As an entrepreneur, I’m always trying to get ahead and stay ahead, but when your whole team consists of one human, it can be hard! And, it doesn’t always happen. But when I am ahead, or at least thinking ahead, everything just flows in a much calmer, more inspired and exciting way and it’s a feeling that I can’t get enough of—hence the reason I’m always chasing it. Other than just making you feel like you’ve got a good rhythm going, scheduling your content and posts ahead of time is actually a great way to make you a more efficient, less stressed and better (yes, really) blogger.
Thinking further ahead than tomorrow’s post can help you create and see the bigger picture—Where is your blog going? What do you want to be known for? And, how can you tailor your content to fit those goals now and next month? It’ll also help you narrow down your niche and direction as you continue to grow. Here are a few more major reasons why you should consider scheduling your blog posts and content beforehand:
1. Removes Stress
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t deal with stress well. Even if you do handle stress pretty well, can we all agree that life is happier and healthier when we’re not super stressed out?! Scheduling your content ahead and even scheduling each post to go live at a specific time each day removes an added stressor (albeit small) from your day. I’m not a morning person, but many of my readers are, and many of them are on the East Coast, so they’re already up earlier than me. Scheduling my posts to go live early in the morning assures that everyone will see the same content on the same day!
Even if you are a morning person and like to physically hit publish when you wake up, consider those days that you sleep through your alarm, wake up feeling sick, go on vacation, or something else unexpected happens. On days like that, you might not sit down at your computer until noon! Scheduling your posts in advance saves you from having to worry about this. Thankfully most blogging platforms allow you to set times and dates for scheduling—it’s up to you to make it happen.
2. Consistency is Key
We’ve talked about consistency before and it’s still just as important as ever. When readers come to expect your posts on certain days or with a certain frequency, they don’t like it when that routine is switched up on them. We’re all creatures of habit at some level! Another way to make your content more consistent is so make your posts go live at the same time everyday. Think about it this way. If you came to your favorite bloggers’ site who usually published content Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 8am, and one day you come to their site at 9am on Wednesday and there’s nothing new. You’re going to be surprised, and maybe a little upset! If you’re doing this on a regular basis, you might loose some of those loyal readers for good. The exact time doesn’t necessarily matter, but I recommend sometime in the morning, for me, I schedule all my posts to go live at 5am CST, but you can decide what’s best for you and your readers.
3. Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
You’ve heard this saying before, right? I remember my dad saying it when we were younger and it stuck with me. If your goal is to turn your blog into your side hustle or even your full-time gig, you should think of your site as more than just a blog. Think of it as a business. If you had a brick and mortar store, you wouldn’t wait until the night before to plan your sales, email marketing and advertising—would you? Taking steps to plan content in advance can help you set yourself up for success in the long run.
You don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to do each quarter, but I do recommend looking one to two months ahead. Think about things like big sales at your favorite retailers, or holidays that you can create relevant (pinnable!) content around. Of course, pay attention to which content has performed well in the past and make sure you’re adding plenty of similar content in the future!
4. Helps You See the Big Picture
This one is sort of like the one above. Thinking about your blog with a business mindset will help you see the bigger picture, and I find that it takes a little bit of the emotional aspect out of it. Since I started thinking about my blog as more than just a personal online diary, I’ve stopped comparing myself to others and felt infinitely more confident about the content that I publish.
I’m not big on five year plans when it comes to my personal life, but I do think something like this is beneficial for a business. Even if you just think about the next year. Consider what you’ve got scheduled—international travel, weddings, buying a house, new baby, launching a product? What big things are on your timeline that you can work into your content? Looking ahead at the whole year can give you some really great ideas for the future and how you can work your way up to them along the way.
5. Your Content Will Get Better
If you’re actively spending time thinking ahead to what you’re going to post in the coming months, or even next week, you give yourself time to really think about ideas that pop into your brain. Before you know it, one single idea may turn into multiple ideas or even a whole series. Go ahead and drop those ideas into your editorial calendar early on. This is also great for those days when you feel completely empty of ideas and realize you already have a bank of them stored up! Giving yourself time to let ideas develop will result in more thoughtful, interesting and unique content, and that’s what will keep people coming back and sharing your blog with others.
One last thing! When I was running my design business, Leap, one issue I ran into with a few bloggers was that they would schedule their posts in WordPress, but the posts would never go live. If this is happening to you, don’t panic. I don’t know the exact reason why, but there’s an easy fix! Install the WP Missed Schedule plugin, and the issue should be solved!
So, tell us! Do you schedule your blog posts? Do you schedule content (or at least write down ideas) a month or two in advance? What’s helped you the most?!