If you’ve been blogging for a while now, you might have noticed that consistency is pretty important. No matter what your typical posting schedule is, being consistent is really damn crucial. If you have a loyal audience that knows you post every Wednesday morning at 8am, well, you better have a post up at 8am. If not, you stand losing the interest of that loyal following and the traffic that they help bring to your site. It might seem crazy that missing one week could have such a big impact, but it really can.
In reality, some weeks we’re simply not going to be at our computers at 8am on Wednesday morning. Maybe you’re on vacation, maybe you overslept, maybe something came up that you didn’t expect. Either way, you shouldn’t always count on life being totally normal or your alarm clock going off on time.
The good news is that most blogging platforms give you the ability to schedule posts in advance and this feature is one that I absolutely love. I’ll openly admit that there hasn’t been one morning in the past three years that I hit ‘Publish’ on a post that automatically went live. I always schedule posts in advance and here’s why…
1. I’M NOT A MORNING PERSON
I always schedule my posts to go live at 5am Central time. My reasoning? Nothing scientific, in fact, statistics have told me it’s better to post at 8am, but I tried it and it didn’t work so well for me. I have a fair amount of East Coast readers who get up early, so 5am seemed like a reasonable time — it’s 6am their time!
The real point? I’m not a morning person. I try to be, and sometimes I succeed, but I know myself and I know that I’m not normally awake at 5am every morning to hit that ‘Publish’ button and I don’t want to disappoint my early-rising readers.
I’ve also trained my readers to know that each weekday (and some weekends) there will be a new post live when they wake up. If I miss that timing now, I’ll miss out on hundreds of page views a day and that sucks.
2. WE LIKE TO TRAVEL
For me, one of the top reasons for scheduling posts is travel. We love to travel, but just because we’re gone doesn’t mean that my blog has to suffer. It’s so easy to plan and schedule content to go live while you’re gone and helps your traffic in between travel times. It also keeps you on schedule with your regular timezone which is especially important when traveling abroad.
If you’re traveling and decide not to post at all, it can be devastating to your traffic for the long-term, so make sure to schedule posts in your absence. Even if you don’t post as often, it’s important to have something new going live at least a few times while you’re gone.
3. I DON’T HANDLE STRESS WELL
For me, this might actually be the most important reason to schedule posts. I hate stress and stress hates me. Thinking and planning further ahead keeps stressful situations at bay and also makes me more creative. If I’m not having to worry about what’s happening in tomorrow’s post I can think bigger and plan for even better content for the future and who doesn’t want that?!
4. PLANNING = A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Stress sucks and that’s reason enough to plan, but if you’re treating your blog as a business, then planning should be something you’re doing. Thinking ahead to the next quarter and planning content accordingly will not only keep you stress free, but it will make your blog infinitely more successful.
Most successful businesses don’t fly by the seat of their pants, and neither should you. That being said, I still find myself in a last minute situation here and there because you can’t plan for everything.
So tell me, do you schedule your posts far in advance? Do you take a step back and think of your blog with a business perspective? With the new year just around the corner, this is a good goal to add to your list. Speaking of goals, I’m launching some new blogging products aimed to make your 2016 the best one yet, stay tuned and if you haven’t signed up for the Blog Better newsletter you can do so here!