‘Batching’ is the process of doing one task in your blog posting workflow for multiple posts at once. So rather than working on one blog post form draft to fully published all at once, which make take you all day, you do one step of the workflow at a time for multiple posts and once, and then have multiple posts all ready to go.
You can batch almost every step of your blog post creation workflow. I find this harder with the actual writing of the posts however, as it takes a certain kind of energy and inspiration for the content. So I don’t tend to batch this as much - but you could.
But there are a few other key things that work especially well for batching to save time, that your future self will thank you for!
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1. Batch your IMAGES:
Get your featured images ready in advance. You should know your style for your blog, and be able to get a catalogue of images to draw on ready to go, rather than spending a lot of time trawling through your whole computer or the entire internet when it comes time to post or schedule the blog.
Either use images you’ve taken yourself, or get free ones online.
I use Unsplash. If you already know the topics or at least themes of upcoming or planned posts, spend time going through and finding a lot of images at once. Download them, resize them ready to go (DON’T use the full-size versions you just downloaded, they are way too big), and save them in a dedicated folder.
(Even better if this folder is in the cloud (e.g. Dropbox or Google Drive) so that you can access them from anywhere.)
Do the same thing if you are taking your own photos - batch taking the photos, uploading & editing them, and saving them ready to go.
2. Batch your Social Media & Graphics Templates:
My favourite way to do this is in Canva. But you can use any program that you’re familiar with. Create templates for your social media posts - e.g. Pinterest graphics, Instagram quotes etc.
This is pretty much a one-time batch, and then use it forever. Spend some time designing a few on-brand variations, then when you know what your actual posts are going to be, you can simply drag and drop an image into it & edit the text.
You can either do this as you are posting the blog post, or batch this too, if you know your posts ahead of time. Download them and save them into a dedicated folder (on the cloud again so you can easily access them on your phone for Instagram etc.) and have them ready to go when you need them.
(You could also batch upload the Pinterest graphics etc into your media storage on WordPress, ready to insert into posts when the time comes. But if you have a lot of images getting uploaded, you’ll end up trawling through to find that image you uploaded weeks ago when you go to publish the post. So sometimes it is actually easier to do this at the time of posting/scheduling.)
3. Batch the Drafting, Editing & Scheduling:
Even if you’re like me and do the actual writing blog posts as they come to you, or individually and not in batches - it can sometimes be too brain draining to try to do the content writing itself in big batches - the drafting, editing and scheduling of your posts on WordPress can be much more easily batched.
Drafting: take your pretty much complete blog post draft (I write them in Evernote & then copy & paste) and create a post in WordPress or whatever your blogging platform is. You can add in your pre-prepared featured image & Pinterest graphic etc now too. Assign a category, add the tags. Then save as a draft.
Editing & Scheduling: you have a lot of saved drafts now, so you can go through and edit & format the posts so they look pretty and are error free. Then simply publish or schedule the post once it’s ready. (Have a plan written down for post scheduling dates to refer to, so you’re not going back and forth trying to remember what’s already been scheduled and when.)
I use Thrive Architect* for the layout and formatting of my post. It makes it so much easier than the clunky native WordPress editor.
You could combine the drafting, editing and scheduling into one step but you won’t get as many scheduled at once - which might be fine, if you don’t do heaps of posts at once. But if you have a lot of posts to get up - or if you have multiple authors, or you delegate some steps to an assistant - it can feel more streamlined to separate those steps into different batching sessions.
Your Workflow helps you Scale & Delegate
What and how you batch your posts is entirely up to you & what feels best. The aim is to have your own workflow process that makes blogging the most streamlined and enjoyable for you that it can be. But remember to think of the future too.
Even if you don't post a lot of blog posts, or feel like your process is too small to really worry about a workflow and batching habit, it's still a good practice to get into. If you want to your blog to grow into a business, or an effective element of your business, then getting a good flow going now will help it scale later. And make it easier to hand parts of the process over to a virtual assistant when you get to the point of hiring & delegating.
Do you batch your blog post process? Do you find it helps?