Writing Blog Posts In Advance – Pros And Cons

Are there are any benefits to having multiple blog posts all written and scheduled ahead of time?

This calendar year, I’m experimenting with this notion.

38665605255_f70cfba968_bPreviously I’ve nearly always written a post then either published immediately, or first thing the following morning. There’s been little (actually no) planning to my publishing schedule.

Looking back through 2017, some months I might publish five posts, then the next month 10 or 11, then back to five again.

I’d like the posts to be more consistent throughout this year, so I’m aiming to publish a new post every three days.

Hopefully this consistency and frequency will be preferable to you as a reader too – often enough to keep you interested, but not so often you feel overwhelmed with new posts to “catch up” with.

In the last few weeks I’ve made a concerted effort to get ahead and always have two or three posts all ready and scheduled.

It’s really helping that I’ve made some clear choices about what I want more and less of this year, and cutting out stuff like social media and eBay have given me more time for blogging.

38768917564_499de8377d_bWhat I like about this approach of writing in advance is it gives you a little buffer when you find a few days pass without much opportunity to write anything new.

Then I might have a couple of evenings when I can write at least one, maybe one and a half posts, and get ahead again.

I’ve also started far more draft posts.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from photoblogging in the last couple of years is to capture ideas when they arrive.

In the past I’ve had a separate file in the Notes app on my phone, where I’ve captured any ideas or titles for blogs posts as they’ve come to me. Then I’ve just picked one of these ideas and started a new post in WordPress when I was ready.

By using WordPress itself more to keep notes (ie starting a new draft post when I have an idea) I now have about 30 in draft, and it seems easier to just pick one and continue/complete it, then schedule.

27785402859_2b997acd79_bAll sounds positive so far, but are there any downsides to writing days ahead of publishing?

One aspect I’m not so keen on is I’m always eager to write about what’s happening with my photography right now this moment. Or today, at least.

Some of the posts I write then schedule for seven or 10 or 14 days in advance I almost seem to have lost a little interest in once they’re live. “Writing blog posts in advance? Really? That’s so last week…”

But this is just me trying to always be progressing, maybe too much in too short a space of time. I’d like to work on increasing my patience and attention span too!

Connected with this, in some ways I’m finding I need to readjust to the whole flow of what and how I post.

35hunter is an ongoing record of my photographic evolution, and as such I often talk about recent previous posts in new ones. The thread and the “story” running from post to post is maintained.

If I write and schedule a post for 10 days ahead, then decide to write another post in between that feels more urgent, do I revisit the future post and amend it to reference the in between post?

Or do I just stick with posting in the same order I write?

Write, post, write, post, write, post, is a very simple approach I like for that reason.

Adding in another element of rearranging the order of the scheduled posts and re-editing them to reference new ones in between does sound unnecessarily complex.

So maybe I’ll just stick with write, schedule, write, schedule, write, schedule, again always publishing the posts in the order they’re finished.

38793053575_49b92a4520_b

Overall there seem far more pros than cons in writing blog posts in advance, and I plan to continue.

I’m also going to monitor my stats and see if/how publishing every three days works out. In the future I might experiment with posting more and less frequently, to see what works best. But that’s for a future post…

If you’re a blogger, how do you write and schedule your blog posts? If you’re a reader, how often do you like to read new posts? Does a regular publishing frequency appeal more than an erratic publishing schedule? 

Please let us know in the comments below (and remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for reading. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too.

9 thoughts on “Writing Blog Posts In Advance – Pros And Cons”

  1. Interresting topic here, Dan. I have 19 drafts, more or less elaborated in waiting. Some, just titles I don’t even know any more what I intended to say about, others having become obsolete…. I guess I’m not one to write posts in advance.

    Except some very short ones, just a photo and a caption that I have scheduled to fill in gaps between bigger stuff.

    Aynways when I have time to write a post I normally don’t have a clue about what it will be. I sit down at the computer, browns through some photos, look at some old podts and normally an idea crops up. Most work out OK and I hurry through the writing, select my photos for the post and off it goes.

    Drafts don’t normally work for me.

    As for the frequancy of posts… depends. From 3 or 4 per week to intervaly of about 10 days. did it all. Guess I’ll have to get some discipline and post regularly.

    Of course I look forward to each of your posts. I think about every three days is a nice schedule. I’l like to stick to that too.

    By the way those photos are great. The first one, the bike in the tree is the one you spoke about in an earlier post, yes? The one taken with your phone. Great one! Theothers are from the phone too or from a Ricoh?

    And these are nice examples of a consistent style and I think your irreversible photography has something right!

    1. Frank, thanks for your thoughts. One thing I’ve always done with ideas (and this goes way back – I’ve been blogging in some form since 2005) is to jot them down when they come, but with enough detail that I’ll remember what I was on about! Previous to this I found I would end up with a selection of fragments and/or titles that were all but meaningless. This is what I do now mostly straight into WordPress – a title plus a few words to summarise what I plan to write about. Then when I go back to it, I have enough bones to flesh out with further words.

      Some of my drafts definitely become obsolete, in that maybe they were a review of a lens or camera I no longer have and didn’t like enough in the end to be bothered to write about! So they get discarded or pushed down the list at least.

      I really wanted to be more consistent with 35hunter in terms of post frequency. On the flipside, I didn’t want to tie myself to set days of writing/posting – that seems too rigid and too much like a 9-5 office job. So just going for one every three days is working well, even if I’m not writing them with the same regularity, overall I have enough to post something every three days.

      Re the photos, thanks, yes 1, 3, and 4 are all iPhone. I shot them before I had Hipstamatic set up with an iPhone b/w favourite, so they were just processed on the iPad after. Now it’s saved in the iPhone version of Hipstamatic too I can capture shots directly with the favourite applied. Zero processing! : )

      Shot 2 was one of the Ricohs, the GX100 I think. In the final image there is little difference between the look of shots made with the iPhone or the Ricohs. Which is intentional, but of course does make me question whether I need the Ricohs… Then I remember how much I enjoy using them!

        1. I think we may have had this conversation before… : ) I agree, but when I upgrade my iPhone (and not necessarily to another iPhone) the camera will be a huge consideration.

  2. I’ve scheduled my posts in advance for most of my blog’s 11-year life, so heck yes I have things to say about this.

    First, the minute you commit to a schedule, a blog runs the risk of being a beast that needs to be fed. To keep my six-day-a-week schedule sometimes I scramble to create content, and sometimes I just give up and post reruns from my vast archive. I know very well that the fate of the universe does not depend on a post going live at 5 am EST on Tuesday. Yet I persist.

    Second, blogging on a schedule and pre-queueing posts makes it harder to post something today that you just wrote and are excited about because it either screws up your cadence or you have to move prescheduled posts out one position in your schedule. It’s a level of blog management you never have to think of when you post what you write when you write it.

    Third, yes, it really does happen that when a prescheduled post goes live, sometimes you aren’t all that excited about it anymore. But it is *new to your readers* and sometimes you might find yourself delighted by how well they respond.

    1. Jim, I was hoping you’d weigh in with your experience!

      As I said to Frank, the experiment of every three days feels a good balance for me between regular but not too regimented so it becomes a pressure, or a hungry beast.

      As we’ve talked about before I might try every three days for a couple of months, then every two days fro a couple of months and try to notice any patterns.

      I’m finding exactly the same thing with pre-scheduling, ie having a few scheduled then writing a new post and wanting it to be next in line, so bumping back the dates of all the others. Bit of a faff, but not especially time consuming. I guess the more you have lined up, the more hassle it is!

      Great point about being new to readers. And however well we might think we can predict which posts will be most popular, we’re often wrong!

      Thanks Jim.

  3. As a reader and observer, I do not care what you use to get an image but rather the image. I would think that having some images or content is nice to go to when you are stuck or maybe just not feeling it. I enjoy reading your blog and your thoughts. You are unique. I think successful blogers do their own thing and somehow we stumble upon them.

    1. Ginny, thank you for your kind comments, much appreciated.

      Like you, I also love how, if we explore online and venture down these almost endless rabbit warrens, sometimes we come across something we consider a treasure, and add it to our regular places to visit again.

      Regarding having some content as a back up, yes this is a great plus of having a few posts written and scheduled in advance. It takes the pressure off feeling you have to write something great every time a new post is due. You can go with your natural rhythms more, as well as the other demands on your time that will ebb and flow too.

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