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How far in advance do you plan your blog posts?

_garybell profile image Gary Bell ・1 min read

So I have (kind of) two blogs. One here at Dev.to, and my personal site (https://www.garybell.co.uk) which I mostly use for my own benefit of how I fixed stuff historically. It's helped a couple of people too, but it's helped me more times that I remember.

I go through phases of blogging and then not, but have been fairly consistent since May in posting once a week on my personal one, but use dev.to for more ad-hoc posts, and dragging up older posts to a new audience.

For those who have external blogs, or even post regularly here, how far in advance do you have drafts ready to post?

Discussion

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Hey Gary! I actually wrote a book on the topic so I'm happy to chime in on this. :)

First: What is your process? Do you blog as new ideas come to you or do you have a backlog of possible things to write about?

I keep an idea backlog and will pull from that depending on what I'm interested in writing about next. Since my blog lives on a personal site rather than using it for business, I work on one post at a time. When I was the person running my company blog, I had as many as 6 blog posts in the pipeline, because it wasn't unusual for something to come up preventing an author from meeting the original deadline.

I also cross-post older posts (syndicate) on DEV Community, as you do.

Let me know if this answers your question!

 

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for responding. I have an idea backlog for my personal blog, and I pick from that. I tend to write in advance, with 5 posts currently scheduled.

Idea wise, I have 8 posts to write, but a lot of similar ideas between them. I need to dream up new ideas and things to cover, September is going to be a boring month.

 

Thanks for the response, Gary! If it helps, I've written a post on four ways to constantly generate new ideas.

Additionally, some things I would do in this scenario are:

  • Ask my audience what kind of content they'd like me to work on (especially if you're trying to decide between a few ideas)
  • Look at your analytics; are there types of blog posts that perform well? (Maybe blog post type or even topic) Can you identify some themes?

I write by assuming I have no audience - or that future me is my audience, so usually for fixing issues I've had. I've got other stuff thrown into the mix so if someone reads my blog, they can see there's more to me than just code.

My most popular posts are always ones where I've solved issues. Usually where documentation doesn't cover the subject matter too well.

Essentially, my good content is point 3 on your (excellent, I must say) blog post.

The stuff I have which would go under point 2, is the content I am trying to put together for a book. I'm just blocked on that by another project at the moment before I can continue.

I've bookmarked your post for those 4 ways to generate new ideas. I think it's going to be my go-to muse when I run low on ideas. I just hope the ideas I come up with don't turn into projects for me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I'll add your book to my to-read list. And the book publishing one. I really hope I need that in the not too distant future.

Thank you for sharing your process, workflow! And completely understand re: audienceβ€”if it helps, I wrote a blog post about different audiences if and when you're ready to define them.

Looking forward to seeing more of your writing!

 

I have A.D.D and am extremely impulsive. Because of this I don't plan my blog at all. I'm not very consistent with it either, but I also don't put any pressure on myself to publish posts on a recurring schedule because my blog really is just for me.

However, I would like to become more consistent with posting because I need attack my impulsivity and re-train my brain into working more on a schedule and being more goal oriented.

I will say, just like Stephanie Morillo stated above, I do keep a Trello board with post ideas that come to me (well just ideas in general) that I can pull from if I want. I tend to just write up a post about something I'm learning in the moment though.

 

I try to build some consistency, and am also trying to build a buffer of posts so I can generate ideas, but work on other things rather than spending all my free time one week writing blog posts.

I'm currently trying to get enough posts to keep my blog going until September so I can work on other things, but some of those posts require quite a bit of time to be invested. It's a double-edged sword really.

 

Hi. I have external blog too (external = not Dev blog?). My blog: mzaini30.js.org. I rarely writing draft. If I write, then I publish. I write everything what I want to write πŸ™ƒ

 

I usually just post something whenever I have a random thought that I feel others might find value in. I definitely don't have that "regular content" kind of mindset which can be unattractive.

 

I find I need to create content regularly or I'll go months or longer without doing any of it. Part of it is that I pay for hosting of my blog directly with ghost.org, so it's expensive (compared to self hosting).