I’ve been doing some serious thinking lately on blog reboots and how to make this blog into something that draws in more readers. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to hash out a content schedule that works, but none of the past plans have lasted much past the ‘make a cool spreadsheet’ stage.
This time I’m going to Keep Things Simple Stupid and boil everything down to Three Rules...
Rule 1: Don’t Blog in the Past
My main problem with blog scheduling is that I am horrible at writing things to be posted in the future. In fact, a lot of the things I’ve written were then posted in the past which doesn’t help.
My blog topics, with the exception of things like status updates (Live From the Writing Desk and Workbench), aren’t tied to a specific date. So there’s no reason I couldn’t be writing things with the intent of posting them a month from now instead of immediately. Or yesterday.
The reason I was posting things in the past was because I had a lot of old content that I wanted to get into the blog. Old writing, old artwork, overdue posts that had a time component (NaNoWriMo), etc. I had years worth of blog posts and no easy way to fit them into the content calendar.
So I spread them out across the past months (and years) so the archives didn’t look cluttered…. Only thanks to the blog mailing list and the social sharing settings it ended up spamming folks anyway.
Enough of that. I still have a lot of old content, but if it’s important enough to be added to the blog, it needs to be done moving forward. Not backwards.
Rule 2: Don’t Duplicate Weekly Topics
I write about a lot of things on this blog and one of the pitfalls is that I will get hooked on one topic (like moldmaking and casting) and post about nothing else for a while. This tends to be how my brain works, which is fine, but it’s not really enjoyable for readers.
I need to follow the same rules as I do with the Saturday Story Prompts: No Repeats.
With the prompts I make sure I have at least one prompt from each of the main genres (Science Fiction, Fantasy, generic) and one dialog prompt. But none of these prompts can share a theme– I’m aiming for as varied a set as possible so that everyone can find something to work with. I don’t always succeed, but I do my best to shift duplicated prompts forward a few weeks and write replacements when it happens.
So starting now, I’ll do the same with the blog posts.
In a perfect world I’ll have one Art post, one Writing post, and one Other post… but we’ll see how it shakes out. *rolls up sleeves*
Rule 3: Profit! (or Pinterest)
The whole point of this blog, at least in theory, is to show off my art and writing and to help people with their own art and writing (and other things). So a blog post needs to either be worth sharing on my Pinterest boards or show off something folks can buy on Etsy or Amazon.
That means no more pointless posts!
…Which means the archives need a bit of a trim. I’ve already started going back through to make things more mobile friendly, but it’s probably time to start making them Pinterest friendly as well. Which is a little bit of a rule break for Rule #1, but they aren’t new posts, so I’m allowing it. 😉
Breaking the Rules
There will be times when I break my new blogging rules.
I’ll be posting new Saturday Story Prompts into the past as I create new prompts for the yearly ebooks rewrite. There’s no easy way to do these otherwise, since I want everything in the books to be available on the blog (to keep things even) and the first book is short a lot of posts.
I’ll be posting personal things to View From the Molehill like the yearly reviews and memorial/new pet posts, because every so often I like sharing things with the world. Things won’t be anywhere near as chatty as they were in my LiveJournal days, but I will still ramble from time to time.
And there will be times in the future, like there have been in the past, where the only thing that will get posted is the Saturday Story Prompts (because those tend to be written months in advance). Life is life and blogs are blogs and no matter how much I want to be perfect, I know I won’t always win.
But that’s okay… just as long as I keep getting up and trying again! 🙂