How to Get More Done by Batching Your Blog Posts

batching blog content

Batching.

It’s a word that strikes equal portions of terror and fascination into the hearts of all us seat-of-the-pants bloggers.

I love to plan. But I find I rarely stick to said plan. In fact, I tend to lose my plans in the dark abyss of my computer filing system (wait, was there a system…? I probably invented one, and then forgot it.)

But I digress. On with batching!

If you’re new to the world of batching, don’t stress.

You can start simple.

Even briefly outlining the main points for your posts for the next month will make it much easier to write when you get to them.

But why bother? Even though I’m sure you love the idea of batching as much as I do, here’s some fantastic reasons to do it:

  • Say goodbye to the pressure of having to produce great content each week.
  • Want to take a holiday (a real one)? No worries – just schedule those blog posts to go live and add your social media posts to your Google Calendar + IFTTT and you’re golden.
  • Welcoming a new baby? Batch it up and take that time!

Batching is a great way to get a lot of content completed at once.

It works because you focus and don’t switch back and forth between tasks.

You put your writing brain in and write. Then the next day you might put your graphic design brain in and do all your graphics.

How do you make it work? Not gonna lie, it’s hard work. If you’re used to deadlines spurring you on to get work done, batching is going to feel really awkward until you get used to it.

Batching blog content editorial-calendar2

Batching Your Blog Posts

One of the most arduous tasks facing us bloggers is the part where, you know, we actually have to knuckle down and write a blog post. Shocking, right?

Batching helps you focus and frees up time to focus on other things later.

The first thing to decide when you prepare to have a batch day is how much you’re going to batch. Set a reasonable target – perhaps try starting with 3 or 4 posts.

Limited time and need help setting up a weekly schedule that works? These blogging schedules are simple and easy to follow and will have you making progress on your blog in no time!

Day 1 – Outline

Once you’ve got your editorial calendar sorted for the next few months (congrats by the way), you’ll know exactly what posts you’ve got coming up.

Set aside several hours to outline each post in great detail. <<< I just wrote this and then realized that it’s rare for anyone to tell you what a good outline is.

This is what I do:

  1. What’s the point of your post? The main message? The take away? The goal? Write it down. (this is a new thing for me)
  2. What do people need to know about your topic in order to achieve the goal? Brain dump time!
  3. Do you need to throw down some W5? That’s Who, What, Where, When, Why. And you can add a little How in there too.
  4. Think about all the questions people might ask about your topic. If you start going off on a tangent, you might split off some of your ideas into a second post.

Does your outline now look like spaghetti? Mine usually does.

Let’s impose a little order.

But first – I have to tell you something awesome.

Did you know that list posts are incredibly popular?

  • 5 ways to grow basil in your kitchen.
  • 19 timesaving shortcuts for Thanksgiving.
  • 7 tools you must use for your next design project.
  • 12 things to get Mom Bloggers for Christmas.

Did you know they’re also incredibly easy to outline? And write? They practically write themselves.

I recommend adding at least one list post to your editorial calendar per month.

Ok, back to imposing some order on the outline.

This takes a little bit of finessing. And you’ll kind of develop your own style as you settle into your writing voice.

Again, I always used to hate it when people said ‘find your voice’. Where do I look? How do I find it? Are you being deliberately cryptic?

Voice is about style, and word choice, and grammar. It’s also about practice. Editing. And learning how to write better.

This is what I normally do with my outline:

  1. Decide what’s important to include in this post.
  2. Narrow it down to 3 or so main points.
  3. Add a few bullet points under your main points.

Day 2 – Draft

This is a big day.

This is the day where you go through and draft yoru outlines into atualy blog posts.

Don’t worry about errors. (I deliberately left in the above errors as examples.)

Don’t worry about saying the same thing multiple times.

It doesn’t matter.

You get to clean it up in the editing stage.

The charming analogy ‘word vomit’ comes to mind. That’s what we’re doing here. Disengage your inner editor and get it all out.

If you’ve ever won at Nanowrimo (reached 50K words in 30 days), you’re probably a master word vomiter. Go you!

Don’t know how to disengage your inner editor? Go faster! Here’s a few tools that help:

  • Write or Die – the basic premise of this is you’re racing the clock. If you don’t type words fast enough, you lose the game. (Gamification is great for productivity)
  • Ilys – can’t help yourself looking back over what you’ve written? Ilys makes it easy for you – you can’t see what you typed until you’re done. And you can set a word limit so you have to reach it before you can actually view what you’ve written. This one’s my personal favorite.
  • Written? Kitten! – Write 100 words, get a cute kitten picture. What could be better?

Day 3 – Edit

Does the idea of editing your work make you shudder?

I get that. It’s hard to edit your own work. Previously whenever I’d do it, I’d find myself thinking things like: Argh! I sound like a complete numbat! Ugh! What was I thinking… I can’t write that.

Working as a freelance editor has DEFINITELY helped me overcome this. I’ve improved my editing skills (and incidentally, my writing skills) immensely over the last few months. That’s why I’m sharing with you the exact process I use to edit for my clients – right here, on the blog.

What I do:

  • Grammarly – I use the free version and dump my post into it. It’s good for catching odd errors and things like the Oxford comma…
  • Spell Check – next I use the Microsoft Word spell check to catch any other errors before I get into it for real.
  • Links Check – check all links to make sure they work and go where I say they do.
  • Fact Check – make sure any statistics you’ve worked into your post are 100% correct. Majorly embarrassing moment if they’re not.
  • Name Check – mentioning influencers and the like is a great strategy for getting on their radar. But it doesn’t work if you don’t spell their name correctly. Just make sure.
  • Read and edit – generally speaking, try to get your message across in the minimum number of words. If you can replace 10 words with 3, do it. Get to the point as quickly as you can and don’t ramble around it. Try speaking it out loud. Sometimes it helps.
  • Problem words check – we all have our own problem words. Words we misuse or grammar that we abuse. I apparently like to leave my participles dangling… Anyway, you’ll learn what words and grammar you have a problem with and you can run a search for those words or phrases that you commonly misuse.
  • Special mention – YOU/YOUR – such a simple error, yet so irritating. I like to run a search for YOU and just make sure that there’s no ‘your’s masquerading as ‘you’s. It happens to the best of us.

Phew! Still with me?

Go through and edit those amazing blog posts, you champion you. You’re almost there.

Day 4 – Process

Take your beautiful, freshly edited works of bloggy art and create the actual art that goes along with them.

Open up Canva, create your graphics and upload everything into WordPress. Then format it so it looks pretty and schedule it to go live at the date you set it for on your editorial calendar.

Kick back and relax. You just batched some content!

That’s a Wrap!

I’m looking forward to a lot more batching in 2017. With a new blog planned and an increasing client load, as well as needing to get out there and get published on authority sites… well, I’m going to need it!
Have you ever batched your blog posts? Let me know in the comments!

21 thoughts on “How to Get More Done by Batching Your Blog Posts”

  1. Pingback: How To Write The Perfect Blog Post - Custom Convo

  2. I just recently started a new blog and I’ve found that this is the best way for me to get my posts up on a regular basis. I’ve never intentionally sat down and made a plan though, so that’s a tip I might need to try. (Like you, I love to plan, but almost never follow through on them, so with the blog, I haven’t even bothered.) This method works excellently with my ADHD because it lends itself to hyperfocus, whereas the stop and start of trying to work on it daily with three young kids is like running through mud. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Nicole, thanks for commenting. Yeah, I gave up on planning for a while! What helped instead was having a huge list of topics to blog about, so that when I was ready to write a post I could just pick one rather than feeling locked in. I really feel you on the ‘running through mud’ thing. Yikes! And I’ve only got the one!

      1. Oh yes! I have a list of almost 50 prompts and at least a dozen “drafts” which are just brain dumps on whatever topic I felt like talking about in the moment. Makes formal writing sessions so much easier! (And it helps me curb my forgetfulness. 😉 )

        Side note: What are you using for your comments? I noticed my comment shows an outdated pic, but I can’t find the associated account >.> I checked Disqus and Gravatar, but came up empty.

        1. Haha, that’s great! I have about the same. And yes it does make it easier to write.

          I’m just using the basic WordPress comments (Gravatar) – no plugins here. Not sure why it’d be showing an outdated picture?

  3. I am in my first year of blogging and it is difficult. I start a million posts and then don’t get back to them or think they are stupid so I stop. I work full time outside of the home and sometimes it is difficult to get everything done. I just had surgery and I am off work for 6 weeks and had planned to write up as many posts as possible to help keep me on track when I get back to work. I came across your post and I have been following your directions and it is helping me tremendously to stay focused and get it done! Thanks for posting.

    1. Hey Cathy!
      The first year of blogging is the hardest – such a learning curve! I’m sure your posts aren’t stupid – publish them, you’ll never know who they help! Some of my posts I didn’t like very much are really popular and helpful to people.
      I hope you’re recovering well from your surgery. Great idea to take the time to do some batching! And I”m so chuffed it’s working for you 🙂

  4. I just started blogging and it’s a lot tougher than I imagined. I quit my regular job when I had my baby six months ago, to be a part time work-at-home mom. Batching is something I did in my regular 9-5 (more like 9-9) and I felt like Super Woman. I can’t believe I never thought about it for blogging! Your steps are so easy and concise, and very very helpful. You are totally on point – editing is by far my least favorite part of the process and certainly a weak point for me. Just wanted to say thanks!

    1. Hey Heather
      Thanks for commenting! Blogging’s not as easy as it looks. I’m so glad that this post helped you think about how you can batch for your blog. Since you’ve already had experience batching, I’m sure you’ll get ahead!

      You’re most welcome 🙂 Can’t wait to see how you go with batching!

  5. I love this post! I just saw you on Elna’s site and I just subscribed to your site! 🙂 Does each process take a specific amount of time? or do you allow yourself a specific amount of time for each day?

    1. Hi Gretchen 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
      I have to admit, I’m not very good at batching. Yet. I have a tendency to think I can do more than what I actually can. So I might need to practice just doing two posts at a time. Baby steps!
      Anyway to answer your question, each process takes a different amount of time. For example, I’m not much of an outliner. Outlining takes me hardly any time at all. Writing takes a lot more time. I’ve combined my editing and uploading, and that probably takes about the same time as writing.
      Hope that helps! I think batching is a great tool that you can adapt to suit your needs. 🙂

  6. I LOVE batching. Like, I’m seriously obsessed to the point that I talk to my husband about batching our Christmas shopping and batching meal prep for the week. By batching my blog posts I was even able to get months ahead on my content so I could take some serious time off when my baby was born in October.

    1. Hey Emily 🙂 I love your batching! I actually batched a huge amount of slow cooker freezer meals before my little one was born. Totally with you on the batching!

      That’s amazing you were able to get so far ahead! 🙂

  7. So, question. I like the idea of batching, but assuming 3 posts/week, are you front-loading and working extra hard at the beginning? With this schedule, it would just give me a 3 day weekend. Or do you get better at it and can crank out maybe 10 in a batch?

    1. Hey Laura
      Wow, good on you for managing 3 posts a week 🙂 Batching does mean working a bit harder at the beginning. Honestly, you’d have to find your happy medium. If you were to write 4 posts per week, you’d be ahead by 1 post and you’d get further ahead the more you stuck with it. You’d also get better at it and I’m sure you’d be able to start doing more posts at a time.

      I hope that helps 🙂

      1. 🙂 3 is my goal. 2 is usually reality. After being sick for 2 weeks (well, 3 weeks now) and not having any posts in the queue, kinda want to avoid that in the future

        1. I can definitely understand that – working while sick is horrible! I’d like to build up a bit more of a buffer so that I can avoid doing that next year.

    1. Hey Kecia
      I’m going to make batching a priority for the coming year. It’s easy to get caught up with other things and client work, but really if you’re using your blog for your business it needs to be up there on the list of priorities.

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