Don’t Sweat Your Blog Post Deadlines: A System That Works

Lots of options; here is my way

Sometimes an illness or personal crisis can keep us away from the computer, we over book our time, or we put off writing and researching because we have no inspiration. But, our blog post deadlines keep popping up. A variety of planners, calendars, and matrixes are available to help schedule. I found them to be too generic or restrictive for my purposes, so I developed my own simple system I think is efficient and effective. Here is how you can do it.

Folder with files

Start with a computer folder named Possible Topics and place into it files (documents) on each topic you want to write about. Add to each file from time to time information you come across on the topic. Don’t write anything. Just keep adding tidbits of information.

Create a calendar

Create a calendar file named Calendar of Posts and save it in the Possible Topics folder. Enter the names of the months down the left side of the page and the dates of your scheduled posts beneath each month. Nothing fancy shmancy, just a simple list. I keep a calendar of twelve months and add a month to the end every thirty days.

Next to each date write a topic you want to cover; not necessarily the title. Titles are usually the last thing I write after I’ve written the post. Include all possibilities in your areas of expertise and interests. Besides your how-to topics and personal experiences, you may want to sprinkle book reviews, guest posts, and other approaches throughout the calendar. I’m planning five to six months ahead which gives me time to move things around if I come across a special topic I think needs attention sooner.

Write your post

One week before a post date, find the topic file for that date in your Possible Topics folder and begin writing. Or, immediately after posting on Tuesday, select the topic file for Thursday and begin writing. This second method is much like a salesperson’s answer to the question, “When is the best time to make a sale?” Answer: Right after you made one. Although you will find the writing time that suits your management style, one of the best times to write a post is right after you posted one.

Works for me

I find this system much easier to follow than entering information on a preprinted calendar. With this system, I get an immediate view of where I am and where I need to be. And since I’m working so far ahead, I have lots of lead time when a crisis interrupts my routine. Like a passenger jet in the sky, I give myself plenty of room to maneuver.