Have you ever thought that blogging stops you from working on other projects? Sometimes, you need to focus on other areas of your business, like promoting affiliate launches, creating your own products, or attending a conference. And other times, you just need a break. But how can you find the time to do so if you’re supposed to create weekly content for your blog and social media? Even more so when the list of blogging tasks isn’t getting any shorter now that we also have to be video content creators!
Planning and working ahead to schedule your blog and social media posts is the only way to keep your blog running while you focus on something else – or while you’re lying on the beach, your call! Whatever you want to do with your blogging-free month, let’s divide into phases the tasks that we need to get done:
- Planning Phase
- Brainstorming Phase
- Content Creation Phase
- Image Selection & Scheduling Phase
- Newsletter Phase
1. Planning Phase
>> In this phase, you will plan all those tasks you want to schedule, so make a list of anything you need to get done. It is extremely important that you focus on the most important areas of your blog, so. This means that you will need to set time aside for your blog posts, your social media accounts, your weekly email, and any other tasks that are important for your niche. If you run a photography or travel blog, taking pictures will probably be more important than any other task, so make sure you focus on that!
>> Then, write down when you will work on them, and make sure to block the time slots in your calendar or planner.
2. Brainstorming Phase
>> Before we go over to the actual content creation, you need to know what to write about. So if you don’t have an editorial calendar yet, you need one to start planning your content! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it is just a calendar for your blog posts, where you can add the blog title, the publishing date, and any other details that you find useful to have in handy. You don’t need any sophisticated software for that, an Excel table or Google Sheet would do! I like Airtable, which is like Excel on steroids, and yet free!
>> Once you have your editorial calendar up and running, take 30 to 60 minutes to write down any possible blog post subject that comes to mind.
>> When I plan the monthly content for my blog, I just take a piece of paper, list my blog categories, and start writing down potential blog posts. Check out this article on how to batch content for your blog posts, and feel free to adapt my 3-month strategy to only one month. Just make sure to write at least 4 posts in advance!
>> You can also have a look at my process in this Reel below:
>> Use this brainstorming phase to also write down any ideas that come to mind related to your blog posts, and that you could use for social media, for instance. I always include all ideas in my editorial calendar!
Content Creation Phase
>> Well, now is the time to actually start writing! Look for the time of the day when you feel the most creative, get a coffee or whatever your fuel is, and go to your favorite place to write! Make sure you will be able to work uninterrupted for a couple of hours at least. I like to take whole days to write as that lets me focus more on content creation and forget about all other rabbit holes that are waiting for me to fall into 😅
>> If time is a problem, consider writing one single meaty and long blog post that you can divide into four pieces of content! Make a “theme month” out of it, and get ready to schedule!
>> If you still struggle with coming up with a way to start or finish your blog posts, check out this article on how to write when you don’t know how to start.
>> Proofread your posts and see if you can link them to each other.
>> Check your SEO and make any amendments if necessary.
Image Selection & Scheduling Phase
Once your blog posts are written, it’s time to match them with the perfect images! This is my process:
- Select your images. You can either make your own pictures, or use stock images. I love HauteStock, which offers a monthly subscription for tons of images, videos and educational resources, and I’ve also used Adobe Stock before. You can also go for a free alternative, but make sure you check the license conditions! I personally like Unsplash. Choose at least 2 images per post.
- Resize each image so that at the end you have a horizontal, a square, and a vertical version of all of them. In this way, you’ll have enough for your blog and social media posts. These are the sizes that I always choose for my posts:
- Horizontal: 1200 x 800 – I use images with these dimensions on Facebook, inside my blog posts and sometimes on Twitter.
- Square: 1080 x 1080 – I use images with these dimensions on Instagram, in my newsletters and sometimes on Twitter.
- Vertical: 600 x 900 – I use images with these dimensions on Pinterest and as the featured image of my blog posts. My WordPress theme requires vertical pictures for featured images, so make sure you know how your theme works before inserting an image!
- Change the name of each image by adding your post keywords. This will boost your SEO! You can try different keyword combinations on each image.
- Upload the blog post images onto WordPress or the platform that you use for your blog, and add a title, Alt-description, and a description to all of them.
- Insert the corresponding images into each post, and make sure to select one of them as the featured image.
- Next, schedule each post so that they are published on a weekly basis. If your blog is hosted with WordPress, it’s really easy! You just have to select a day and hour on the calendar that appears after hitting “Publish”:
- Upload all social media images onto your scheduler. I use Planoly and Nelio Software, both of which offer a free version, but there are lots of options! These are my recommendations for bloggers:
- Planoly for Instagram and Pinterest because I love how they handle the visual aspect of both social platforms.
- Nelio Software for Facebook and Twitter. It is a WordPress plugin, and I find it really useful that you can schedule your social media posts from the WordPress dashboard. If you download the app and don’t upgrade, you can use their free version. The caveat for this free version is that you can only schedule posts to come out on social media on the same day and time as the blog post.
- Blog 2 Social for many platforms! I am testing this WordPress plugin right now. It is quite affordable and it looks good, so I’ll keep you posted!
- Schedule all social media posts. I have a couple of tricks you may want to try:
- I tweak the SEO meta-description of my blog post, and use it for many of my social media posts, especially Twitter, as it won’t allow much text!
- For Instagram longer captions, I often use the beginning of the blog post as a hook, add a couple of emojis, and then list down all headings of the post as steps to follow. This post you’re reading right now would look something like this on Instagram (screenshot taken from my Planoly account):
Have you ever thought that blogging stops you from working on other projects? 🤷🏻♀️
Sometimes, you need to focus on other areas of your business, like promoting affiliate launches, creating your own products, or attending a conference. 💵
And other times, you just need a break. 🏝
But how can you find the time to do so if you’re supposed to create weekly content for your blog and social media? 🤪
🎯 Planning and working ahead to schedule your blog and social media posts is the only way to keep your blog running while you focus on something else – or while you’re lying on the beach, your call!
📌 Whatever you want to do with your blogging-free month, I usually work in phases/batches, dividing the tasks that need to get done to schedule blog and social media posts for four weeks:
👉🏼 Planning Phase
👉🏼 Brainstorming Phase
👉🏼 Content Creation Phase
👉🏼 Image Selection & Scheduling Phase
👉🏼 Newsletter Phase
What do you think? Do you usually work ahead to schedule one month in advance?
>> Check out this quick guide to reuse content, and save lots of time when creating content for the same subject! No need to reinvent the wheel, right?
>> You can schedule your weekly newsletters from your email service provider to be sent each week on a specific day and time.
>> However, if you’d like to keep it more personal and don’t want to send these automated emails, you could prepare them with a brief intro to your weekly post or whatever it is that you usually write about in your emails. Then, every week, sit down and write an intro or an update to the content you’ve written, and send the email when you’re done.
Tailor these scheduling phases to your own processes!
And that would be it! At least, this is what helps me enormously when I need a month free of blogging! As we saw before, feel free to change, add or ignore any of the phases that I’m suggesting in this post. It all depends on what your blog is about, and what your usual process is.
What do you think? Do you usually work ahead to schedule several weeks in advance? Do you have any questions? Please share them in the comments! I’ll answer all of them.
PS. Feel free to download this content brainstorming sheet if you struggle with coming up with ideas for your blog posts. I hope you find it useful!
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