To keep your blog from looking dead, you really should have at least one post per week. Any less and it is difficult for someone to justify coming back again. Since you know you need at least one post per week, why not do these ahead of time. Sit down one weekend and write one post per week for the rest of the year. They need to be well written, but not necessarily long or earth shattering.
- Pick a Day – Always publish these posts on a particular day. For example at Productivity501, we do a quick tip every Tuesday. This helps people come to expect that at a very minimum they can find new content on that day of the week.
- Include the Day Name in the Post – Calling your post Tuesdays Tip or something similar will help reinforce the idea that this is a weekly occurrence.
- Don’t Write too Much – If you find that you are on a roll, consider breaking the post into sections or create a series out of it. Don’t use the weekly as the place for your flagship content. 150 to 200 words is plenty.
- Schedule the Posts – You want these to go live even if you aren’t thinking about it. If you get sent away on a two week business trip away from internet, you want to know that your site is still going to be active with the weekly post.
- Take Notes for Other Posts – In the process of creating these tips, you will find some ideas for other posts. Make sure you capture these ideas and don’t lose them.
- Fill in as You Have Time – Once you have weekly posts for the entire year, go back and fill in. Other posts. If your weekly posts go up on Monday, maybe add your other content to Wednesdays.
When you get to a point where you want to post every day, it is amazing how much easier it is to fill out a week if one post is already written. By having these posts in place ahead of time, it gives you more flexibility to bring your blog up to a daily posting schedule even if you are busy with other activities that will prevent you from writing as much as you’d like.
Great idea, Mark! So far I haven’t yet implemented a real post schedule for my GTD blog, but I’m experimenting with certain recurring subjects, e.g. Weekend Wisdom (quotes with annotation) or GTD Gems (interesting GTD posts from all over the internet). I have managed to get by with almost “ad hoc” posting, but I foresee trouble with this in the near future.
One question for you about weekly posts. I see that you use WordPress like many other bloggers. I always understood that scheduling posts in advance to appear on your blog once a week automatically may seem like a good idea and is also perfectly possible with WordPress, but that the major disadvantage was that blog pinging services get pinged too soon. That is, not when your post appears on the blog once a week, every week, but when you write and publish the whole bunch of them. How do you deal with this?
Mark Shead says
@gtdfrk – I think the current version of wordpress will ping on scheduled posts.
That is taken from here.
The behavior you described is what I believe Typepad does. Even if WordPress doesn’t handle future ping, you can get around it with Feedburner. Feedburner will ping several of the main services when it notices a new post on your site. So if you are using a version of WordPress that doesn’t support the future pinging, just sign up for Feedburner.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the ping services though. Do you know anyone who actually uses them to find stuff to read? They were more important before feed readers were around and when there were only about 50 active blogs on the internet.
Review on refererx says
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