Home > blogging, new media, personal development, social media, Writing > Planning Pays Big Dividends

Planning Pays Big Dividends

by Jim Raffel on August 5, 2010

I’ve managed to get to the point where I am writing my blog posts about a week ahead. All it took was a little planning and now that effort is beginning to pay big dividends.

It’s not just me. The quest to get ahead began when I read Chris Brogan’s With Just A Little Planning. I’ll still write posts when I’m on vacation, as Chris did, but I sure would like the ability to skip a day or two when we are busy having too much fun. Then, I came across my friend Randy Murray’s Vacation Tips In This Over Connected Age: Queued Up Posts & Tweets. Further evidence that with just a little planning and forethought your future time becomes your own.

Double up now. By the time I saw Randy’s post I had managed to get myself about three days ahead and was enjoying the breathing room. To really enjoy a stress free one week vacation I’d have to either get a full week ahead or be willing to not post every day (I’m not willing to do that right now). I started writing two posts whenever I sat down to write as Chris recommended. So here I sit working on a post that will be scheduled at least five days from now. Because writing two posts at once is not much more work than writing one, I can skip a day of writing when I need to. Writing posts in batches larger than one seems pretty effective to me.

The big dividends. First, I am able to follow the advice in Improve Your Writing Overnight with the Rule of 24: Guaranteed found on CopyBlogger{dot}com. The big dividend lies in letting your work sit for 24 hours before publication. If you change just one word or add a comma you have improved your writing by doing nothing more than waiting. By not being rushed I can also spend more time analyzing the recommendations ScribeSEO provides about each post.

ScribeSEO is a powerful tool. My first draft is always written for human consumption. The reasons are simple; 1. Ultimately that’s who reads the post, 2. I don’t know enough about SEO to write for Google. Because I am writing ahead I have the luxury of taking 15 or 20 minutes to look at Scribe’s recommendations and edit the post to be more appealing to Google without ruining the human readability. Unless your writing purely for fun at some point you’re going to need to worry about search engine generated traffic. There is a free trial of Scribe (affiliate link) so you can take a look and see what I’m talking about.

There are several links to valuable content in this post. If you got this far without opening any it might be a good time to go back and check out the supporting posts as well. Thanks!

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  • http://randymurrayonline.com/ Randy Murray

    I'm happy that my post connected with you, Jim. I managed to spend my vacation, a full week, relaxing and spending time with my family. Time with my two girls is getting hard to come by and I didn't want to squander it by sitting at the keyboard when I could be out with them on the beach.

    I made a few notes for future blog posts, but didn't have to write any to keep with my daily publishing schedule. And I only had a brief customer request, something I could deal with in under ten minutes.

    I like that phrase, “making future time your own.” It's filled with possibilities, not requirements.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

  • http://bananza.tumblr.com/ Bananza

    Jim, you know firsthand that I work on a piece for days. But as soon as I feel like it's 'done' I just HAVE to publish it! I doubt I could ever 'queue up' a post because of my impatience. :)

  • http://randymurrayonline.com/ Randy Murray

    You'd be surprised at what you can do, especially if you work on a series of posts. My most popular post, one that keeps attracting loads of traffic, was one I wrote to support another that I thought was the real important one. I wrote them in the same sitting, along for others for that week, then queued them all up.

    I started out writing one at a time, then publishing each one immediately, but the more I wrote, the more I realized I needed time to reflect and work on them. And as I've gotten busier with my business (I'm a freelance writer), I've had to make sure I got my personal posts written in advance so I'd have time for paying work.

    Give it a shot. Jim is reaping the benefits of this approach. I bet you can too.

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    Anne,

    I'd say first and foremost do whatever works for you at the moment. My story is awfully similar to the advice Randy shared below (you of course know this because you read here every day I hear – thanks for that by the way).

    Also, never forget you are capable of anything. For example, you wrote a post last year that inspired a blogger to come out of hibernation and now he writes every day. *wipes moist eyes* and that my friend Anne I'll never be able to thank you for enough.

    So, I'd say just keep doing what you do inspiring others and you'll find whatever inspiration, patience or whatever it is YOU feel you are lacking. (I of course am pretty sure you're perfect just as you are).

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    I love being ahead. I write two posts whenever I can. Today I only had time for one so far but at least I don't lose ground that way. Some days I write none when the paying work gets in the way. Either way a post pops up on my blog at 4:30am central time. Oh, about that….since scheduling the say time every day….traffic up 40% (funny the valuable stuff often ends up in the dialog that are comments).

  • http://JimRaffel.com/ Jim Raffel

    I like it too but hardly noticed it until you pointed it out. Thanks :)

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