Some of the best advice I got when I started blogging back in 2013 was to seek out other blogs and make note of what I liked and didn’t like about them. The next step was to emulate those things I liked best on Second Run Reviews. Because I manage following blogs by emails, I quickly noted that I prefer following blogs that have one quality post per day. It doesn’t make a difference to me if it is a review, a discussion post or a meme, I prefer a single post per day.
The benefit of posting a single post per day is two-fold.
- I have more content. By focusing a single post per day I can spread out my reviews over several months. I also opted not to post every day. This gives me some flexibility to do memes that interest me, like That’s What He Said, when the inspiration strikes or promote a book or author via a tour company request.
- It is easier to promote my content. With a single post per day, it is easier for me to promote posts via social media and there is only a single email going out to subscribers each time there is a post. Also, since I have chosen not to post every day, I can promote posts for multiple days over the course of the week.
How I Manage My Posting Schedule on a Macro Level
I don’t know why, but when I started, I chose to post on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I also don’t know why, but I decided to post my reviews on Monday and Wednesday. Sunday used to be The Sunday Post and is now Scenic Sundays. Friday is now my In the Spotlight feature. I manage all of this with 2 tools—a Google Spreadsheet and Asana.
My Google spreadsheet has the following columns: Date of the Week, Month, Date, Post Title, Post Type, Number, Review, Giveaway, Written, Scheduled, Proofed, On GoodReads, On Amazon and On BN.com. I put an entire year on one tab.
Next, I created filters for the normal posting days so I can easily create filters for my post types. I do consider holidays a posting type as I don’t normally post on holidays. So grab a calendar and block those big ones off like the 4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Heck, if you know when your vacation is mark that as a holiday as well.
With those basic filters in place, each Saturday, when I start working on my blog, I start with my reviews that need to be written. I pull up my Google spreadsheet, filter on Book Reviews and see where my holes are and drop that review in on a Monday or Wednesday. I usually highlight tours and ARCs in yellow so I don’t move those.
I might move things around so I don’t end up with too many negative reviews in a row. Or if I found a particularly romantic quote in a book, I try to schedule that review on a Wednesday to take advantage of the That’s What He Said meme on Thursdays. I make sure that if a tour is coming up that I have that post written, I’ve received the tour information and updated the post with the tour information.
My next step once I have the Google spreadsheet updated is to transfer that information over to my Asana project where I keep track of each step I like to take with each post. (More on Asana later as that is more micro managing and we are talking macro managing in this post.)
Will a Google spreadsheet work for everyone? Heck, no. I’m a project manager by day and I will be the first to admit I work on a different level of detail than most people when it comes to planning things out. So start small…
Google Sheet Blog Post Planning Spreadsheet Download Now
Take a look at the first tab to see the simple details I include for each of my posts. Open up WordPress and start plugging in the posts you already have scheduled for this month on the 2016 tab in the spreadsheet. Review the types of posts you have scheduled.
- Do you have multiple posts on one day?
- Do you have too many negative reviews in a row?
- Do you have too many similar post types in a row?
- Do you have a post on a day you plan to be away or is a holiday?
Start moving things around using copy and paste to reschedule things on the Google spreadsheet and then mirror that in WordPress. Take advantage of the filter option in the spreadsheet and WordPress to focus in on the month you are working on.
Got that done? Take a look at next month, mark off known holidays. These could be official holidays (you’ll notice I put in the the bigger holidays for you already) or days you know you won’t have time spend a lot of time blogging. Mark in known tours and ARC reviews that must be done. Do you participate in a meme every week? Filter on the Day column and add that as a Post Type.
The trick is to start small. If reviewing a whole month is overwhelming, start with a single week, then move up to two, then three and then four. Have a brilliant idea for a discussion post? Put it in the spreadsheet and strive to have it completed by that date. Don’t have it done? Move it! Nothing is set in stone.
I know that scheduling can feel like you are forced into something, but unless you have a set obligation like a book tour and an agreement with a publisher or author, your schedule is not set. Setting a schedule should help you. It should give you some freedom. Even just making the decision NOT to post on a holiday relieves some stress for me. Knowing I have a break.
The goal of scheduling should be to provide regular quality content for your followers. You need to define what that means to you and then follow through. But, REMEMBER, you must allow yourself to switch things up if you find something is not working for you or if you find a better way to manage things. In the end, your blogging schedule should give you freedom.