Monday, January 30, 2017

How and Why I Use Scheduled Blog Posts on Blogger

Scheduling Posts in Blogger

Why would a person use Scheduled Blog Posts? 

When I first began blogging, it was October. I knew that my readers would want Thanksgiving recipes soon. And, I also knew that a recipe was pretty well useless for a reader if they found it the day after they needed it. So, I set out to make and photograph my entire Thanksgiving menu early, so that I could publish it before Thanksgiving. And then I made the entire menu again for Thanksgiving Day!

I knew there had to be a better way.

I noticed on the right of my screen a little setting that said "Schedule." 


The "Schedule" Button is about 1/3 down the Right Side of the Blogger Screen
See the word "Schedule" here on the Right hand side of my screen? It's two below the orange "Post Settings," about 1/3 of the way down the right hand side of my screen.



I thought there might be a good idea there!

There are lots of times that I cook a dish, but find that the publishing time is not ideal. 


The Christmas Eve recipe for Fudge that I could publish the day after Christmas? Nah!

The time I feel like making Chili in July - great time to publish that new recipe? Probably not.

A really delicious Watermelon Salad in February? Nope!

It makes a lot of sense to schedule posts for when people want to read them not for when I want to cook them!

But, there were lots of other good reasons to schedule my posts. 


What if I had 10 ideas for a great post one week - and wrote them all and published them all - then NO ideas for a great post for the next three weeks?

What if I needed to be with a loved one at the hospital for a month?

What if I wanted to go on an extended vacation, but wanted my blog to keep chugging?

It's good to have a predictable publishing rhythm for readers! It's also safer for everyone if the entire internet doesn't know when you're away from home for a few days!

But, not only that, I discovered that there is a great resource out there to find out who wants to read what, when! 

 On Google Trends, you can search and see what time of year your topic is likely to attract the most readers - and you can see which title terms will be most effective at attracting readership.  

 

 For instance, a while back I made a recipe that could either be called "Frosting" or "Icing" (the terms are partly regional, partly technical)

I could do a search on Google Trends and discover not only WHEN to publish the recipe, but also what to title it!


And then there's stress relief. 

I hate having deadlines hanging over my head! With Scheduled posts, I can be weeks or months ahead with my work, and sit back and relax!

I also make a point not to blog on the Lord's Day - but I DO like to publish on Monday Morning at 8. And, to be honest, there are some Monday mornings when my day doesn't even start by 8! I'm covered!

It gives me a long term perspective.

Instead of seeing my blogging efforts as a race to do everything this week, I see them as an integrated part of my life for the long term. This helps me be a "marathoner" instead of a "sprinter" in mentality, and also helps me focus on including posts with an eternal content, as well as those with temporal content. 



So, How does it work? 


When I get an idea for a post, I hit "New Post," type in my Title idea, hit "Save" and "Close!" That's right - I save an empty post with just a title!

This way I have LOTS of ideas to work on, and I'm less likely to hit a "writer's block"

Then, when I perfect the recipe, menu or other concept - usually on a different day, I type it up in that saved, titled post. Then, I hit "Save" and "Close."

When I get a picture of said dish (which frequently is not on the same day that I write the recipe), I add it.

Then, it's time to schedule. I choose my date - sometimes with the assistance of Google Trends.

I hit that "Schedule" button (that I pictured at the top of this page)

That gives me a choice of "Automatic" (which means "now!")  or "Set date and time"

Here you'll want to choose the "Set Date and Time" circle


I choose "Set Date and Time"

That gives me a calendar, like this and a time selection window:


Here you can see the scheduling calendar, time window and Publish, Save & Close buttons


I tap on the desired day of the calendar - which sets that date in the selection window.  I nearly always choose a Monday Morning. Make SURE you chose the right year - You can actually publish posts in the PAST by accident (one of those don't-ask-me-how-I-know sort of moments ; )

Then, I select the time window. I usually scroll and choose 8AM.

then, I hit the "done" button.

Then - and this is very important - I hit the ORANGE PUBLISH Button, then SAVE, Then Close.

And, in case you're wondering - yes, I do sometimes write posts several months ahead of when you see them. Sometimes I even write them more than a year before they're published. Just like print magazines do! 

Then, when I'm all done, I go back to my dashboard - this time to the left side of the screen, and Under "Posts" I find the word "Scheduled" I click on it and make sure that my new post is scheduled to publish as I intended, and that no mistakes were made.

I can check my scheduled posts and make sure everything is planned properly


If you're a blogger, I'd encourage you to try scheduled posts, and see if they don't make your blogging life smoother and less stressful : )

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18 comments:

  1. Great topic that I had tried in the past unsuccessfully. I'm blogging with WP, and don't know why but my schedule procedure at WP, do not works, I may say that at the begining it did work. What I do is do the post like you do, write and select pics, then I left them as a draft until the publishing date. Thanks for your imput and for sharing at http://www.fabifabu.com/2017/01/29/inspiration-galore-project-party-19/

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    1. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for hosting a great blog party! : )

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  2. I schedule my posts from time to time on Blogger especially giveaways.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by to visit! I love your faithful posts on the Frugal Exerciser. I'm subscribed : )

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  3. I love the schedule option. Granted, I am not months out on posts, but having it ready to roll while I am on vacation or unavailable is really helpful. Thanks for sharing the ins and outs of scheduled posts at the #happynowlinkup

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting the "Happy Now" blog party - and thanks for dropping by to visit! It really is nice to see a post "go" when I'm not there to do it - even if it's just one single post : )

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  4. I'm a post scheduler, but not nearly as far out in advance as I'd like. Thanks for sharing something so informative!

    #happynowlinkup

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting & for hosting! It IS a handy feature - even if you only use it once in a while : )

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  5. If I could not schedule my posts, I would not survive this blogging life.

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  6. I just started using scheduled posts and I love it!

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    1. Thanks for sharing with us at Together on Tuesdays!

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    2. Thanks so much! I love reading your Unschooling blog. Even tho I'm the furthest thing from an Unschooler myself (while still homeschooling) you still have lots of cool ideas! : )

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  7. I'm definitely into scheduling posts. And like you, I'll often take pictures of a recipe or event that doesn't get shared for nearly a year. Example: both my girls' birthday parties from last summer (and their associated craft/recipe posts) are all planned for this spring and summer. Though, it's become even easier to schedule posts since I moved to WordPress and started using the CoSchedule app. Seriously, it's a total game changer. Thanks for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting & for hosting. Another nice advantage to posting months in advance, is that it doesn't put the whole world on notice for things like your kids' exact birthdates - thereby curbing the risk of identity theft just a wee bit : )

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  8. Since I kind of operate last-minute, I tend to do it after the fact (i.e: finishing a Christmas craft in January when I have the time, organizing our camping supplies after the summer is over). So I look at it as being super ahead of time for next year. :) This is a great idea. I love scheduling posts but unfortunately can't usually get one finished more than a day or two before I want it to go live!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting! I just found your blog & I'm really enjoying it. I especially like your post on why you take your kids to Church : ) I'm subscribed! : )

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  9. Yes, this is a great feature and very good reasons to use it. Thanks for explaining the process to our readers at Together on Tuesdays :)

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  10. This will be so helpful when I start writing again. I'd have too many ideas in my head while trying to post my Tuesday tip while it was still Tuesday. A serious illness and few surgeries got me off track, but I'm working on rebuilding. LOVED the idea to save all ideas as drafts then come back and fill in!

    DavetteB
    http://Facebook.com/DavetteB.HEALTHyCHOICEs

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Welcome!
Please, DO chime in! : )

If you want to share a link to a pertinent and supportive post of your own that directly relates to my post (if, for instance, you also have a great vegan pancake recipe, or a post about Christmas) I don't mind a bit!

I encourage any questions about methods, measurements, or cooking times, and comments about typos, broken links, mistakes, omissions, etc. I also welcome thoughtful questions - even if you disagree with me.

I often take a few days to post your comment, and a few after that to reply. Please don't think I'm ignoring you if my response is slow - I'm just not always connected to technology.

Delighted to have you here! Post away!


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