Blog Talk #2: Scheduling Blog Posts



This is the second installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and then continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.

*Feel free to email me or leave a comment if there's a particular aspect of blogging you'd like me to cover in a future installment of Blog Talk.

Well, Blog Talk #1 was a huge success! A lot of you weighed in on the topic of leaving blog comments, and we had some good discussion. Thank you so much! Now we'll turn to the next topic on hand: post scheduling.

Although most of you agreed with me about leaving blog comments, I think from here on out I might not see eye to eye with some of you, which is totally fine! I might even make you mad. Don't be alarmed. I'm just saying it's a possibility.

Let's jump right in.

I don't have a blog planner.
I don't schedule posts more than a week in advance.

The closest I got to a blog planner was printing out a month from my iCal and penciling in post topics. I did that for two months before deciding it wasn't working for me. I changed my mind too much depending on the day, and I ended up scratching out topics and writing them in other days that it became a jumbled mess with a lot of arrows.

From what I've read, however, it seems like a lot of bloggers are pretty organized. There's even this crazy popular Whitney English Day Designer that I've seen popping up everywhere. Can someone explain what the deal is with this thing? I'm sorry, but in no way could I justify buying a $60 planner. I mean seriously, does it cook you dinner and do your taxes too? Maybe I'm missing something. Feel free to hit me up in the comments about this. I really want to know.

I can definitely understand the need to organize your blog posts if that's what you do as your job. If you have paid sponsors, feature posts, guest posts, linkups, and all that going on, it's probably wise to get a good system.

But I think there's a danger in that too. I have read a ridiculous number of posts from bloggers who say they are feeling uninspired by blogging, that it's become a chore rather than something they want to spend time on, that they feel overwhelmed. I don't know for sure, but I think this might have something to do with the fact that they're making blogging way more structured that it has to be or maybe even should be.

You start to feel like you have to blog on a certain day or on a certain topic because that's what you wrote down on your calendar, but what if you don't feel like writing that post or even posting on that day? It's like telling yourself what to journal about. I don't see how, after time, it wouldn't stop being organic and real when you have an entire month of posts planned out in advance. Where is the spontaneity?

For example, I've had a post all ready to publish for a week now, but it's about marriage, and since I've been on my (ahem) lady time, I've been grouchy and Jordan and I haven't been getting along very well. No matter what a planner might have said, I didn't feel like trying to sound like a marriage guru when I'm in a fight with my husband. 

So here's a question for you post planners:

Are there ever times when you have a post topic planned out, but you don't feel like publishing that post? Do you publish it anyway or save it?

All that being said, here is what my basic blog planning consists of:

1) I keep a running list of blog ideas.
Blog topics hit me at the most random of times, so I keep a running list of ideas. Then, when I feel like writing but don't know what to write about, I consult my list and see if an idea strikes me. Some of the ideas never make it to life in a post. Some do. Sometimes I don't consult my list, because I have an idea that I want to write about immediately. It just depends.

2) I sit down and draft a post.
Sometimes (as in, it's happened three times total in four years) I feel the urge to sit down and draft three or four posts at once when I'm feeling particularly inspired. You writers out there will understand what I mean when I say if I'm not feeling inspired, it's not happening. 

Usually, however, I only write one post at a time. I get my pictures, write my post, and then schedule it for a few days out depending on what my last post was or what I might have coming up. Writing one blog post from start to finish (including pictures, editing, etc.) can take a couple of hours. I don't think I've ever published a post that's taken less than an hour to create. I'm a fast editor, not so much a fast writer.

3) I intentionally do not post every day.
After nearly four years of blogging, I have finally come to the conclusion that this is something I feel strongly about for my own sanity. I want to produce quality posts and interact with you in quality ways (as I talked about in Blog Talk #1), and limiting myself to 3-4 posts a week (sometimes more like 2-3) is the best way for me to do that. I do not want to or care to post every single day.

One of my biggest blogger pet peeves is when someone apologizes for not posting that day. STOP THE MADNESS. Seriously, someone stop me before I go on a rant. Oh wait this is online. You can't stop me. Okay never mind I'm doing it.

Here's what I want to say to those people: OMG NO ONE CARES. It's like they think I have nothing better to do with my time than sit in front of my computer screen hitting "refresh" on their homepage. What's that now? You're posting on a Saturday for the first time and you usually post on Fridays? Yeah, I didn't even notice. /endrant

Still with me? Good. Let's get to the discussion! I have some questions for you below after a quick word from our sponsor, aka me.

I named this series "Blog Talk" because I do want us to talk to each other. I don't know about you, but on these types of posts I enjoy reading the comments just as much as I do the actual post!

I have my opinion, but I want to hear yours. On these posts I will write back to comments in the comment section (instead of through email) so we can learn from each other, so be sure and check back. And again, you can disagree, but be nice about it. Any unnecessarily rude or nasty comments will be deleted. The Lady Okie has spoken.


How do you schedule your blog posts?
If you don't schedule posts, why not?
Is the $60 Whitney English planner worth the money?

Do you think scheduling blog posts leads to a lack of inspiration?
Have you ever had a post written but didn't feel like publishing it?

How many times a week do you post?
Unknown said...

I'm so glad that you said you intentionally don't post every day, because that concept seems to be so heavily advocated and it seems SO overwhelming to me!! I totally agree with you that quality content matters more than a steady quantity of something-or-other.

Anonymous said...

All I am going to say is some people take themselves way too seriously. If I feel like it I might write something, if not - I won't. That's how I schedule my posts.

Cori @ Everyday Enchanted said...

Honestly, I never schedule my blog posts. I went 4-5 months without writing a single blog post. My heart just wasn't in it. If I feel like writing about something, I sit down, write, and then automatically hit "publish". I no longer feel obligated to blog which in return allows me to no longer feel like blogging is a chore. For awhile there, I was starting to feel like it was. My new method has helped me tremendously.

Erika from America said...

Hahaha, what I love about your is your honesty and bluntness! It's refreshing! I do have to say that I suck at scheduling posts and it's never been my thing. I think I scheduled like, um, one? I think what worked for me, though, was having certain kinds of posts go on certain days for a while. Now, I just write what comes to mind but it ends up being the same kinds of things over and over. Whatever, it's my blog. But I do have to say that I drank the juice and ordered that planner. I'm still trying to use it and find a way to make it be all it can be since I spent so much money on it, but to be honest, it still isn't working out. I'm still going to try because there's a lot of 2014 left, haha.

But man, I totally remember when you told me you didn't want sponsors because it would make you feel obliged and months later, I was feeling the same exact way. I think the biggest thing or reason why this is a big deal in the blog world is because there's no real divide between the amateurs and the professionals -- they are side-by-side. In most fields, there's some distinction but in blogging, the hobbyists are right alongside the pros... and sometimes they are better and sometimes they are worse. Anyway, I think the whole scheduling thing comes as a pressure thing and a trying-to-monetize thing and well-isn't-it-what-good-bloggers-do? thing. But I love that you know your convictions and stand strongly by them. I admire that!

Unknown said...

I schedule a few posts per week and write them in full (usually stuff I did over the weekend) and the rest of the days I put a placeholder topic, then it always changes once the day comes. For now, I'm posting daily because I feel inspired but once life gets crazier I think I'm going to go down to 3 posts per week. We will see!

Kerrie Williams said...

Since I live in Mexico half the week, I usually post on the first day I'm back (fresh!) and try to write again the next day while I'm still in Texas. I usually schedule one or two for while we're in Mexico (I also schedule the tweets for those posts on Hootsuite!)
Honestly, I LOVE my Day Designer by Whitney English. Mostly because I know her and believe in her and love her story. She's the real deal. It doesn't apply to my life completely as it's more geared towards a business woman, but I use it daily!

I would say scheduling posts doesn't lead to lack of inspiration as much as writing multiple posts in one day in order to schedule them. It's something I struggle with. There are definitely posts I written that are still in draft because when the time came, I just wasn't feeling it. Or it's not there yet. Then there are back-logged posts that suddenly find their moment. I would say I generally post 3 or 4 times a week (sometimes less). I honestly wish I could post more. 4 or 5 would be ideal for me, but I would want to do it live and that's just not an option for me.


Breenah A said...

I remember originally being SHOCKED that people wrote a lot of posts ahead of time and scheduled them and even had specific days for specific topics, but I understand it now. I usually write and post right away. Sometimes I'll schedule it for the next morning and once in a while I'll schedule it for later. It's what works for me. If I wrote about something specific instead of my life or whatever I felt like typing about, I imagine a schedule working for me.

Brittany Fry @ The 26th of August said...

I actually just purchase a simple planner from staples, cost me $17 and I was a little hesitant to it but decided it would be okay. I am going to try to keep myself a little more organized and actually plan out a couple posts a week in it more of just putting reminders of when my favorite linkups might be. I used to post 4-6 days a week because at my previous job I was able to work on posting in my free time which was every day. However I just started my new job and there is not going to be any down time and I will have to be blogging from home. One might think that this change would be hard but I am thoroughly excited to finally be challenged at work again! With this change I will probably be posting 2-3 sometimes 4 days a week but I know that these posts will be much more "real" and lots of thought put into them.

Tiffany Anne said...

How do you schedule your blog posts?
To me scheduling is not a necessity. At this point in my blogging life, I don't feel I need to do insane amounts of planning. Don't get me wrong, I like having a few posts scheduled in advance, but I consider it to be a bonus if I reach that point, not mandatory. And to be honest, often when I attempt to schedule a post I sometimes publish it sooner instead because I'm just so excited for it to be published!

Is the $60 Whitney English planner worth the money?
I have no idea what that is, but I am now extremely curious and will probably look it up as soon as I'm done writing this. Based on the fact that it is simply a planner (I'm assuming) I would guess that no, the Whitney English Planner is not worth $60.

Do you think scheduling blog posts leads to a lack of inspiration?
No. But I do think you should refrain from forcing yourself to post when you have absolutely nothing to say whatsoever. If I want to write a blog post but I'm just not sure what to write about, I will look around for inspiration. If I'm just not feeling it at all, the blog post will not happen that day.

Have you ever had a post written but didn't feel like publishing it?
I believe so. I would probably not publish it in this case, or wait to publish it. Usually I find myself excited to publish what I've written. So I stare at the screen for like a minute and think "Okay, I took all the time to write and edit this post. I want it published. NOW."

How many times a week do you post?
That depends greatly on how busy I am. On a good week, I aim for five times. Three times is okay (and probably about the average for me, I really don't keep track) I would consider two times the minimum. However, with my last blog, every once in a while I would ignore it for a week or two and feel extremely guilty. With my current blog I try to maintain a decent consistency, and I'm finding myself much more active in the blogging community- which is a great thing.
Tiffany @

Robyn B said...

i have an excel spreadsheet that i keep on my computer with a calendar in it to keep track of blog ideas. i originally fill in the ideas as i have them on certain days, but i consistently change them! i like that i can change them as much as i want & not have a million scratches on my calendar (like i would on paper) - this has definitely helped me stay organized when formulating blog ideas.
but if i have a sudden inspiration on a new post, i move stuff around so that post is published when the inspiration hits. and there is definitely always that freedom to switch things around or just not post if i didn't get around to writing any of it.

i like having plenty of ideas and a guideline of when i'm going to post them, but i definitely love having flexibility as well. and some posts have sat in my drafts for months where i never post them.

Rachel Elizabeth said...

You and I have similar ways of blogging but I have been toying with the idea of doing a little more planning. We'll see how it goes.

Jamie said...

I have 24 draft posts going right now. some are old ideas and some I plan to post next week... I just finish as I go. it's rare that I will actually schedule a post to go live at x date and time. the one exception being my last vacation - I wrote and scheduled 3 posts in advance.

I use a cheap notebook and sketch out a few weeks of ideas into a calendar to plan ahead, no fancy planner for me. I do really rough planning, and there's a lot of crossing out and arrows involved. I try to keep my blog at one travel-related post per week and a lot of times I flop which topic to post based on which pictures I want to edit or what I feel inspired to write about. if I have a linkup I want to join that needs something specific I will plan that ahead. but a hard rule for myself is that if I am not feeling a post that day I will NOT post it. I think readers can tell when you're just phoning it in, and I'd rather post nothing than something I don't believe in.

I try to post 3 times a week, especially since starting sponsorships. I think that's a good number where people feel they can consistently come to my blog for new content, but it's not TOO much or worse- boring. also I do have other things I'm trying to do with my life!

Cece @Mahogany Drive said...

I don't schedule posts either. I'm just not that organized when it comes to blogging nor do I care to be. I don't think it matters if I post every Tuesday and Friday or not. And I definitely don't think posting 5 days is necessary. Then again...I'm not one of those bloggers making a lot of money blogging. I prefer blogging to happen organically like my life!!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, $60.00 for a planner. That is absolutely insane. I went to look at it and I really can't believe the price. Anyways, I don't schedule my posts either, not because I'm not organized but because I don't have the time to sit down and pump out tons of posts to have ready. I like to write when I feel like it but I do like to have a couple days of the week that are dedicated to a certain type of post. That's not to say I haven't veered from that before though either. I did think about scheduling posts at one point but felt very stressed about it and nothing came out original to me. I want people to read my blog and know that it is genuine and the information I put out there is for a reason. I actually have about 10 topics in my drafts file that are awaiting a story. I get ideas and put the topics in there and when I am feeling a little uninspired I look to those to see if something in there "moves" me. I get ideas when I am running mostly so obviously I can't write them immediately. As a mom, wedding planner, and new business owner I find my time very full and blogging is something I do for fun and I love it so I want it to stay that way. I don't want it to feel like something I have to get done. I really think if it were that way I wouldn't love doing it so much. This is my outlet for the part of my life that is all me and for something that I feel very passionate about - running.
I like to post at least 3 - 4 times a week but recently with everything I have going on 3 seems to be where I'm at. I'd love to get more content out there but don't want to write things just to write them. It doesn't feel right and it is definitely not me when I do that. Until I am making tons of money, :) blogging I want it to be organic and free. Good, quality information is more important that quantity. I read a few blogs that post every day and sometimes 2x a day and I'm not sure how those people do that. But, I do notice those bloggers are making that their job.
Love this topic Amanda, thank you so much! It makes me feel better about not being so scheduled about my blog.

Allison said...

I don't have a separate blog planner, but I have my daily planner that I'll sometimes add post ideas to. I do like to know which days of the week I'll post, but if it doesn't happen I don't really care. I agree about people apologizing for not posting and I don't plan my posts out past a week. I just fly by the seat of my pants and write about what I'm interested in at the time or what inspires me.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I blog about 5 days a week but I would prefer only 4 so I am working on that one. I I have been trying to at least write a lot of drafts with ideas, recipes I want to make, and other topics so I can just quickly edit and be ready to publish so I can spend less time during the week on my blog and more time connecting with others. It is not working that well though, just not enough time available to sit and write.

Miriam said...

I can't write on command, and I'm always baffled at people who can write 3 or 4 blog posts in one sitting. I don't think that's a good thing really - if you pour your heart into a post, aren't you sort of mentally exhausted after? I know I am.
To me the spontaneity and freedom of writing whatever pops into my head is what makes it so much fun. If it became too structured I wouldn't enjoy it any more.

Kayla MKOY said...

Honestly, I "draft" posts here and there when they come to mind, and just save them for a rainy day. I never ever, ever though, could imagine scheduling posts a month in advance. Now, everyone is different, and there's nothing wrong with doing that, but I sometimes love just sitting down at night after a long day of work and publishing a post for the heck of it. I love how spontaneous I can be with it. I LOVE, like, have an unhealthy obsession with my I get it, but I just spend $10 on mine from Target and love it dearly ;)

Jenna Griffin | Gold & Bloom said...

I'm so with you. I just can't plan too far in the future. Thoughts and inspiration changes all the time for me. Like you, I pencil in ideas to guide my posts and keep it a little organized. I love reading your words of wisdom!

Holly said...

I have so many posts in draft mode, mostly with ideas that I had at one time but just don't feel inspired to write them again. I have 2 blogs, and while I like to keep them separated as much as possible, I tend to focus too much time on one over the other. Right now I'm more into my fitness blog than my personal blog, so a lot of the posts I have in draft mode on my personal blog are staying there until I get inspired to finish them. On my fitness blog, I have quite a few that are in draft mode but I know I won't need to post them until after a run or on a certain date (like for my blog series). When I feel inspired I try to take that and go with it as much as I can because who knows when I'll get that inspiration back!

The Lady Okie said...

I can see how it would be worth it if you really did use the planner every day! I mean $60 spread out over 365 days isn't too bad. And they do look really nice! I just don't think I'd get the full use out of mine.

And I am SURE you need a good planner what with living in Mexico half the time :)

The Lady Okie said...

I agree that people shouldn't post when they really have nothing to say. It bothers me when someone does that, because I feel like I took the time to click on their post, and then they aren't even saying anything! I think 2 days a week is a good minimum for me too. I've found that 5 times a week is just way too much for my schedule.

The Lady Okie said...

I think when you have sponsors, it is important to make sure you have new content, and 3 days/week is a good average. I think that is one reason (of a few reasons) why I haven't wanted to start sponsorships... because I don't want to feel like I HAVE to post. Too much pressure! haha :)

The Lady Okie said...

I get a LOT of blog ideas while I'm running! That and while commuting to work are my two best times to think of blog ideas. You are so impressive! With all you have going on AND you consistently blog.... that's great! I have followed a few blogs that posted multiple times a day, and it's really overwhelming for me as a reader. I don't have time to keep up with that much content!

The Lady Okie said...

haha! I like that you say you're working on posting less :) I think a lot of people have the opposite problem. You do seem to do a great job with consistent content. But it is a balance between quality content and quality interaction, because both take a lot of time. I think that's why I've decided 3-4 posts a week at most is best for my schedule.

TP said...

I schedule posts ahead of time - but that doesn't mean I have to post them. I change things around all the time! Having a "calendar" pretty means that when I get an idea for a blog post, I put the title next to a day (I use Evernote - free - and just make a calendar for the month - say March). Then, I go through and write the post when I have time. I might change the date or the title, or whatever.

This method - for me - means I'm rarely uninspired, and it keeps blogging stress free. I am not obsessive about it. If I fall behind, then I take a few days and catch up (no alert to the World necessary).

Tanya Patrice

TP said...

I get exhausted mentally after about 3 or 4 posts - not just 1. I think the planning ahead part helps with this because I already have a few topics that I want to write about; I can pick the ones that I feel like working on; I don't have to write the entire post - I can just take pictures, or add the images, free write with no editing or go ahead and edit the already written post; and I don't feel in a rush to write anything; also, I tend to save a lot of ideas to a calendar, and when I look at them another time, I might not think it will work, so I either move them to another date so I can take a 2nd look at another time, or delete them. I don't like sitting down and writing whatever pops into my head the night before - because nothing might pop in, and I also take a long time with my posts - time I might not have the night before.

Tanya Patrice

Christina @ The Murrayed Life said...

I never schedule. And I am so hit or miss on actual posting... I do keep a running list of post ideas, and have a few that will rattle around in my head for a WHILE before writing them. Part of it is finding time for me. I don't really like writing at night at home since that's my alone time with Peyton, or just my time to sleep, so I often do it when I'm babysitting. And then when I get on a roll I will sometimes write a few at once and have the drafts sitting there. The problem is that I forget that I have these drafts (or wait to post because I don't have pictures) and then find them a few months later and they aren't relevant. Like my 23 week pregnancy update. Not quite as interesting to people now that I'm at 37 weeks...

I like that you have found the amount of posts that work for you and give yourself leeway in what to write about. I'm feeling like it might help me to schedule some and then to leave some open, but since I've never actually gotten around to doing that maybe it would just screw me up more. Who knows. I did love Blog Every Day in May though and having topics given to me that I could sit and think about. I'd like to incorporate some free writing like that in once or twice a week.

Rachel said...

I write a lot, and my blog is a little different from most "lifestyle" blogs, because I err on the side of random--talking about my microwave or writing tutorials on how to send fake secret admirer letters for example...not always real-life activities. I write a ton of posts and then schedule them to publish when I feel like it.
I'm guessing the appeal of $60 planners is either peer pressure or people just really, really like pretty stationery. I have a notebook from the grocery store that is full of randomly scrawled notes of ideas/stories that I don't have time to write at the moment.
Sometimes I do write a post and then chicken out on actually publishing it...or I write a post when I'm thinking about the subject, but wait to publish it till a more appropriate time.
I do schedule every single one of my posts because I decided that I like having posts published in the morning, so I just schedule them to come out at 7 on a morning, it's easy for me that way.
Plus, I know you said no one cares, and for the most part no one does. But I have this crazy Mom who sends me very disappointed emails from Malaysia if my blog post does not arrive on time at exactly 8 pm in Malaysia. And she suggests that I post 7 days a week although thus far I've staunchly refuses. Moms, they can be like that.

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! Okay, I do make an exception for moms. They love our blogs. And who can blame them? :) BTW, your posts ideas are fabulous and awesome. I always wonder how you come up with them! I always schedule my posts too, but never for more than 1 week in advance and usually just for a day or two later. After that I start to get stressed out about it.

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I have a planner. It's from Target and definitely not $60. I bought it for the following:

1. Birth Control! I have to write that down because I would forget and well... we all know what would happen.
2. Runner's Tell All - I know I won't remember on my own and I wanted to be sure I had every month's topic written down and highlighted. I felt like that one was important because people were expecting it.
3. Photography Friday - Same as #2
4. I then pencil in blog posts. These are mainly ideas and give me a time frame to organize the month. However, some get published and some don't. Plus, they are written in pencil which means I can erase and re-write them on a new day.

I do schedule some of my posts. I also write and publish on the spot. I also travel a lot so if I feel inspired on a trip I'll whip out a few blog posts and save them in a Word document until I feel like editing them and publishing them. I guess that means I'm a random assortment when it comes to scheduling blog posts.

Stephanie @ Shades of Color Art said...

I agree 100% with this post. At one time I felt blogging was a chore and that I had to do it every day. I was so stressed with school, work and blogging that obviously decided blogging wasn't a priority. I took a break from posting every day and just posted when I felt like it. After a few months slowing down, I came up with a system and I'm planning to stick to it. For scheduling I use excel and brainstorm some ideas. Sometimes I end up writing something totally different, but it helps for me to have "some" organization. Great post! :)

Megan said...

Hahahahaha I totally agree with your rant! I think I have actually started a post before by saying, "I would apologize for not posting in so long, but I'm not that important."

A Brew of Blessings said...

Whew, glad I'm not the only one. Although I jot ideas down on a calendar around particular events and keep a running blog list, I don't have a specific plan per say and I've finally admitted to myself that, that is okay :)

Chantel said...

I pretty much operate the same way as you, I have a list of topics I think I'll cover for the month and I usually write and schedule a few days out at a time. I have tried making a monthly plan but I found that my blog posts are often about what is going on in my own life and I honestly don't know what's going to be happening a few weeks in advance!

Katie Dupre said...

A calendar (well, actually multiple calendars--I have a desk diary, my Google calendar, and a wall calendar in the kitchen) is beyond necessary to me. I would forget to make breakfast every morning if I didn't have lists and reminders constantly telling me what needs doing. I haven't been using a calendar for my blog, and as a result (because I am a world class procrastinator) my blog has been sorely neglected. So I have been thinking I need a blogging calendar just to keep myself accountable. That being said, I would never buy an expensive, detailed planner like that. I treat myself to a $15 Barnes & Noble diary at the start of every new year. Then I just scribble task lists on the day. I like the B&N one because it has a nice (read: durable) leather cover, and it also has authors' birthdays and pictures of book covers in it. I like it because it gives me freedom to change my schedule during the day,and it has huge pages with lots of room for notes. I could not operate in those tiny, confining check boxes.

Claire@MyDevising said...

We have a similar philosophy on this. There are posts I draft out when I feel inspired. I'll sit down, write as much as I can before I get interrupted, and then save the rest for another day. So I pretty much always have topics/posts sitting in my drafts. But then there are certainly the occasional times when I immediately feel inspired, write a post in a couple of hours, and post it. However, like you said, that happens rarely.

I considered planning my blog posts at one point, but then felt like it'd suck the fun out of it for me. It's not a job and I don't want to treat it like one. Yes, I want to be consistent and dedicated and work at it, but I don't want it become this "THING." I want it to be as natural as possible. :)

Susannah said...

Yeah, I would never, ever, ever spend $60 for a planner!!!!! And I sort of schedule posts. I typically have a few topics planned out but I change them so often that I wouldn't really say that they're scheduled. :-)

Ali said...

I don't schedule my posts. Usually, at the beginning of the week, I think "oh, I should blog this week". Then I try to think of some interesting things going on in my life, or books I've read, or recipes I want to share. Sometimes, I've got nothing. Sometimes, I have lots to say. For the most part, my blog is read by family that just wants to keep in touch with what's going on in my life. I've just started getting a few newer readers that are strangers to me. This is fun!

Is the $60 Whitney English planner worth the money? I'm thinking no. Especially since I have no clue what this is.

Do you think scheduling blog posts leads to a lack of inspiration? I think it depends on what you're scheduling. Sometimes I do have 2 or 3 things at once to talk about, so I'll schedule them for the rest of the week. Anything more than that and things may get a bit dry. Plus, what happens if your opinions change or life events change in the meantime. Then you have to remember to change your post before it posts!

Have you ever had a post written but didn't feel like publishing it? Not yet.

How many times a week do you post? 1-3 times.

I like these Blog Talk posts. They get me thinking!

Anonymous said...

Im kind of like you. I "schedule" my ideas, but always end up moving them around on my computer calendar. I also jot down random stuff that I may want to include in a post. I think it's super important to remember why you started blogging in the first place, and don't let other bloggers influence the way or why you write.

I used to post more, but now I post when I feel like it. I'm trying to keep blogging fun and less of a chore.


Anonymous said...

I have a blog planner that I put together - do I always follow it? No. I use it more to keep track of when I'm supposed to post for link-ups so I can somewhat prepare (like Runners Tell All) otherwise I would totally space it. I also don't plan to blog everyday. Sometimes I get a hit of inspiration and posts go up each day a few days in a row, then not so much and only a couple a week. It varies for me. I do what I can, but I also work full-time and have a family. I enjoy it still, and am trying to keep it from becoming a chore.


Jenny Fish said...

Wow, I totally 100% agree with you. I might be slightly more structured than you but not much. I rarely schedule more than a week in advance, but normally I get all my posts together on the weekend while Daniel studies and schedule for the full week. I think the most posts I've done in a week is 4, but it doesn't matter to me if I do less. And, I love my planner - but I would NEVER spend more than $10 on one... it just gets too beat up for that.

The Lady Okie said...

Ha! I wasn't so great at taking birth control either.... and I HATED going to pick it up at Walgreens. Took forever. Lazy much? ;)

And yes, when you have weekly or monthly linkups, it's definitely good to schedule it in. This is probably the biggest reason why I have never been able to keep up with weekly linkups. I forget about them!

The Lady Okie said...

Glad you like the posts! I am really enjoying reading everyone's answers. It gets me thinking too. I'm glad you're getting some new readers too! That is really fun :)

I definitely agree with you about inspiration. There have been times when I scheduled a post, and then something happened that necessitated a change to the post before it posted. That's why I never like to actually schedule a post out further than a week in advance. Too much could happen!

The Lady Okie said...

Maybe that's the point of the planner being $60? It's waterproof and damage proof!

shelleystirs said...

I don't do a lot of planning, except maybe into the next week. I have some things in draft that I work on here and there, but for the most part I take a day or two to write something and schedule it to post the following morning. I do try to mix it up with content. For example, I don't like to post two recipes in one week. Right now I have some pictures of food in my camera waiting to be written about and I'll probably write two posts in one sitting and let the other one sit in draft till I'm ready to use it.

Unknown said...

> How do you schedule your blog posts? How many times a week do you post?
I tend to schedule them from one week to the next (usually over the weekend). I try to follow a monday-wednesday-friday schedule, but without putting any pressure on it. I used to have blog series that would "force" me to write about this and that subject on this or that particular day, but I gave up soon enough. I just want to feel free with what I'm posting. It's my blog, so why put pressure on myself? Just like you said, I don't want blogging to become a chore.

> Is the $60 Whitney English planner worth the money?
Hum... Nope. Niet. Nein. At least not for me.

> Do you think scheduling blog posts leads to a lack of inspiration? Have you ever had a post written but didn't feel like publishing it?
No and yes. Like I said up there, I only schedule posts a week at a time, and there are always between 1 and 10 drafts on the side too. If I scheduled something for the wednesday but had an another idea of a post or went through something I want to talk about in the meantine, I just delay the scheduled post and write my new one. Spontaneity is indeed important, I think. Flexibility too. I guess it's just abour finding the balance, isn't it?

Jeneric Generation said...

I continue to love your blog talks. I have no good reason for it, but I do tend to suffer from lack of blog-writing-guilt. Which, as you point out, is CRAZY. I finally did learn to stop apologizing for it. But, for instance, I am home sick today and am beginning to stress that I am not well-enough to be creative. I am glad I came across this timely post. Like you said, no one cares. And I would rather post content I am proud of, than content I just posted to have content
(blech). As for scheduling posts, I never schedule for more than a week out, either. It would be GREAT if I could, but I do not have that many in-advance ideas.

I have TONS of drafts that I peruse any time I feel uninspired. And if still nothing strikes me as inspiring, I don't post. That usually means I have spent more time online and less time living life, so it is a good rule of thumb for me. I guess my biggest struggle is that I don't feel inspired as often as I would like. If I always waited until I felt inspired, I wouldn't post that often. And oftentimes, I write my best stuff when I sit down and force myself to write. It's a balance I struggle with.

Betsy said...

This is one of those thing were your method wouldn't work for me and my method wouldn't work for you but I don't actually think that means we DISAGREE about the fundamentals because you should do what feels right for you when it comes to blogging! (Not YOU, per se, but you know what I mean.) I know I work best with an editorial calendar. It might seem counter-intuitive, but having my posts - at least titles or broad topics - sketched out motivates me to write. Sure, sometimes I'll come upon something totally spontaneously and I'll move things around in my calendar to accommodate it, but the structure of an editorial calendar helps me see the big picture of my blog and my blogging which is inspiring in and of itself because it reminds me that there's such a wide variety of things I like to blog about and that's why I do this for fun! However, if I don't get to something (like yesterday, when I had a post in draft form but was dying of food poisoning) or I try to write a post and it just isn't happening for me... it's not the end of the world. For me, having an editorial calendar provides a guide but it doesn't force anything.

All that being said, I TOTALLY get that my method wouldn't work for a lot of people. It's frustrating to have to struggle through a couple of ways that won't work for you before finding the ones that does, but it IS worth it in the end!

(BTW, I follow a blogger on Instagram and I swear she shows off a new planner every few weeks. That's an expensive habit!)

Unknown said...

Thanks to Betsy Transatlantically, I just found this blog post and I have to say I love this topic! I just started blogging a couple of months ago and I'm still trying to get a feel for my own particular style and posting schedule (or lack thereof as the case may be sometimes). I kind of have a mish-mash of not-habits right now. I keep a list of blog topic/post ideas like what you mentioned, and it seems like I can come up with ideas as easy as breathing, but turning those into full-fledged posts is something else entirely. This past week I tried writing out about 4 or 5 posts and scheduled them. So far I've already deleted 2 and rewritten another couple before actually posting them. I am definitely a sit down and write whatever comes out kind of person. Usually it doesn't matter if I'm feeling inspired or not, as long as I'm typing or even handwriting something, I could probably write for days without stopping.

Though that doesn't guarantee that anything GOOD comes out of it.

I think what I would want to "schedule" or work on ahead of time are the pictures. So far I feel like all of my pictures (when there are pictures) have been kind of blah at best. But really for me, I want to focus more on the writing and letting my words tell the story, not my pictures. As a final note, if I'm being completely honest, I am quite planner obsessed and love the IDEA of everything perfectly organized and planned out ahead of time. But as I'll just have to live vicariously through pinterest and other organized bloggers for that one.

The Lady Okie said...

Hey, Jessica! Glad you found the post, and thanks for your input! I do like when I have some posts written ahead of time so that if I'm busy or something, I have one ready. But you're right that it doesn't mean it's good and... I do often rewrite or delete posts I've written because I took some time to think about them and realized they weren't what I wanted to say.

I too love the idea of having things planned out, and I honestly LOVE lists and planners. But I've learned that when it comes to blogging, I'm just not the planning type for the most part!

Miss Nutralicious said...

Thanks for doing this "blog talk" series, I just discovered it, and I am reading all the posts and comments now. Very helpful!

I am still trying to figure out my blogging style/schedule, but this is what I know now:

1) I hand-write all of my posts in a notebook because I never know when/where I will be able to write. (Does anyone else write stuff by hand, or is this completely old school?)
2) I have the attention span of a 3 year old when I write, so I am usually writing 5 different posts at once instead of finishing 1 post at a time.
3) When I finally sit down to type all of my handwritten words, I finish typing 4-5 posts at once.
4) Step 4 is when I get super excited to share everything I have written and I have to fight the urge to publish 5 posts in 1 day.
5) Step 5 is where I try to create a 'posting schedule'.
6) Now I'm stuck trying to "space out" my posts according to my posting schedule, but as I see my 5 post queue dwindling, I start to panic because WHAT IF I NEVER FINISH WRITING ANOTHER POST EVER AGAIN! this is my current blogging schedule.

Mad props to the crazy people that post 5-7 days per week. That is baller.

Jasmine said...

So, I literally sit down at the computer in the morning and think...ok what to write about today. If it takes longer than a few minutes to start typing--I just shut it down and skip that day. I try to blog about 3-4 times per week, and I took a long break over the summer, only blogging about once a week while I was travelling--and it was a nice break. Paying $60 for a planner, or any type of notebook is just crazy. There are so many free templates and printables online, who would pay that much??

The Jessa Olson Blog said...

This is something that I go back and forth. I want to be proactive but I can't have posts a month in advance. Right now I am on a weekly basis but I have a list of on going posts to write. I have a Whitney English planner. I like it, but i'm still unsure if it's worth the $60. I was getting it mostly for all the other worksheets she has but she is redoing her site and ahsn't been up yet.

Sophie said...

I blog up to three months in advance, which a few weeks ago would have been unbelievable. I run a business full time and I blog as a hobby but as an added extra to tie in with my shop, so while I don't earn an income from the blog it is important to my business.

I'd agree that, if you plan content, sometimes you get to that day and you think, "I don't want to write about that." But just because you planned to post about a specific topic on that day doesn't mean you have to. If I'm not feeling the post, I switch things up and write about what I want to - it's not written in stone, I don't have to produce that scheduled content.

For me, planning posts is important because it takes the stress out of blogging. I don't have to worry if I don't want to write a blog post for a few days because I've already scheduled a bunch of content for the next few weeks; I can take a break and forget about it, recharge and go do something.