Planning and scheduling your blog posts when you would be away

Established bloggers and YouTubers generally try to stick to a fixed publishing schedule for consistency. You would notice that especially with YouTube, after asking you to subscribe if you are new to the channel, it would usually be followed by ‘I publish new content every ___’.

The schedule must be something that you can realistically accomplish.

For example, if you are having a full time job, it would be a little unrealistic to be able to publish one post everyday or from Monday to Friday. We are not even talking about long meaty posts- sometimes it is hard to even squeeze in a 500 words post. In the beginning, by sacrificing on sleep and working on weekends, you may be able to stick to this schedule but this will soon wear you out.

Over the years, I try to stick to some sort of publishing schedule when publishing my blog posts especially with my larger blogs. But I do experiment and change the dates. Sometimes due to busy schedule or travelling, I was not able to publish as often as I love to.

Writing blog posts in advance and scheduling them

The best way to be able to achieve a consistent publishing schedule is to:
• Determine a realistic publishing schedule
• Setting aside time to write blog posts
• Schedule these blog posts to publish at specific dates and time.

I’ve done this myself- more often that I’d care to admit

10 years ago, I did exactly this- I travelled and spent months in Thailand to ‘discover myself’ and do some voluntary work. During that time, accessing to internet was a challenge. I did as many posts that I could before I left and schedule them for publishing. Each two weeks to a month when I manage to have access to a computer, I would use it mainly to moderate comments.

With that, I was able to grow my blog and readership even though I am out of the country.
It is the same now as it was 10 years ago. In this past year, there were certain time that I was unable to be actively blogging due to:
• Planning for another important event
• Travelling
• Wanting to take a break to focus on my family
• Home undergoing renovation

During this time, I estimate the time that I would not be able to blog. Then I add another 1 to 2 weeks because sometimes it takes time to get back to the groove of blogging. Based on my publishing schedule, I would be able to determine how many posts I need for that blog.

For example, if I am publishing two posts in a week. If I am travelling for 2 weeks, I would prepare enough blog posts to cover for about 3 and half weeks because:
• I will not be free few days prior to travel (half a week)
• 2 weeks away for travel
• 1 week to get back into the groove of blogging

That would mean that I would need to prepare 7 blog posts in advance. That is for one blog. What if I were to have 5 blogs? Then I will need to total up the publishing frequency and prepare enough posts for that.

If it is too much and I know I cannot realistically achieve it (because I always write all the posts myself and do not outsource the writing), I would lengthen the publishing frequency. For example from twice a week to once a week. For blog with once a week, then it would become twice a month.

Preparing your schedule posts- determine how many posts that you need to write in a day

Let’s give an extreme example- you plan to take a one year break from blogging to focus on other stuff in your life. But you want to keep the blog looking active and decide that you would set the publishing frequency to one blog post per week.

There are 52 weeks in a year. That means you would need 52 posts to tie you in. If you have one month before your travel to prepare all the posts, and plan to work only 5 days in a week, that means each day you need to write an average of 2.6 posts (52 blogs/20 days) or about 3 posts a day.

An easy way to track is to use the good old fashioned- create a symbol or just use the stick method and mark on your table calendar each time you finish a blog post. Looking at the calendar would give you a feeling of accomplishment. At the end of each week, you can total up the number of posts and check how far are you from your goal.

If you have more than 1 blog, you may choose to use a different symbol or mark with different colour pens. I find this simple method to be motivating and inspiring.

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