A couple of weeks ago, my mom came over for an unexpected visit one evening and we ended up watching Valentine’s Day late into the night. Another time, my stepmom came over just to pick something up really quickly and it turned into a long heart to heart that lasted up until bedtime. Both nights, I’d had my to do list: it consisted of getting Travis to bed, grabbing a glass of wine and my laptop, and writing my blog post for the next day. And neither one of those nights did it happen.
Sometimes unexpected visits and long overdue heart to hearts pop up and they’re still important. Family is still important, spontaneous nights out with friends are still important, but also, your blog is still important. But you shouldn’t keep yourself from doing something necessary, fun, or fulfilling simply because you need to write a blog post. Those two times, I let it slide. I simply decided to skip posting on the blog. I certainly didn’t need to stay up extra late to get my post finished and I wouldn’t have time the next morning before work.
But since things like this do happen (and sometimes often), it’s a good idea to be prepared. This is why you should always keep a backlog of posts for your blog. When unexpected things happen and you didn’t get a chance to write your planned blog post, you still have something that you can publish.
Creating a backlog of posts may seem silly and unnecessary. Why write something simply to put it aside and not publish?
1. You are going to publish it.
Just not today. Maybe not even tomorrow or this week. But when you don’t have the time or the energy to create something new, you will send yourself a big giant thank you for setting aside a few posts “just in case.”
2. Sometimes you’re just too damn tired.
Understandable. Life is exhausting. I work a full time job, come home to take care of a rambunctious toddler, and then pick up his (and my) giant mess after he goes to bed. Some nights all I want to do is sit down and crochet and watch Netflix or read a good book or just go to sleep. Having a backlog of posts gives me the option to do this every now and then.
3. You don’t want your blog to suffer.
Your blog is your baby, your little miniature business. You can’t let your business fail simply because you’re too tired to keep up with it. When you just don’t have the energy to create a new blog post, simply schedule one of your drafts for the next morning and call it a night. You still have a blog post going live for your readers and you barely had to lift a finger.
I know what you’re thinking. Writing daily blog posts is time consuming enough–where are you going to get the time to write even more than that? If you’re committed to blogging and you want to succeed, here are a few tips for creating your own backlog of posts.
1. Set aside one day each weekend to crank out your blog posts.
Sundays are my blogging days. I’ve already planned my posts for the week (I publish a post every Tuesday and Friday), so I take this time to outline each of my points, write a bit of copy, create my graphics, and pump out as much as I can. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to finish on Sundays, but most times I still have a bit more work to do during the week.
2. If you have time during the week, continue to write new blog posts.
Even if you’ve gotten your entire week scheduled, if you have time and ideas, it’s time to write. One of my favorite strategies is to open a new note on my phone for each of my upcoming blog posts and write out a list of all of my subheadings. (I’m a big fan of listicles, if you couldn’t tell.) I’ll flesh out my ideas with little bullets so that by the time I’m ready to sit down and write, pretty much all I need to do is turn my bullets into full sentences, add in a bit of personality and story, and I’m done. Piece of cake!
3. Don’t schedule posts immediately.
Whenever I finish a blog post, I always immediately want to schedule it and can’t wait for it to be published. However, when you’re working on your backlog posts, you have to accept that some of these won’t be published immediately. They might not even be published in the near future. They’re simply for back-up whenever you may need it.
4. Don’t write time-sensitive posts.
If you’re writing a recap of your favorite sketches from SNL 40, then that is obviously not a post that you want to leave in your backlog. If you post that in two weeks or a couple of months down the road, it’s going to be irrelevant and your readers are going to wonder why you’re just getting the memo that Saturday Night Live put on the greatest show of all time. Instead, save up a bunch of good recipes, DIYs, tips, and advice posts that will never go out of style. (Sing that last part T-Swift style.)
5. Keep an ongoing notepad of ideas.
Whenever a new blog post idea pops into your head, write it down immediately. Then, like I said before, you can even start typing or writing up the entire draft for the post. Go back and proofread it or flesh it out more later, then let it hang out in your drafts until its time to shine.
Blogging is a job in itself and it can be hard to keep up. By keeping a backlog of posts, you’ll always be prepared for any unexpected change of plans.