Last week, we talked about choosing to self-host your site or not (I'm on team self-host). Now, it's time to discuss the blog content itself.
Because until you give people some a reason to visit your site and care about you, you will continue to struggle for website viewers, clicked links, and books sold (for the erotic authors out there). And as a sex blogger, you have opportunities to make a little cash with affiliate sales, sponsorships, and ads. But until you make a commitment to adding new content to your blog/website, you'll continue to struggle with finding people who will keep coming back to read more of what you write.
Creating a Simple Publishing Calendar for Your Blog
We'll discuss the "what" of blogging next week (as in ideas of what to blog about when you're stumped). This week, let's talk about the "when" of blogging. No, I don't mean promising yourself that you'll sit down every Sunday at 3 p.m. and write your best smutty smut - unless that works for you.
This week, let's discuss publishing calendars.
Now, official publishing calendars can be as complex or as simple as you want them to be. For professional marketers and bloggers, these are often highly detailed plans of exactly what topic to cover on what day, followed by what social media posts to create and publish on which site.
Don't panic! I'm not talking about that. My thoughts for budding bloggers and authors are much simpler.
The longer you blog and the more projects you find yourself tackling (as Marie Rebel, Molly Moore, and other bloggers I know can attest), you'll need to find a more detailed system to keep up with everything. For right now, let's focus on your blog.
Design the Schedule that Works For You
The simplest "publishing calendar" you can create is more of a commitment than a calendar. You may decide that you will publish something - whatever it may be - a certain number of times a week. There is no perfect number (regardless of what the marketing "experts" of the world tell you). Your perfect number may be different than mine. Start with 1 to 2 times a week. No pressure on length or type of post, just that you'll publish a set number of times a week.
Need something a little more complex?
Decide that you'll post something to your website on specific days: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday and Thursday or whatever combination works best for you. And here's the best part - you can change your schedule if you need to.
No angry blogging fairy is going to swoop down and give you paper cuts because you don't want a MWF schedule anymore and would rather do a Sunday through Wednesday schedule. It's whatever works best for you and what you can commit to doing.
The next option is a bit more complex, and it's my preferred method.
Each day that I choose to blog - or that I know I might blog - has a theme or a purpose. What do I mean by that? See for yourself. This is my blogging schedule:
- Sunday - Sponsored posts and reviews
- Monday - Masturbation Monday
- Tuesday - Erotic Promo Tips
- Wednesday - Wicked Wednesday
- Thursday - Shameless Promotions
- Friday - Loving BDSM Podcast and (sometimes) Boobday
- Saturday - BDSM-related topics, how-to, real life stories
This list doesn't mean I can't join a meme or a blog hop that strikes my fancy in a particular week, either.
Now, before you decide to close your browser and walk away from the crazy lady telling you to blog seven days a week, calm down.
First of all, this is a schedule I've developed over nearly four years of blogging, and it's based on the things I want to blog about and what readers seem to enjoy from me. Second of all, I don't always blog every day. If I don't have a review or sponsored post, I skip Sunday. If the Wicked Wednesday prompt doesn't inspire me, I don't participate that week. But on any given day, if I know what the topic will cover and I really want to write, I've cut down half of my blogging time by simply figuring out what the blog post should be about before I attempt to write it.
Your schedule doesn't have to be that aggressive. Maybe one day is a meme and another day is a photo. Maybe all you do are memes because you're as Type A as I am and really love having a schedule. Find the level you're comfortable with and start with that.
Scheduling Blog Posts
Okay, so you've created your blogging schedule, and you're worried you won't always have time in a given day to devote an hour or so to writing a blog post. I hear ya. Kids, partners, work, crazy life stuff - everything in the Universe will conspire against you and your website some days.
There is another way, though.
Schedule your blog posts. If you use WordPress as your content management system, it's easy when you're editing a post. Just look to the right side of the screen a couple of lines under the "Save Draft" button.
Pick an afternoon, middle of the night, or morning before the kids wake up, sit down and write. You may have a flurry of creative ideas but don't want to flood your blog with three posts in one day. You don't have to - just schedule those posts according to whatever schedule you want to follow.
If your schedule is a bit more complicated (like mine), you can schedule out a full week in advance most of the time. Depending on the type of posts you plan to create and the amount, you may need a few hours of time to get an entire week written and scheduled.
How do I do it? A combination of all of the above.
My posts are slowly becoming more labor intensive as I find I have more details to share. What used to take me three hours to write a week's worth of posts could easily take half a day or more. So some posts are written when I know exactly what to say and have a little time. Other times, I'll take a block of time out of my week and get as many done at one time as I can. Some weeks (like right now) I write a blog post the night before I want it to publish, at the end of the day, right before I got to bed - because that's when I have time.
For a while, when I lost the ability to spend a few hours once a week scheduling my entire blog for the week, I was stressed and a little disheartened. How would I get this all done if I couldn't devote time to it? It's easy to feel that way whether you're committing to one post a week or five.
Here's what I've realized...we make time for the things we value. I see real value in this space and the things I write (my readers' feedback lets me know when I'm on the right track). It's worth a missed episode of a show to get a blog post written or a few hours sitting in a coffee shop when I could be at home in my pajamas.
Hopefully you see the value in blogging already or you will as you begin to watch your stats grow and reach more people. If you're stumped on how to give people a reason to visit your site, a plan is a perfect place to begin. Next week, as promised, we'll look at different ideas of what you can blog about when those creative juices just aren't flowing - or if you think authors never have anything to blog about.
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