To run a successful blog, you need to have consistent, high-quality content, and you need to share it effectively. If you're trying to do all that at 11:45 the night before or in the middle of the workday, you just won't be as effective, and your quality will suffer.
Fortunately, there are now plenty of tools out there to schedule everything in advance. By scheduling ahead of time, you can use your free time to create top-notch content, rather than squeezing it in between meetings.
A lot of this is probably hold hat for most of you, but I remember that when I first started blogging, I had no idea I could schedule my posts ahead of time, let alone tweets or Facebook page updates! No-brainer, I know, but maybe this'll help somebody else out, too. Read on to find out how to schedule Blogger and Wordpress posts, Facebook statuses, and tweets. Once you know how to schedule everything in advance, try this free planner to organize your thoughts!
Oh, and you can find me on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all my posts - scheduled and spur-of-the-moment! ;D
After you read through all these scheduling options, pop over here, and let me know: Did you know that you could schedule all these different things? Which do you think you'll use the most? What would you like to see in the next Blog Better post?
Scheduling a Post in Blogger
You can schedule entire blog posts as far in advance as you like, which gives you the freedom to knock a few out on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Write your post up just as you normally would. When your post is ready, just click 'Schedule' under 'Post settings' on the right toolbar. Click the button for 'Set date and time.' Now you can just pick when you'd like to publish your post, and hit 'Done.' It'll now show up as 'scheduled' in your list of posts on your Blogger dashboard. You can still go back and edit it just as you would with a normal post.
Fun tip: This is especially helpful if you're going on vacation. You can schedule a whole week's worth of posts and never have to think about your blog while you're gone!
Finding Your Scheduled Post Link in Blogger
Again, it can be really helpful to get your post link before the post actually publishes. You might want to write your post Tuesday night and schedule it to post Wednesday morning. When you get the permalink in advance, you can schedule your Facebook posts and tweets. The next day, while you're working your "real job," your post, Facebook status, and tweets all go live for your followers, even if you're nowhere near a computer.
In that same sidebar on your Blogger post screen, click the 'Permalink.' You can customize the URL, or you can leave it on 'Automatic,' and just copy the grey text that appears above the 'Automatic URL' option. Use it for the scheduling options listed below.
Scheduling a Post in Wordpress
Though I don't use Wordpress, this one seems pretty straightforward as well. Just like in Blogger, there's a little toolbar over to the side of your draft post. Where it automatically says 'Publish Immediately,' click 'Edit.' Now you can choose the date and time. Click 'OK' to go ahead and schedule it.
Finding Your Scheduled Post Link in Wordpress
Again, in order to make full use of social media scheduling capabilities, you'll need your blog post link before the post publishes. In Wordpress the permalink URL for your scheduled post should show up just beneath the title of the post, like you see in the image above. Again, since I don't use Wordpress, feel free to correct me if anything isn't right or explained well.
How to Schedule a Facebook Status Post
Click inside the status update box on your Facebook page. Wait a second, and then you'll see a little clock image in the bottom left corner. Click that little guy, and then it'll walk you through the scheduling process, from year to month, day, and time. Then you can write your status just as normally would, and click "schedule."
If you want to change the post before its scheduled time or just can't remember what you've scheduled, head up to your admin panel bar across the top of the page. Click on 'Edit Page,' and then 'Use Activity Log.' Voila - a list of all your scheduled posts!
Fun tip: You can use this feature to backdate posts as well, which is useful if you want to add a milestone to your timeline. An example would be if I were to schedule back to 2009 for a "Shrimp Salad Circus publishes its first post" link.
How to Schedule a Tweet
I use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets in advance. Hootesuite is a great organizational tool in general, but I find it especially helpful for scheduling purposes. You can use it for Facebook as well, but I've found it to be less reliable for scheduling Facebook posts. Sometimes they just don't ever show up.
To schedule a tweet with Hootesuite, just begin typing your tweet as you normally would, and select your Twitter handle in the box to the top right in the image above. Then, just click the little 'Scheduling' calendar, and your time and date options will drop down. Schedule to your satisfaction, and then click 'Schedule.'
Fun tip: Scheduling tweets in advance is even a good idea for tweeting your pins on Pinterest or your Instagram photos. That way, you don't overwhelm your followers with 43 pins all at once and then nothing at all for the rest of the day.
For more tips on building a better blog, check out the rest of the posts in my Blog Better series!
*Credit: Clock from header image by YSR1