Today I was linked to as an example of what not to do: http://blogging4jobs.com/business/6-blogging-truths
The author of Blogging4Jobs feels it’s a big mistake to schedule content or a daily time to blog and linked to my post about scheduling/planning blog content. This means I’ve hit the big time right? Someone noticed me and disagreed! Woo! (I keep hearing that’s a good thing, but the “big time” isn’t exactly my goal here.)
Nah, I’d rather be thankful for my awesome readers like you than for someone disagreeing with me. But I digress…
For what it’s worth she makes thought-provoking points in her post, and I agree with some of them. But I still think planning blog content is a valuable strategy.
Opposing viewpoints are great because they get us to stop, step back, and take a look at what we’re doing or what we believe and re-examine that belief, challenging our preconceptions or limited personal experience.
Blog planning works for me and without it I’d totally fail as blogger. Been there, tried that, got the FAIL stamp.
But at the same time, different things work well for different people and maybe more importantly different types of blogs. I’m curious what works for you.
Personally, if I don’t plan ahead and schedule a time to write, then my blog ends up with many fewer posts and what I do post is disjointed as far as topics and continuity — which means it’s not as helpful for my readers. Like this week were I didn’t post for several days. It’s because I hadn’t planned and scheduled posts for the week.
Planning doesn’t mean I write at exactly 6am every morning come h*ll or high water as the saying goes. It does mean though that I make time to blog certain days and generally write at the same time on those days (because I’ve identified it as the best time for me to get it done–who can blog coherently with three kids climbing on them asking for snacks or to play outside in the snow?).
It does mean I know generally what topics I want to write about and when I’ll write them. Do I deviate from the plan? Sure. I throw in a post on something I care about whenever I want to. Creating a plan doesn’t mean you have to stick to it 100%. It means you’ve got a general map that guides you and that you can fall back on when you need it.
I used to blog whenever I “felt” like it or was “inspired” — but my blog suffered because those are such relative terms. Do I feel inspired right now? If not, does that mean I don’t have something helpful and useful to share with my readers?
I come down on the side that says blog whenever you can offer value. For me, offering value means I can share a tip or strategy, not necessarily that I need to be fired up and bouncing off my office walls with enthusiasm.
Some of the best posts *absolutely* come from the off the cuff, spur of the moment, or fueled by passion writing. But some of my most popular posts were definitely pre-planned, pre-written, and worked into the schedule of my blogging calendar. So both can work. I still have the freedom to blog if I feel super inspired or want to share something that’s not in the plan.
I blog almost every day whether I feel like it or not — my focus is not how I feel but rather, whether I can deliver something of value that will help my readers in some way (offer tips, resources, support, etc).
Even though my strategy might seem robotic, I think my voice still comes through and I’m achieving my goals for this blog. I don’t blog daily because I have to (Ultimate Blog Challenge aside LOL) but because I’ve got a mission for my blog and the big picture is what pulls me through the “I don’t wanna blog today…” feeling — or more often the “I don’t have time to blog today!” feeling.
My traffic has never been higher than it is this month (and it’s grown steadily for the past year that I’ve been consistently blogging). I know from the comments, sharing, emails and private messages that I’m helping people. That seems like success in my book.
Do you feel it’s a bad idea to plan your blog content? Or do you believe failure to plan is planning to fail?
If you come from the “fly by the seat of your pants” strategy, I’d love to hear how you make it work for you as far as consistency — and if that’s you I’d love to get a good guest post on how to make it work since I’m betting not all of my readers embrace my planning strategy and some might appreciate tips on how to work successfully from the free-spirited other side of the fence.