99.9% of us start their blogs around a full time job or study commitments, and managing to squeeze everything you need to do to keep your blog growing is a tough chore in itself. there is no denying that keeping a prim and proper blog site going takes hard work, but Everest wasn’t climbed in a day. here are some tips to help you use however little/much time you have wisely.
painful to some and a joy to others, planning is key to a good blog. buy yourself a wall chart and stick it on your wall (obviously) and live your blog life by it. plan your posts around it, to help you schedule your posts (great for getting your followers used to a posting-pattern so they know when to check in on your site) – even colour code it for different themes; Mondays are your style posts, Thursdays are your recipe posts and Fridays are your diary entries… it also helps you see what you need to do by when.
write lists of posts you want to do, keep it handy so you can jot down an idea easily when you have one. if you have received gifts or products to review, use your calender to plan when you need to get the post done by – and communicate this to the brand or PR as they’ll really appreciate not having to chase it.
long term planning really helps too – for example, if you are a fashion blogger you can plan for 10 trend posts in February miles in advance as you know the fashion weeks are during that period. if you are a food blogger you can plan 4 recipe posts in December, as you know people will be looking for Christmas cooking tips. it really does help you sleep easy at night knowing you don’t need to rustle up content at the last minute – and planned content is usually better quality than spontaneous stuff as you’ll find more thought goes into it.
on the same note, scheduling your posts is brilliant if you only have one spot a week to do your blogging. both wordpress and blogger allow you to write them and store them to post another time using the scheduling options. write a week’s worth of posts and schedule them to go live throughout the week – read our post on the most effective way to generate traffic to those posts here.
i found the only draw back that you couldn’t link a post to a social media channel in advance, but have recently found you can copy the permalink (above the text box in wordpress, and on the right hand side tool bar on blogger) and use it to prepare tweets and Facebook postings. use hootsuite and tweetdeck to schedule tweets as much as 2 months in advance…
if you’re stuck for time or need some help writing content, asking bloggers to guest post on your blog can be a massive time-release. pick who you approach carefully as remember whatever they post will be associated with you and your own blog, but it can be a great way to build connections and friends in the blogging world. when you contact them, make sure you say why you think they inparticular would be good for your own blog and what they would get out of it – drop them some detail about your traffic and the kind of people who read your site, even give them ideas on what to post about (ie: if they have just visited a city you’ve never been to perhaps ask them to review a hotel they visited).
work out which social platforms work best
i see hundreds of bloggers spamming themselves across every social media platform, and not every one works for every blogger. have a look at where your blog traffic comes from (read our ‘how to’ Google analytics post here) through your stats pages and can the social platforms that don’t drive hits to your blog. you’re not going to be judged for not being on a particular platform, if the platforms you do use are done to perfection. less is more in this instance.
do you have any tips on how you blog alongside your job/studying? little things like turning off Twitter and Facebook often help, as do the sticky notes PC and Mac functions. bookmark good finds online and go back to them, rather than half heartedly writing a post when you are supposed to be working – i guarantee your post will have spelling mistakes and unnecessary errors unless you blog when you are 100% focussed on it.