Friday, 30 August 2013

Blogging Tip: Write some posts in advance

Occasionally I deviate from writing about financial posts.  This post will be a tip on how to blog more effectively - for those of you who have just stumbled across this blog I have been posting for over 2 years and have more than 350 posts on a variety of financial topics.  I do not do this for a living but I have learned some tricks along the way.

Consistency in posting is crucial

When you blog you are essentially writing for 2 groups of people

  1. Those who are looking for a specific piece of information and come to your blog through search engines or links
  2. Those who actively follow your blog and who log in every day or few days to see what you have written
You get the former by writing interesting posts which get picked up by others and gets you well ranked on Google and other search engines.  You get the latter by having a good bank of posts and by posting consistently so that when readers who like your material come back they have something new to read.

Having something new for your followers to read is crucial.  I saw this myself - towards the back end of last year I was really building up my follower base and the number of page views I was getting was increasing exponentially...and then I went on leave where I didn't have wi-fi, broke up with my girlfriend and life went a bit strange there for a while.  I ended up not posting much for two months and while my readership kept up for the few weeks, it really started to slide after that.  

Worse, when I started to post again in earnest my traffic numbers did not jump back to the levels they were at again.  Instead I had to slowly build up my readership (although it did move a little bit quicker this time).  This is why I say that consistency in posting is crucial - you don't have to post every day...but your regular followers want you to post consistently.

How to post consistently when you have other things going on in your life

You may think that it is too much of an ask to post that consistently - after all, this is just a hobby of yours and not your full time job.  I'm not disagreeing with that at all and there are ways that you can be consistent as well as allow for those things in life which make your blog take a back seat.
  1. Write some posts in advance
    • The easiest thing you can do is write some posts in advance.  Typically, I write 2 - 3 days in advance of when the post actually goes live.  I do this for several reasons
      • I never know if I'll be too busy to write a post on a day
      • It means that my blog never stresses me out
      • It means I write more posts when I have more time and less posts when I am busy
    • Almost all blogging platforms allow you to schedule your posts and you can use free online services such as hootsuite to schedule your social networking announcements of your posts
  2. If you know you're going to be quite busy for a short period of time - have enough posts to cover you in the event you wont be able to write any
    • Reporting season is always the busiest time of the year for me - in fact I recently wrote a post lamenting that fact
    • I knew it was coming up and I knew it was going to last 3 weeks although I would have access to the internet over that period of time
    • I wrote 8 posts in advance and then when I had free time during that period I filled in the other slots
  3. If you know you'll be gone for an extended time then halve your post rate
    • I have a two week holiday planned for November where I will have very limited access to the internet so will not be able to do the 'fill in' like I did above
    • What I will do is post once every two days (instead of once a day) and I only then have to write 5 posts in advance instead of 10
  4. Make your topics more generic
    • This will obviously depend on your blog but we all have some posts which are time dependent and dependent on the news and some which are less time dependent
    • I often save my less time dependent posts for a rainy day and put timely ones up as soon as I think about them
Hopefully the above tips help you in your blogging. I know that since I started doing that after my experience at the start of this year I have seen much less volatility in my followers and page views.  

Do you do anything different?  Do you have any tips you can share?  If so please comment below

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