As a blogger, there are multiple reasons for wanting to prepare your content in advance. Whether it's because it helps you stick to a self-imposed schedule; because you want to keep posting through periods of uncertainty when you may not be able to create new content; or because you're going on holiday for two weeks, this months Better Blogging post is covering some ways you can make it a little easier on yourself.

1. Get An Editorial Calendar

Everyone talks about it, and for good reason. You may have one already, but if you don't, it's time to get an editorial calendar sorted for your blog. 

It can be done by paper and pen or using technology. Personally, I use a monthly layout calendar on Excel. This way, I can write my planned content down without worrying about making a mess of it if it needs to change. And trust me - it changes. Multiple times a month, for multiple reasons, my editorial calendar changes. Sometimes I have better ideas; other times I need more time to work on what I'd originally planned.

Getting an editorial calendar means you can see your content at a glance, make sure it's not getting repetitive and plan accordingly. 

2. Create A Writing Schedule

Blogging might be a highly visual medium, but most blogs involve a lot of writing too. For that reason, it's important to have some kind of writing schedule. Without one, it's easy to feel like you're always playing catch up.

Currently, I take one day a week to write three posts for the following week. If I'm trying to create more of a backlog (for times when I may be away from my blog for extended periods), I'll write three posts each day on multiple days that week. So, if I spend every day doing that, I know I can write 7 weeks of content in one week. Since I'm trying to become a fiction author alongside maintaining a regularly updated, having just one day a week focused on creating blog content is ideal. Obviously, for you, it might be different. Assess your goals and the time you have, then figure out what works best for you.

You can always adjust your schedule as things change and you discover how you work best. Having an editorial content comes in handy here. That way, you know exactly what needs to be written by when.

3. Work In Batches

Writing all my posts for one week on one day is an example of batch work. The other, most common place I use batch work for is photo editing. Working in batches is more productive than flicking between different tasks all day.

The time you have to spend on your blog will dictate how you decide to go about this. If you set aside a day for blogging each week, you could simply follow your to-do list and tick each item off as you go. Alternatively, you might have a few hours each day to work on your blog. In that case, commit to one task each day. Anything you get done beyond that is brilliant, but if you get a batch of writing or photo editing out the way one evening, at least you know you're on track. 

You might even choose to schedule content across your social media or answer to emails. For me, I just do those tasks when I have a few spare minutes (with the exception of the odd morning where I'll schedule all my social posts at once). 

4. Schedule Events, Photography Sessions, Etc

Whatever you post about, it's important to schedule time to collect whatever you need for that content. 

If you're writing a travel post, make sure you factor in the time it'll take to research the destination and visit it, as well as take photos at the place. Book reviews? Set aside some time to actually read the book you're planning on writing about. Make-up items? Give yourself the time you need to test out the products first. Especially if you're a lifestyle blog, you need time to do the things you're writing about. That's why I like having about two months of content planned at any time. 

For example, I have a post coming up that requires several steps, including ordering online and waiting for the item to arrive. With that in mind, I've penciled that post in two months ahead of the time I started working on it. While that might seem excessive, this way I can be positive everything will be ready in time and the post won't be rushed. 

5. Give Yourself Free Time

The whole point of preparing your content in advance is to relieve the stress that comes from feeling like you're constantly working. It's so easier to get wrapped up in your blog, but taking a step away from it (even if it's just once a week) is integral to your well being. After all, you want to avoid the dreaded burnout.

By having an editorial calendar and scheduling when you'll be working on what, you can also plan when you'll take a break. I do my best to make sure I have no blogging work that I need to do on the days my boyfriend is off work. That way, we can both relax and enjoy our time together. It varies each week how much time we have together, which means my routine also varies. 

If you want to be working on your blog when you promised yourself you'd relax, try reading others blogs instead. Leave a comment while you're there, but take your free time as a chance to refill your creative well - so I just gave you permission to consume as much media, written or visual, as you'd like! 

As I plan on doing farm work for my 2nd year visa in Australia soon, these are the five things most important to me having everything prepared in advance. That's three posts a week for three months that I need to have planned, but ideally, I'll have a month or two either side to be on the safe side. After all, who knows where the nearest WiFi connection will be?

Of course, circumstances may change what you can or can't do at anytime and all of these tips should be followed with that in mind. However far in advance you're planning your content, remember to have fun with it and don't stress out if you miss a post. 

What tips do you have for preparing your content in advance? Tell me in the comments and don't forget to subscribe for more Better Blogging posts in the future!