One of the things that I enjoy about blogs is how random they can be.
Within the blogging medium it’s quite acceptable to bring together a collection of seemingly unrelated ideas over the course of a week or more. I guess this comes partly out of the personal blogging scene where it’s not unusually to see a post one day on the blogger’s political views, to see them post a little later reviewing a movie they’ve just seen, posting the next day a link to a fart joke that they just came across and then following it up with a description of last night’s date.
There’s something wonderful about this (it can be a wonderfully surprising ride to read such blogs) however recently I’ve found myself advising quite a few business bloggers and entrepreneurial bloggers to think through their posting a little more.
The Problem with Random Posting
While random posting can be a lot of fun and works well for some blogs (particularly those who build themselves on the back of their weird and wacky approach) it can also be quite frustrating for those readers who come to your blog not to be entertained but because they want to learn something.
I’ve been asking myself the following question each Monday morning over the past few weeks….
Where do I want to take my readers this week?
In doing so I’m beginning to look at each week as a mini journey with readers.
I don’t ask this of all my blogs (particularly those whose content is more ‘newsy’ and where the breaking news within the niche determines what I post) but on my blogs like ProBlogger it’s a question I’m very intentional about asking.
In answering the question I map out a posting schedule for the week and identify a number of topics that I want to cover on each day. Some weeks this results in a series of posts (like last week when I tackled persuasive blogging) and other weeks it will result in a random looking collection of posts that may or may not seem directly related but which fit within where I want the blog to go this week.
I still throw in random or newsy posts that I didn’t plan on at the beginning of the week – but am finding that the result of this planning at the start of the week (or at the start of the month – as I do on one of my blogs) is more effective communication, positive reader feedback and increased repeat readers coming back to see what’s next.
One last benefit of it is that I’m feeling a lot more focused and in control of where my blogs are headed each week. Instead of waking up on Thursday morning and stressing that I need to not only write something but have to think of a topic – I already have an assignment waiting for me ready to start writing up.
How far ahead do you plan posts on your blog? Do you plan ahead at all or are you more spontaneous? Do you think about the journey you want to take your readers on over a period of time?