How I Blog, What I Blog, and When I Blog

Posted September 21, 2018 by Amber in Blogging / 5 Comments

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Blogging is a lot of responsibility, and in order to keep up with scheduling posts and be consistent, bloggers need a method.  I don’t know many who just pop on and say “I feel like writing a post today!”.  There’s a plan – from how often we post to what we post and the very structure of our posts.

I’ve been teasing that I would do a post like this for an eternity.  I love reading about the different ways bloggers organize themselves, just in case I can make an improvement to my system.  There’s a few different aspect organizing my blogging life, but for today I just want to talk about my posting habits.  If you guys are interested, I’d be happy to talk about how I choose my books and how I manage my blog as a whole.

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I have an organization system.

I absolutely could not keep things under control without my Calendar.  Before I went self-hosted, I would write down lists of what I wanted to do, then put them in my Reminders App for the day I planned to write them.  It was a bad system, largely because every time a reminder pops up on my phone, I get all annoyed like “SIRI YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO.”

But.

Since I am now self-hosted, I get all sorts of plugins and since I went with Book Host, I got all these pre-loaded, useful book bloggery plugins to sift through and one of them is WordPress Editorial Calendar.

This plugin make my rockin’ world go ’round.

The Calendar shows grey on the days that have already passed, today is blue (look at me posting in advance!), and upcoming days are white.  I keep my unscheduled drafts open so I can easily drag-and-drop to and from when I need a post, or decide not to write one after all.  Unfinished-but-scheduled posts are marked [DRAFT] so I know what I need to go in and write, and I can also see the times posts are dropping.  With the exception of Top Ten Tuesday, my posts drop at 10am (which is 6am EST I think?  My time zone is messed up, and I haven’t really bothered to fix it).  As you can see from the calendar, there’s a couple posts in there I need to edit the times for!

According to the plugin page, over 40,000 people are using this plugin, and if you’re self-hosted but not one of them, I definitely recommend it.  It makes it a lot easier to see what I have coming up, how far ahead I am, and what I need to get done.  Plus, it’s easy to use quick edit to jot down some notes.

I exclusively use the calendar as a launch page for posting these days.

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Memes are my friends.

A lot of bloggers do a daily meme.  Last year, I tried that for a little while, but found that it was exhausting and I gotta be honest – I don’t like reading Waiting on Wednesday posts (because I really don’t need more on my TBR) so I don’t particularly want to write them either.

The two memes I keep to are Top Ten Tuesdays and Book Blogger Hop.  Occasionally, I’ll do a Top 5 Tuesday if I like the prompt and I’m not digging the TTT prompt.  Why these two?

Top Ten Tuesday is a huge book blogger meme.  By the time I log on to link up my post at about 3am EST, there are usually between 25 and 50 posts already linked up.  I get my most hits on days I do TTT and link up early enough.  It brings a lot of traffic to my blog, and it’s a fun, easy post to write.

The Book Blogger Hop is a smaller group, but the weekly questions are great prompts for larger discussion pieces.  Most bloggers that join in with that one choose to answer the question simply.  I try to expand and have a discussion, confession, or showcase every week.  It gives my blog a little more in-depth content, which I like.

Having these two memes on my calendar every week means that I will have two posts a week, even if I am on vacation or read nothing.

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I review as I go.

I make sure I am between two weeks and two months ahead on my other posts (because life happens, so you never know), but as far as reviews go – I write them within three days and always try to post them in the soonest empty slot on my calendar (that isn’t a weekend).  I want to talk about the books while they are fresh in my mind and remember what I learned, what I liked, and what was #nope.

This also saves from weird comments like “What did you think about Stella?” where I have to go “crap what was this book about again”.

The exception to this rule is ARCs.  I post ARC reviews a week before publication, so that it’s still in the preorder window, but not so far in advance that people will forget about the book.

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I keep focused and write my posts at specific times.

My stats are at an all time low on Saturday and Sunday, so the only times I use those days is if I want to do a weekly check-in, or for my travel posts (which don’t get a lot of views anyway).  Sometimes I will do a book review on the weekend, but only near the end of the month if I’ve run out of free days.

Aside from stats, a big reason why I don’t have many posts going live on weekends is because those are the days I get the most posts written.  I try to do a couple during the week in the mornings before work, but realistically I do 4-6 posts every weekend.  I used to try and make myself do a post a day (the second half of 2017 saw this blog hosting at least a daily post, and it was too much) but it burnt me out bad.  Now I stick to the system – two memes a week, one tag/month (sometimes 2 if I don’t like a meme prompt), and reviews as they come up.  That it.  I still stay busy, but I’m not burnt out.

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What are some of your blogging strategies?

What do you use to organize?

Do you have a “my blogging secrets” post?

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5 responses to “How I Blog, What I Blog, and When I Blog

  1. I also use a spreadsheet calendar for when and how I post my blog, but I’ve stopped using it because I’ve just gotten lazy…. Weekly memes have become my lifeline though; I used to do Top Ten Tuesday every week, but I ran out of books to talk about, so I chose Top 5 Tuesday instead. I also do Top 5 Wednesday, which is pretty popular, and Book Blogger Hop. But my next challenge has been discussion posts and general posts.

    • Amber

      Memes can definitely be a lifeline when things lag! I think we all hit that point, though. Discussions are tough to come up with sometimes.

  2. I’ve tried using a calendar/spreadsheet thingy for keeping track of my posts, but I guess I’m more of a mood blogger and I didn’t end up using it that much (despite the fact it took me forever to get it all formatted *sigh*). Thanks for this really helpful and informative post! I hope one day I can get all my posts scheduled so far in advance! Right now I’m sort of just doing it all as I go.

    • Amber

      “Pantsing” (as it’s called in the NaNo community) is also okay – I did that on my blog for YEARS before I figured out a system that worked for me. Hang on to that calendar in case you want it in the future, though! 😉