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?
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.
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.
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.
How do you manage your time as a blogger?