One of the best features of WordPress for content creators is its drafts feature. Drafts gives you a way to start a post, and if you can’t finish it at the time you started writing it, you can always come back to it later. But what if you’re like me and you have a ton of drafts that have piled up?
Dust them off
If you’re participating in any kind of blogging or writing challenge, or even if you’re just trying to increase your posting frequency, those abandoned drafts are a great place to start.
You’ll find ideas you forgot about
I like to say that my draft posts are where all my better ideas live. I usually sit down, start working on something, and then save it for later, only to forget it’s even there. Some of them are almost complete, and need a conclusion, or some editing, and others are in scratch-pad form. But they all contain the nucleus of an idea or tutorial I thought would make a great resource at the time of writing. If you find yourself in the same position, before you start thinking of and drafting new posts, take a look back through your already-existing drafts and see what you’ve got there first.
Purge when necessary
While you’re in there, go through what you’ve already got and decide what’s worth keeping and reviving and what needs to be thrown away. If you move one of your drafts to the trash, and you decide later that you want to keep it, you can always restore it to your drafts, as long as it’s within the first thirty days of the move to the trash.
The deciding factor for me is whether or not the draft has some body text. Often, I’ll start writing, give the post a title, and then abandon it. So when I’m going through my drafts as I do periodically, if I find bodiless drafts, those are usually the ones that I discard. Anything else will get a closer look.
Consider your editorial calendar
You may find that you’ll have an easier time finishing your draft posts if you spend some time determining where they fit in your editorial calendar. If you don’t have an editorial calendar, and you plan on writing a lot, you should consider creating one. If you already have one, and you’re either sticking to it already or you want to start, determine where your drafts fit in that calendar, and then, based on when you publish certain kinds of content, set yourself a deadline to finish each type of draft by the next time you’re supposed to publish that particular kind of content. If you’ve got a lot of drafts that you’ve decided are worth keeping, this will make the culling less daunting.
Your draft posts can be an excellent place to find ideas when you’re dealing with writer’s block, and they can also be time savers. When it’s time to write new content for your site, look there first. You may find that you’ll save yourself some time, because you’ve already got material to work with.