How would it feel to get a month’s worth of blog posts written and scheduled with just a few days’ worth of work? No, I’m not joking. In fact, I’m in the middle of doing this right now. That’s right: you’re reading a blog post that was written two weeks before its scheduled date all because I batched it with other blog writing.
What is Batching?
Let me give you two blogging scenarios:
Option A: write blog, edit blog, create graphics, format blog, schedule blog, share on social media. Rinse and Repeat—four-five times!
Option B: write four posts, edit four posts, create graphics for four posts, format four posts, schedule four posts, schedule social media share for all four posts. Done.
Basically, batching means doing all of one type of task before moving on to another type of task. It’s the difference between making one batch of sugar cookies and one batch of chocolate chip cookies both on Monday and Tuesday versus making two batches of sugar cookies on Monday and two batches of sugar cookies on Tuesday. Which do you think would be easier?
Why Should You Batch Your Blogging Tasks?
Can I use the cookie example again? Good. Because I’m seriously thinking I need to bake after I finish this post… Anyway… making sugar cookies and making chocolate chip cookies require a different set of ingredients, different amounts of effort, and different techniques. It would take longer to try to bake two different types of cookies than to bake two batches of the same type of cookie.
So why am I making you hungry instead of helping you condense your blog writing time? Because it is easier to do two of the same task than to do two separate tasks. For example, writing and editing are tasks that require a different frame of mind. If you’ve ever been told to not edit while writing, this is why. And the same can be said of writing versus making graphics—you’re in a different mindset while doing each one of these tasks.
Instead, you want to get into your groove, and stay there. If you’re creating blog graphics for one post, you’re already in graphic-design mode—stay there! Create two or three sets of blog graphics while you’ve got your groove going.
Trena Little, of TrenaLittle.com, batches her YouTube videos all the time. She says since she has her hair and makeup done, has her studio set up for recording, and is in a video making mood, she might as well record as many videos as possible. Imagine if she had to go through the process to set up her studio to record every day for an entire week? Instead, she saves herself hours of work by batching her video recordings.
How Do You Batch Blogging?
Pre-Batch Task: Gather Your Ideas
Have you ever read a post called “52 Blog Topic Ideas” or “101 Blog Titles” or “A Year’s Worth of Blog Content”? Odds are, the bloggers who wrote those posts didn’t try to think of 100 ideas in one sitting—they kept a folder of ideas on hand. Every time they thought of a new idea, they added it to the folder.
This is where you want to start: With an idea folder. It can be a document on your computer, a note in Evernote, or a list in your journal—no matter where you keep track of blog ideas, save them all in the same spot, and start saving now.
So when you are ready to start batching your blog writing, you won’t get bogged down with having to think of ideas first—you’ll already have a list waiting for you.
Batch Blogging Tasks
Blog Outline/Rough Draft: Regardless of whether you’re an outliner or whether you like to dive in and start writing, set aside one day where you will write X number of posts. Right now, I publish a blog post once a week, and one of those posts is a guest post, so I only need to write three posts a month. Writing a solid rough draft of three posts usually takes most of my workday (my average blog post is about 1500 words).
Because I dedicate a day to blog post writing, I don’t have a list of other tasks that need to be checked off that day. I mean it when I say I give myself the day to write. If you decide to write three posts tomorrow AND do x, y, and z, you’ll overwhelm yourself. Choose one day a month to be your writing day, and knock out all your blog writing in that one day.
Blog Edit: Don’t batch editing on the same day you batch writing—in fact, don’t batch anything on the same day you’re writing. Out of all the blogging tasks you do, writing is usually the most difficult because you’re taking a blank page and filling it with hundreds/thousands of words. But the good news is, you just crossed that hurtle, so now you’re ready to edit. And since you’re in the editing zone after you edit one post, go ahead and edit all the others! Two days’ worth of work and you have 3-5 polished blog posts ready to be scheduled. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Blog + Social Graphics: First of all, creating multiple blog graphics will be a lot easier and quicker if you use templates. I have about four different blog templates saved in Canva, so when I’m ready to create a new blog post graphic, all I have to do is change the image + words and hit download.
Pro tip: You can create social media templates in Canva too.
I usually create my graphics on the same day I edit my posts because neither editing nor graphic creation take up an entire workday, but like I do with my writing days, I schedule “editing + graphic” days into my calendar so I know to keep that day clear of any other major projects.
Blog Formatting: Whether you’re using WordPress or Squarespace, I find it so much easier to simply schedule multiple blog posts in one sitting. To be honest, this is one of the most difficult blogging tasks for me because it requires so many little details like short links and Click to Tweet. I often have several tabs open when I’m formatting my posts to be scheduled, so I prefer to batch them in one go.
Social Sharing: Did you know you can schedule social media content for posts that haven’t even gone live yet if you’re using a scheduling tool/app? Yup. For real. Instead of remembering to share a post on its publication date, as soon as each post is scheduled for publication, I schedule to share this post on social media the day it’s due to be published.
I use Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and I use Tailwind to schedule my blog image as a Pinterest pin. I already created the graphics, remember? And I already created a short link of the URL, so all I need is a few snippets from my post and I’m good to go.
Breakdown of MY Batch Days
- Day 1: Write blog posts
- Day 2: Edit blog posts and create all blog + social media graphics
- Day 3: Format and schedule each post + schedule each post for social media sharing
I usually schedule these three days during the 3rd and/or 4th week of each month.
So for the post you are currently reading, here’s what I did:
- I’m writing it right now on August 24.
- I’ll edit it + create graphics for it on August 26.
- And I’ll format, schedule, + schedule for social media on August 29.
The best way to make batching days work for you is to make that day all about the batch. If it's a writing day, keep that day focused on writing. If it's a social media scheduling day, keep that day only focused on social media. If you try to cram other tasks into a batch day, your day can quickly becoming overwhelming.
Do you batch your tasks? If not, what's you're number one productivity tip?