“How Lucky Can You Get” Well, I am so delighted and over the moon happy to have Janice Wald from Mostly Blogging as our Guest today!
HARRY POTTER author J.K. Rowling once wrote, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
How do you interpret this quote?
I interpret her quote on several levels.
First, words are inexhaustible. They never get tired.
Yet, after reading her quote, I am inspired to ask you: Do you, as a blogger, get tired writing the words that go into your blog posts?
If you do, if writing exhausts you, you need these tips.
This post will offer you a schedule for bloggers who work outside the home.
In addition to the schedule, by reading this post, you’ll gain additional productivity tips for bloggers.
I recently changed my blogging schedule. I sorely need a blogging schedule since I work outside the home as a teacher.
My readers often ask me, “How do you find the time to teach, run a blog, and spend time with family?”
If you work outside the home like I do, you may find this schedule helpful.
I can have it all and so can you if you follow this schedule.
My Blogging Schedule:
Before school: I set up my Buffer queue to promote on Twitter, I promote in Facebook groups, and I network on Instagram.
Nutrition: I respond to my emails and set up my Instagram posts on Buffer. I also promote my latest post on Pinterest and Flipboard.
Lunch: I answer questions on Quora and respond to commenters. I respond to the commenters first. By trying to respond each day, I hope to find the time to answer everyone’s comments. People will only know how much I appreciate their comments when I respond and tell them.
After school: I blog and promote on Inbound, LinkedIn groups, and Scoop.It.
Evening hours: While I’m watching TV with my husband, I insert graphics into upcoming blog posts. I work on expert interviews if I have any upcoming. After TV time is over, I respond to commenters and pick out clothes for the next day. This saves me time in the morning.
Before bed: During my nighttime routine, I stumble, network on Twitter, use the Crowdfire and Commun.it apps to make sure my Twitter follower/following ratio is in balance. I network on Instagram again. I research and curate posts on Flipboard which will help me with future blog post articles.
Another Blogging Schedule: Consider these comments from blogger Hugh Roberts as he describes part of his blogging schedule:
One thing I have to do every morning, as soon as I switch on my computer, is to respond to any comments left on my blog posts. It’s the same with my emails. They are the next thing I check. I feel happier when I know I’ve checked and dealt with them and then I can get on with what I need to do.
Other Productivity Tips for Working Bloggers
- Batch schedule: Do you ever find yourself with a day to yourself? Batch schedule your blog posts in advance. No one says you have to schedule them the day or even week before you plan on publishing. Get ahead on your blogging tasks by scheduling many posts at one time.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel: For example, if you have a great template, just swap out the image. If you have a great template and image, swap out the words.
- Use stock photos: Once I criticized stock photos as “cheesy” and spent way too long using my own photos. I’m not a professional photographer. My photos are a whole lot “cheesier” than many at free stock photography sites.
- Limit your blogging: The less you write, the more promotion and networking you can do.
- Use Preschedulers: There are many free social media scheduling tools you can use to promote your posts in advance. I preschedule for the entire day the first thing in the morning. I work outside the home and can’t be in front of a computer all day long, so Buffer, a free tool, preschedules my Twitter posts for me. Many people prefer the Hootsuite social media scheduling tool, which is also free. I used to use Hootsuite. Here is a Hootsuite tutorial if you’d like to use it to schedule your blog posts on your social media.
- Make the most of TV watching time: Think of all you can accomplish while watching TV:
- Put in graphics while watching TV.
- Share other bloggers’ articles while watching TV.
- Gift wrap while watching TV.
- Brush the dog while watching TV.
- Respond to comments while watching TV shows not plot driven. For example, I am able to focus on returning my blog comment while watching the TV show The Voice.
- Practice stress management techniques. You can be more productive if you’re not stressed. One technique I recommend is walking. Dog walking is perfect for this tip. As I get exercise for myself and my pet, I am so relaxed on our outing, I start devising creative blog posts.
- Write about your passions. People who write about their interests write faster.
- Host-guest authors. Esmé hosts guest authors on Wednesdays and I have a “guest author Tuesday” series. Enabling others to do your writing leaves you free to do other blogging tasks like guest posting (which I am doing right now!) You might think it’s a wash as far as minutes: If I take time to write a post whether it’s on my blog or someone else’s, isn’t it the same amount of time and you might as well just write for your own blog? No! When you guest author, you are engaging in blog promotion since you are telling a new audience about your blog in your bio. Also, when you guest author, most host authors allow you to include at least one link. By linking back to your site from someone else’s site, you’re improving your search engine optimization. You accomplish a great deal by guest posting. Talk about a great return on your time investment (ROI)!
- Outsource your other blogging needs. Is outsourcing not in your budget?Consider finding a “buddy” and exchanging free service for free service. I have this kind of arrangement with graphic designers, technical helpers, and marketers who write my sales copy for me.
- If outsourcing is in your budget consider using a virtual assistant. There are many ways you can save time blogging by using a virtual assistant. At Fiverr.com you can outsource your blogging needs for as little as $5.00.
- Get help with your blogging tasks from other bloggers. Groups exist on Facebook and other sites where you can get help with social media sharing, increasing comments, and even opinions on website design. I actually have a blogger collaboration group on my blog. Join us!
- Start a “No-thank-you” list. Become a minimalist and do less. People would rather you put all your focus into a task and do a quality job than be so preoccupied with all you need to do the quality of your tasks outside of blogging suffers.
- Use to-do lists. I’m a big believer in to-do lists. Free apps are available such a Todoist, Google Keep, and Wunderlist. However, I find I am the most productive with plain old paper and pencil. I write my “to-dos” on post-it notes and post them to my desk. If I don’t finish my tasks, I put the note in my pocket and resume completing my tasks when I’m home. On the weekends, I still use pencil and paper to-do lists but I use a bigger sheet of paper. I leave it on my laptop so I am forced to see it the next time I go to blog.
In conclusion, the writing is easy. The words flow out of us when we write our passions and aim to empower others. The difficult part is staying organized.
As a blogger, you have much to do. If you work outside the home, you have even more to do.
By finding a way to manage your time, you avoid stress which could lead to blogger burnout.
Hopefully, these time-management tips inspired more ideas for ways you can save time by being more productive.
Janice Wald is an author, freelance writer, blogger, and blogging coach. Follow her over to MostlyBlogging.com where you can download her PDF of 123 blogging tools to save you hours of time blogging and receive additional blogging tips.
Her blog was nominated for the 2017 Most Informative Blog Award at the London Blogger’s Bash.
She published AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BLOG.
Follow her over to https://mostlyblogging.com for more blogging and productivity tips.