“How do you balance having pre-written posts with timely content – what’s a good balance to strike?” question submitted to me using #pbquestions by @crystalsquest
Using pre-written and scheduled posts is a strategy that many bloggers use to help them keep fresh content appearing on their blogs while maintaining a life that is not dominated 24/7 by their blogs.
Here’s how I do it:
Monday mornings are traditionally my ‘writing mornings’. I set aside 4-5 hours and give myself the goal of writing at least 5 (sometimes as many as 6-7) posts for my blogs. The goal is to have 5 fairly meaty posts (original, helpful and of a reasonable length) by the end of the morning that I can use on my blog over the coming week.
Over the coming week I use these 5 posts – one per day. I usually schedule them using WordPress’s time stamp feature so that they go off just after midnight my time here in Australia (around the time most people are getting to work in the US).
I find that using this strategy means that I can get in a writing groove Monday mornings – this generally leads to a higher quality post as I’m offline, not distracted by email, Twitter and instant messaging. It also means that for the rest of the week I’m freed up to concentrate on other blogging related tasks.
Other Types of Posts
Of course I post more content on my blogs than just the pre-written and pre-scheduled posts. These are supplemented with posts during the week including:
- breaking news
- answering reader questions
- linking to what others are writing
- polls/reader discussion starters
In most cases these other posts are more time relevant posts and not the kind that you can write in advance or pre-schedule.
What is the Best Mix of Pre-Written and Timely Content?
My take on this is that it really depends upon the type of blog you’re trying to develop.
Some blogs have much more time sensitive content than others.
Here at ProBlogger I focus mainly upon ‘how to’ content – most of which is relevant whether it is posted today, tomorrow or in a month’s time. Quite often posts will sit in my draft folder for weeks before I schedule it.
On my photography blog while the main focus of the site is ‘tips’ and ‘how to’ related content there are times of the year (when big photography shows are on and manufacturers are announcing new cameras) where we switch more into ‘news’ mode and are posting on a more timely basis.
Over at b5media many of our entertainment blogs are a lot more time sensitive. Many times our bloggers on these blogs are live blogging while TV shows are on and reporting news relevant to TV shows and the actors in them as the news is breaking.
In the end there’s no rule that fits all blogs. It will largely depend upon what you’re trying to do on your blog. If you’re breaking news, you’ll probably major on posts that are more spontaneous. If you’re producing a tutorial blog or writing opinion pieces the timing of your posts might not be quite as relevant and you’ll be more able to pre-write and schedule posts.