November 1, 2012
Tips on Thursday: Schedule
Life got in the way? I'm pretty sure this has crossed the lips, er fingers, of every blogger. We love our blogs; we work hard to garner a following; we pride ourselves in good content. Yet, we are squeezing our blogs in between the rest of our lives. For few of us, blogging is a free endeavor (no pay) and difficult to justify spending hours away from friends and family.
As the holidays approach time will become even more scarce and precious. I'm a strong advocate of taking a break from blogging every now and again. This summer when I took a vacation I offered this tip.
Last week I was on vacation again and again saw no drop in traffic. I was able to schedule post of my posts. However, now I'm up to posting 13 - 16 posts a week. I wasn't able to get to all my posts last week - I posted 12 times though. However, this past week suffered. I've only posted 5 times (this will make 6 and I have a guest post for Friday), because I didn't have the weekend to schedule all my posts.
In addition to the holidays, I've also started getting more clients for my publicity business. My time is becoming even more limited. I have some tips that I'm hoping to implement to make the rest of the year run smoothly.
I have 3 guest post features a week. Though I'm not writing the post, it does take time to format the post. I ask for authors to send me their information no later than 48 hours prior to posting. On occasion, authors miss the deadline. However, as the year end nears they, too, want to clear their desks & calendars. I have most of the guest posts for the month of November. I'm going to set aside some time to format those posts.
Have some draft posts waiting for when I don't have a review ready or other post. I have enough book trailers to post 3 a week through the end of the year. They are simple posts to format. Again, by spending a little of time now getting them ready will save me time later. If a guest blogger doesn't send me their info on time, I won't be lacking new content for the day.
I also do book features. Sometimes they are requested by the author/publisher and other times they are books in my TBR pile. If it is one of my TBR books, I gather info from Goodreads.com - summary, book cover, author bio and a couple of sentences from reviews. Voila! A post is done. Between book features and book trailers I have new content for the the rest of the year. Keeping them in draft allows me flexibility depending on what else I have going on. If my reading starts slacking because of limited time, a book feature can be a good substitute.
If you have a bit more time, you can write other type of posts just to have as backup if you week gets really crazy.
Draft or schedule? Above I mentioned I leave the trailers and features in draft. The good thing about the trailers and features, they have no expiration date. It doesn't matter when the post. I do recommend scheduling a week's worth of posts. When possible, I schedule all my guest posts, reviews, and tips posts and fill in the schedule with the trailers and features. By leaving these "filler" posts unscheduled I can post them whenever needed - an author is having a free day I slip in their trailer I have in draft.
Be flexible. I like keeping a schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday - guest posts, Tuesdays and Saturdays - reviews, Thursdays - tips, Sunday - Kid Who Reads. I also like the 7:30 am and 3 pm posting schedule I have going. Readers no when and what to expect each day. It builds reader loyalty and I have seen a lot more returning visitors since I've solidified this schedule. However, with the holidays coming I have to keep in mind I won't always be able to keep the schedule. Again, the "filler" posts in draft come in handy - I can slip in one at either posting time. I also know that if I miss both slots (like I did today) a post in the evening will still do well.
I hope these tips help you as we head into the busy holiday season. Remember if all else fails, the world and your blog will not crumble because you fail to post new content as the rate you have been doing the rest of the year. Don't stress and enjoy the season!