Consistent blogging is one of the secrets to blogging success. Which is why bloggers always strive to have a blog publishing schedule.
In fact if you consider your business seriously, you should have an editorial calendar and you must stick to it, no matter what! This is what I’ve heard and have practised over the years. And I agree with it somewhat.
But the point is, it doesn’t have to be that way for ALL bloggers. Having a blog publishing schedule highly crucial for blogging success. Here’s why.
Why should you have an editorial calendar and stick to it?
For one, if you don’t have a strict schedule, it is really really hard to stick to regular publishing. With blogging it is not just about creating and publishing content. There are lots of other stuff – you know that!
So if you don’t have an editorial calendar you encounter moments of writer’s block. You sit and stare blank screen lots of times, whenever you attempt to create content for your blog.
You wonder what you should be publishing this week. Having an editorial calendar helps get rid of this panic.
And editorial calendar is nothing but a set of blog post ideas with dates on them. It means that you have the content idea that you need to write and publish on those specific days of the year.
You clearly know when to publish what, so that takes guess work out of the equation. And this means you can write posts in advance since you already have the topics and know the date of publishing.
Now if you don’t have such an editorial calendar it is easy for you to skip your publishing schedule.
When you don’t have the schedule set in your calendar, when life comes in the way, it is easy to miss the schedule. And if you don’t blog consistently, your readers won’t take you seriously, right?
OK, so what do you do? You have to create a blogging schedule and stick to it! Sounds simple, right? I wish!
Why is it challenging to stick to your editorial calendar?
You get all pumped up in December and you sit down and religiously brainstorm for blog post ideas that you can publish in the New Year. You prepare a blogging editorial calendar. You schedule those ideas over the dates for the New Year!
Now when you look at the editorial calendar, you can be proud of it because it is filled with blog post ideas, neatly scheduled so you can publish flawlessly for the whole year!
Wow that’s awesome.
But in ideal situations, you might not be able to stick to your editorial calendar! That could be a highly discouraging fact.
But let’s face it – life always comes in the way doesn’t it?
- You get sick.
- Someone in your family gets sick, worse especially if it is your kids.
- Your kids are on holidays.
- Someone in the family passes away.
- You move to a new house.
- You go for a vacation.
There are simply so many things that can happen in anyone’s life that can come between you and your editorial calendar.
When that happens, you sometimes have to skip publishing on your blog.
For instance when someone in your family passes away, you can’t be sitting in front of your computer publishing blog posts, right? At that time blogging should certainly take a back seat. It happened to me when my grandmother passed away, I had to put blogging on hold for a while.
And then once I was hospitalised due to ulcer pains, unable to take food orally. I was in the hospital bed for 3 days and then had frequent hospital visits. At those time I couldn’t blog.
So stuff like this happens. And merely having an editorial calendar will do no good at these times.
So what should you do to have a consistent blog publishing schedule?
You don’t have an editorial calendar to start with. A blogging pro says you should have one to publish regularly, which is something I totally agree. So you create one and you find it to work!
But then after a short while, stuff happens and you see yourself skipping your publishing for certain reasons. So you ask yourself: What is the point of having an editorial calendar? And a blog publishing schedule?
Here’s the point – an editorial calendar and/or a blog publishing schedule is a guideline. But it doesn’t guarantee that you publish regularly.
Let’s see what you should do!
Make your editorial calendar realistic!
This one is super important. You should only assign so much work so you don’t end up dead by working too much!
If you cannot write as much to have content to publish everyday, there is no point in preparing an editorial calendar that aims to publish every day.
You should find the right blogging frequency that suits you. This depends on various factors including your writing capability, the number of hours you can blog per week, the size of your team (whether you are a solo blogger or have a team that can help you with content creation, promotion etc.), and so on.
If you are a solopreneur, you should be very careful since blogging is not all about publishing content. You have the promotional aspect on the one hand and blog maintenance on the other hand apart from publishing blog posts.
Even if you have a team to help you with other stuff, you should analyze your writing capability. Are you capable of producing the amount of content needed to stick to your editorial calendar?
If not, you should first start with a small frequency, say two posts a month, and then train yourself to write more over the time.
Also you should take into account the days off in your editorial calendar. If it is a public holiday or holiday season, there will be very less people online. You might want to go on a vacation during those times and you should allow enough breaks by not scheduling blog posts during those times.
Write ahead to accommodate unexpected happenings
So, as I said already, one of the major challenges is to keep up with an editorial calendar. Life comes in the way, right?
Now that we all know stuff happens, why don’t we write some content ahead and keep some in reserve?
Let’s say you got all pumped up and are in the mood to write. Then, just write. Don’t break the flow. Have a few blog posts done in one batch so you can have some in reserve.
For this reason I also over-schedule my editorial calendar. I actually schedule those posts in the calendar but mark them as “reserve”. I work on those additional blog posts just as I would work on the regular posts, but would keep them in reserve.
Because, sometimes, relying on your “writing mood” won’t help you – for me, unless I have it scheduled on the calendar, it is highly likely that it won’t be get done.
Accept when you can’t stick to it and let go; Just proceed.
Again, you know life comes in the way. Sometimes, in spite of all your precautionary efforts you still can’t do anything.
It happened to me about 3 weeks ago that I was hospitalized due to ulcer pain. I was not able to take food orally (since that aggravated the pain). So I was admitted and was given Glucose drip intravenously.
And I was in there for 3 days. I surely did have posts written in advance. I was prepared. But still, I could do nothing! You see, right?
YesI had a few posts written, completely ready to be scheduled. But that didn’t help me because I have to be there to publish the post.
I have to do promotions manually – I could automate a few stuff, but it won’t be nice if I am not there to respond to comments.
So I was just lying in the hospital bed looking at the ceiling and thinking about this.
There are certain situations where you can only control things so far – even if you had prepared yourself for the worst, you still have to accept certain situations and let go.
On sticking to (or accepting) your editorial calendar
Now you know that it is quite important to have an editorial calendar. You also know how challenging it can be to stick to it.
I sometimes wonder how in the world can one stick to an editorial calendar by telling themselves “stick to it no matter what” – I mean, no matter what? How is that possible?
There are always stuff, crucial ones, that come in the way. And you can only go about controlling life so far.
So what’s your take on this topic? I’d love to hear from you!