From Winging It to Following a Schedule: 3 Blog Content Publishing Strategies

When starting a blog – or any other content publishing venture – it’s easy to get excited in the beginning, put out a ton of posts, and then over time lose that steam and stop posting completely. It’s also easy to just plan out a lot of posts, gather a thousand ideas, yet never launch the blog in the first place.

To avoid that, it’s important to decide how much content – and in what way – you are going to publish regularly.

Below, I look at three basic strategies that I followed at one time or another with my websites – publishing whenever I felt like it (yes, I believe that’s a strategy too), setting periodical targets, and following a strict publishing schedule.

From Winging It to Following a Schedule: 3 Blog Content Publishing Strategies

1. Posting Whenever You Feel Like It

While this might not seem like a strategy at all, there are many established bloggers that “follow it.” It’s also the “default strategy” for many bloggers that are just starting out. More specifically those that start a blog as a hobby rather than directly with the purpose of monetizing it.

It’s also the way my blog, KN Aviation, started. Before trying to actively grow the blog, I simply posted a flight review or other article every now and then. Sometimes the articles would be published a day or two apart, other times, there would be a month or two long gap.

When Should You Follow This Strategy?

If you are just getting started with blogging, then “posting whenever you feel like it” can work in the short-term. It’s certainly better than just setting goals or planning your content but not actually publishing anything.

If you want to steadily grow your blog, though, you will have to go for one of the other two on this list.

On the other hand, if you already have a large following – and that following expects only the highest quality content from you – then it’s a viable long-term strategy. And, it should rather be titled “posting whenever you have something valuable to say.”

In fact, many of the bloggers I enjoy following the most publish content irregularly.  The main reason for that is oftentimes the fact that they do their own detailed case studies and experiments that simply can’t be “cranked out” one after another or outsourced to other writers.

Regardless of which of the two categories above you fall into, it’s important to not take this strategy as an excuse to procrastinate, though.

It’s fairly easy for a week without a post to turn into two weeks to turn into two months. And, for an excellent blog that posts irregularly to turn into a “zombie” blog that hasn’t published a single post in three months, half a year, a year or even more.

What Tools Can Help You with Following This Strategy?

As there is no real schedule to follow or targets to track with this simple strategy, you don’t really need any special tools to follow it.

However, it is still good to either have a document or a spreadsheet (or even an actual physical notebook) in which you can jot down any potential blog post ideas that you might have.

What Is a Good Blog That Uses This Strategy?

An example that comes to my mind immediately is Money Lab, a blog about business – and mainly online marketing – by Matt Giovanisci.

Because Matt is exclusively sharing experiments and case studies related to his other online business (authority sites, YouTube channels, SaaS, etc.), he is not able to produce new content very frequently.

However, when he does publish something, it is always worth a read.

Money Lab

2. Aiming to Hit Periodical Targets

If you decide to set yourself periodical targets, you will have some flexibility in terms of the amount of content you publish. But, unlike with the previous strategy, you will have a set of metrics that you will aim to hit regularly.

Whatever metrics you set yourself – most often the number of words or articles you publish – should be within your full control.

Just to give you an example, aiming to publish at least 5 posts longer than 1,000 words every week is within your full control. So is aiming to publish a total of 30,000 words every month.

On the other hand, aiming to publish enough posts to grow your traffic by 10% is not fully within your control as there are way too many variables that determine the amount of traffic you get – there are more things than just your effort that play a role in determining the result.

Right now, I follow this strategy. I have a set number of words that I aim to write every day and a number of words that I aim to publish every month. I also have a target in terms of the number of articles I aim to publish on each of my sites.

When Should You Follow This Strategy?

If you are the sole author of your blog (other than the occasional guest post or contribution), I think this is the best strategy to follow. Especially so if you are like me and don’t like having posts that are ready, but are waiting in the queue for “their time to shine.”

It allows you to publish regularly, but it’s also flexible enough to allow you to go on a publishing frenzy if you are in the mood to write three articles a day four days in a row.

It’s also a great strategy to follow if you are mainly planning to get traffic through organic search. Since it takes time for articles to rank in Google (and other search engines), it’s better to publish them as soon as they are ready rather than keeping them in the backlog just to follow a rigid content calendar.

The other example of when this strategy can work well is if a considerable portion of your blog is about news on a certain topic. In that case, you might want to set yourself a target of writing at least two (or whatever number of) stories every day.

It will allow you to write more stories if it’s a busy day, but it will also force you to look for stories – and thus grow your site more – on slow days.

What Tools Can Help You with Following This Strategy?

While you can certainly use the same simple article ideas document or spreadsheet approach from the previous strategy, you might benefit from using a project management tool like Asana or Trello to hit your goals.

Those tools will allow you to organize your blog post ideas as well as to keep track of your tasks and goals.

Personally, I use Asana where I have “tasks” for each of the blog posts that I want to write, as well as recurring “tasks” for each of my daily, weekly, and monthly writing and publishing goals.

What Is a Good Blog That Uses This Strategy?

There are too many good blogs that follow this strategy. However, if I had to come up with one example, I’d go with One Mile at a Time, a (frequent flyer) miles and points blog run by Ben Schlappig.

I am not sure what editorial process they use or whether they have any specific targets in terms of the number of posts they put out.

However, two things are sure. One, there is not a single day when Ben or one of his contributors don’t put out at least one or two posts. Two, they seem to follow no “real” editorial calendar in terms of posting a specific number of posts per day or about specific topics on fixed days of the week.

One Mile at a Time

3. Following a Publishing Schedule

The last strategy you can use to publish content on your blog is to design and follow a specific schedule.

That can mean deciding the days of the week you will publish a blog post on (one post every day; one post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each; etc.). Or, it can be more detailed with specific days being dedicated to a certain topic.

I used to follow this strategy on KN Aviation for a while – first posting one post a day and later posting one post every other day. Over time, I was finding myself skipping posts more and more often, and so decided to put a set of daily, weekly, and monthly goals into place instead.

When Should You Follow This Strategy?

Justs like with the “periodical target approach,” following a solid publishing schedule will help you grow your traffic steadily – as long as you do the other parts of marketing your blog, like SEO or social, right.

Sticking to a publishing schedule is not that important when your main focus is getting traffic from the search engines. However, it can be beneficial if you are trying to increase the number of visitors that return to your site or the frequency they return with.

After all, if someone enjoys your content and knows that you post every other day, then that person is likely to visit your site every other day. Compare that with the previous approach where the publishing is generally irregular – and where the reader doesn’t know when to return to your site to be “guaranteed” new content.

It also works well if you have two or three (or more) distinct topics that you write about.

For example, if you were running a gardening blog, you could decide to publish an article about flowers each Monday, an article about gardening equipment each Wednesday, and an article about fruits and vegetables each Friday.

What Tools Can Help You with Following This Strategy?

Just like with the previous strategy, project management tools like Asana and Trello can be helpful in implementing this.

More specifically, the calendar feature that they both come with can give you a great overview of the content you have upcoming. And, their tag feature can make it easy to distinguish posts by their category if you are aiming to have specific weekdays dedicated to specific topics.

Besides the above, I also tried using CoSchedule in the past.

It’s an expensive tool, but if you are serious about your publishing schedule and content calendar, it’s great. It can not only post directly into WordPress for you, but you can also use it to create social media posts for each article and so on.

What Is a Good Blog That Uses This Strategy?

One of the blogs that follow a strict publishing schedule is Seth’s Blog, the personal blog of Seth Godin.

While he doesn’t have specific days dedicated to specific topics, he makes sure to post every day. Or, to be precise, to post exactly one post every day.

That way, his readers know that whenever they return, there will be something new to read.

Those that return regularly will also know that the article will be fairly short – and thus won’t take a long time to read – and thought-provoking.

Seth's Blog

Summary

In terms of general approaches, you can either completely wing your content production, and publish whenever you feel like. Or, you can add some structure to it and set yourself targets or follow a more detailed publishing schedule.

It’s also possible to combine the above methods.

For example, if you have a site that combines featured articles and news, you can have a rigid publishing schedule for your features (one each Monday or similar) and a more flexible target (at least one story a day or similar) for your news stories.

Regardless of whether you stick to one of the above or decide to combine them in one way or another, what will best work for you will, among other things, depend on:

  • Your personality: For example, I find it quite difficult to follow a rigid publishing schedule but can hit broader targets.
  • Your goals: For example, you will not be able to maximize your growth if you only post whenever you feel like it.

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