Would you be interested in creating posts to your blog during the weekends and use weekdays for something else, or blog commenting and promotion instead of writing new blog posts?
Or are you planning a vacation and don't want to leave your blog stranded without fresh content? There is an excellent way to add flexibility to your blogging and it's called blog post buffer and to get it going, you need pre-writing.
Contents of This Post
Since there are several parts in this post (all on this page thou), here are the quick links:
- Why Blog Post Buffer is Good for You? (Motivation)
- What is a Blog Post Buffer? (Definition)
- What is Pre-Writing?
- Getting Started
- The Pre-Writing Challenge
You can come up here on the "table of contents" by hitting links like this:
This concept can be a great help for a beginning blogger. I know for a fact, that when you start your blog, you will be VERY EXCITED and write blog post after another. You only have couple of readers and even they can't keep up with all the content you put up.
Then after a month or two, you don't feel like blogging so much. You're burned out (I hope it doesn't happen, I'm just saying it can, and this is one of the reasons people stop blogging before they even get really started). You have put 100 articles out in 3 months and now you don't know what to do.
What if you would have only published 3 posts a week (just an example), concentrating on networking with other bloggers, engaging in the social media and marketing your blog - and putting all the additional posts you write to the "queue"?
After three months, you would have published 39 posts (in 13 weeks which is pretty close to 3 months). You would have 61 posts (!!) in the blog post buffer, which would mean about 20 weeks worth of content for your blog.
What if, for the next 20 weeks (that's a looong time, isn't it?) you could do ONLY blog promotion? ONLY getting to know other bloggers, visiting forums and getting blog traffic? All this while your blog would get fresh content without you touching the blog, because you created and scheduled it weeks before.
And just think if you would go, and polish one of those blog posts each week, and improve it even further, putting all your energy into one of the three articles going out that week (which you could do, because you wouldn't HAVE TO write anything else).
...of course, if you can keep up with the regular posting you have done, putting up a post or two every day even after the first 3-6 months, that's awesome. But I'm speaking from experience, it is possible, or even likely, that you "hit a wall" at some point and it's good to have "savings" in form of extra blog posts when that happens.
I wish I had done this when I started. After putting a lot of effort into the blog, I had to take a break at some point, I just couldn't keep up with the tempo I had started. I had to "abandon" blogging for weeks, and without the buffer no new posts for my blog :(
If I had hold on to some of the blog posts I put out in the first three months like I described above, I could have build myself a blog post buffer with 3-4 weeks worth of blog posts and I am sure, I would have been able to keep up more consistent blogging like that.
However, the concept of blog post buffer is not just for beginning bloggers, as established bloggers can start doing and benefit from this, as you'll learn as you read on...
What is Blog Post Buffer?
a means or device used as a cushion against the shock of fluctuations in business or financial activity - (one definition of) buffer, Webster
In order to have "cushion" against the shock of fluctuations in your blog writing output, you need a buffer, a blog post buffer.
A blog post buffer is a queue of blog posts, where a blogger puts new blog posts instead of publishing them right away. All content is created beforehand, pre-written if you will, freeing up time from daily blog management to other tasks, like interacting with the readers and marketing.
Blog post buffer helps a blogger to take break from blogging, a vacation for example, while still maintaining the regular posting schedule. This can be done by taking advantage of scheduling options in many blogging platforms, making the blog put out new content automatically based on the dates and times set by the blogger.
Filling the buffer means writing more articles than you publish each week. Choose a posting schedule, 6 posts or 3 posts a week, or any amount of posts per week/month you are sure to keep up (if it's one post a week, then it's one post a week, you can always up the count as needed), and stick with that. The publish the same amount of content each week. Put the "extra" posts to the buffer. In the end, there's nothing more to it.
What is Pre-Writing?
Pre-writing means starting and maintaining a blog post buffer (Not to be confused with prewriting, the first part of writing process). In short, it is about writing content before you actually put it on the blog vs. "normal" blog writing where you hit publish the second you finish the post.
You can read more about pre-writing from these posts (1 from me, 2 from Carlos Velez):
- Pre-Write 2 Weeks Worth of Blog Posts
- Pre-Writing Is Your Friend - With Benefits (Part 1)
- Pre-Writing Is Your Friend - With Benefits (Part 2)
Once you have pre-writing going, you have two (or more) weeks worth of content in the queue, you can just keep you regular blogging rhythm and keep the buffer alive. The hard part is getting started, since you need to get that post buffer filled.
Start putting one article a week on hold from this day on. Do this either by
- writing one extra article a week, or
- posting one less article a week than usual
With this, you will have a full buffer in 2x weeks (two times the x), where x is the amount of posts you publish each week. If you usually publish 5 posts a week, you'll have full buffer in 10 weeks.
If you usually post 3 posts a week, you'll have full buffer in 6 weeks. And if you get the flow on, and happen to write more articles one week, don't publish them right away, add them to the buffer!
Or if you're into having some crunch time, set yourself a deadline to fill the buffer, e.g. a month and fill the buffer on that time, while keeping your normal posting frequency.
If you regularly post 3 times a week, that means you need to write 6 posts to the buffer WHILE doing your regular posts. If you want to create a 2 weeks worth of blog posts in a month, you'd be writing about 12 posts as usual plus the additional 6, for a total of 18 posts in a month.
Or you can cut the posting frequncy to just 2 posts a week, and put the one post towards the buffer, with 8 posts going to the blog as usual and 6 posts to the buffer, you would only need to write 2 "extra" posts during the month. Very doable, right?
The Pre-Writing Challenge
To get make this official and gather all of us who want to do this together, Carlos Velez from Conscious Me started the Pre-Writing Challenge, where those who want to start pre-writing help and support each other.
And there's a chance to get some backlinks and traffic as well, but I think the focus is on collaboration and having fun...
You can read more about the pre-writing challenge here:
I'm participating on the challenge. I will create at least two weeks worth of content to this blog during the next month. I've updated my progress and notes to this post: Pre-Writing Challenge Updates.
For me, this means creating most, if not all, content during the weekends, so I can concentrate on other activities like networking and marketing during the week (in addition to my day job that is).
There are others on this already, and with the support from each other, finishing the challenge will be much easier! And after finishing the challenge, there will be a lot more flexibility to blog content creation than before.Visit Pre-Writing Challenge Main Page for more info and to see who else is doing this right now.
Go ahead and join the challenge with me. Or if you don't wish to make it "official", start writing one extra article each week, put it on hold (resist the urge to put it out), wait until you have two weeks worth of those posts on hold and you have your blog post buffer!
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