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I love blogging, but blogging is definitely not easy at times. As much as I wish I could devote more time to my blog, I also work as a nurse (hello 12 hour shifts!) and my schedule is never the same. I make blogging work for me by working on my off hours, and planning way in advance. If you’re anything like me and have a job in addition to blogging, or simply blog as your full time job, you know that time is precious. This is why I came up with 5 things you can schedule to make blogging that much easier.
Most bloggers I come across are super passionate about the content they create. Their blogs are their babies. They have poured so many hours, resources as well as blood sweat and tears into their blogs. Working for what you love is never a bad way to spend your time, however blogging can be time consuming. And, if you’re not prioritizing your tasks appropriately, you may actually be wasting time (which we cannot afford to do!).
In this post I’m going to teach you how to set up your blog to work for you behind the scenes so that you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Getting a few steps ahead of your blog is the best way to stand a chance if time is against you. I will show you my tips and tricks for what to automate with your blog and social media to save you time, and how you can plan in advance to ensure you always come out on top!
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Related Post: Review of The Content Planner
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
I’m not going to lie, when I started blogging, I was behind all the time. I would write posts the day I planned on posting them. The graphics I made would be created last minute on a whim. My Instagram posts were always at obscure times, my Tweets were awkwardly planned and my Facebook page was non-existent (oops!).
I was learning, and the huge learning curve for me was that failing to plan was planning to fail. I learned this the hard way when I started my new job and picked up shifts on a whim. If that shift happened to land on a day my blog post was due, I was toast. No blog post for me!
When you start out as a new blogger, there’s a little bit more of a leeway. I didn’t have the traffic I had now, so fewer people would notice if I skipped a few days being active. However, the bigger your following gets, the more people notice when you go AWOL.
It wasn’t until I started my own Facebook group Coffee & Connect (request access here!) that I realized the impact of being unprepared. As the only admin, people relied on me to post threads. If I didn’t post a thread, no one did. And then other people would suffer as a result. I quickly realized the impact this had on the people who trusted me to deliver, and scrapped my whole previous plan. It was no longer going to cut it.
What is the Secret to Getting Ahead?
The secret to getting ahead, is actually taking a small lull in production in order to get yourself organized. Clear as mud right? What I mean by this is in order to get ahead, you have to catch up, in addition to taking on the extra task of getting ahead. This meaning, you may not necessarily feel the effects of getting ahead right away.
For me, this meant catching up on all my posts, social medias, and schedulers. Only then, was I able to get ahead. The secret to getting ahead, is catching up. The secret to staying ahead, is pre-planning content, utilizing schedulers, and organizing yourself like crazy. Let me show you what you can schedule to make blogging so much easier!
How Scheduling Content Saves Your Butt!
Scheduling content in advance is like allowing yourself to be in two places at the same time! You may be sitting at a desk at work, but you can still have pins being pinned to Pinterest boards in the background! Taking a shower? a blog post could be going live! Sleeping in on a Saturday? don’t worry, your Facebook post will still make it.
Scheduling allows you the freedom to detach from your social medias and blog so that you’re not always connected. This allows for more batch work to be done, more control over your content, and complete customization of what time your content goes up! This also lets you as a blogger to step away from the screen, take time for yourself, and not having to always be available 24-7.
Without further delay, let’s check out my top 5 things you can schedule to make blogging that much easier!
Note: Scheduling is a great way to tackle some of the more mundane tasks that can and should be put on autopilot, but scheduling will never replace the value of manually pinning, manually tweeting and actually getting on and engaging with your followers. Schedulers are a great addition to an engaging social media strategy, as they allow you to be ‘active’ while you’re off doing other things.
5 Things You Can Schedule to Make Blogging That Much Easier
1. Blog Posts
One of the many reasons I love WordPress is that when you go to publish a post, it gives you the option to either post immediately or schedule for later. If you are able to, I highly recommend batch writing blog posts.
If this is something that is difficult to do, I at least recommend writing your blog post the day before and scheduling it to be released at a pre-determined time. This way you’re not scrambling last minute to get your blog post up. Your post is locked, loaded, and ready to go!
2. Blog Content
This one is a biggie as well. Scheduling your blog content in advance is one of the best ways you can get organized. Different bloggers have different techniques for scheduling, such as one month in advance or up to a year in advance.
As long as your planning ahead (I recommend at least a month), you won’t be struggling to come up with ideas last minute for your next post! In addition to planning blog content by month, I also keep a list of back up spur-of-the-moment ideas handy in case I’m not feeling a certain post at a particular time! (It happens to the best of us! The best part about blogging is that you’re in charge, and you call the shots!).
Some bloggers use electronic means of planning their content. I’m definitely a pen and paper gal. I used to have lists upon lists strewn everywhere but recently purchased The Content Planner and I seriously haven’t looked back. The CP is created with bloggers in mind, and is specifically designed to plan out a whole year’s worth of content! I’m absolutely obsessed with mine and it has been a game-changer in how I plan out my blog content strategy!
Ahh, my BFF Pinterest. Pinterest is my favourite thing in the world for driving traffic to my blog. However, sometimes after a nightshift or a long day of blogging, the last thing I want to do is sit there and manually pin forever.
BUT, if I stop pinning altogether, then not only do my monthly views tank, but I notice a significant drop in viewers to my blog! Pinterest is a rich source for blog traffic, and jeopardizing your algorithm can really throw you off. I recall vividly I suffered for two weeks where my algorithm was messed up, and I had to work so hard to get it back to where I was getting consistent Pinterest traffic again!
If you haven’t heard of Tailwind, I seriously recommend giving them a try. Best pinning practice suggests you pin 50-100 pins per day to keep your Pinterest growing steadily. Tailwind allows you to schedule pins throughout the day to pin while you’re not necessarily on Pinterest! If you schedule 20-30 pins a day with Tailwind, that significantly reduces the number of pins you have to manually pin!
You can try Tailwind for free here (allows you to schedule up to 100 pins free!). Or you can use my special link here to get a month of Tailwind Plus for free (lets you schedule up to 400 pins!) If you’d like a more in-depth explanation for how Tailwind works, you can check out my post here!
4. Facebook Posts
Scheduling Facebook posts is a great way to tend to your page without having to think too much about it! You can post links to blog posts, quotes, and posts asking your fans for feedback! I especially like to use this for my Facebook group Coffee & Connect (a blogging community, if you’d like to join click here!) so that I can make sure the threads I post for my members get out on time!
When people are following you, some of the things they’re expecting are consistency and trust. They put their faith and trust in you as the blogger that you are going to deliver content! When you start sporadically posting or taking long hiatuses, your followers lose trust, and you appear anything but consistent. (Note that I’m not speaking of taking much needed breaks for your health and well-being, I’m talking days to weeks on end, with no real consistent pattern)
The next time you go to make a post on Facebook, when you go to publish there will be an option to schedule the post for later or publish immediately. Select a time to schedule the post and allow it to be automated! Facebook will send you a notification as to when the post has gone live!
I personally like to schedule several days in a row so that I don’t have to worry about missing a post! Also, make sure you go back to check on the post and engage with followers! There is no sense in posting if you have no intentions of engaging with your followers!
Hootsuite is an app/website that allows you to schedule over several social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few!). I personally use Hootsuite more for Twitter than the others, as I directly schedule my Facebook posts on Facebook itself!
Hootsuite allows me to plan my tweets out with time slots throughout the day! Sometimes this really saves me when I can’t always make it on to Twitter. It’s still my content, but I don’t always have to be present to get the content out! Again, best practice is to always go back and engage with any posts you have made!
You can try a free-trial of Hootsuite, and then plans are based accordingly on your needs!
Blogging is a labour of love, but you don’t have to absolutely slave over every single thing. Plan your content smartly, take advantage of schedulers to boost your activity when you’re not around, and plan in advance. Batch working is a major component of protecting your time as a blogger. This way, you can produce content for later dates, and schedule it out accordingly. As someone who works in addition to blogging, this has saved me SO many times on days I get called in and can’t whip up a blog post ASAP.
Planning in advance can benefit you as a full-time blogger, part-time blogger, or even as a blogger with other commitments. As a new blogger, nailing down a schedule is key to getting organized and can ease the overwhelming feeling of starting a new blog! I hope these tips inspire you to get ahead today!