Publishing Regularly

It can be difficult to publish on a regular basis. Inspiration is unpredictable. Anyone who has a blog, has encountered periods of time where they didn’t publish. They’re never planned. They just seem to happen. Often.  Sometimes it can be months between published posts. So how does one publish consistently?

Publish on a Schedule

The most common piece of advice is to publish on a schedule – whether it’s weekly, biweekly, or something else. Only an author can determine what is a reasonable schedule, as it’s based on their commitments and availability.  Whatever the frequency, the ability to maintain it is essential.

People sometimes use an editorial calendar to manage their writing. It’s such a popular strategy, there are even WordPress plugins to help you accomplish it.  A tool is only effective if you use it though. When people stop writing, it usually not an active decision. It’s like John Lennon once sang — Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

A Season for Everything

There’s a problem with publishing on a schedule. There’s always an assumption that you have to maintain that in perpetuity. That’s not very realistic. Work fluctuates, commitments change, and sometimes – people need a break from time to time. Instead, consider a different strategy – publishing in seasons.

A season is a defined publishing period, optionally based on a theme. There are two factors about a season – the length of the season, and the publishing frequency during the season. The off-season time is equally important, as it helps set your audience expectations. If you publish your blog content in seasons, you can also plan for downtime during the gaps. The gaps between seasons becomes valuable time. The gaps provide you with time to focus on other priorities, while giving you time to plan your content for the next season.

How long is a season? That’s up to you. However I’ll offer a few different options to assist your decision making. It’d be good to find out what you’ve tried, and what works well.

Season Length |    Frequency    | Off-season length
   10 Weeks   |     Weekly      |    2 Weeks
   3 Months   |     Weekly      |    1 Month
   5 Months   |     Weekly      |    1 Month
   2 Months   |  Semi-Weekly    |    2 Weeks

The idea of seasons is common in our culture – from television, to sports, to fashion. A few years ago, The Boagworld podcast began implementing seasons. Perhaps blogs could also benefit from publishing in seasons. I’d expect that publishing in seasons will render two benefits – higher quality content and greater consistency. The allowance of time for planing provides the opportunity to be more strategic in your content. You’re no longer at the mercy of the latest current event. The quality of content will rise due to time to focus on it’s creation. Also, since you only need to maintain the effort for shorter periods of time, it’ll be easier to maintain.

This would prevent you from publishing a post out of season, should the mood strike you. It’s primarily about setting expectations and timelines. I’d like to see blogs try the idea of publishing in seasons. I think it could help.

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