Schedule Your Posts in Blogger

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Last week I had dinner with my friend Melissa, who also writes a popular blog for her wedding photography business. I shared with her that while I used to be an advocate for everyone blogging, because it is such a powerful tool, that now I am starting to take the position that unless you are going to invest the time and do it well, then maybe you shouldn't do it at all. A sloppy, rarely updated blog probably does more to hurt your business than to help it.

Fortunately, there are some tricks to help streamline your blogging work flow, and one of the main ones is to blog in advance. By writing your posts in advance, you can write them well and with clarity of thought, instead of rushing to produce something. It also gives you time to edit them and improve the content before they are published. Typepad and Wordpress have a scheduling feature, so you can write the posts and then schedule them for a specific date and time, and they will appear automatically at the scheduled time. This feature wasn't enough for me to ditch Blogger (Google indexes my blogs in real time, and that is a hard benefit to walk away from), and so I would write in advance, but still manually publish them.

Fortunately, Blogger now has an option to schedule your posts and this is achieved by posting in Blogger in Draft instead of regular Blogger. Blogger in Draft is the platform where Google allows people to test out new features before they release them to the masses. To login, simply visit draft.blogger.com instead of blogger.com. Everything will look the same, except that the header will have blue drafting graph paper in the background:

blogger in draft

This is what it looks like in regular blogger:

blogger


When you go to post, click on 'Post Options' right next to where you enter the labels, and set the date for the future. Then hit the orange "Publish Post" button. You'll see on the page listing all of your posts that it now says 'scheduled' and your post will automatically go public on the date and time you've chosen:

schedule posts in blogger

If you try this in regular blogger, your post will publish right away, but the date will say it is a few days from now.

I've been testing this out the past few days, and it works. For example, this post is appearing on a Wednesday, but it was actually written a few days prior. I've also loaded a few future posts for Motivational Mondays. Being able to schedule your posts is not only a time saver, but it actually means that you don't have to lose readers when you get swamped during wedding season and stop posting. Set aside a time in your work flow to write blog posts, whether it's every Monday, or whatever, and then set the times to publish automatically.

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