At the outset, blogging may look like a single task. But in reality, there are a ton of tasks that come along with running a blog. From being a website admin, to writing blog posts to promoting your work on social media - you wear several hats as a blogger. Being a blogger / content-creator is a full-time job in itself. And if by chance you have another job during the day - you know the hustle. I 've been there, done that. So today, I have some time hacking tips for bloggers like you ‘cuz honestly, every minute that you save is a huge bonus:
If you are anything like me, you get blog post ideas at the weirdest of times - during a workout session or while talking to a friend. Don’t let that idea slip by, make note of it in a pocket notebook or the notes app on your phone. Also, when you have a short break of say 5-10 min in the middle of your day, just quickly write the outline of the post that you are planning on. Later when you are ready to write the post, the outline will come in handy and make the writing flow much easier for you. Once a month, gather all these ideas and outlines and create an editorial calendar for your blog. This way you will know what you have to post when and can plan your time accordingly. Ah imagine all that time that goes waste thinking about - “What do I write for tomorrow’s post?"
Planning can be easy, but the hardest part of blogging is to write when you don’t feel like it. Sometimes, inspiration strikes and you finish a 1000 word blog post in minutes like a boss. Whereas, other times you can’t get 30 words even after staring at the computer screen for 30 min. Can you relate? Ugh! Like working out, you need to make writing a habit. Fix a time each day to write and then do it accordingly. Shut down all the distractions while writing. Close down all tabs and just keep the editor open so you can focus on writing the content. If you are using Wordpress. there is a distraction-free option that you can enable while writing blog posts. Also for me, using the Pomodoro timer has been a huge help while writing. By using a timer, I commit myself to the challenge of finishing the task on hand. The race with time helps me stay focussed on writing and pushes me to finish the task before time.
All though it seems easy, creating the graphics for a blog post is probably the most time consuming activity. If you create branded graphics for your blog, you know exactly what I am talking about. For this reason, I 've created templates in Adobe Illustrator for my blog post graphics. Each time I need to create a graphic, all I need to do is just change the title of the blog post in the template and save the file. Tada!
If you take photos for your blog posts, it can be tricky to find time to click photos separately for each blog post. Instead, set aside a block of time each week or fortnight to take pictures for all your upcoming blog posts. This requires you to plan ahead, but shooting in bulk saves you a ton of time that goes away in setting up the scene for shooting and editing. Also, you never know about the weather, why not make hay while the sun shines? ;)
I 've been guilty of whiling away hours of my time checking out the latest tweets and pins only to feel demotivated, exhausted and overwhelmed later. As bloggers, social media is more of a requirement for us than just time pass. Whether its for work or just to stay updated - its important to set boundaries on how often and for how long you are going to spend time on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.
As long as you are mindful of spending time on these platforms, its fine. But if you are mindlessly scrolling through endless feeds frequently, it will take away your focus from your work, leaving you overwhelmed and exhausted. One of the best tricks that has helped me use social media effectively is to schedule social media breaks into my work routine. I check social media twice a day for about 5 - 10 minutes each. I interact with my friends on the network during this time and share content that is relevant to my audience as well.
Once your blog starts to gain momentum, you ‘ll probably notice an increase in emails from your audience. Sometimes it may be a simple email thanking you for your work on the blog and other times it maybe a question related to something that you blogged about. For instance, your audience maybe interested in what camera you use for your photos or maybe they want to know if you accept guest posts! If you get an email with a question, its likely that there are many more people out there in your audience who are interested in the same information. In any case, its a great idea to create a Frequently asked questions page to answer some of the questions you get asked on a regular basis. This way you save time for both yourself and your readers, its a win-win! Before you ask where mine is - I am working on it as I type - right now!
I hope these tips come in handy for you and make the blogging game a lot more easier and fun.