One of the most important responsibilities of running a popular blog such as Blogging Tips is scheduling posts. This is particularly true for blogs in which the blog owner doesn’t write every day themselves. That is, they just need to organise the articles written by staff and guest posters.
Scheduling is just as important for blog owners who write the majority of their content (this is perhaps less true if your posting frequency is irregular or you only publish an article once a week). One of the most important lessons I have learned over the last 4 or 5 years of running blogs that publish articles daily is that it is vital to schedule posts in advance. You never know when something unexpected will come up that will take away time from your usual working routine. Sickness and family emergencies can never be planned.
I try my best to always have around a weeks worth of posts written in advance when possible, more if I am planning a holiday. This week I was reminded of the benefits of doing this.
Planning Ahead For Unexpected Time Off
One month ago I fulfilled a dream of mine and came to South America. Unfortunately, I have an allergy to something in the apartment I’m staying in. Back home I suffer from the same problem when exposed to dust or animal hair from cats and dogs. My nose runs constantly, my eyes get red and sore and I generally just feel run down.
Fortunately, I brought Loratadine tablets with me just incase I was exposed to any animals but they haven’t completely stopped the symptoms. The most pressing thing for me is to find out what’s causing the allergy. The apartment has laminate flooring so there’s very little dust gathering, I’ve replaced the feather pillows with anti-allergy pillows and there are no pets allowed in the entire apartment complex. This has all left me baffled as to as to what is causing me so much grief. For my last roll of the dice I am going to buy an anti-allergy duvet to replace the cotton and polyester blankets that I’m currently using, though as I have used similar blankets back home with no problems I predict I’ll have to see the doctor next week.
On Sunday I was lucky enough to watch the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Bogota. I had an amazing day but forgot to take my tablet in the morning so I awoke yesterday morning feeling terrible. I generally work between 9 to 6 during the week but after a small article that should have took me 15 minutes to write took me over 2 hours, I switched the computer off and relaxed. Thankfully, I had articles scheduled in advance so I could afford to take time off to get myself better.
The Art Of Scheduling
If your blog only posts about the latest news, you may find scheduling in advance isn’t really an option. News posts can’t be really written in advance as you need to publish the article when the news is still fresh and relevant, therefore the majority of news posts are written the day the article is published or the day before.
Most blogs contain a mixture of news, reviews and opinion type articles so what you should do is schedule posts that will be as relevant in a few weeks time as they are today. When the opportunity to write a news related post comes up you simply have to reschedule the scheduled post for another time.
Here are three WordPress plugins that you should all find useful when scheduling your posts:
- Editorial Calendar – My favourite plugin for scheduling posts. The plugin adds an easy to read calendar page to your WordPress admin area. It’s a quick and easy way to see what days have posts and what days don’t. To move posts to a different day you simply have to drag and drop the article to the selected day.
- Future Posts Calendar – Adds a calendar to the top of your post editor sidebar that quickly see what days have posts scheduled on them.
- Auto Schedule Posts – The perfect plugin for blogs where the date the content is published isn’t really important. The plugin lets you set parameters for when you want articles posted online. If the plugin finds a day without a post it automatically schedules one of your completed posts for it.
I’m sure you are away of the limitations of writing articles too much in advance. In an ideal situation all content would be written on the say it published so that your blog remains relevant by reacting to popular trends. In reality, I think it’s best to plan ahead as if a ‘sick day’ could turn up at any time.
Be a smart blogger and run your blog just like any other business. Prepare for the unexpected and your readers will rarely see any irregularity in your posting frequency.
How do you schedule posts for your blog? Id love to hear your blog posting routine 🙂