In 2017 I wrote a whopping 14 posts until mid-November. Yep. I had these lofty goals of writing a post a week, but it obviously didn’t happen. Life is busy, I had other blog tasks to work on, and I’m also trying to finish up my book I hope to self-publish in 2018 (yipppeee!) and well, you know how it goes.
And then I discovered blog batching. And I found it to be a very productive way to get one post a week published easily while having the rest of the month free to focus on other projects.
What is blog batching?
Batching is a productivity tool to help you streamline your work. For example, if you’re going to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, you don’t make each cookie one at a time. No, you first get all of your ingredients, then you add them all together, then mix them up, then put them on the baking sheet, then bake them, etc. This allows you to make more cookies at one time since you’re focused on one task at a time, instead of doing the same things over and over again each time.
When it comes to your blog posting, there’s many steps involved. You have brainstorming, outlining and research, actually writing the post, designing graphics, and social media promotion. You could spend several hours or even days on one blog post, only to have to do it again next week. And the week after that. And getting distracted and losing focus between steps. (Or, maybe that’s just me.)
But if you batch your posts, you can create several posts in the space of a few hours spread out over a few days. I am now working on writing three to four blog posts the first week of the month, and the rest of the month is now freed up to work on other projects.
This is especially great if you know you’re going to be busy during a certain month or need to take a blog break, but you still want to get a few blog posts scheduled, well then you can batch it and still be publishing content during your break.
I wish I had started doing this sooner!
Wanna give it a try? Here’s how I do it.
Day 1: Brainstorming
Honestly, this is one of the easiest and most fun batching project for me, and I usually can do it in about an hour. First, I brainstorm a list of about 5-10 blog posts I could write. And then I choose four to focus on for this batch. I like to pick four because that equates to one post a week for the month, but choose the number that works best for you.
Once you’ve brainstormed your four topics create a rough outline of each. Think of main points, illustrations you could use, quotes that would work well etc. You could write it on paper or type it, whichever works best for you.
I find this an awesome time of getting ideas flowing, and oftentimes while I’m outlining a blog post, I’ll discover another blog post I could write about, and so I add that to my list of blog topics for the next time I start blog batching.
Day 2 (or 2 &3) Write Rough Drafts
Not gonna lie, this is the most intense day(s), at least for me. Lots of brain power needed. But you’ll be amazed that you can indeed write four rough drafts in one day! If you need to spread it out over two days, go for it. Writing two posts in a day is exciting and productive work too!
When I say rough drafts, that’s what I mean. Don’t worry about spelling or adding links or formatting or proper spelling. Get the words down as quickly as possible. You’ll be polishing it tomorrow, dontcha worry.
I find writing in a coffee shop for writing day is the best–then I don’t get distracted by stuff I need to do around the house, and I don’t procrastinate, because paying $5 for a cup of coffee mentally puts me into this committed-to-knocking-out-these-rough-drafts mindset.
If you write your rough drafts directly into your new blog post, make sure you save your post frequently as a draft so you don’t lose your hard work. Or you may write into Google docs or Word and later you can copy and paste into your blog post. Whichever works best for you, just get writing.
After writing three-four posts, my brain is tired, but my heart is happy and excited by the productivity. I then celebrate by watching a favorite show on Netflix. Gotta celebrate that hard work, right?
Day 3 (or 4): Proofread and Formatting
Today’s work is quite a bit easier than rough draft writing.
Today you will:
- Upload each post to the blog if you haven’t already–don’t publish it yet though!
- Format each post with headings, bullet points, etc.
- Add any necessary links and take care of SEO keywords (If you’re using WordPress, YOAST is a great plugin to help with this).
- Proofread your posts, correcting any errors and making sure it seems polished.
I recommend using a checklist to ensure you’ve done everything you need to post a successful blog post. One that I enjoy is Melyssa Griffin’s What To Do Before And After Every Blog Post checklist. If you’re new to some of the things on her checklist, you may want to check out her blog post 17 Things You Should Do To Every Blog Post.
Make sure you save your posts as drafts, and save frequently so you don’t lose all your hard work!
Day 4 (or 5): Design Images & Schedule Posts
Ah, now this is a fun one, if you know what you’re doing. I like to use Canva or Picmonkey for designing my images, use what works best for you. I find that I can design and save all four images for my blog in about an hour, two tops.
Once I have finished my images and uploaded them to the post, I then preview the post, making sure everything looks good, that there are no typos, and everything looks polished.
I then schedule my post, and make a note of when it will be published on my calendar so I can then share it to my social media platforms once it is published. Exciting, isn’t it?
Promoting Your Posts
You can schedule your posts to be shared on FB, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, etc on the day it will publish (way to batch the social media promotion!!). I much prefer to wait until the post has been published, and then I share it to each of my social media platforms. Whatever works best for you. Don’t forget to add it to some Pinterest group boards, that’s the best way to get it seen by lots of people! I like using BoardBooster, but Tailwind is great too!
Isn’t that cool?! You just wrote several blog posts in a matter of a few hours spread out over the week. You now have the rest of the month to work on other projects. This is super productive work that deserves a celebration!
I’d love to know, have you tried blog batching yet? Or would you like to try it?