With blogging, consistency is of chief importance. If you want a group of regular readers, you need to be consistent with your posts. It doesn’t matter what rate you decide to post at, whether it be once an hour or once a week; however, it is important that you pick a rate and stick to it.
Yet, inevitably things come up. We all have responsibilities outside blogging and there are always times when it becomes easy to fall behind on a posting schedule, leaving a blog “post-less” for days at a time. Hence, I would like to emphasize the importance of creating an editorial calendar for your blog and planning ahead with pre-written posts.
What I like to do with AMBeat.com is plan one month ahead. So right now, I have posts scheduled all the way until late-July. Some of these posts are completely written, others and in bullet-form, and some I just have titles and ideas for but regardless, I know what I am going to be writing about over the course of the next month.
I have chosen a post rate of once a day Monday-Friday on my blog so that is how I have planned out my calendar, with one post to appear every weekday over the next month and beyond like clockwork. The way I have set up my calendar is to have pieces which are finished ready for posting as soon as next week, and those which are still work in progresses to be delayed as late as twenty to thirty days from now. Hence, if something comes up or I can’t blog for a few days, AMBeat.com will still have fresh content.
An added bonus of this method is that in essence creates a checklist of what work I need to get done as far as the content of my blog is concerned. I can make a list of the posts that need be researched and written and when these posts are scheduled to be published, allowing me to prioritize and see which posts need work now and which posts can be held off until later. It also helps me coordinate and set-up meeting times for interviews I may need to conduct for any posts.
To create my editorial calendar, I use MS Excel or any similar software to plan out the days of the month, post titles, the status of the post (completed, in-progress, or no progress) and any meetings I may have associated with the post. I have uploaded a sample calendar I use at Scribd which you can download here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16538826/Schedule
I also run my blogs on WordPress I use the timestamp feature to schedule my posts ahead of time. This way, posts appear automatically at certain times so I don’t have to manually log-in to my blog to publish a post. (This technique is also great for when you are going on a vacation and don’t want to constantly update your blog. Write a few posts before you leave and schedule them out to be posted while you are on your trip.) For those of you in the WordPress control panel, the timestamp feature is available in the “Write New Post” section to the right of the area where you enter the text of a post. As default, it says “Publish Immediately”; however, by pressing edit you can change the date and time you want the post to be published on your blog.
This technique may not apply for news blogs who need to consistently publish content on a timely basis; however, it is a great technique for everyone where timing of the post is not crucial. Off course most blogs do publish “recent news” related pieces so just because you plan one month ahead doesn’t mean you can relax and take a month off. If a breaking news story occurs in your niche then you still need to report on it. Simply post the news piece in lieu of a planned post and reschedule the post for another opening in your editorial calendar.
This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat.com, a complete resource for entrepreneurs complete with advice articles, start-up profiles, interviews, news analysis, and more.