Sunday night’s Blogchat centered on an interesting way to boost productivity in 2013: the use of “topic buckets” as you plan out your blog.
As Blogchat creator Mack Collier explains, the first step involves picking three or four topics you want to write about. (I have a few more than that here, so I wind up narrowing it down to a few core topics and then allowing for a “wild card day” that ends up being a catch-all for the other topics that might not be usable every week.)
So what does looking at your blog plan as “topic buckets” do for you?
Let’s say that you decide you’re going to focus on three topics for your blog. I’ll choose three of my common topics: faith, TV and blogging. So you have three buckets, representing three topics and, ideally, three days of the week that you’ll publish. You can write a post on faith and schedule it in advance: you’ve filled that bucket. You can then either write a post about one of the other two topics or write another faith post and put it in the following week’s bucket. It’s the same with the other topics: you don’t have to write the posts in the order they’ll publish. Write what’s on your mind, but use the bucket concept as “placeholders” for your content so you can visualize how far ahead of schedule you can get and what is still left to do to remain on schedule.
In my case, my Saturdays and Sundays each have a bucket for the weekly meme I post. But I can write ahead on those and fill several weeks’ buckets in advance.
You don’t necessarily have to lock a specific topic to a specific day, but I’m trying to work towards that so I can have a little more focus in the behind-the-scenes planning. I know what my next topic should be, but I allow myself enough flexibility that I can switch a topic if I need to.
At the moment, I’m thinking Tuesday will be grammar day, so I’ve already got three grammar-related posts either written or almost written. That’s three weeks of buckets almost taken care of.
Because I’m using an editorial calendar for my blog, the bucket concept works well for me; I can just as easily see it on the calendar as filling a day rather than filling a bucket. It’s up to you how you choose to visualize it, but the “topic bucket” concept is an easy way to picture what you’re trying to do.
Is it something you’d try for your blogging goals in 2013? Or do you have a better way to visualize how your post strategy?
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.