One of the perks of working as a writer, or working in a job that requires a lot of writing, is that you get to talk, quite often, about fluffy things like “my muse” or “writer’s block.” As a blogger, this can come in especially handy. If you write a really long blog post or a slew of shorter posts you can talk about how yur muse was really with you. By the same token, if you go on a long dry spell you can say your muse abandoned you or that you have writer’s block.
This all sounds very romantic, but if you are blogging for a company, this kind of “strike when the iron is hot” mode is not the best answer. Why? Let’s face it, the online world is filled to the brim with blog posts. One could even say we are overflowing with content to read. If you post inconsistently, you are making it harder for people to follow your posts. With no sense of expectation, you have to rely on people subscribing to your blog or taking some other action to make sure they see your content regularly. Even then, if there’s no pattern they won’t set aside time to read your posts specifically. Whatever day you post, at whatever time, you’ll be competing with everyone else who has posts going live at that time. It will always be a surprise to your readers, even the most loyal ones, when your posts show up in the mix.
Will scheduling your posts guarantee that you will get more traffic? Certainly not at first. It takes a long time of consistency to create that sense of expectation in your readers. Readers who truly enjoy your writing will know to make time to read your content Wednesday mornings at xyz time, maybe over their morning coffee. They’ll know they will want to not skim read but really read it, so other blog posts published at that time will have to take a back seat. That is how you earn, keep, and build a loyal blog following.
Apart from setting expectations with your readers, scheduling your blog posts is also beneficial because it can help you schedule how you are going to promote your blog posts. If you send out an e-newsletter, you will know you can rely on sending your e-newsletter out at regularly scheduled times (also beneficial). You will know each day you schedule a post that you will need to set aside time to promote the post and monitor comments. Managing readers’ expectations becomes easier, but managing your content strategy becomes easier as well.
The most common argument we hear against writing posts on a regular schedule is, “How can I come up with a topic one time a week or three times a week every week?” This can certainly be a challenge, but we advise that before starting a blog your company should sketch out the first 50 blog topics. There doesn’t have to be a lot of detail (although you can do it however works best for you). The idea is to know in advance what you are going to write about sot hat you can always be on the look-out for data to add to your posts, and you don’t have to think of a topic under pressure. Usually, after you have written the first 50 posts or so you get into a good rhythm and generating posts becomes easier.
How does your company handle your corporate blog? Do you have an editorial calendar or is one person or a team of people responsible for generating new posts? Do you post as the whim hits or do you have a schedule? We’d love to hear from you!
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/4507847940 via Creative Commons