Why you should have a content publishing schedule
You’re probably on all the main social networks, and maybe even a few niche ones too. You have a website, which likely includes a blog.
In other words, you have several places online where you can promote and market yourself: with each one giving you the opportunity to attract new followers, visitors, fans – and potential customers.
But what if some (or even all) of those places are sitting online gathering virtual dust? If you haven’t updated your blog for a while, or updating your Facebook page is on the list of ‘things I need to get round to‘ then it’s almost worse than not being on them at all.
So how do you ensure all the platforms you’re on are kept fresh, up-to-date and engaging?
Keeping to a tight schedule
With a content publishing schedule, the intention is to get yourself into the mindset of treating online publishing as an important series of tasks to be completed just like any other. By creating a schedule with dates and milestones, you train yourself to stick to it – and more importantly make sure you don’t forget about your online presence.
It needn’t be a huge task. It should be created based on how much time you can realistically spend promoting yourself online in this way.
For the average small business, with a greater-than-average number of demands on its time, blogging daily is probably not practical. But twice a week is achievable, especially if your blog posts are a mixture of written posts, video, pictures, audio and curated links.
The key is coming up with a schedule that feels right for you – giving you the best chance of sticking to it.
Our blogging schedule
At Torchlight Digital Solutions, we’re no different. Though sometimes we’d love to, we can’t spend all day on Facebook, Twitter and writing blog posts. So our content publishing schedule looks a little like this:
- Twitter: 4 or 5 posts a day, with 80% of our tweets being links to other blog posts or sites we think our target audience will find useful (the other 20% being to our own posts)
- Facebook: 3 or 4 times a week. We don’t publish the same information on Facebook as we do on Twitter, treating it – and every network we’re on – as its own unique channel with its own unique audience
- Blogging: this is where our content publishing schedule is most detailed. We recognise the power of blogging – how each post you create adds to your body of content which will show up in search engines, attracting new visitors and increasing traffic to your site.
We decided that at least 2 blog posts a week felt right for us. So we created a schedule that allows us to achieve this – without the risk of forcing ourselves to sit in front of a blank screen seeking inspiration.
Here’s how we do it.
- On Sundays: we come up with two ideas for blog posts. We also keep a clippings file of ideas for blog posts using Evernote, which we refer to for inspiration. By the end of this task, we know what blog posts we’re going to be writing that week.
- On Mondays: we pick the first of the blog post ideas and research it. We open up a text editor and outline the article, ensuring it has a coherent beginning, middle and end. We create a list of sites we’re going to link out to; and pages and posts on our own site we’re going to link to within the post itself. We research the keywords around the topic and jot down a list of words and phrases we’ll include in the post.
- On Tuesdays: we take our researched outline and sit down and write the post, adding flesh to the bones of what we created yesterday. Leaving a day in between these tasks not only takes the pressure off, but allows us to take a step back and make sure the post is as good as it can be. Once we’re happy with it, we publish the post (linking to it from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other channels)
- On Wednesdays: we take a break (though only from blogging)!
- On Thursdays: we repeat the outline and research process for the second of our posts
- On Fridays: we write and publish the second post
- On Saturdays: we turn off the computer and do something completely unrelated to the digital world!
By the week’s end, we’ve published two posts which we’re happy are high-quality, well-researched and stand the best chance of being found.
By having a schedule that’s designed around our working week, we give ourselves the best chance of sticking to it – and it also leaves space for those ‘breaking news’ or ‘flash of inspiration’ blog posts which we know we can write and publish quickly when the mood strikes.
So, if you find yourself struggling for time or inspiration when it comes to writing online content for your social networks and blogs, why not have a go at creating a content publishing schedule?
You may end up surprised at how quickly it becomes a habit: and how quickly you build up a body of great content.