Maximize Your Blogging: Plan Ahead

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source: sue richards
source: sue richards

If your goal is to blog every day, chances are you’ve experienced the panic of realizing you haven’t posted, don’t have any idea what to post about and don’t really even feel like posting. One thing that a lot of successful bloggers have in common is that they plan ahead to avoid moments such as these.

Let’s look at a few different ways to plan ahead:

Write Posts Ahead of Time

Writing posts ahead of time means that you’re never stuck without posts. Whether you have a family emergency, a computer outage or just need a break, you’ll have posts in your queue scheduled and ready to be posted.

Pros: Being ahead gives you more wiggle room for when real life interferes with blogging. It also gives you more time to tweak and edit your posts because you’re not writing them at the last minute under the pressure of just getting something posted.

Cons: To maintain this system, you have to stay ahead and not take advantage of that queue of posts too often or it will soon be gone. If your blog deals with time-sensitive issues, such as deals or freebies, this method won’t work for you.

Plan Posts Ahead of Time

Even if you’re not writing ahead of time, planning your posts for the days/weeks/months ahead is helpful because it means you don’t have to worry about trying to come up with ideas on the fly.

Pros: Brainstorming post ideas is half the battle. By brainstorming your posts for the week or month at one time, you’re making the most of that time rather than just trying to think of ideas under pressure. (By the way, mindmapping is a great way to brainstorm post ideas.)

Cons: If you regularly use this system, you may find that it’s harder to come up with ideas on the fly when you need to. For those of us you who are very type-A organized, it may be hard to adjust your plan to allow for unexpected post ideas.

This is the type of system that Darren Rowse from ProBlogger uses for planning his weekly posts.

Make a Blogging Schedule

Setting aside time for blogging is an important part of blogging regularly, especially if you’re working full-time, caring for children or have any number of other commitments. Your schedule should be tweaked to work specifically for you and your preferences and lifestyle.

Pros: Having time set aside for blogging makes it more likely that you’ll actually invest that time in blogging. Let’s face it, trying to squeeze something into our busy lives rarely works out quite as well as we hope it will.

Cons: If you live and die by your schedule and miss your scheduled blogging time, you’ll have to make that time up, especially if you don’t have any posts written or scheduled in your queue.

Here are some great examples from Creative Fusion Media of  simple blogging schedules.

Do you use any of the systems above to simplify and maximize your blogging? What has or has not worked for you in the past? Come share your system in the comments, where I’ll be telling you more about my system – or attempt at a system – as well!