Scheduling and automating blog posts and social media has given me a little bit of sanity back in my life. If you’re serious about running a successful blog or service and want to market it through social media, I have a few excellent tips that will help you get back some of your time and achieve your business goals.
I have been blogging for years. I mean years. I did take a very long break, however. I can remember back in the day when we were all either on Blogger or Typepad. It was for more personal sharing than anything. All of my scrapbooking friends did it. Sometimes, I shared too much of my opinion. But, I believe we were still trying to navigate our way through this new form of social media. Twitter was coming onto the scene. We told everyone what we were doing. It’s all changed.
Scheduling and Automating Blog Posts and Social Media
Now that I’m running a business that relies on blogging as a way to share my work, which is teaching other people how to successfully live and work in a creative world, it’s important that I plan and utilize my time wisely. My blog is my office. My words and videos are my work and brand. I am selling my service as an expert on educating people how to do graphic design, art projects, and running my business as a creative person.
Plan Your Work By Having Ideas Ready
As an artist, I know how it is to hate to force myself to work on things when the inspiration hasn’t struck. But, if we plan ahead, when we have a spark in us, we can be ready to get down to business.
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Keep a Running List of Ideas
The most important thing to do is to keep a running list of ideas. I have a Google Spreadsheet that I’ve been keeping since I made my business shift in October 2015 to educate people. I knew that I would need to be consistent when it came to what I would be sharing on my blog. On this spreadsheet, I am constantly writing down my ideas. Then, when I’m ready to start planning my calendar for the month, I have topics to use.
Planning can be simple with the way technology is today. I keep that spreadsheet open on my computer all day while I’m working. It’s there so I can quickly jump over to it and write down my blog idea (or a class idea). I’ve heard other bloggers mention that they do this too! I also keep the Google Spreadsheet app on my phone so I can use it on the go. You never know when inspiration will strike!
Scheduling My Blog Posts
I have committed to three blog posts a week. One of those is a vlog now. But, often, my blog posts include a video screencast. It is time-consuming for me if I don’t plan my week by spreading those out carefully. Planning, recording, and editing them takes me several hours at a time.
Use a Editorial Calendar
I use CoSchedule to plan out each month’s blog schedule. CoSchedule is a paid editorial calendar, but ties in the automation of social sharing as well. For where I am in my business, I am willing to pay for this service. If you’re looking for something free, try the Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress. You can schedule each blog post idea on a calendar.
With my blogging, I have four topics. My goal is to cover each of those at least once in a month. Using my running list of ideas, I can sort by the category column I set up to make this much easier. If I choose, I can move a topic to another date. The idea here is that now that I know what I will be blogging for the month, so if the inspiration strikes, I can start writing these posts ahead of time. I set them to publish automatically on their scheduled date at 8 a.m. Set it and forget it!
Automating my Social Media
The beauty of CoSchedule is that I can then schedule the social media for the blog post I just finished ahead of time. CoSchedule works with Buffer (a social media scheduler). I have linked it to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and my Facebook Community Group.
I can edit what my social post will say, along with a link to the post. Then, I spread out when I want the post to be shared throughout the day. I can schedule when it’s most effective for me. CoSchedule sends me reports so I can see what posts are shared most often, and this helps me to determine the best times for each social platform.
I can also re-share a post through CoSchedule for future dates. It’s so important to recycle old posts through social media to gain new visitors to your blog. I love the reports that CoSchedule sends me. They help me to determine what my readers like. I can then plan for more posts on those topics, or expand a post into a course.
Instagram & Pinterest
The only two social media platforms that I have to work with separately are Instagram and Pinterest. But it’s not so bad! (This has changed! Because you can schedule pins for Pinterest on CoSchedule!)
Instagram doesn’t allow for automated scheduling. I will use one day a week to shoot all of my Instagram photos. Then, I text them to myself via my iMac to my phone. After each photo, I type out my message and hashtags. Then, each morning and afternoon, I choose what to share on Instagram. I use this time also to like photos from other users. It’s important to actually BE social, people!
For Pinterest, I use BoardBooster.com. With it, I take one day a week to schedule pins that fit my brand boards which takes me about an hour. Or, I’ll just do it while I’m sitting and watching tv at night. I can schedule them to post when BoardBooster tells me the best times for my account are to post. With BoardBooster, I use the Looping Feature, so it will reshare my pins and delete the pin that got the least repins. It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever used in my life. I’ve seen a HUGE increase in traffic to my blog from Pinterest.
While BoardBooster.com isn’t free, they do have a trial period. But, if you’re really looking to up your Pinterest game, I suggest taking the Pinfinite Growth course from The Nectar Collective. Melyssa shows you how to utilize this awesome social media platform to gain new traffic. It changed my life!
Blogging and Pinterest Graphic Templates
I have three different editions of my Blogger & Pinterest Graphics Templates over at Creative Market to help you create better graphics to market your blog posts! Check them out. All are compatible with Adobe Photoshop and you can change the colors and fonts to match your brand! Edition 1 | Edition 2 | Edition 3
So that’s how I schedule and automate my blog. I try to work in batches (taking photos on one day, recording on another, writing on another). I’m always one week scheduled ahead of time. This makes me feel so good. When I was really sick in November, I didn’t have to worry because everything was already set up to run for me. If you make it a priority it will work for you too!
Weekly To-Do Planner Sheets
I’M IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING THESE TO MY OTHER SITE, HOLLYPIXELS.COM – PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGIES AS THEY AREN’T AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.