Blog Tutorial 5 of 10: Creating a blogging schedule - figure out how much time you're willing to devote.

This is something I've been struggling with lately (in case you haven't noticed). Sometimes the words flow freely and other times I struggle to sit still for ten minutes and compose a full sentence. There are weeks when I find a lot of interesting sites, but can't quite will myself to write something that adds to the conversation.

So why the big push for a schedule of posting? Despite the ups and downs of creativity and willpower, it is important to set and try to stick with, a regular posting schedule. Every day, two times a week, weekly, or less often.

Whatever your schedule, try to plan out a month or so worth of general topics. If that sounds like too much at first, start with a week or two, and move to longer planning periods from there. No one says you have to stick to it, but you know what they say about writing down your goals. You're that much more likely to achieve them (or at least come with site of them).

Why is this so important? For several reasons:
  1. Happy Blog Readers - posting on a schedule helps readers who visit your blog know what to expect, and if they are not using an RSS Reader or signed for email subscriptions, they'll want to know how often to visit for new information.
  2. Keeping Your Blog's Focus - a little bit of planning goes a long way. Mapping out WHEN you'll blog also helps you think about WHAT you'll post about. If you know you need 2 or 3 ideas for next week, as you read online, browse a magazine, or listen to the radio, posts will naturally form in your head.
  3. Search Engine Attention - The search engines like to see regular updates. Think of it like the spare change you find in the couch - or like taking your vitamins daily. Not a lot of benefit that particular day, but over time the positive benefits build up, which include search engine listings.
  4. Links from Other Websites - If other bloggers or websites like your subject matter and writing style, they are more likely to link to your blog, a specific post, or write their own post reviewing your blog.
For more in-depth information on the great benefits of blogs and how they get search engine traffic, see this ClickZ post on Web Feeds, Blogs, and Search Engines.

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