#NewBloggers 101, Book blogging, Discussion

What Tools Can Help Me Be An Organized Blogger? Writing And Scheduling Posts #NewBloggers 101 Part 5.2: How To Save Time Writing, Why Schedule And How

Last week we talked about why you should keep a blogging calendar. Are you keeping one already? Now that you are, it’s time to think about how to make writing and scheduling posts more efficient to you. If you want to read more posts from the #NewBloggers 101 post series, expand this list:

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2018 (16)
 

Why Should I Schedule Posts At All?

It seems that book bloggers have formed two distinct camps:

  • some of us prefer to schedule posts in advance cause we’re adorable little OCD beasts
  • some of us feel like it’s best to go with the flow and post whenever inspiration graces them

Both ways are absolutely fine! But… Let’s look at what you miss out on, if you DON’T schedule your posts:

  • life isn’t constant. Sooner or later, you’ll have a week when everything is more or less hectic, and what will happen? Likely, the blog will go a week or two without content. It’s up to you to decide if you want that or not, but if the thought stresses you – consider scheduling posts.
  • some days you are just too tired! If you don’t have scheduled posts, AND your blog has gone a while without content, you’re just going to have to stick with it and sit down to write something. Anything. Quality suffers, and so do you.
  • you might forget you need to post at all. Or quite the opposite – you have to keep all your posting times in your head. Personally, thinking about this stuff when I’ve got work and real life errands? Total stress.

Other than that, scheduling posts helps maintain a steady flow of content to your blog, meaning, your readers know when to expect your posts. Which is incredibly beneficial to your blog and the number of followers you will gain!

So what should I do, if I’ve decided to start scheduling posts from now on?

  1. Pick days you’re going to post on (keep them constant)
  2. Decide how many times a week you are going to post (entirely up to you! Hint: pick a number of posts you are capable of writing in a sitting. If you pick a higher number than you can deliver, you will be stressed out.)
  3. Figure out some kind of blogging calendar (it can be a bujo, a google sheet, an online calendar or just a notepad list)
  4. Pick a time in the week when you are free and comfortable to sit down and batch-write posts (most of the time it will probably be the weekend!)

Why do I advocate picking a single time to batch-write posts? Because it will be easier and faster to write them, if you get into the writing mood. It can take time, and the longer you write on a given day, the better the odds are that you will get ‘on the roll’. You will be able to churn out content much faster that way. Plus – you are saving the time that you’d spend remembering what topics you have, checking up on the blog calendar for dates and all those things that you’d have to do all over again, if you sat down on another day. Aim to write at least two posts per one sitting. That way, you will learn to write more efficiently as well. (Perhaps some seasoned bloggers will disagree with this? I will be waiting for your suggestions and opinions in the comments!)

The Technicalities of Scheduling Posts

 

I’m not going to get deep into the technicalities of scheduling posts, because WordPress and Blogger will have different ways to do it, I’m sure there are plenty of tutorials to do this. The main idea is, you set a time and date, and that’s when the post goes live. If you’re on WordPress, what I would suggest looking into, is ‘Publicize’:

publicize

Personally, I don’t really use the Twitter publicize function, and I will explain why in my next post about publishing everything to your social media. But I always tick the Facebook checkbox! If you are not going to go for a complicated social media posting strategy, using Publicize will save you loads of time. You can enable this function by connecting your social media to your WordPress through the settings in your WordPress profile:

connect social media to wordpress

I have a lot more to say about sharing on social media, and you can make that as simple or as complicated as you want, but we will be talking about that next time! Right now though, let’s get back to writing, and how to write more efficiently.

Writing Blog Posts More Easily

There are so many how-tos on how to write better! I am no writer, and this is not one of those workshops. Instead, I will give a few short tips that have helped me out. If you have more, please share in the comments! If you’re a new blogger, I would suggest checking out the comments too, because some of the more experienced bloggers might have already posted additional ideas there!

Value your ideas.

I have already mentioned this in the blogging calendar post – if you have an idea for a post, never let it go. Write it down immediately. On a restaurant napkin or your own hand, if need be – but you will thank yourself later. Especially if it’s a discussion post idea! Those are not always easy to come by.

And what’s more, don’t just write down the topic of the post. Chances are, your ideas are streaming into your head – write down the first sentences. Write down the point that you want to arrive at. Write down the feelings that it makes you feel. You might think, oh, it’s fine, I’m sure I’ll remember this when I sit down at the PC ten days later. Except you won’t. It never works that way. Sometimes, if you don’t jot down your ideas quick enough, you’ll lose them forever. And there’s your post gone.

Write down thoughts while your reading. Mark or save quotes.

It’s not necessary to include quotes in your reviews – but having them marked might help you write a review later. I’ve been asked how I can write good reviews 6 months after I read the book – simple, I take good notes. They will not let you forget, and what’s more – sometimes there won’t be too much left to write! Some of the notes become my reviews, with the structure fixed, or additional thoughts added. This? Saves LOADS of time.

If you’re struggling with a review, change the format.

If you’ve been writing block-text reviews, try ‘5 reasons I liked…’ Or if you’ve been giving the 5 reasons, go back to the simple text reviews. If you’re tired of them both, try to sum up what feelings you felt at certain percentages of the book. These are just a couple of examples you might have seen on my blog – and it’s definitely not an exhaustive list. There are far more ways. Get creative! A review doesn’t have to have a set format. Set yourself free!

Write from your own experience.

Do not push yourself to sound like some ‘professional reader’. You’re not a reviewer on a newspaper that gets paid and has to put out fancy content. People are reading your blog to get YOUR take on things. So don’t be afraid to just give your opinion. You don’t have to sound sophisticated, and your thoughts don’t have to be ‘correct’. Just be yourself! There IS a place for you in the blogsphere. You will find your reader.

If today’s not writing day, go blog hop instead. Or eat some cake.

Silly advice, I know! But it’s also totally true. If you’re struggling with inspiration or plain old grammar today (happens to everyone!), you should just go visit others instead. Commenting and blog hopping, as well as replying people’s comments, is a good activity, and it might help you push away your own writing demons and get some inspiration from other people’s posts! If you’re experiencing a day like this, you will be especially happy that you’ve started scheduling posts in advance.

And that’s it!

Next time on the productive blogger series we will talk about sharing your posts on social media and if you’re doing enough of that. That will also include dealing with ARCs in a timely fashion and giving feedback. We will also talk about replying and reacting to your own content, which is something we can forget to do. I hope you liked the post, and if you’ve got something to add, well – my comments are always open for suggestions!

Do you schedule posts in advance? And what writing hacks would you share with all of us?

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

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Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts
Guest

I’m a huge fan of scheduling posts and had a huge stash of emergency posts in hand when things happened in 2016. Unfortunately I ran out sometime last year, so I’m back to scrambling.

But having a stash of posts definitely helps in case things happen. 😉

Scheduling has definitely helped considering the fact the Blogger phone app is horrible, but I AM planning on moving to WordPress soon, so hopefully blogging will be easier?

Lashaan Balasingam
Guest
Awesome tips, Evelina. Personally, I just can’t schedule posts… I haven’t even succeeded in doing that at least once in my life too. There’s something about writing them on the go and publishing them fresh that I just can’t explain. I also take forever in creating graphics and all, making it that less enticing to do my posts in advance hahah I do admire those who schedule mega early though. It gives them extra time during the coming days to blog hop and do a lot of other things! Honestly, everything really does come down to time management for me… Read more »
Louise Nettleton
Guest

I’m glad you posted this one. It took me over two months to figure out I could schedule. Sounds crazy now, but there was so much else to learn. People writing advice so often forget the questions we had when we were **really** new. Great job. x

Ruby @ Ruby's Books
Guest

Great post Evelina!! I’ve started doing the scheduling thing a while ago and I have to say, you’re absolutely right! It completely changes the way I blog, mostly because I feel more productive about it. It’s hard for me to change formats though. I know I should, especially when I don’t know how to write a review, but it is soooooo hard!! I will try though, since some books seem to be harder for me to review than others. Can’t wait to see your post on social media!!

Rosie Amber
Guest

I have always drafted posts in advance but now I also schedule them to post at a certain time on wordpress. But I post to other social media sites separately, preferring my own format on each site.

JJ @ This Dark Material
Guest

Excellent suggestions! I schedule all of my posts but some of them (like the weekly wrap-ups) aren’t finished until the day before. My experience so far is that the number of posts I can write in one sitting depends entirely on the kind of posts I’m working on. Generally, I can only write one review at a time, but if I also have tags, memes, or “fluffier” posts then I can get 2 or 3 finished. Once I start to lose focus I move on to something else, and that seems to help 🙂

Ivyclad Ideas
Guest

If I’m on a roll, I schedule. Recently, I crashed. My blog has gone about a week without content and I just posted something new. Considering how stressy I can be in other areas of my life, I’m pretty chill when it comes to my blog. :’)

Anna Pittman
Guest
When I schedule posts in advance, things just run so much smoother on my blog! If the posts are all done and wrapped up in neat little bows, then I have time to bloghop rather than avoiding the guilty why-haven’t-i-written feeling. That being said, recently I have not been able to scrape together the time to write/schedule blog posts because my life has decided to become stupidly hectic. That’s why I really like your suggestion to block out one writing time a week and get everything done then. Even if it’ll be hard for me to find that time, finding… Read more »
Nicoline Simone
Guest

Can’t wait for your next post! 🙂

Jared @dabook.club
Guest

I’m glad you posted this. This makes me want to better keep track of my blog and its posts, as well as motivates me to create and add new content. BTW, I LOVED all of the gifs that you attach to your headers in your blog. It makes it very interesting to read and makes the reading more entertaining. Good post!

DJ (@MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape)
Guest
Great advice! I particularly like the bit about changing the format of reviews. I remember when I first started, I had created a decent outline, but that after sometime, when I become more and more comfortabl with writing down my thoughts of a book, I found that I could no longer used my format and it would stress me out trying to stick to it :/ So, I said the heck with it! And changed it up. I think my review style changes every time I break off from writing reviews, so I find it best to simply write whatever… Read more »
Kristen
Guest

YAAAAAAS ORGANIZATION <3

Kristina
Guest
I do! Right now I have 4posts done ! however, as I work odd hours and mostly evenings- I write one blogpost at a time rather than in bulk. It takes me a few hours (depend if im really into it or not) and usually when im done, everything has been poured onto the blogpost, leaving me tired x) I will then keep another one for the next day. However, I try not to let my scheduling reach zero; which im only posting two times a week with a third per 2weeks – so it’s quite manageable. Also blog ideas… Read more »
Atheinne
Guest
I can totally relate about the part where an idea pops up and not writing it down. Haha! Ever since, I start jotting them down in my notebook. Now the problem is: which notebook did i put it in? (i got a bunch and i looove scribbling in any notebook closest to me lol) As to scheduling blog posts, it wasn’t appealing to me at first. However, just like you said, scheduling does help a lot when real life gets in the way. It keeps the blog alive and going! Now that’s what I do and it never failed me
Daniela
Guest

I love the advice of not trying to be perfect but just yourself. Being over critical with yourself or having unrealistic expectations is the fastest way to get demotivated. Great post!

Olivia Roach
Guest

Well, you know I don’t schedule my posts anymore but I used to schedule them, and these are some really great and helpful tips for people looking to do so! Scheduled posts were literally the ONLY way I could keep up with a posting 4/7 times a week.

RO
Guest

This is a perfect post! I know I need to schedule blog posts in advance, but it’s difficult. Sometimes I write down things I want to talk about, but I put them in my Planner as reminders. I need to go ahead and get them typed up, and save myself the time and headache. (lol) You’ve given some really great ideas that I want to try. Thanks so much and happy Saturday to you! Hugs…RO

Chloe @ Book Dragons
Guest
I schedule my posts in advance, I can’t handle not having it scheduled as it causes me too much stress. What I will say though, is if you’re going to schedule your posts in advance something I do particularly with my Bookworms Explained posts (as they take the longest and are usually the longest word count wise) is I write everything down first. So the intro, the content and the outro/end part. Then I’ll leave it for a bit to go work on some other posts and write the content for them, afterwards I’ll go back to format them so… Read more »
Sophie Eloy
Guest
Excellent post as usual! Yes I do schedule most of my posts but not all. The daily event All About Love running on my blog for ten days now is big on scheduling. I had to ask other bloggers and authors to collaborate. It means planning ahead to contact them, explain the purpose and ask if they would like to join. For those interested I made a ..Google doc LOL It was my first use of the doc and not the last one as you said it last week it’s very easy to use. It gave me all on an… Read more »
Stephanie Jane
Guest

Great advice 🙂
I couldn’t keep up with my blogs without scheduling

Tiffany Chiang
Guest

Obiwan is back at it again!! Thanks for another amazing post. I think it’s really helpful to learn how to be organized and consistent when we’re all first starting out, so getting some professional/more advanced insight is really great!

Anna @ The Bibliotaph
Guest

I schedule all my posts and it’s so helpful. I’ll spend a few hours writing a week’s worth of content one day and then let things manage themselves for a few days. It’s so much more convenient than trying to remember to write every time I’m supposed to.
I love this series! Thank you so much for posting it!

Sam@WLABB
Guest

YES! Writing down ideas right away is crucial. You have to capture them before they fall out of your head. XD I have tons of drafts of future discussion posts.

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra
Guest

Lots of great tips here. I just started using Publicize and Scheduling Posts a few months ago and both WP features are such timesavers for me. I’m not great about scheduling posts too far in advance right now, but getting better at that so that I’m more organized and less stress is a major 2018 goal for me.

Laura Thomas
Guest

Another great post! I’ve been blogging for six years and found some useful tips here. And I still often feel like a beginner:)

Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity
Guest
Great post. I try and schedule posts simply so they actually get posted but scheduling isn’t n essential for me as I tend to only have about three posts in my drafts and that’s always just me getting posts ready for the next week. Tips on how to get writing, though, they are good ones. Changing up a review format is great advice, it both makes writing a review more fun but also keeps it interesting for readers which is always great. And it’s very true you shouldn’t write when you’re not feeling it, there are plenty of other blog… Read more »
Brian Joseph
Guest

This is such an impressive informative and entertaining interesting post. Unfortunately for myself, life’s busyness keeps me from posting as often as I want to. Sharing my posts is on Twitter and Facebook is productive gains me a fair number of hits. I have had family members and friends, who I would not have expected to read my blog, tell me that they have read my posts because they saw them on Facebook.

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Kari @ Kari Reads and Writes
Guest

Thanks for all the blogging posts and tips you publish on your blog. You are a very thorough and informative writer! I appreciate it all. I’m a pantser, so I don’t schedule anything more than a couple of days in advance, if that. But I know it would be good for my blog if I did put in the extra effort 🙂

Karen Blue
Guest

This is such great advice, even for an “experienced” blogger like me. Thanks for sharing all these tips. I have WordPress and I use Snap|AutoPoster for my social media auto shares when I publish a new blog post. It makes my life a little easier. Good on you for sharing this, I bet some new bloggers hadn’t figured out how to keep up with sharing links they publish.
Blogging is constantly learning and evolving to keep on top of things. I am so glad you are still sharing tips. I take away a lot from your posts.

Jacqueline @bluejaybooks
Guest

I would prefer to schedule my posts in advance, but I’m afraid it hasn’t been happening much as of late 😉

Caro @ bookcheshirecat
Guest
A really great post like always 🙂 I cannot believe that I spent my first year of blogging not scheduling anything, because now I live by it! I love being organized, so I know when I upload and plan what I want to post at the beginning of every month – I’ve got my excel spreadsheet to help with that. Pre-writing the posts at the weekends really works for me, as it’s much more relaxing to know that you’ve got all the post for the next week ready to go! I usually write a post Saturday and Sunday. I admit… Read more »
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

I live by scheduling posts and currently have 44 prescheduled posts. It saved my bacon in January when I was too sick to even hold my head up. As for social media, I prefer to share those daily on my own so I can tweak them and send out during prime times. Great post!

Lover Of Romance
Guest

I really wish I had known this when I first started blogging, I made so many mistakes, including NOT scheduling posts ahead. But I do think its smart to do so. Normally I shedule all my ARC reviews and my blog memes I host a month ahead of time. It definitely helps you keep more organized and I also keep back up reviews for those rare times when I am in a reading slump.

Thanks for sharing this very informative post here darling.

Laura
Guest
I don’t think I’ve ever had a post scheduled more than a week in advance since I started blogging three years ago, because I’m just so disorganised! I always have the best of intentions and plan to write my posts ahead of time, and then somehow just end up writing something the night before it’s due to go up. I may try and start scheduling though now, seen as you’ve given me some great ideas for getting organised here! The batching thing sounds like a great idea, and the point about writing down the point you want to arrive at… Read more »
Jenn
Guest

These are such great tips! When I first started blogging, I didn’t know about scheduling posts. It was TERRIBLE! I never posted them when I wanted them posted and it was just an overall bad time for me. When I started scheduling, I have time to double and triple check everything before it goes live and it’s the best feeling. Scheduling is definitely a lifesaver for blog posts!

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages
Guest

Scheduling posts is an area in which I am lacking since I started blogging. Every time I go on vacations, my blog goes without posts and I know this is not good. But I don’t know why I can’t get myself to schedule posts beforehand. This may be because I am generally never free on weekends where most of this stuff should be done.
But I am trying my best to maintain the blog posting schedule and hopefully can also work on posts writing scheduling 🙂

LilyElement Book Reviews
Guest

I’m in the gotta schedule posts or I’ll get super stressed category lol! Great post 🙂

Amanda @Cover2CoverMom
Guest

Great tips as always Evelina! I am a “fly by the seat of my pants” type of blogger unfortunately. I’ve always wanted to be one of those bloggers who schedules posts a week or more in advance, but after 2 years I still post as I go. At some point I need to take a 2 week hiatus and just get shit done lol

Fanna
Guest
Another helpful post, Evelina! THANK YOU! 😀 I haven’t yet scheduled posts but like I said in the blog calendar post, I’ve recently started marking things and keeping my ideas on my calendar so they don’t go missing. I guess writing down a week’s posts or some more in advance might be super helpful and I hope I accomplish that this month when I’ve switched from a pantser blogger to a plotter blogger. Jotting down ideas that randomly pop up here and there is a great way to keep a track of content and not let any possible burn out… Read more »
Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books
Guest
This is such a lovely post 🙂 I schedule everything and I couldn’t blog if I didn’t schedule posts haha. Given that I work full-time, I would only have time to write and publish my blog posts on the weekend and couldn’t have the blogging rhythm I have now. Also, I like that I have my time on the weekend to prepare blog posts and my time during the week to do everything else blogging, such as blog hopping, answering comments, taking care of social media and so on 🙂 I agree that it’s so important to write down our… Read more »
Andreea
Guest
Every weekend I plan to schedule posts but I don’t seem to be able to do it… I think my problem is myself (duh) as my plan is to schedule the entire week/month in one day and the list with blog posts I want to write scares me so I just don’t do it at all and I just write the blog post for the day. I think my goal for now is to schedule at least one post ahead per week and build from there. Also, I think I should polish my reviewing skills a bit and try different… Read more »
Cee Arr
Guest

Eating cake is always good advice 😉

I try to block-write posts, but it never seems to work. (So usually I end up finishing a post the night before it goes live… Ha – me and organisation don’t get along too well!)

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Jen
Guest

YES! Such wonderful suggestions! We all keep a few extra reviews saved, in case one of us is sick for a few weeks or life is just too busy….then we can put those reviews in for that week or two. And highlighting and taking notes while reading has become an obsession. I LOVE highlighting and each of my four colors in my kindle or my tabs for paperbacks mean something. It’s so helpful when going back and writing a review! Fabulous post! 🙂

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Guest

I’m the worst when it comes to scheduling. I really should try to organize myself more, but I don’t know that it will ever happen. I’m kind of okay with that at this point.
🙂

Mridu Agarwal
Guest

Love love love this!
I have been struggling with keeping up with my blog and work life and I had never actually thought of scheduling my posts, you know I just go with oh now I have time let’s post which turns into not a lot of posts and the flow of content just decreases.

Shell
Guest

I’m a new blogger and I’m trying to find a realistic posting schedule. Since I’m in bookstagram and goodreads in trying to find a way to make the info I share there as a pointer to my blog (I’ve had goodreads the longest, bookstagram and now the blog) but I don’t want the info to be redundant so are you suggesting the content for other platforms be short and brief and link in those places to the blog? I

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