The Art of the Weekend Blogger
Years ago, I read the delightful book, The Sunday Gentleman by Irving Wallace. The premise was two-fold. First, it hearkened back to the day when England had a law that prevented the debtor from being arrested on Sundays. Thus, a gentlemen in debt could avoid debtor’s prison on Sunday, a good day for a gentlemanly walk about in the park, time to socialize, greet the ladies, and, who knows, maybe get into more debt.
Second, it contained a series of short stories written by the author on Sundays, his only day of rest to which he dedicated the day to writing. Working to pay room and board all week, the only day of the week to work on his real job was Sunday. In his own way, he became a Sunday Gentleman, using the time to work on his stories, perfecting them for submission to magazines and publishers, his only day out of his personal form of debtor’s prison.
Luckily, with the future posts feature, many successful bloggers can also be weekend bloggers, a form of a Sunday Blogger, writing up a week’s worth of posts and setting the date and time to publish throughout the week.
During the week, they can check in for comments and trackbacks if they want, but the task of writing is reserved for the weekend, where once again, they can generate 3-7 posts to last them another week.
How do they do it? Here are a few tips on the art of being a weekend blogger.
- Think Blog All Week: Even though your body won’t be blogging, you mind can blog all week. Take notes on blog post ideas that pop up during the week in a notebook. Jot down interesting phrases or content presentation ideas so you won’t forget them when the weekend arises. There are many ways to “think blog” during the week, so when the weekend comes, that’s all you can think of.
- Plan Your Writing: Use an editorial calendar to keep track of what you want to publish when and set deadlines for the weekend before publishing to ensure you get the articles done. If you don’t like to blog on a schedule, then use the editorial calendar to keep track of when your posts will publish during the week.
- Schedule Blog Posts Regularly or Randomly: I like to schedule specific blog posts on regularly scheduled days. My weekly Blog Challenge is released on Thursdays. My weekend Weekly Digest is supposed to come out on Fridays, but is sometimes delayed a day due to travel. The rest of my blog posts I tend to scatter throughout the weekdays in no set schedule. It’s up to you, but predictability combined with a few surprises is always a good combination.
- Timelessness is Better Than Timeliness: There are many bloggers who read their feeds and blog before going to the bathroom in the morning. They want to be the first out of the blog door with the news. A weekend blogger works better when the blog subject matter is timeless rather than timely. It doesn’t mean the weekend blogger can’t blog on topical subjects. In fact, they might do a better job than those who rush without thinking time.
- Clearer Blog Focus: When your writing time is restricted, your blog focus tends to be clearer. You’ve sorted your blog post ideas and content in your head for days before you sit down to write, so you are more likely to keep it on the straight and narrow instead of blogging the first thoughts in your head. You don’t have much time to get two to five articles written over the weekend, which puts priority content at the top of the list.
- Improved Writing: Many people write better when the written thoughts have time to ferment in the head before they hit the paper. The longer I spent with an idea in my head, the more it seems to coalesce and compact into a cohesive collection of words and phrases. The writing flows out instead of stuttering and hunting for the next phrase. The longer you consider your words, the better the writing.
- Easier to Write Article Series and Themes: When you have more time to think about what you are going to blog, it’s easier to find themes that connect blog posts together, possibly linking them together as an article series.
- Less Research Time: Unless you can fit your research time into your weekend writing time, or sneak in some research during the week, it’s hard to spend much time researching your blog posts. Consider writing original content that doesn’t need a lot of research. You are the expert, so share your expertise through your blog. When you blog about subjects you are less familiar with, you have to add in research time to your schedule.
- Check Stats Last: Put your writing first and blog statistics checking last. If you allow yourself to be distracted by the stats, it makes plunging into the writing that has been fermenting in your head all week much harder. Write first. Play later.
- Anti-Distraction Writing: I’ve read in several books about writing for a living that if you write full-time, waking to a full 8-hour day of writing ahead of you, it’s amazing how many things can creep into your day to distract you from writing. All those years you dreamed about being free to write all day, and now the day comes and you have no time to write. Those who have restricted writing times have no such excuses. They may only have two hours to write, so they are going to write. No distractions permitted. The less time you have to write, the more concentrated your writing time tends to be.
Are you a weekend blogger? What tips can you offer someone considering becoming a weekend blogger?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
I write my “extras” on weekends, and sometimes I can write up to 5 posts a day. These posts will be “used” whenever I am too busy to blog. But of course, I also try not to keep my drafts for too long because I tend to change my mind after a while, and as such, things that I have written a month ago may not make much sense to me today, LOL.
I normally post every two to three days throughout the week. This is making me think twice in continuing it because I can see your point and the advantage of doing it. Let me see. :)
These are great suggestions Lorelle, thanks. I know a lot of the Business Blog Angel clients look for ways to bundle their post-writing so they’re not trying to squeeze it in at the beginning or the end of the working day – I’ll be sure to pass these tips on to them :-)
I’ve just begun writing a week’s worth of blog posts on the weekends to publish throughout the week. It does take some of the pressure off during the week, but also shortens the weekend considerably! An editorial calendar is proving very helpful, since I know approximately what I want to cover for each day of the week.
I do have one tip to share: Use Google Notebook as a container to hold all of your article ideas. I have one Google Notebook set up as a clip blog. It’s divided into about the same sections as my editorial calendar. Anything that sparks an idea for a post goes into the appropriate section of this notebook. Once I’ve used it, I add a “used” label to the entry so as not to get repetitive.
thanks for a very thought provoking post.
Just a tip that I use, I carry a small notebook around with me everywhere and whenever an idea comes up about a blog post I write it down. By the end of the week I have enough material for a few weeks worth so I pick the best material for that week.
This is kind of how I write for my blog. I write about news and events in the video game industry, as well as different gaming related topics and ideas that come up during the week. The problem is, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd when there’s already a dozen sites that work on cranking out every story that comes up. Therefore, I try to take a different approach; I like to think about a story and then add my own personal spin to it in one, long post that goes up Sunday night. Sometimes I end up editing a story multiple times before settling on the final version. For this, I find it helpful to carry around my laptop and work on a draft while on my lunch break at work. I only get a half-hour break, but that’s usually enough to get one good paragraph or idea onto the screen for later editing.
I’ve been thinking of ways of putting up more content during the week, though, and I think the idea of delayed posts could work great. Great post, thanks for the tips!
I currently post about once a week, though I am hoping to increase this soon. The tips in your article certainly present a way in which I could do this.
At the moment, I tend to get my material together throughout the week and then post towards the end. I have already bookmarked this page so I can come back and get these tips again!
I would also add that you shouldn’t try to please everyone all the time. Having controversial views will encourage conversation and a loyal readership.
It was great finding this article because this is totally where I’m at with my personal blog. I actually thought I was being somewhat original by posting about weekend blogging until I turned to the faithful search engine. Vain, I know.