It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I encourage you to check out their website and even sign up for the IWSG Newsletter. Today I will explore putting a schedule in place for writing. I’ll focus especially on blog writing/publishing, as I answer this month’s IWSG Day question:
What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
Success in a blog schedule starts with making a plan.
A plan for your blog schedule starts with inspiration. Last fall, I read Meera Kothand’s book, The One Hour Content Plan. I’ve read a lot of books on planning your blog content, but this one actually inspired me to do it. She recently published the Create Blog and Editorial Planner. I used the planner as part of my end of the year planning to put together a rough schedule for 2018.
Brainstorm Big Projects- Come up with a couple of big projects you’d like to complete and launch in the next 6 months to a year. A project might be a book, a webinar or a product. What problems does your project solve? Prepare your audience to be receptive of the project you’re working on by writing related posts.
Brainstorm other post ideas- Think of problems your target audience is facing, and how to solve those problems. What questions are you asked? What are some things you’ve recently learned lately?
Plot out a rough schedule of topics:
There are lots of ways to do this. I start by drawing 12 boxes in my planning notebook. Each box is labeled by month and then filled with the main topic I will be covering that month. Then, for each topic, I get more specific, planning 3-5 blog posts.
Consider the launch of your projects when deciding on when to schedule topics throughout the calendar year. Imagine you have an automobile blog and you’re launching a product such as a car care kit in April, you might want to spend February writing about issues people have maintaining their car’s interior in the salty slush of winter. Then in March write about how you designed this product to combat the mess of spring. Once April rolls around, you can focus on selling your product to a primed audience, anxiously awaiting its release.
Also, think about what your audience is focused on at different times throughout the year. For example, January is a great month to write about things like goals and fresh starts. March is a good time to schedule a post about spring cleaning. Your topics will, of course, be specific to your blog specialty. At Facing Cancer with Grace, a blog I write that focuses on cancer, one of my first posts this year will be about January being radon awareness month.
Keeping it Loose
I try to keep my schedule somewhat loose in case I need to make some tweaks to it. Having this basic structure helps thwart things like writer’s block that interfere with your workflow. I like to take a day to write all of the posts that deal with one subject. This usually takes care of an entire month in one shot.
Schedule Your Posts
I take advantage of Word Press’s post scheduler. That way I know it’s done and will be posted to my site automatically on the date/time that I schedule it. I feel best when I have a month of posts scheduled ahead of time. For the month of January, I’m taking a break from technology. I’ll be able to take the time to write without distractions. I will be writing and reconnecting with my goals for 2018. You will still see weekly blog posts on Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, because I have already written them and will post them automatically, using a scheduler. Even though I may not respond to your comments right away, I will read them and appreciate them greatly. Since I won’t be sharing my posts to social media in January I would appreciate it if those of you who use social media would share my posts. Thank you!
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.
My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer, is available at Amazon.com.
I also blog about living with cancer at, Facing Cancer with Grace.