I’ve been blogging regularly for almost 3 years for my clinic, and one year for the podcast. Blogging hasn’t always been easy. I remember staring at the computer screen, trying to come up with something to write. I remember when it would take me more than two hours to write one simple blog post.
There were also times where I had posts written, but didn’t know where to find them. I had half written posts in a state of disorder in a word document.
Since that time, I write more than two dozen blog posts a year for my own two blogs (plus guest posts), and I’ve banished blogging overwhelm. I’ve come up with a six-step process to get my blogging done without tears or procrastination. This system has worked for me in the past year, and I’m sharing it here in case it could work for you, too.
1. Decide how often you’ll create blog posts and when they will post
How often will you blog? Every week? Every other week? Monthly? When will posts go out? On a certain day of the week?
Decide what your process will be, and come up with a list of how many blog posts you need in a year.
If you are like me and have several blogs, do this for each blog.
It can also help to have a blogging break each year. It may be helpful to schedule in a few months each year when you won’t post blogs. This can be a great time to brainstorm new ideas or take a break from blogging so you don’t burn out from the process.
2. Brainstorm topics for the year
For me, since I blog monthly, I’ll come up with about 12 topics for each blog in one day of planning and brainstorming.
If you are blogging weekly, it would make more sense to do a few months at a time.
If you need ideas, some popular blog posts can be:
How I handle ______ (common situation)
My behind-the-scenes process for _________ (topic)
My most used ______ (goals, resources, books, TPT products)
My favorite ______
My solution for _______ (common pain point or problem)
How to ______ (come up with blog post ideas, plan social media, etc.)
Things I’d wish I’d known before _________
Common mistakes in ____________.
My two blogs focus on quite different topics. My clinic blog posts center around therapy ideas and resources, so that parents and SLPs can have some easy ideas to reference. For the podcast, my posts run the gamut from podcasting mistakes, to podcasting fundamentals, to behind the scenes of the podcast.
3. Transfer Post Ideas To Google Calendar
Let’s say you write an SLP blog and are going to post monthly on the first Friday of the month. Get out your Google Calendar (or if you you use iCal and prefer that, use that), and schedule out all your blog posts for the year in the calendar.
I’ve found it helps to color code blog posts (for me I have different colors for clinic blog posts versus podcast blog posts). Also consider if setting reminders a few weeks ahead to start your blog posts will be helpful.
Now that you’ve got your topics scheduled out for the year, you really are set. By knowing what you are going to write about for each blog post, you've already saved hours of procrastination time. Scheduling out my blog posts for the year is probably my biggest time saver in this entire process.
4. Schedule Time to Batch Blog Post Writing
A big part of getting faster at writing blog posts is to get a handle on the writing style. Blog writing style really is different from a lot of other writing I do. Because of that, it helps me to batch posts and write several posts within a short period of time.
It’s easier to get “in the zone,” to get a handle on the blog writing style, and to finish writing posts faster and more efficiently.
Ideas to do this:
- Pick a day (a school holiday, a weekend day, a day in the summer when you aren’t working) to only work on blog posts. You will get sick of writing, and may choose to do a half day instead, but get as much writing done as you can.
- Get up 1-2 hours earlier for a week and create at least 5 new blog posts.
- If you have an event on your calendar that ends up getting canceled, use the time to write a blog post or two
The option that works best for me is getting up earlier for a week or so. For example, this week I’ve started blog writing at 4am every day. By the end of the week, I’ll have 5 blog posts complete, which is five entire months of posts. If I do that one more time, I’ll have nearly all my blog posts written for the year.
5. Proofread What You’ve Written
I recommend not doing this the same day you write your post.
I will write a post one day, and proofread the post the next morning before writing another blog post. Having a space of time between when I write the post and when I proofread it has allowed me to find more typos, errors, and organization issues.
As you re-read, don’t just look for typos. Consider the overall tone of your post and if there are any organization issues or ways you can make your post clearer or more to the point.
6. Create a Graphic For Each Post
I create blog graphics using Canva. I’ve found it’s easiest to find a template on Canva I like and change the title and image, but to use the same template for each new blog post.
This helps me have consistent branding and a consistent look when I post these to social media. It also saves me a significant amount of time designing graphics, since I take my last graphic, make a copy in Canva and add a new title and image.
7. Schedule Your Posts
Whatever you use for your website or blogging platform (I use both Wordpress and Squarespace), find out how to schedule your blog posts/drafts ahead of time so they will auto post on your selected date.
Get your text, visuals, headline, and so forth in your blogging platform, and check your calendar. From here, you’ll know when to auto post that particular blog post.
If you aren’t sure how, You Tube is a great resource for this. By watching a tutorial on You Tube, you can see each step as it is completed and learn how to schedule your posts for yourself.
Now, go back and update your blog calendar. On my Google Calendar, I find the date the blog will be posted/title and edit the event by adding (autoposted) before the title in my calendar. That way, I know which blogs are hands off and will post automatically, and which ones I still need to work on.
What about social media posts to promote your article?
I use Planoly to plan my Instagram content ahead of time. I load the graphic for that specific blog post, and schedule it to post the day my article comes out.
If you use Facebook, you can push your Instagram post to Facebook, or use the Facebook draft feature to plan and schedule your post ahead of time to auto post.
8. Rinse and Repeat
I do several of these “batching” sessions each year to write posts, create graphics, proofread, schedule social media posts, and auto schedule posts. By doing this, I can get a year’s worth of blog posts done in several days (or mornings) of work sessions.
Getting In The Zone
Have you tried a process like this? If not, could parts of this process work for you?
For me, I found that writing and posting in real time meant a lot of time was wasted brainstorming topics, creating outlines, and getting “in the zone.”
Batching has saved me a lot of time, stress, and effort. It’s the way I’ve been blog posting for years, and I highly recommend this process!
If you are interested in hearing more from us, you can listen to our podcast here.
I also have an occasional newsletter that goes out with all sorts of tips and tricks like these to help SLPs spend less time doing work tasks by managing workload more effectively. I also offer freebies to help your planning go more smoothly. You can sign up here.