If you’re anything like me, you saw the word “schedule” and already made up your mind that this was one post you weren’t going to like. Trust me, I know. I’m a schedule hater myself. You give me a schedule of things to do and I’m probably going to dump it as soon as you turn your back. Fuck that noise, I do what I like. But, being that blogging is one of the things that I like, I slowly started to ease up on my haterade and began incorporating a few helpful habits into my blog routine. Without realizing it, I created a (gasp) schedule!
First, I revisited my blogging goals and brainstormed a few ideas that would help me to reach those goals. I downloaded a blog planner as a visual and physical reminder to help keep me on track with posting consistently. The planner I have also has a bunch of features and pages to help with daily "blog maintenance" but I don't use those anymore. They're tedious and time consuming and I'm all about ease and simplicity.
Now, before you can even start thinking about putting a schedule together, you have to think about what you do now. Do you blog early in the morning before work? Late at night? Or, are you like me and blog during the day when you’re supposed to be working? Do you read and respond to comment as they come in? Do you read 863892389 other blogs first and then have no idea what to write on your own blog? Read this, then figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Alright, now let’s start this schedule thing! Here’s my personal formula for success:
Write, Publish, Promote, Respond, Visit, Repeat.
Or WPPRVR if you're into acronyms.
WRITE: Write your post. Whatever you want to write about, do so. Don’t worry about what other people have been posting about – is your blog about them, or about you? Having a theme (confessions, shit men say, Friday faves, etc.) can be awesome as long as you’re true to yourself and your writing style.
PUBLISH: Once your writing process is complete, add in whatever else you think is necessary such as images, gifs, or ecards and publish it. You can publish automatically like I do, or schedule it to go live at a certain time. I don’t concern myself with “peak hours” and don’t usually schedule my posts unless I know I’ll be M.I.A. that day. #aintnobodygottimeforthat
PROMOTE: Promoting your post brings traffic and attention to your blog. I’m horrible at promoting my posts so I love those apps that will auto-promote my post once it goes live. Google+, Bloglovin’, and Facebook can do that. Another great thing to do is to add your post to a link-up. Kathy’s confessions are always a hit.
RESPOND: This one is a big one for me. I used to respond to comments as soon as they came in but noticed that not everyone would come back for my next post. Since I sometimes post inconsistently, it’s hard to expect that people will be anxiously awaiting my next post, and wetting their pants for the chance to write a comment on it. So, I switched up my game plan. I still read every comment as it comes in (unless of course, I’m sleeping) but I keep my replies locked in my mind and respond only AFTER I’ve published a new post that day. Usually, your response will bring them back to your blog and they’ll end up commenting on the newest post too. This is how some of the greatest blog friendships start.
VISIT: Okay, this one sort of ties in with responding but I like to separate them since you’re doing two separate things. It’s one thing to respond to comments that people leave on your blog, but it’s an entirely different thing to visit their blog and comment on one of their posts. Return the favor and get to know that blogger – chances are they’re pretty frikken awesome too. So reply to their comment and leave a new comment of your own.
REPEAT: Do I seriously need to expand on this? No? Good.
Like I said, I'm horrible with schedules. Sometimes I don't have enough time to respond or visit that day. Sometimes I don't even write a post. It's all gravy, baby. Don't sweat the small stuff. Schedules change all the time so just flag those emails and respond when you get a break in your day. The true blog friends, the people who you want following and commenting on your blog, won't mind if you take a while to reply. We all have a life outside of blogging too, you know.
So, what do you think? Do you have a blog schedule or a few helpful habits you follow? What's your life outside of blogging like? Do you have any tips or topics to contribute to the series? Let me know!