who are not bloggers have assumed that every post is actually written and published on the day. This is very rarely so! Almost everything is scheduled in advance. I get as many posts done as I can whenever I have a block of time and I’m in the mood. My posts usually take less than half an hour to write but it depends on what I’m writing about. Sometimes I have a post saved in the drafts because it’s something that needs adding to now and again, not being the kind of post I can write in one sitting.
Fourthly, how do I decide how often to post? Some bloggers post every day without fail, others post weekly or just whenever they feel like it. The reason for my decision to post every 2 days (ish) is now lost in the mists of time, but looking at the early days of my spreadsheet, I can see that the frequency of posts increased at the beginning of 2019, which was a few months after starting the blog. I suspect that I just fell into the current pattern of posting because I like to be consistent. Hopefully the subscribers appreciate that, as they will know what to expect. Posting often and frequently seems to work well, as I usually gain more subscribers with every post and my monthly views are increasing.
Fifthly, do I recycle my blog posts? I’m all for recycling to help the environment, but when it comes to blog content, I keep it original. I may refer to previous posts or write sequels to them, but I won’t just re-use the same content and pretend it’s new. It’s possible that in the future I might re-read a book I’ve already reviewed on the blog, in which case I might quote my original review and then add some extra commentary. My review style has also changed over the years – it’s a bit more efficient now – so I wouldn’t want to use much older material anyway.
Lastly, do I ever take a break?! Well, I do sometimes take a few days’ break from writing and scheduling posts, if I’m writing my next bestseller, on holiday, having technology issues or just busy with life. But unless there is anything preventing it, there will be posts scheduled for that period, so there is always something new for subscribers to read. I also get a lot of hits from search engine results now, so I hope that those visitors might stick around if they see that the blog is updated often.