I write my blog posts as far in advance as possible, using the future posts/scheduling feature of WordPress to set my posts to release over time, automating the process of self-publishing on my site and giving me time to live my life rather than be tied to my site.
I rely heavily on my Editorial Calendar to keep me on schedule for upcoming posts, but I do something more to protect me when emergencies happen and I need a backup plan to publish on my site in a timely manner.
I usually have 10-30 blog posts in draft form. They are ready to go and set as Drafts in WordPress. All I have to do is hit publish and they are released to the world.
I don’t need these often, as I work so far ahead, but when I do, I love that they are there. I’ve used mine when I’ve been sick and unable to sit at the computer and compose new thoughts. I’ve used them when a family emergency called me away from my work and my site had to continue forward. I turn to my inventory often when on the road and time just won’t let me create new content.
The articles are not timely in the sense that they are associated with a specific date or topical event. They do not refer to dates or reference material that could be considered out-dated if I wrote it in 2006 and released it in 2013. The articles are usually basic tips, techniques, or editorial content that will help readers no matter when they are released.
The articles just sit in the Draft queue, waiting for the moment I need them. They are part of my backup plan. I review them once a year to make sure they are ready to go, release them if necessary and replace them with new ones.
If a particularly creative day strikes and I find myself writing a dozen posts, I’ll pick one or two and hold them aside for that rainy day.
Your blog exercise today is to write 3-5 backup posts to put into your Draft queue to have them waiting for a time when you may need them.
Think about how you blog and what you blog about. Consider your time schedule and the frequency of your post publishing schedule and frequency.
Life might be going along at a good clip, everything stable and steady, then something happens and life throws you a curve. If you need to keep your site going, the 30 seconds to 2 minutes it takes to log into your site and set your emergency draft posts from your post inventory to release may make a big difference to your readers. The peace of mind knowing they are there waiting to help you if you need is often enough to calm me during a life and time crisis.
Honestly, let’s hope you never have to use these. I believe in making plans for rainy days, or even sunny days, when I’d rather be doing anything other than blogging.
Have you had a moment when you felt like you had to abandon your site for a short time due to life crises or time crunches? Wouldn’t an inventory of drafts waiting for the world have been a life saver?
SPOILER: By the end of June, I will be publishing the first six months of Blog Exercises as an ebook, the first half of what will become the final book at the end of the year. Stay tuned for news!