Time Saving Tips + Tools for Bloggers

blog-tips

Answering emails, replying to comments, being present on social media, making sure everything is running smoothly, SEO, image editing, content promotion- there always seems to be so much to do when you have a blog.  

As your blog grows, it becomes more and more time-consuming. Add a full-time job to that equation, and sometimes you just don’t have the energy or time to spend working on your blog. How do you find the time to do it all?

EMAIL TEMPLATES

If you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are you get quite a lot of blog-related emails on regular basis. For me these vary from PR offers, to readers seeking help or offering their suggestions, to people trying to sell their products or services. I noticed that I was spending a lot of time answering emails, and because I say “no” to about 80-85% of offers that come my way, I was spending all that time addressing something that I wasn’t interested in. That’s when I started creating email templates. Not every email needs to be long, and you certainly shouldn’t feel like you have to explain yourself to someone, when you’re not interested in what they’re offering. Now, I keep those emails short and sweet, something like “Thank you for reaching out to me. Please note, however, that I am not interested“. I saved a few different email templates that I can easily copy + paste, which saves me a lot of time, especially when I receive the same kind of emails daily.

IMAGE TEMPLATES

Pinterest images, to be specific. We recently talked about creating Pinterest-friendly images for your blog right here. I really enjoy the process of editing my blog images, but if I were to start adding text and overlays “from scratch” every single time, it’d take me hours. I have a several graphic templates that I save in Photoshop. I use the same colors, overlays and fonts, so that all of my Pinterest images are consistent.

STORE YOUR IDEAS IN ONE PLACE

This is so, so important for me. It’s so easy to run out of ideas for a blog post, so I make sure it never happens to me. I write down my blog post ideas in a notebook or a note app in my phone as soon as they come to me. They aren’t always fully developed, but I write them down anyway, so that I can eventually expend them and turn them into a blog post. Now, if you use a phone app to store your ideas (or anything else, for that matter), please do regular backups! I recently had to factory-resent my phone and forgot to backup one of my apps and lost 8 weeks worth of content ideas.

BATCH PHOTOGRAPHY

Try to do this on the weekend, when you’re likely to have some more free time. The weather can be unpredictable, especially this time of year. This means that some days are dark and gloomy which often makes shooting difficult. If you get it all done on Saturday or Sunday, you won’t have to worry about your blog images for the rest of the week. Shooting in bulk is also especially important if, like me, you work full-time in addition to blogging.

Something that I’m slowly starting to work on is bulk writing. Content-batching is something that I’ve tried to avoid for a very long time. Mainly because I felt that writing and scheduling my posts for weeks or even days in advance would suck the fun out of blogging. Until I tried doing it for a week and loved it. I finally had more time for things like catching up on comments and visiting some of my favorite blogs. It’s definitely something that I’m hoping to master within the next couple of months.

AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN

I’m not a big fan of Twitter. I just never got into it. I still want to have SOME presence there, so I have my tweets go out automatically using the Revive Old Post plugin. I also recently talked about a similar tool I used for my Pinterest in this post. It’s pretty much impossible to be “everywhere” when it comes to social media, unless you have a A TON of free time on your hands. If there are any outlets you don’t particularly enjoy using, have your posts go out automatically. Now, if I could only figure out a way to have someone follow me all day with a  phone and send out Snaps for me…

ONE TASK AT A TIME

When you try to split your focus between several different things, that focus can lose some of its power and your work isn’t as efficient. When you write, focus on writing. When you’re taking pictures, focus on taking pictures. The same thing goes for answering emails, replying to comments, etc. I got into a habit of answering emails only twice a day (unless something requires my immediate attention, of course) I no longer jump between writing my posts to answering emails, to checking my stats, to reading comments.  Multitasking can  be stressful and most of the time you’re not as productive as you would be, if you were to focus on a single task. You kind of have to tell yourself “hey, it really is impossible to do everything at once, let’s take this one thing at a time“. This becomes more difficult when you only have a limited amount of time you can devote for your blog, but once you get into that habit of working on one thing at a time, you’ll notice a difference.

One more thing: regular backups! I’m sure you’d hate to wake up one day and realize that everything on your blog has been lost or deleted. Don’t ever let that happen to you and schedule regular backups- it can be the ultimate time-saver.

time-saving-tips-for-bloggers

How do you manage your time as a blogger?

  • Such fab tips, I’m going to have to start planning ahead and taking my blog photos in bulk because the lighting is just so temperamental! x

    Jodie / jodiemelissa.com

  • As always, thank you for such helpful tips! Lauren – http://www.theyoproedit.com

  • As usual – you rock!

  • Love this, so so useful. I love automating processes that would have taken me ages, I’ve created a few ps droplets for editing images for instagram/pinterest etc and it has been life changing

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Izzy K

    These are fantastically useful tips. I really need to work on batch photography and bulk writing, that really would save so much time!

    http://izzyk1998.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://izzykreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Love all of these!! I am SUCH a fan of bulk everything, especially when factoring in the full time job. Luckily I do have some days that are slower than others and I can do a little blog work while I’m at work, but that’s not too often. I tend to do everything on Sunday since my boyfriend works so I have the house to myself to do everything I need! I love it! And I’m loving Tailwind so much, too! I’ll still do some manual pinning myself but I mostly let the app do the work! Thanks for that! :)

    Katie | http://www.overthemoony.com

    • Thank you Katie! I love taking my blog images in bulk, now I really want to focus on bulk writing, it definitely saves me a lot anxiety when I know the weather is bad and i won’t be able to take any pictures.

      So happy you’re liking Tailwind! It’s one of my favorite tools :)

  • I definitely need to start taking my photos in bulk, it would definitely make things much easier for me.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Loved this post, so helpful! I try to write posts in batch and also take all my photos during the weekend! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • love these tips, thanks so much for the share. i really need to start bulking photography!
    jen / velvet spring

  • Great ideas; I’m trying to do more bulk photography since I have to dig out lighting and props to make it happen. Unfortunately I live in a dungeon (my apartment is on the first floor with limited natural light) so I ALWAYS need my umbrella lights.

    • I have the same issue, our home is very dark so I only have a short amount of time I can work with during the day when it comes to lighting so I try to get it over with during the weekends. Thanks Jennifer!

  • Love the bit of one task at at time. Sometimes we try to do it all at once. Won’t work!

    http://www.KacheeTee.com

  • thanks for these tips. the email templates sound so useful!

    Abigail Alice x

  • I don’t like Twitter either, so I will have to try that plugin. It sounds so helpful. Do you have a blog post just about plugins? Xo

  • Thank you for another tips, Paula! Content batching is something I didn’t realize I’ve been doing, but I personally find it to be really helpful since I only have weekends to work on my blog.

    Selene Addicted

  • These are great tips! Definitely could use a lot of these :)

    Nicole | The Glam Surge

  • These are great tips! I also work full time and the idea of shooting all your posts over the weekend is definitely a good one as when my work day is over the light isn’t always the best to be snapping photos! x

    Liz | LotsofLoveLiz

    • Thanks Liz! I used to shoot after work but sometimes things come up and I get home too late, etc and end up not being able to post because I don’t have any images to feature. Shooting during weekends helps me out a ton!

  • These are all really handy and good tips. Thanks for sharing!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com/

  • Erin Henry

    OMG I love that planner! Haha story of my life! Thanks for the tips though, these are really going to save me some time now that I have just committed to three posts and three YouTube videos a week! eeekkkk
    erinmayhenry.com

  • This is so handy! I never thought of backing up my blog before, and now I can’t wait to get back to do so! Thanks for all of the helpful tips.

    Lizzie Bee // mysticthorn.com

  • Smart tips! Small changes can make everything so much more efficient.

  • Great tips! Jotting down ideas on the go in my notes page has been something I’ve always found very useful. I definitely need to start setting a day aside each week for working on my photos.

    Toni x
    http://www.clarkecouture.co.uk

  • You just made me realize I did not do a backup for… a considerable amount of time. Oopsie.

  • These are some pretty good tips! Coming back to blogging definitely made my mind scatter all over the place and I kinda forgot how it goes so this actually helps remind me of most of the things I need to do.

    x, Joyce
    http://joycentricity.blogspot.com

  • Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Very good tips! Thank you for sharing!

  • As always, your tips and tricks are so useful :) I’ve never got into twitter either and I’m absent on snapchat, so I feel that I either need to get with the program or accept that I’ll never reach a big audience… it just feels very exposing! Thanks for your wonderful blog, very quickly becoming a favourite!

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

    • Same here! I feel like I’m talking to myself on Twitter and I honestly have no time for Snapchat, I find it way too consuming. I believe Social Media should be interactive but I’m not a production house, I don’t spend 10 hours producing content and I don’t think my ‘audience’ is either. Don’t feel bad. Be strong on the platforms you know, its about quality not quantity. :) SarahSweetandSimple.blogspot.com

      • I really hope so Sarah! It’s very reassuring to see that not everyone has jumped on the snapchat/twitter train… I feel that if I try to get involved I’d accidentally jump in front of the train!

    • Thank you so much! I try to use Snapchat here and there but I honestly don’t like being on my phone 24/7 and just simply forget to use Snap. I soo agree with the way you described it, that it feels very exposing. I’m still trying to get used to it, most of the time I just don’t know what to Snap to be honest haha ;)

      Really happy to know you enjoyed this post! x

  • I always take my blog photos in batches it is so much easier! I need to type up some blog email templates they would save me so much time!

    EmmysBeautyCave | Bloglovin | Blog Header Services

  • I should try to take batch photos rather than trying to take them one day before the post day and put myself under too much stress! I’ve never thought about image templates, I should give it a try, because trying to redo things can be quite annoying :)

    Ela BellaWorld

  • Real talk: I’ve been more pro-active with my blog since reading your productivity posts. You really know what you’re talking about, I am sincerely grateful. xo

  • I work full time as well so totally know what you mean about it being impossible to find the time to do everything all at once. I love your idea of batch photography. I think that could really be a game changer!!

    xx Rachel | imperfectlyrachel.blogspot.com

    • Batch photography really changes things up for me! I have so much more time to concentrate on other things, and I don’t have to stress as much!

  • Kate

    The answer to your last question is: badly! It’s so frustrating as well because I know I’m quite slow at getting things done and I feel it keeps my blog from progressing. As always your tips are so valuable, especially about the social media scheduling. Will be bookmarking this – I should probably make a new folder on my bloglovin profile called “Paula” as your advice is always so useful and I end up saving so many of your posts! x

    Kate Louise Blogs / Lingerie Giveaway

    • I know the feeling Kate! Sometimes when I don’t have a lot of time to write something that I planned, I just don’t post but then end up feeling so guilty about the fact that I don’t have a new post up haha ;) But I think that it’s better to not post for a day or two than just put something out there that you do in a hurry and aren’t very happy about.

      Aww you’re too kind, so happy to know that you enjoy these posts! <3

  • These are some great tips! I always try to do photographs in a big batch, that way I’ve got everything I need to write a few posts whenever I’ve got the time. I’ve never thought of doing email templates though, I’ll definitely write some up as I’m like you, I feel like I’m always responding to emails to explain that what they’re offering isn’t quite right for my blog.

    Catherine | Hey, Mama

    • Thank you Catherine! Oh, I know, I used to spend SO much time explaining myself, always felt bad about saying “no” but you gotta stay true to yourself and your blog. I have a lot of people wanting to pay me to allow them to post blog posts on here and it gets so annoying at time because they can be quite pushy haha ;) That’s something that helped me get over the fear of saying “no”.

  • Batch photography is such a time-saver for me. Great tips!

    xo, Liz
    http://lipstickandconfetti.com

  • I really want to get into batch content writing. I have started doing so as i plan to post everyday in November. Will also try to create a template for the emails that i get that im just not interested in. Thank Youuuu <3

    Laura | http://www.lauralivinglife.com

  • Great tips! I’ve recently began to get into batch photography and it’s helped so much, especially now that good lighting becomes something harder and harder to get!

    Gabija | everylittlethingblog.weebly.com

  • These are great tips! What about if you’re studying, working and blogging and wishing vlogging at the same time? Am I way too crazy? Haha!
    Kisses,
    Nazlıgül | New Travel Post – Finding You Deep Inside

    • AJMoneyMatters

      i totally know what you mean! I work full-time, go to the gym everyday and make time for socialising all whilst trying to write up new content, attend to website design, plan videos and social media posts. Definitely not crazy though! :)

      • It’s becoming exhausting through time, but worth it!

  • marie padmore

    Wow some really great tips that I will for sure be trying out. Thank you for sharing x http://mybitchyrestingface.blogspot.com

  • great time saving tips! Is that a ban.do planner in your photo?
    Likely By Sea

  • I recently make a post twice a week. Btw nice tips :D

    http://inezdivaa.blogspot.co.id

  • The Gossip Darling

    You have literally been on fire with inspiration!
    My interns has been eating up the advice and helping me with ideas!
    Keep up the amazing work!

    XO

  • Thank you so much! I’m a new blogger and this was truly helpful! I’ve just started writing down ideas which helps me to not run out of ideas when I come to write! i am trying very hard to take photos in bulk but with revision, it can be quite tricky! xo

    http://www.katytallulah.blogspot.com

  • A couple of things there that I do as well–store ideas in one place and batch photography. I used OneNote before in my main computer, but it wasn’t that helpful for me because, back then, Android didn’t have OneNote and my netbook was too ‘old’ for it. I resorted to Notepad until Google released Keep.

  • Veronica @inveronicascorner

    Thanks for the tips. Blogging can get overwhelming and these will definitely help free up some of my time.

  • AJMoneyMatters

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips! i like the idea of batch photography as photos are such an important element but I don’t always have the time to take them during the week. I keep all my documents on Google Docs – it’s so easy to use and I can access it from anywhere even if I don’t have my own computer with me.

  • Angel Bland

    What do you use to backup your blog?