How & Why I Plan My Blog Content Months In Advance

Sunday, September 20, 2020

AD - This post contains gifted items & affiliate links, but all opinions are my own

It's quite likely that this blog post you're reading was written 6 months ago. I love planning ahead of time, and scheduling my content months beforehand has become a way of life for me. You could be writing tweets for the week ahead or planning your content for the year! Today's post is all about why you should pre-plan and schedule your content in advance, and how I manage to do it months ahead of time!

How I Schedule My Content

Coming Up With Ideas

The first thing I do is decide what I want to write about. I have a gorgeous grey notebook from The Old English Company which I write all my ideas down in. There's a page for each blog category I write about! I split it up into niches so that I can filter ideas better when it comes to planning. I prefer to plan ideas in my notebook because I can carry it around with me and scribble ideas quickly when I think of them. I love this notebook as the lines are quite thick - perfect for my big messy handwriting! It's also very cute, so looks gorgeous in my pictures. My book is personalised with "Em" on the front and my life's motto "you should just go for it". 

If you're struggling to come up with ideas, just look at trends, what other bloggers are writing and the world around you. Make sure you DON'T copy from other's directly, and credit accordingly, especially if the idea is very niche. You can find inspiration in the strangest of places, or on one of my blog posts!

Scheduling In A Calendar

In excel, I have created a content calendar. There's a tab for each month, a tab for guest writers and a tab for collaborations/guest posts that I'm writing for other bloggers! I will flick through my notebook and look at trends to decide which post idea goes where. I typically post on a Wednesday and Sunday unless there's something urgent or a holiday. This means I need to plan around 8 posts per month.

When deciding what post goes where I will look at holidays, special days and if there's an event in my life. For example, I went on holiday so did a post relating to UK staycations. I try to have one blog post for each category I write about each month to make sure I get a range of content in. If I can't fit a post in, I'll ensure it goes into the next month. I'd recommend always having back-up ideas to hand in case things fall through!

Finally, I colour code the document! Any unwritten but planned posts are coloured blue. Posts that I've started are coloured yellow, and any I've finished are green. I like to colour code things to see where I am at in my schedule!

Pre-writing Content For Months Ahead

I have been lucky enough to blog full-time for the last 6 months. I was furloughed but recently left that job. It has meant I can get ahead of my blog posts. I currently have the next 3 month's worth of blog posts already written and scheduled. If anything unexpected pops up (gifted or sponsored collaborations, guest posts etc.) I will rethink which posts can be moved back. This means I have about 10 blog posts ready to go, but with no planned place. I like having back-up posts in case one falls through. It's also great as a filler if I don't like how a newer post has turned out. 

I try to write around 300 words a day when I am working. I am in a full-time apprenticeship, so write during my lunch break or at the weekend. If I do 300 words a day, I can write a new post every 3 days. Sometimes I write a lot more, so that's how I can plan my content months ahead of time. I also have "writing weekends" where I do as much as I can before the writing becomes "bad quality". You can't do too much otherwise your work will be poor!

Scheduling Content For Social Media

Every Sunday, I sit down and plan my pins & tweets for the week. If I have more time, I will try to do even more than that. I try to post a varied range of blog posts each day so that there's something for everyone. I have a word document with tweet ideas for each post so I can copy and paste them into the scheduling tool. I use Twitters built-in scheduler and have had no issues with it. 

For Pinterest, I will make around 50 pins on Sunday and schedule them for the week. I use the free Pinterest scheduling tool and Tailwind. Pinterest isn't my biggest traffic source, so I'm not too worried about posting 7 times a day instead of 15-30. I've already got pre-made templates which help me to make my 50 pins in just 30 minutes!

Why You Should Plan Content Ahead Of Time

Your Blog Posts Will Be Better Quality

If you plan your content for 6 months in advance, you know what posts you need to research for. Not only will you have a longer timescale to write your blog post, but you'll have more time to develop the ideas. Giving yourself more time will improve the quality because you can research and change things more. Most of my blog posts have been written up to December. You don't have to have written them all, but if you plan them, you can make changes along the way!

It Saves You Time In The Long Run

When you block schedule a bunch of promotion, you don't have to do any more for the week/month. Every Sunday, I schedule my Tweets and pins for the week. If I have more time, I'll schedule more posts. The more scheduling you do at once, the more time you'll save. It's quicker to do tasks in blocks than it is to schedule one day's worth of posts at a time. Save yourself the time, don't waste it when you could be doing more productive things!

It Helps You To Have A Holistic View Of The Year

I usually have 6 month's worth of content planned out at once. Once a month has passed, I'll create a new excel tab for the next month. If I am extra organised, I'll plan even more. You should do this holistic plan because you can see what post you have coming up. You're able to pre-write those posts if you have time and move things around when new things come up! You should pre-plan your content as it will help you to see what's coming up and if you have time for extra collaborations etc. It gives you more time to plan things. If I see that I have a post that needs collaboration, I can send out feelers way before the due date, so it's more likely I'd get a response!

You're Able To Be More Flexible

If you plan your content, you can move it around better. I have my excel spreadsheet which moves around regularly, but that gives me flexibility. I'm able to accept collaborations where possible because I can move about. I don't have to worry about overlaps in posts because it's all in front of me. If I schedule my promotional posts ahead of time, I am also more flexible with my social life. If I go out at the last minute, I don't have to worry about missing traffic as everything is automated! My content is already scheduled, so there's no worry!

You Can Make Use Of Peak Traffic Times

If you're only posting promotional tweets between 10 am and 9 pm, you're missing a massive audience. If you're in the UK, you'd only be hitting a small group of people with your promotion as the rest of the world may not be active. Scheduling your content throughout the whole day allows you to reach people in all time zones, increasing your reach dramatically. By promoting throughout the whole day, you may also gain more traffic as promoting more generally leads to more clicks. 

I love my Old English Company notebook for planning content, and if you want one too, you can use the code OESPECBR15 for 15% off! There are lots of gorgeous, high-quality notebooks to choose from. You can even get it personalised with your name! The quotes on the front are relatable and motivational - there's a notebook & colour for everyone! 

I know that I plan rather vigorously. I like knowing that everything is planned for and lined up. I'm not very good with sudden surprises, but there are times you do need to learn flexibility! Not everyone will plan how I do, and don't feel bad if you write posts when you feel like it! Some people work best the day before, while others like to take their time. Do you plan your content in advance? I'd love to hear how you come up with your blog post ideas and if you schedule tweets in advance!

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  1. I also want to pre-plan my blog just like you do. Thanks for sharing. This inspired me a little to do my work ahead of time.


  2. Well l am in awe of you! I'd love to be able to plan and write that far ahead but it's just not me!

    I do plan ahead in terms of idea though. My method is to use Evernote. I can jot ideas down or even voice record them. This means that when l sit to write, I'm not scratching my head for ideas as they are already there.

    A very helpful and inspiring post! Thank you!

  3. When in lockdown, I started writing so much more than I would have been pre pandemic and I started producing a months worth of content in advance and it's kind of relieving in a way to have content ready and waiting to be posted, such a great post Em! x

    Lucy |

  4. Yeah I agree - definitely a good idea to plan ahead. And I love your stationery - I have so many notebooks haha.
    Carrie xx

  5. Thank you so much for this information! This is what I have been struggling in - I can't seem to follow my schedule and can't commit to a routine. Writing content in advance IS VERY EFFECTIVE in maintaining a blog. Your tips are so helpful. I saved them just in case I get out of track again in the future.

    Kudos to you ☺

    Ann |

  6. That was super interesting ! As a college student, it is hard to make time to write and be active on social media. I’ve been thinking about planning but didn’t really know how to do it, so thank you for sharing !

  7. Thanks for sharing, I have always finding writing content in advance a little helpful, when it comes to the recipes, it's seasonal ingredients and how much time I have time to produce the bake :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  8. Great post! I love scheduling everything in advance. In September I scheduled my blog posts, pins, and even my vlogs for the whole month and into some of October! Now that my grad school days are almost done I can schedule more blog posts and vlogs out in advance!

  9. You are providing a post is very useful for develop my knowledge and I learn more info from your blog.
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  10. I also plan my blog content in advance, I find it helps so much, especially when unexpected things come up! Great post.

  11. Wow! That is impressive. I'm lucky to be a week ahead at this point. Some day I hope to be able to blog full time, but I will start planning better for sure. Thanks for the encouraging post.

  12. Wow, I would love to plan my content in advance like this. My main problem at times is coming up with content ideas. It is something I will be working on. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.