A big and belated thank you to all of you who filled out the reader survey a few months ago (all 5000+ of you!).
Although I haven’t yet done a run down for you, I read and analysed every single response and comment and found it was so incredibly useful. One thing a few of you were asking was about blogging tips – how to get started, how to be better at it and how to gain more traction. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you few posts on what I’ve learnt about blogging over time, a few tricks of the trade as such! Feel free to add any questions/queries you want me to cover in these posts in the comments section!
First up, my thoughts about how to plan your blog content. Or at least, how I do mine. Consistently creating interesting and useful content is key to gaining loyal readers, and since I got serious about planning my schedule life has been much much easier. I generally aim for between 4 and 5 posts per week, but generally speaking, more content equals more readers. More = more. Because of this, a schedule for your blog posts is pretty much the bible – determining what needs to be done in advance and when posts need to go up. And although there will be times when you slip up in your schedule – sometimes I’ll swap out a post for a last minute brainwave I’ve had – and as such your calendar/schedule need not be set in stone, planning in advance will make your life so much easier, and hopefully your content way better too!
A Few Months Before
For most blogs, whether they’re fashion or lifestyle, seasonal content is key, so that what you’re blogging about reflects what’s happening in your readers lives. For that reason, it’s great to work a few months ahead on an inspiration gathering level, so that certain events don’t sneak up on you. Preparation is key! A great way to approach it is to have quarterly brainstorm where you look at what events/seasonal highlights are coming up and what ideas you can work in. From these ideas you can create a rough list of the posts that you need to focus on. From this list, you could also look at possible collaborations with other bloggers and brands, and start putting proposals together and approaching your contacts (more on that another time).
One / Two Months Before
Because a lot of the posts you see here are DIY, we often start early on the projects that need sourcing and making. Depending on the subject matter you cover on your blog, you’ll probably need to start shooting, researching or buying/pulling clothes in the few months before the posts. From a collaborations perspective, brands also usually work in advance, so the one to two month mark is a key time to finalise brand partnerships and proposals.
One Month Before
Once all the projects are made or clothes are ready, it’s time to schedule a shoot for the images, whether it be for an outfit or a flatly or a DIY tutorial. I schedule in at least one day of shooting per week, in the studio and outside shooting outfits or lifestyle content and at these shoots we’ll usually be working way in advance, except for last minute collaborations. A little trick that most bloggers use? Shoot as much content as you can at one time – often I’ll shoot 6 outfits (whether they be for a wardrobe post or a DIYed outfit) in a morning. That takes preparation in advance with outfits and DIYs all organised, but it’s well worth it and allows you to start building up a bank of content.
Two Weeks Before
Two or three weeks out you should know more about what exactly you’ll be posting, and it’s at this point that you should finalise the detailed calendar for the next two or three weeks, first putting in any collaboration posts, then adding other content on each day, making sure to cover a range of varying topics every week so that people of different interests can find something to read. Consistency is key but diversity is just as important! Once we’ve nailed down the calendar we’ll start making sure all the content is ready, editing or taking any photos that haven’t been done, uploading all the content and making sure nothing is missing.
The Weekend Before
When I was working as a Town Planner I got into the habit of taking Sunday afternoon to write the copy and schedule all my content for the week. Although now I have more time to work on posts during weekdays, I still go through the process on a Sunday of writing copy and fully readying the content to go up. There’s nothing better than knowing, at 7pm on a Sunday night, that every piece of content for the week is ready. Critically, this frees me up to do other things during the week like write proposals, do projects or shoot new content. If cutting into your weekend sounds daunting, just schedule some alone time on a Monday or even a Friday to upload all your content in advance.
On the day of
I usually post my blog posts in the evening before I leave work, knowing that for a majority of my readers in the US they’re just arriving at work (or maybe, if they’re lucky, lying in bed). Generally there shouldn’t be too much to do other than line up the social promotions and press publish!
So guys, do you have any other tips for how you schedule your blog content? I’d love to hear!