Anniversary Special – What I Learned #2

Having reached the one year point, I’ve decided to spend this week reflecting on what I’ve learned from blogging over the past 12 months, firmly keeping in mind I still have a lot to learn.

Scheduling

Scheduling is probably the most important thing for me when it comes to keeping my blog going and running smoothly (or as close to smoothly as it can get). There are two reasons I am a huge fan of scheduling.

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01. I have days where I work 11 – 12 hours. That isn’t every day but it happens more often than I would like and on those days, I’m not writing. If I even get to read other people’s blogs and the comments on mine on those days, I’m pretty happy. Outside of that, I just work long weeks (standard is between 50 – 60 hours depending on what is happening) so my blog has to work around that, plus there are times when you get sick, are tired, or just not feeling the whole writing thing. That’s life. It happens. But if you haven’t scheduled posts when you were feeling like writing and had the time to do it, what it means is your blog goes quiet for days at a time. I know that even missing a day of visiting blogs that I comment on hits the view count on my blog. I know this from days when I was too busy or too sick to do anything with the blog and I watch the stats fall over the next couple of days even though I still have posts going out – which I guess is why anyone is still visiting. If your goal is to build a blog, letting your blog go quiet is not a great idea.

02. The second reason I am a big fan of scheduling is because of the WordPress reader. It is still my biggest referrer for visitors and by posting regular content spread throughout a day you show up in the reader more than once catching different people in different parts of the world who are checking the reader at different times. Also, if you want multiple posts in a day and you post them all at once, mostly people just skim over you in the reader anyway. So using scheduling to your advantage and getting your blog seen can be really helpful.

I mentioned it in my post on content, but I am really big on planning things out on paper. I have a notebook ruled into columns with the days of the week and the dates running down one side and space for the names of posts, the episodes numbers that I’m up to, and everything else to be filled in. Once I plan to write a post I lightly write it in the space. Once I’ve drafted the post and scheduled it on WordPress I write over it. In the days leading up to the post going out if it is a feature or a review I do a re-read/re-draft/re-write depending on what the post needs (though this falls down when I get busier and sometimes they get a quick read and edit leading to some interesting typos that probably should have been caught and fixed). Lastly once the post goes out and I’ve checked that it has posted properly, I tick it off my list. Some interesting post errors have occurred where the body of a post has just kind of vanished or only half the post has apparently saved, but these are the exceptions. Most posts go out without an issue.

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This system works for me because I don’t post on the day I write. Even episode reviews I try to give a 2 day buffer from viewing to posting. That way I’m not under stress to have to watch an episode the day it comes out (I prefer to so I can comment on other posts) but I don’t have to if I’m busy. I can put it off a day, or sometimes two. I can also rethink my opinion because I usually draft episode review posts immediately after viewing. Sometimes as I think through an episode after, my opinion changes or I reconsider things. That 2 day buffer allows me to turn over all those little thoughts and see if I need to change something. Admittedly, given my episode reviews are just my impressions of the episodes, I seldom change them too much. It is really only the rant like ones that get toned down a bit as I try to moderate the tone just a little.

The posts that get the most reworking are posts for shows I love. Mostly because those posts are the ones I struggle to write with any kind of objectivity (not that any of my posts are actually objective but I usually try to find both positives and negatives and to consider different views). Soul Eater and Yuri on Ice are two reviews I really struggled with writing. The Yuri on Ice review I’m still not happy with and I rewrote that so many times. Eventually however you kind of just have to let it go and accept that the post is what it is and it is time to send it out into the world for others to criticise or enjoy.

Anyway, pretty much I’ve learned that if I want my blog to have regular content and I want that content to be more than just a stream of unedited rambles, I need to plan, draft, schedule, and review posts before they go out, and even then interruptions happen meaning sometimes the review process gets a little sloppy. Also, when most of my viewing and reviewing happens between 4 – 5 in the morning, there are days where even morning people aren’t as alert as they’d like to be at that hour.

What are your thoughts on scheduling? Do you schedule posts or do you post as you go? What system do you find works for you?


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25 thoughts on “Anniversary Special – What I Learned #2

    1. I think I only need to be this organised because I’m super busy and I’m a really excellent procrastinator if I let myself be. Still, I think it is good that I managed to get into a good routine with blogging over the last year because I really was worried it would all just kind of fall apart during my busier work weeks and then I’d never get back to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I was pretty sure that you were scheduling posts ahead of time, but the sheer amount of organization you do with these is incredible. This is clearly the reason you’re able to get your posts out at such a regimented pace.

    Judging from activity on twitter and other blogs though, I still wonder when you actually sleep πŸ˜€

    These posts are really enlightening, and I’m glad you shared them. I think everyone was a little amazed by what you were able to accomplish with 100 word anime and learning some of your secrets will certainly help others who are struggling in one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you like these, I was kind of wondering if anyone cared but I kind of feel this is a good time for some self-reflection about the blog.
      Yeah, me and sleep have a complicated relationship. Some nights 3 – 4 hours is all I get because I just wake up but after a bit of that I’ll just crash for a while. Tend to average just over 5 hours sleep per night in a week. It means most days I get a lot more awake hours than others but it also isn’t fantastic from a health point of view. I’d like a more regular sleep schedule but it isn’t likely at this point given I’ve had sleep issues for most of my life now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This makes me sad to hear. 5 hours average is pretty low, especially on a consistent basis. You’re probably well used to it by now, but yeah, that’s not good for you.

        Not trying to be judgmental or pretend like I know your situation, but I’m sad to think you’re more or less resigned to it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re a far more organized person that I am, that’s for sure. I do prepare posts in advance but I just post them rather than use scheduling. Until a few months ago, I only posted once a week and it’s only recently that I started posting daily. I try to set aside some time for both writing and watching anime every day since my current schedule permits it.

    That might all have to change once I’m employed but that won’t happen just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Typical honour student :P. JK, good and sound advice, taking care of what you put out is important. I pretty much try to have a schedule, but slack off more than not. However I do put out my posts on certain times mostly around 5pm BST.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have tried to do scheduling in the beginning, but I gave up on it. Because of my job, I have days that I have very irregular hours. Also, at times it is so busy, that I am come home incredibly tired, and lack energy to post a blog. The only thing that I do every day, is post comments and read other people’s blogs. I do that twice a day, one time in the morning, one time in the evening, just to keep up. It is also one of the most fun things I like about blogging: just sharing thoughts with everyone. It is so cool.
    In the weekends I always try to get out at least two posts, one usually for a movie, another for an anime. That way, I try to keep it interesting for everyone that follows my blog. I really have great respect for the incredible scheduling that you are doing for your blog. I wish I could do it like that 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you that reading and commenting everyday is one of the things I try to make time for regardless of how tired I am. I enjoy it, it keeps me involved in what is going on, it helps me wind down from work, and sometimes it even gets me energised to write my own posts. I also check in the morning and evening.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought I was pretty organized but your scheduling blows me away. The meticulous way you play your blog posts and scheduling various release times (all while working a ridiculous amount of hours) is to be commended. Thank you for sharing your tips on how to improve blogging stats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My special skill number 58 – being ridiculously detailed focussed when it comes to time management. It is considered one of my least favourable real world traits because it drives people crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Scheduling is definitely a big part of maintaining a blog. I, myself, try to post everyday but there are those days, like you said, where I’m not feeling well, too busy or I simply just have writer’s block and those days can be pretty frustrating for my blog, and even myself because of the pressure of being consistent. But, I manage to keep up and it’s still a fun experience to blog and share my thoughts every day. I also can definitely relate to spending a lot of time on a certain review and staying up late at night to make it as good as possible. Other than that, thanks for the advice!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is interesting how some reviews end up being harder to write than others. You would think you could just review one show or another and it would take the same amount of thought and effort but it really is quite hard sometimes to get the ideas across.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Really good advice here! I struggle with making consistent content on one of my blOGS AND I really need to get better at doing so. But those posts take a lot more time and effort to craft so I slack a little. For my more free form, thoughts at the moment posts it’s really easy to get out. I do a mix of scheduling posts, and just posting – but I rarely write ahead of time, so I usually lean towards posting the day of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would really struggle with writing hte post that day. My anniversary post that I had to write the day of to put the cucrent stats in I’d already pre-drafted most of it and I was still thinking I wanted more time on that post. Of course, I might just like procrastinating after I’ve written something. Everyone really needs to go with whatever system works for them.

      Like

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