Do you schedule blog posts ahead of time? Find out two compelling reasons to schedule ahead–even if it doesn’t come naturally to you.

Do you schedule blog posts ahead of time? Find out two compelling reasons to schedule ahead--even if it doesn't come naturally to you. #blogger #schedule #goals #bloggrowth #amwriting #write28days

Feeling Behind All the Time?

“Ready to leave?” Pedro asked.

“Not yet,” I said, “I just need to finish this blog post.” I looked longingly outside at the sunshine. We hadn’t gone on a walk together in ages, but I needed to finish the post before my link-up went live at four.

I felt frustrated with myself for waiting so late in the week to start on the post. In addition to not starting earlier, I hadn’t even thought about the post until that morning. Something needed to change. I couldn’t keep standing my family members up and missing out on fun times because of my blog.

Maybe I needed to learn how to write ahead and schedule posts. Spending quality time with family members rates pretty high in my core values hierarchy, so I needed to form better habits. I have a passion for writing and blogging, but not at the expense of key relationships. Maintaining work-life balance factors into the mix, too.

In order to meet both goals—spending quality time with family and blogging—I set aside time each week to get ahead with my writing. In addition to working full-time as a teacher, I work one weekend a month as part of my teaching duties (I work at a boarding school). Pedro and I often take students mountain biking on the weekends we don’t work, so that leaves even fewer blocks of time in which to write.

I also spend the greater part of every summer with my daughter’s family so I can hang out with our grandson. All of these commitments make it imperative that I learn to schedule things ahead of time in order to have peace of mind.

Batch Planning

The first step I take to schedule posts ahead of time and not live on the last-minute-edge involves mapping out a plan for the week, month, or year. I started by planning out how many posts I could sustain writing in a week and then started choosing a theme for each month for my Self-Care Sunday posts. After doing this for two years, I decided I could probably plan out an entire year of themes for my Self-Care Sunday posts in one sitting.

Do you schedule blog posts ahead of time? Find out two compelling reasons to schedule ahead--even if it doesn't come naturally to you. #blogger #schedule #goals #bloggrowth #amwriting #write28days

Next, I researched possible SEO-worthy keywords on WordTracker and made lists of keywords that fit my general themes. Once I had a healthy list of possible keywords, I started plugging in possible headlines on CoSchedule’s free Headline Analyzer site.

These two steps ensured that I would write about topics people wanted to read about (as evidenced by the WordTracker search results) and use headlines that would appeal to people.

Once I have that basic information, I can start writing. My Self-Care Sunday posts average about 2100 words per post and include links to research. If I have spare minutes of time, I look up research questions and save the links and points on the document for that week’s post.

By handling the things which slow down writing flow (deciding on topics, checking for headlines, and looking up research) outside of my scheduled writing time, I can make better use of my time when I do sit down to write.

Self-Imposed Deadlines

I also set self-imposed deadlines to keep me motivated. If I set a timer for 29 minutes I can write without getting distracted by the internet, social media, or dogs barking.

When I finish that sprint, I take a three to five-minute break and take care of small chores such as folding laundry, scrubbing a toilet, or putting away the dishes.

I use that time to regroup my thoughts and the activity gets my creative juices flowing once again. Setting self-imposed deadlines for when I need to finish posts and how many I want to schedule ahead also helps me stay focused. In other words, I can do more in less time.

I can spend time enjoying the moment when I hang out with my family. When you schedule ahead you will reap the benefits of more mental energy and more time.

Learn how to do more in less time so that you can schedule blog posts in advance. #blogger #write28days Click To Tweet

Come back tomorrow for some hacks on finding relevant content for your blog in order to boost your blog growth.