When I started blogging a little over three years ago, I was floored by everything I read, saw and came across. The blogs I frequented were awesome, the articles well-written and researched, the images mind-blowing. It left me feeling as if I could never have the time to put together something so brilliant and exciting that people would actually want to stop, read and return. Why? Because I had a new baby and had only limited time to blog and write professionally. Turns out, 250 posts later, I was wrong. It is possible to put together a content-rich blog on a shoestring time budget. Here’s how:
Create a Posting Schedule
One of the best things you can do to save time as a beginner blogger is to create a posting schedule. Posting twice or thrice a week is perfect. It gives your readers to absorb current content, does not flood your subscribers’ inboxes or RSS readers and gives you a break as well. Choose days on which you want to post and then, move on to Step 2 – an editorial calendar.
Have an Editorial Calendar
One of the most important things that I learnt a little later in my blogging journey was the awesome productivity tool of an editorial calendar. This little thing will ensure that you always know what to write, have a regular posting schedule and will keep on you track, time-wise. Is it difficult to put an editorial calendar together? Not really.
I still use a simple Excel file with tabs for each month.
I have a table with the columns – date, day and category. Under each category, I outline the theme for the month. For instance, Home Management is one of my blog categories. The theme of the month for that category can be Frugal Housekeeping. Next, I have tentative titles in front of the relevant date and day. So, using the same example, I write Six Things I No Longer Buy in the cell in front of the date and day on which I want to publish this blog post. I do the same for every category and it takes me all of 20 minutes each month. I generally post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with Saturdays for reviews/interviews and Sundays for Round Up posts.
**Update: I no longer use this method, although it is a great one! Now I use the template I’ve linked to above***
You can create a weekly, monthly or annual editorial calendar depending upon your needs and personality type.
Create a Budget for Blogging Time
This is a trick I learnt from Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom and she’s broken it down in easy-to-understand detail in her free eBook Time Management 101. Basically, you divide your available blogging time into specific activities or blocks. So, say, you have just 2 hours a day. Here’s how you divide it:
45 minutes on writing
15 minutes on social media
15 minutes on email
20 minutes on reading, commenting, etc
25 minutes on technical stuff – uploading posts, scheduling, finding photos, etc.
This may not be always the way you work but it gives you an idea of how to plan your time once you’re in front of the laptop or computer screen.
Focus on What You’re Doing
You know I love being mindful – my way of being focused. I do it when I’m writing, networking, working etc. And it helps me do so much more in half the time. If I’m writing, I write. I don’t check email, tweet, or browse the net at the same time. I do research but I don’t get sucked into the vortex of reading article after article. It does seem boring and dull but try it. Spend 20 minutes just writing and you’ll be surprised at how easy and productive it really is.
Have you just started blogging? Been blogging forever? What productivity tips do you have for us?
Photo Credit: Julien GONG Min