Just about every content management system (WordPress, Blogger, ect) has an option that will allow you to write up a post, and schedule it to be published at some point in the future. For many people (myself included up until recently) this feature is largely ignored. Most people usually try to write up content, and get it out there right away so that people can benefit from it. The fact is, however, that there are many different reasons why scheduling future posts is a great idea.
The following are some of the reasons why using this simple feature can help improve your site, and help you to have a more engaged and active audience.
Allowing for News
For many sites there is a balance between opinion posts, informational posts and news posts. The opinion and informational posts can often be published at any time and remain very useful. News related posts, however, are typically going to be much more time sensitive. You want to get these items out there as quickly as possible so you can benefit from both the larger number of people looking for that content, and the reduced amount of competition.
If you’re writing a post, and then realize that there is something newsworthy going on, you can schedule the other post out for a while so you’re not posting two things at the same time. This way you’ve got content ready for those days when there isn’t anything for your niche in the news, but you can still benefit from timely subjects.
If you’re like most writers, you’ll have certain days where you feel extremely motivated, and then others where it seems like you just can’t get anything done. By writing multiple posts on those days where you’re most motivated, and then scheduling them for future publishing, you can ensure you always have great content for your readers.
Taking some Time Off
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that scheduling posts ahead of time can allow you to take a vacation, or plan for those times when you are busy with other work. If you won’t have access to a computer for a week or two, for example, you can simply schedule a few posts to go out during that time when you are away. In most cases, your readers won’t even know you’re gone, because you did the work ahead of time.
Time of Day Publishing
Publishing content at the right time of the day can be very important for driving the most traffic possible. If you happen to do your writing at night, but the peak hours for your readers is in the middle of the day, scheduling your posts can give you the best of both worlds. Write your content in the evening when you’re at your most creative, but then have it go live at noon the next day.
Another great thing about scheduling posts for the future is that you can always adjust the publishing date. If, for example, you set a post to be published a week from Saturday, but then a big news item comes up before it goes live, you can push it out even further. Anytime before it is actually published, you can make adjustments, which makes this a very flexible feature.
Of course, none of these uses or benefits are anything new. I choose to write about them because this is one of those features that many people forget about. I know there was many times where I should have been using it, but it didn’t cross my mind. Hopefully this can serve as a good reminder to you (and me) about just how useful scheduling posts can be.