The Value of Planning Blog Posts Ahead of Time

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.


63 thoughts on “The Value of Planning Blog Posts Ahead of Time”

  1. Now I know how you get your posting job done, I will go plan out my posting, you should have post this early… haha.. anyway, thanks for this valuable secret of yours…

    1. Ben Pei says:

      But its tiring to be coming out with 5 posts on the same day.

      Ben Pei’s last blog post: Giving Your Home Based Business a Boost With Blogging

      1. Jake Stone says:

        Just think how much good time you can have remainder of the week.

        Jake Stone’s last blog post: Separate the lead generation from the rest of the sales process

        1. Still one month in advance is a lot of effort. I wish I had that kind of dedication.

          Not John Chow’s last blog post: Not John Chow Joins CMF Ads

      2. You dont have to do all five, just do a few. If you post once a day, write two posts a day. They will add up fast

        Aditya Mahesh’s last blog post: Guerrilla Marketing: Firefox vs. IE8

        1. Jake Stone says:

          Yes, once you get even a week’s articles done up front you have a nice buffer for unexpected situations.

          Jake Stone’s last blog post: Divide the sales process into pieces

      3. fas says:

        Write when your in the mood, you can write much more then that then.

        fas’s last blog post: SEO Flowchart For Awesome Search Engine Rankings

        1. Yes and when you are in mood … just finish for few days, so that you do not have to worry about coming days.

          I am following this to manage my time in proper way

          ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: Ultimate Blogging Theme Coupon Code – Save $20

      4. elmot says:

        i agree ben…knowing too that you are not only to make a mediocare lame post, but one superb article. and this is minus the writer’s block, ehehe

        wow! simply amazing. but everything boils down to time management.

        elmot’s last blog post: Don’t Tell Your Children Not To Lie?

  2. Jordi says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips. This is something I meant to do for a long time, but (you know the excuse) never had the time to do it.
    Your post gave me enough inspiration to make a posting plan for our blog using the Microsoft Outlook calendar.

    Jordi’s last blog post: Moving Up The Ranks

    1. So now you are going to apply this one in your blog.

      Jordi just apply this for once and you will feel the advantage of this.

      ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: Ultimate Blogging Theme Coupon Code – Save $20

  3. Twitter Tips says:

    Good strategy! Like that you will be updating your blog everyday! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Twitter Tips’s last blog post: Tweefind – Rank-based Twitter Search Engine Update

  4. Linda says:

    You sound one of those annoyingly organised people!

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Dear Linda,
      I don’t know anyone who has been successful without being organized. Maybe you should also try to be slightly annoying.
      Best regards
      Jake

      1. Looks like I am a unorganized one here. But it is the dynamic of stock market you can’t realy plan for it. 🙂

        Stock Traders Blog’s last blog post: Earn Higher Then CD Rates by Selling Put Options

  5. Cam Birch says:

    I like to do that as well with my blog. I find it can be rather difficult to maintain my enthusiasm with blogging when I have too many articles ready to go in advance though. On the other hand it certainly reduces the late night panic blogging :).

    Cam Birch’s last blog post: Making Money The Easy Way

    1. Jake Stone says:

      For some of us timestamp posting is the only way to do this thing. For me it is Saturday afternoon when I put few hours to my blog. Answering comments every now and then and when combined I’m very close to my goal of posting once per day.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Separate the lead generation from the rest of the sales process

      1. Yeah this is the best thing which wordpress added. I am sure person who gave this idea is also facing time crisis like we did …

        ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: Ultimate Blogging Theme Coupon Code – Save $20

  6. Greg Ellison says:

    I like to do my posts in the morning, but I think I need to start doing them ahead of time. Greg Ellison

    Greg Ellison’s last blog post: Jon and Kate Announcement Spoiler

  7. Diabetis says:

    I believe that John Chow has already posted this article before.

    Diabetis’s last blog post: A type 2 diabetis

    1. Jake Stone says:

      Perfectly time-efficient way to create new content is to take something old and post it as new.

      The other way of looking at it is to realize that he has been writing this blog for years and you are bound to be somewhat redundant at some point.

      Jake Stone’s last blog post: Separate the lead generation from the rest of the sales process

  8. @TheBadBlogger: Thanks!
    @TwitterTips: Yes and its a lot more stress free
    @Linda: Haha but it is really not too difficult at all

    Aditya Mahesh’s last blog post: Guerrilla Marketing: Firefox vs. IE8

  9. @Cam: Perhaps, but you can always make more posts even if you have guest posts scheduled
    @Greg: The morning isnt a bad time, just write out a few posts for future days at the same sitting
    @Diabetis: John talked about WordPress Timestamp, but I wanted to talk about other strategies I utilize

    Aditya Mahesh’s last blog post: Guerrilla Marketing: Firefox vs. IE8

  10. Kristin says:

    I’ve only scheduled posts a few times with WordPress. It seems like when I schedule one week then I’m behind the next. I do have around 20 drafts at any given time though. Some are 90% written, some bulleted lists, and some are just ideas.

    Kristin’s last blog post: Top Remodels During a Recession

    1. Jake Stone says:

      You have an interesting mix of categories at your blog, I don’t wonder that you have 20 drafts under work at any given time as such broad topic selection surely gets your creative juices flowing.

  11. James Hartje says:

    Hey John, on my blog I average at minimum an article a day, so is it cool though if some days I post two or three times or to people not like that. Is more allowed?

    James Hartje’s last blog post: China’s Growing Concerns

    1. Off course, as long as you still post once a day

      Aditya Mahesh’s last blog post: Guerrilla Marketing: Firefox vs. IE8

    2. I think you should kept a fixed rhythm … say if you want to post one than keep it one only.

      With this your visitor will know when you are going to post your new ones.

      ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: Ultimate Blogging Theme Coupon Code – Save $20

  12. Infogle.com says:

    Nice one – good idea…. because it happens most of the time to me – my blog is left for weeks post-less

    i will surely apply this

    Infogle.com’s last blog post: When Offers Not Flowing

  13. ML Vanessa says:

    Creating a time line for the blogs helps out a lot. It helps me to write topics that pop into my head down and elaborate on them later. But at least I’ll know what series to do for that month and have some direction. Thanks for the great tip!

  14. Andre Arnett says:

    I really like this information and think it is a perfect way to have those hard to write post thought out a head of time. Thanks.

    Andre Arnett’s last blog post: Twitter Watching The World And Watching Your Business

  15. I took your advice in the eBook and added Post queue. I am in the process of adding content with rewritten freelance articles… It makes perfect sense to try and plan.. thanks for the tip

    Online Marketing’s last blog post: Blog Review – Deepak Arora

  16. EarningStep says:

    i read this tips at your ebook already , but still this is great tips for new blogger

    EarningStep’s last blog post: Making Money Online With The MarketMaker

  17. Doug Dillard says:

    The last couple of weeks I have been trying to write 2 blog posts a day so I could build up a reserve in my drafts. We will see how long that lasts, but I am hoping it will become a habit eventually!

    Doug Dillard’s last blog post: Buy, Test, Review, Earn Your Money Back, Profit, Use Forever, Keep Making Money… Sound Good?

    1. Thats a great strategy

  18. Jackie Chia says:

    Very useful post John,thank you very much.
    Best regards.

    Jackie Chia’s last blog post: Bear Ice Climbing Backkom

  19. Good tips! When I know I´m going away for a week or so, I write posts in advance and then just login to post them.Another way is to have a few guest posters.

    Tom – Home Business Tips’s last blog post: Common Mistakes Made In Email Opt-In Usability, Stop Doing Them

  20. This method does come handy. I write posts for the week on a Sunday. It works out great. For my old blog I once wrote and scheduled to publish enough posts for 2 months. Talk about a break from writing. The only thing I had to do was promotion and reply to comments.

    Deneil Merritt’s last blog post: Are You Afraid To Be Famous?

    1. Wow 2 months is quite a bit of leeway…just make sure to check the content is still relevant/timely

      Aditya Mahesh’s last blog post: Guerrilla Marketing: Firefox vs. IE8

      1. Yeah, I guess I was in the writing “zone” The content is always relevant in some way or another. Their timely, some didn’t post so I had to log in and post them. I hate when problems happen.

        Deneil Merritt’s last blog post: Flashback Monday – Recap Of Last Week Posts, Blog Updates, Resources, & Latest News

  21. J. Money says:

    yeah – GREAT idea for sure, i do the same esp when leaving for vacay or a busy week is coming up…

    i also tend to write posts in gmail and save them as drafts to tweak up later – like when i’m not at my full-time job 😉

    J. Money’s last blog post: Budgets Come in all Different Shapes and Sizes.

  22. Definitely,

    You are totally right John.
    Thanks for the great post!

    Igor

    Internet Marketing Strategies’s last blog post: Should You Request Someone To Be Your Mentor? 5 Damn Good Reasons Why You Should!

  23. I agree 100% that it’s extremely important to plan your blog posts. I myself, use services like Google Calendar to plan ahead with my posts. The only problem sometimes though is that it really can be extremely difficult to plan posts, so I try every week to have one specific time where I write a whole bunch of posts at once.

    bradleybradwell’s last blog post: How To Choose The Best Affiliate Program Part 2

  24. game-girl says:

    All ideas are realized quickly and easily if they have been thought before!

    game-girl’s last blog post: Мальчишник в Вегасе скачать фильм онлайн

  25. Jess says:

    Good advice, thank you!

    Jess’s last blog post: A question of morals.

  26. Just apply it guys … apply that scheduled option. This wont save your time only but also give you opportunity to concentrate more on your other projects and assignments.

    Very very useful …

    ZK @ Web Marketing Blog’s last blog post: Ultimate Blogging Theme Coupon Code – Save $20

  27. Cool planned to late july! WOW im going to do that too!

    Ruchira Sahan’s last blog post: What is CMS?

  28. The ability to schedule posts is an excellent add in from wordpress 2.7. I’ve been using it and it’s a godsend, especially when I’m busy with other tasks for a period of time. For example, I’ll be out of town for the next 2 weeks in July, so I’ll be scheduling posts for publishing during the time so the site will still be updated.

    Celes | CelestineChua.com’s last blog post: Launch of CelestineChua.com

  29. Tvents says:

    Postings for the blogs are important to make the readers like to see. The plan to post regularly in the blog has to be scheduled. In the same time, the articles also have to be prepared. The articles should be interesting and the titles should be able to describe them shortly.

    Tvents’s last blog post: SEO and Meta Tag

  30. Brad says:

    lol, i only right blog when i feel like it., i should get in the habbit of posting more often.

    Brad’s last blog post: No Freaking Way! (this guy makes $100k a day)

  31. Tyson says:

    Thanks, I have not had the results I was looking for with blogging, now I know why. Thanks again.

    Tyson’s last blog post: Press Release

  32. game-girl says:

    Planning is the first step in the realization of the plans.Thank you for remembering it though everybody knows .

  33. Planning one month ahead is great, but don’t you want fresh newsy stuff?

    Gold Coins Blog’s last blog post: Price Increases On US Mint Gold Coins

  34. In my case, I have no choice, but to plan ahead. It’s an online mag, so interviews, reviews, etc. always have to be scheduled ahead.

    TYCP Entertainment Magazine’s last blog post: Courtney Van Dusen Interview

  35. Mikes says:

    I so agree. My site is a Daily thing. I struglle to live up to that commitment!

    Mikes’s last blog post: The Word of God enables us to do Good Works

  36. Tyson says:

    Great Post John,

    The millionaire mindset with T Harv Eker, “How you do anything, is how you do everything. ” Not planning your posts reflects not planning the business. Thanks for the reminder.

    Tyson’s last blog post: How to get free traffic to my website and articles fast

  37. Big Pumpkin says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’m doing this now 🙂 but I can only manage up to a week of forward posts for now…..

    Big Pumpkin’s last blog post: Nirvana Banana Leaf Rice Bangsar

  38. That is a great idea to pre-plan for a month ahead. But to write all the way to mid-July, did you do that in one sitting alone?

  39. Roseanne says:

    Thanks so much for this information John!! When I first started my blog I decided on a whole lot of related topics and now find it hard to give seamless information. I sort of jump here and there, writing willy nilly on whatever takes my fancy for that time. Starting today … I’M GOING TO PLAN MY POSTS!!

    Roseanne’s last blog post: Its Our Anniversary

  40. Penny says:

    Thanks for sharing. Iwill try your method to revive some of my blogs!

    Penny’s last blog post: "Always make your future bigger than your past.”—-Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomura in…"

  41. I recently began pre-writing my posts on the weekends and it’s been great for me. I find myself writing longer, detailed, and more quality posts. Anyone serious about blogging should consider trying it.

  42. Custom Essay says:

    Try to save your upcoming post as draft and publish it on Friday night to get good results on Saturdays and Mondays.

    Mairsh

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