By Amanda MacArthur • 01/28/2011
Your website is down… do you take a vacation or get a jump start on editorial management?
Protests in Egypt have caused the Egyptian Government to shut down all communications as of last Thursday. In an effort to keep people disconnected from one another in order to keep protesting at a minimum, they’ve literally done everything they can to make sure people have no internet or mobile access to one another.
It started with blockades against Twitter and Facebook and has since made everything go black. People from outside of Egypt can’t even access any .eg websites.
So imagine you’re in Egypt. You’re the Egyptian version of Brian Clark of Copyblogger, or the Kathleen Cubley of Knitting Daily. Your website has been shut off and you have no idea when it’s coming back.
Assuming that it will eventually be coming back, what do you do?
There are three different types of audience development blogging plans that we as daily bloggers adhere to:
- The day-to-day plan: More editors than would like to admit, work on a day-to-day basis. They come in to work in the morning (or roll out of bed into their home office) and start typing for their daily blog. They’ve made an art form out of knowing exactly how long it will take to get a blog written, edited and out the door by their daily deadline.
- The day before plan: With a little preparation, some editors want to relax in the morning, not worrying about waking up and putting their brain to immediate work. These editors write their daily blogs the night before and set up their guest blogs a day in advance as well. This type of editor makes sure that before the day is ended, that the next day is already set up for them.
- The back up plan: These editors are most inclined to have their daily blog posts completed a week in advance and have a month-long schedule ahead of them. They know at the beginning of the month what topic they’re blogging about every day that month and possibly have guest posts set up this far in advance as well.
So if you’re the Managing Editor of a popular Egyptian website, what would you do in your new-found free time? Set your schedule.
Blogging on a daily basis is stressful and oftentimes it’s not easy to come up with a great blog topic on-demand. Remember that your blog is there to inform, and everything that you push out bears your name. So just because you’re having an off-day or you had a late night out with the softball team the night before, doesn’t mean that your blog should suffer.
In fact, by creating an editorial schedule ahead of time, and pre-writing your blog posts, you’ll have more time to give yourself an early afternoon off when you’re feeling under the weather, instead of racing against constant daily deadlines.
- If you’re on WordPress, start with the Editorial Calendar plugin by Zack Grossbart. It’ll let you set up your blog posts weeks ahead of time, in a visual-friendly way.
- Next, take a look at your blog categories. Is there a way for you to circle them all in a month? In a week? If you have guest bloggers this is the best way to use them— to fill out lesser-used categories.
- Next, draw up a calendar. It doesn’t have to be by date, but simply four or five weeks at a time. Fill in your calendar squares with the category you want to fill, and possibly even the topic you want to write about.
- Finally, start writing. You should preferably be starting from the beginning, but as as daily writer, I know that sometimes you have a topic that you are just dying to tackle. So if you find something you desperately want to write about, then do it while you’re still passionate about it.
By planning a month ahead, you have a full month to find things that you want to blog deeply about, without having to rush around at the last minute, finding content to fill an empty square.
Posted in Audience Development Strategy