Now I know I am not a ‘pro blogger’ and I probably don’t carry as much kudos when it comes to blogging tips but I have been ferreting away at this here blog for the past 15 months or so. All the while, like all of you, trying to keep my one and two-year old alive, the house in one piece and make some time for ya know, life. Balancing everything isn’t easy. My general free time is from 7.45pm until 10ish. I cannot blog during the day and Mr Tammy get’s mad at me blogging every night, so I have had to learn to become very organised. It has certainly been a trial and error path, which has become slightly more difficult since running the weekly linky #FamilyFun as that does require A LOT of my blogging time. So, here are few organisational and productivity tips I have honed over the last 15 months for getting my blog running, ticking over and even earning in approximately 12 hours a week, ha.
- Use A PlannerThis is a new one to me, but the difference is immeasurable. I am using it as I write this post, a post I would have probably put off and stewed over. My planner allows me to plan my posts – duh. Sounds simple huh? Bear with. Do you ever get it when you are led awake and you all but mentally write a post only to forget it all the next time you sit at laptop? Now I write my ideas down as soon as feasible (probably not during hours I should be sleeping though) not giving myself time to forget or loose the momentum. When it comes to actually typing said post I simply refer to my planner and the writing flows, without distraction, it is a visual reminder. Previously I would stare blankly at the screen, take undue breaks, have mental blanks trying to re-call my mental post. In my planner I use key words, short sentences and bullet points, you might prefer a spider diagram, mind map, colours, random words on paper – find whatever works for you and us it. For the first time ever I have 4 draft posts in my planner waiting to be made into posts.I have this planner, which is great for post planning and has some space for event planning, literal and blogging the only thing it lacks is a space for me to plan my week – such as linkies and commenting etc.
- Batch Work I have been perfecting this for quite a while and there is certainly merit in it. Batch writing has proved golden. In the early days I would write one post hit publish and write the next when I could. Now if I have the time I will sit and write two or three posts in one go. While the creative juices are flowing and all that… It can really give you a head start on the week(s) and allow you the time to get on with other tasks. Tasks such as commenting. I also try to batch comment from linkies I take part in. It is not always possible and it doesn’t always work but if you have half an hour (or so) try sit down and plough through all your commenting in one go. You will feel much better knowing it is another job done. I also find responding to or writing emails in bulk to be a useful tool. This is often my first, or last, job of the night. I don’t have the luxury of being able to respond as they come in and I try not to be on my phone too much with the kids, so ya know everyday. Therefore responding to my mail in one hit often ensures no one is missed and can allow for a continuity in your responses when working with brands/PRs.I know some people who bulk take photos and filter them through their social media daily – I think this is a fab tool, especially for growing your social media following, I am just yet to have the time to do so and still very much wing my Instagram photos and Facebook updates with what we are doing that day. That is why some days I fail to update my insta – we are probably having a boring day. It is on my to do list though.
- Plan Your Week & Pre-write Your Posts. Ok so I have a rough plan for how my blogging week looks, which largely revolves around #familyfun. The structure helps to ensure everything gets done in preparation for the linky, linkies I take part in and the blog in general, such as when to publish posts.Pre write – I try to keep ahead of myself when it comes to posts. I like to have a few ready to go in my drafts a few days before they are published. I am not organised enough to be a month ahead, but again maybe one day, it is a work in progress. Nonetheless I find this a great fall back if need be and a great way to keep some continuity going. I read once that continuity is key as your readers like to know what to expect from you.
- ScheduleNow I am not saying schedule all your old posts to be re-tweeted, re-posted on Facebook etc, hell there’s plug-in that can do that for you – I use Revive Old Posts. Honestly worth using. I do however try to schedule posts going live and my #familyfun tweets. There is no way I could sit and tweet goodness know how many people every Wednesday. Also a lot of my posts go live of an evening as I find the engagement to be better. You know what evenings are like with kids, dinner, bath, bed time etc having a virtual assistant to do it for you seriously lightens the load.
- Write a List This is a biggy for me. I am a list lover, for anything I do. I am forever writing lists of things I need to get done. It motivates me, ensures nothing get’s missed and you guessed it – it means I actually get things done.
- Take a break The recent Christmas break has done me the world of good. Toward the end of the year, what with the insane busyness of Christmas and last-minute influx of work I started to feel like I was chasing my tail. Having some complete blog free time helped re-charge and revitalise both me and my blog. Not to mention allowed for 100% family time. I will certainly be doing it again before next Christmas.
So there you have some of my essentials for getting or staying blog organised. Do you have any tips? words of wisdom or pearls of advice? I’d love to hear from you.