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Blogging is a great pastime for anyone, because you can devote as much time, money, and attention to it as you choose. If you just want a quick place on the web to share your study abroad journey with family back home – that’s great. A blog can be much easier to navigate (for you and your friends) than sharing your journey via facebook. They’re also a great way to chronicle weight loss, motherhood, wedding planning, or any other life event. But if you want to grow your blog and work with sponsors and brands, it’s a more time consuming hobby. After two years of blogging with a full time job, I think I have a pretty good system down. Below are some of my best tips and tricks for balancing blog time management with real life!
- I like to sit down with a 4×6 post-it and write down all the days throughout the month I’m going to post. Typically, I post on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with two Tune Tuesday features every month. This becomes my “editorial calendar” and it lets me see what is being featured where, so I don’t have, say, six posts in a row about travelling, followed by eight about fitness, things like that. If you don’t take away any other tips, I plead with you to try this one! It helped my time management tenfold.
- Scheduling posts (at least) a month at a time lets me sit down and get a lot of work done when I have the time, and that way when I’m much too busy to even think about writing, I know I’m covered and posts are scheduled to go. This might sound really overwhelming, especially if you are a day-by-day blogger, but I promise you that it’s worth it: print out a month-view calendar so you can see the whole month at once and make your editorial calendar. Go through it, week by week, and write in the topic you want to cover each day. This is helpful in planning for linkups you know are coming (Fan Fridays, What I Ate Wednesdays, etc.), sponsor ads you’d like to feature, and personal content you want to post.
- Having a M/W/F posting schedule also works great for me because it allows two “unassigned” days per week where I can write on something that is time sensitive. If I get a limited time giveaway, I can post that. If I find a news article that strikes me, I can respond to it without a delay.
- I also have a queue of “timeless” posts that are already written and can be posted at any time. If I haven’t had a chance to do my monthly calendar or fall behind for whatever reason, I can get one of these up, and my overall schedule doesn’t totally fall apart. There are tons of ideas for posts like these – 9 things you don’t know about me, what’s my favorite restaurant, your go-to recipe, a day in the life.. put some thought into these and hold onto them for a rainy day.
- Utilize apps and plugins. They are your friends. I’ll be posting a more in-depth post about what I use and how I use them, but apps like dlvr.it, Hootsuite, and IFTT are MAJOR time savers.
- Once a week, I preschedule tweets. Once a day I’ll tweet a link to one of my old posts and I try to queue up interesting articles and other bloggers. That way, if I get too bogged down during the week to share my favorite posts of that day, I’m still sharing great content.
- Blogging with a full time job: I have a more-than-40-hour-a-week job, but thankfully, it’s a desk job that lets me have a lot of time to work on my blog. Work in time where you can find it – jot down post ideas by hand if you can’t don’t have access to a computer on your lunch break, download the WordPress app so you can post or draft on the go. Wake up 15 minutes early, set a timer, and write until the alarm goes off or do the same when you get home from work. If you really don’t have the time to work on building your blog outside of just writing, consider hiring a Content Creator to assist. (I’m available! ;))