Do You Schedule Your Blog Posts?

Yearly calendar - Do you schedule your blog posts? Mental Health @ Home blogging about blogging

WordPress has a handy little feature that allows you to schedule blog posts ahead of time.  So, do you use it?  If so, how far out do you schedule?  What are the pros and cons?

I’m a scheduling devotee, and have been since very early on in my blogging days.  I want to deliver a consistent reading experience to readers of my blog, but I’m not a consistent writer.  Sometimes I’ll go a week without writing anything at all, and sometimes I’ll bang out 4 posts in a day.

I like to post daily, and that’s something that’s sustainable for me, but only if I schedule.  I perform worse under pressure, so trying to push myself to write a new post every day probably wouldn’t work out very well.

So, how far in advance do I schedule?  At least 2 weeks, preferably closer to 3.  The only exception is my Saturday weekend wrap-up post.  I add bits and pieces to it throughout the week, and on Friday I finalize it and schedule it to publish on Saturday.  While the weekend wrap-up is time-specific, most of my other posts aren’t, which is nicely conducive to scheduling.

My schedule isn’t set in stone, and if I want to write about something in response to something I’ve read elsewhere, I’ll move that post to the front of the line.  It’s all planned out on my Excel spreadsheet for all things blogging and writing.  I think I might cease to function as a blogger if my spreadsheet (and its backup) died a digital death.

The most important thing for me, though, is having that buffer.  That 2-week buffer is essential for me to have a stress-free, burnout-free blogging experience.

I see some bloggers who will have spurts of being extremely prolific, and then they’ll disappear for a while because of course such a pace isn’t sustainable.  That seems like it would be a good situation to schedule at least some of those posts for later in order to maintain a steadier pace.

Scheduling can also be good if you publish once every week or two, as it helps your regular readers know when they can expect to see you.

There are some types of posts that scheduling probably doesn’t work so well for.  If your blog is diary-style, that’s not really conducive to pre-scheduling.  If you participate in prompts or challenges, those might not be a good fit for scheduling, unless you’re trying to space out your posts for that day.  If you’re getting a consistent stream of material/inspiration from another source, there probably isn’t a clear benefit to scheduling.

Whether you choose to schedule or not, what matters most is coming up with a system that’s sustainable and feels good for you.  Regardless of what you’d like to be putting out to your readers, if you’re not fulfilling your own needs then you risk getting burnt out.

And if you’re starting to get burnt out?  Step back and take a breather for a while.  The blogging world will still be here when you get back.  And before you wade back in, give some thought to preparing a few posts beforehand to keep in reserve for later.  What’s most sustainable for you is what’s going to end up being what’s best for your blog.

Do you schedule your posts?  Do you ever feel pressure to keep up with your writing?

 

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47 thoughts on “Do You Schedule Your Blog Posts?

  1. Joshua Shea says:

    I find that I’ve been scheduling more and more, but only 1-2 days ahead. I like the routine of waking up in the morning, getting my son off to school, then coming back to write for an hour on whatever topic is in my head that day. However, if I know I have a lot of “real” paying work to do or I’m just struck by several ideas, I’ll fill the next few days on the calendar. I tried something for the first time this week, where I wrote the weekend posts on Saturday, so I didn’t have to think about topics until Monday. Of course, here we are on Sunday and I’ve got ideas, so I may start into next week early. I think I’m going to hit a lull of work around Christmas. Maybe I’ll keep a New Year’s resolution to get a week ahead of things.

  2. Liz says:

    I am known to have something scheduled 2 or 3 months in advance. In between that, posts written, that I may have written that day, or written to be scheduled a day, or two ahead, to the ones scheduled 2, to 3 months in advance.

  3. Marty says:

    Well I am a kind of a spur of the moment.

    I write a
    Post in the morning and publish it.

    I will
    Schedule when I am inspired to
    Write more than one post

    I see some bloggers have a post reposted a
    Couple
    Times in an attempt to get more hits

    A bigger dilemma for me is traffic

    How many likes we get

    How many hits we get

    Are with after traffic?

    I would rather have less traffic and readers doing the work

    Do we write to increase
    Our audience or write from the heart?

    • ashleyleia says:

      For me writing from the heart is an important place to keep bringing myself back to whenever all of the various distractions start getting too loud (even if sometimes that’s harder than others).

  4. Paula Light says:

    Scheduling is one of the best WP features. When I was doing the 3TC posts, I had them scheduled weeks out. Now, I usually schedule for a week. At the moment though, I have nothing. Yikes! Must get cracking on this whole week because I have a lot going on, and the week after too (moving). May do 3 weeks today ~ Monday Peeves, Thursday Inspiration, Friday Flashbacks, Sunday Lyrics. Then I’ll fill in the other days with my serial fiction. I’ll still do other prompts as they occur ~ Fandango’s Wednesday Question and Linda’s Saturday Stream.

    Also, even for a spontaneous post, I like to schedule it for an hour or more later and proofread it again before it goes live. I know this is obsessive, but I find errors and other things that bug me when I let it set a bit.

  5. eirlysgwenllian says:

    I am not a spontaneous person at all but I feel like my writing is very much so. I hardly ever schedule anything, I guess only in situations when I know I’ll be away for a couple days and I specifically know what I would like to post, so then I’ll schedule something to fill the gap during that time. I tried to schedule my daily series posts as I thought that would be handy, but I tend to write them rather spontaneously too so that doesn’t really work very well for me. Plus, with my disorientation regarding dates, numbers and all I’m always stressed that I scheduled it wrong and it won’t appear at the time I wanted it to hahaha. I’m thinking about trying it again though, with Misha’s weekly posts, they usually appear on Fridays because that feels the best for me and it also was this way on my previous blog so we’re used to it, but lately it happens a lot of the time that I’m busy on Fridays or for whatever reason cannot help him with writing his posts, but I would really like them to be more regular a feature so that Misha could seriously be more strongly a part of my blog, so we might try scheduling those posts and see how that works.

  6. crushedcaramel says:

    I use the SCHEDULE feature all the time. Annabelle’s story is one post a day Monday to Friday. I schedule a Song Lyric Sunday post in advance and often an award nomination post for Saturday. I write short posts about all sorts and schedule them to be published either within a couple of days or possibly even weeks later.
    I’m already scheduling posts for 2020.

  7. Johnzelle Anderson says:

    Back when I worked 2 jobs over the summer, i scheduled my newsletters out for like 2 months. It was nice to have that buffer. I decided to take a break from writing for the holidays to avoid burnout. I will likely still write, but schedule in the new year so that i start with a buffer. Great post!

  8. Brendan Birth says:

    I definitely schedule. I am always looking to keep a routine/schedule, so scheduling my posts on WordPress allows me to do that. Doing that, as well as the fact that some of my ideas for posts come months before publishing them, keeps me from feeling too much pressure.

  9. Michael A. Kuch says:

    Quite devoted to scheduling all my posts though it has backfired, especially whenever I stockpile drafts and they get dumped in the scheduled bin.

    I constantly shuffle and reschedule my posts depending on my interest and if I think the piece is mildly interest or time sensitive.

    Usually, I have 3 or 4 dozen stuck in various forms of completion.

    At least 3 times in the past few months, I’ve messed up on schedule and posted very rough drafts.

  10. Renard Moreau says:

    🙂 Yes, I do schedule my blog posts (It is a habit that I developed many years ago).

    So far, I have kept things simple by scheduling one blog post in advance.

    As a matter of fact, I am a natural-born writer. Therefore, I never run out of material to publish.

    I have said in the past, “It is okay for a blogger to write every day,” which of course is way different from publishing content daily.

    At my rate, I could schedule a month’s worth of blog posts in advance (That would be four blog posts since I update my blog on a weekly basis).

    Scheduling my blog posts ensures that my viewing audience will always see a blog post from me.

    One of the worst things that a blogger can undergo is a power outage.

    In the past, I experienced almost half of the day without electricity.

    There are no setbacks for me when I schedule my blog posts.

  11. Book Club Mom says:

    Hi, this is a good topic. I sometimes schedule my posts, but only if I have extra time. I try to blog about 3 times a week, but because I am a book blogger, I have to wait until I finish the book to write the review. But I have other regular features and schedule those when I can. I like to write spontaneous posts between the reviews, so I’m a bit of a pantser in that sense. Sometimes I’ll schedule a post to go out about 6 or 7 hours into the future, if I’m ready to go to bed and I want it to go out in the morning. Since I’m mostly doing this for fun, that’s what works best for me.

  12. lorrs33 says:

    This is something I’ve literally just started doing. I was on a roll and wrote up three posts to run over three consecutive days. I’m hoping I can churn out another few tomorrow but we’ll see how it goes 🙂

  13. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    It’s rather recent, (3 months) that I started scheduling posts, basically, it was because I never knew I could. Duh?
    Now, I do all the time, especially for series content.
    Today, (Sunday) I usually have up until Wednesday/Thursday done. Today, didn’t happen. I’ve been so sick today, and all my nights of not sleeping right caught up to me. I literally just woke up now.
    So, needless to say, I haev a lot to catch up on. (pain in the butt). Ugh!

  14. NooseGirl says:

    I’m a brand new baby blogger. Right now, I blog on a whim . . when I feel like it. But I’m becoming a little more sophisticated in my thinking. So I realize that to ensure long term success, I’m going to need to be a bit more thoughtful and strategic with my practices.

    Question for you . . .how much time do you dedicate to research? A lot of my opinions need some empirical data to back them up or dissolve them entirely. So when you are scheduling out your posts, I guess I’m asking how much more effort is going into them aside from just spilling out your thoughts in writing?:

    • ashleyleia says:

      Some posts are just my thoughts and I can write them really quickly, whereas other posts I spend an hour or two researching. Each week I usually have some of both so I’m not spending a ton of time researching just for one week.

  15. Kelli says:

    I do like to schedule, but I rarely do because I never know exactly what I want to post. I have been having writer’s block. The end of the month is easier for me to schedule though because I like to do typical recaps and monthly goals. I’m hoping to get better at it especially since I’m going to have more time on my hands during Christmas break.

  16. Meg says:

    Indeed, I have come to enjoy starting my day with your blog! Woo how!

    I don’t schedule, I guess because I’m not invested in increasing readership. I like to blog in the moment, about whatever’s on my mind! 🙂

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