As summer rolls to an end, many bloggers prepare to pack their bags for the classroom whilst the rest of us battle furiously with busy work schedules *sigh* In the midst of all this chaos being able to repetitively maintain a regular blog schedule can induce a few premature grey follicles (or) the increased consumption of nerve shattering caffeine/vino/energy drinks *delete as appropriate folks*. Trying to keep up with work commitments or a full time education whilst blogging can ultimately end up draining the life and soul clean out of you…. however, I bring tidings of joy in saying you can make it work & even mildly enjoyable in the process *gasp*
Naturally (as a responsible parent) schooling & work gotta come 1st. But fear not; for those of you searching for a resolution that doesn’t involve spending a fortune on hair dye or midnight trips to the coffee cupboard, here’s a few handy tips on how to keep your blogging schedule maintained and sanity intact…
One of the biggest faux-pas us bloggers are consistently guilty off is comparing ourselves to others… should that be through comparing content, how many times we post, interactions, design etc etc etc. Comparing your blog to someone else’s is incredibly dangerous territory and usually only leads to negatively questioning your own abilities. Keep in mind that what works for one person doesn’t essentially work for everyone else – there’s no magic blog potion or virtual wand, just you & your creativity so make the best of what you’ve got. It’s so much healthier for your productivity (and mental health) being able to find a realistic pattern that works solely for you, no one else! Trust me, you’ll enjoy blogging a whole lot better when you STOP comparing your blogging habits to others and putting unnecessary pressure on your shoulders. Reading other blogs should always be a tool to inspire, never to make negative comparisons by!
I’ve said it a million times before & I’ll say it yet again – note pads/jotters/cute little owl patterned books are all an ESSENTIAL piece of a bloggers tool kit. It’s utterly amazing the amount of times I’ve been out and about when an exciting blog post has sprung to mind. Scrawling it down is vital before the idea vanishes once again into thin air – there’s a limit on how many mental notes one stressed out mama can take! Keep a notepad & pen handy and you’ll very quickly find yourself waving goodbye to bloggers block or a sudden lack of creativity.
Another essential tool is a calendar. Those ideas you scribbled down in your notebook… get them onto a wall planner or calendar/diary pronto. I personally prefer good old paper & pencil as opposed to computerised, but embrace whatever works for you. In fact, think of it this way: for a blogger who posts 3 times a week (which is a pretty busy schedule) jotting down 10 ideas is almost a whole months worth of blogging material! Watching your calendar fill up with ideas and posts will make you feel super organised and help you to manage your time SO much better, rather than creating posts on a whim at the very last minute… having been shoe horned into it by guilt; which in turn will leave you stressed to the bones & zapped of all creativity.
Yes, we’ve all got busy lives with school, work, families, socialising… etc. However between all the hustle & bustle of our everyday lives there are little snippets of time that can make a huge difference to help boosting the blog schedule. Think of all the bus journey’s, train commutes, lunch breaks, tea breaks, waiting on dinner heating in the oven breaks… it’s all valuable time & if we just utilise a few of those little windows a week to simply outline the foundations of a blog post or jot down some more great ideas it all adds up and helps keep your mindset as organised as can be.
This is important for a couple of reasons – firstly it doesn’t overwhelm readers being swamped in a screen full of text & secondly it makes your job as a blogger so much easier. Structuring your features into smaller bite size bullet points make it much more effective for you to write and much easier for your reader to take in. It’s also really good to commit yourself to a word limit (particularly, if like me, you can waffle for hours on end) For example, keeping your features to a limit of 500 words will certainly test your editing skills & you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you can be!
Not only will this give your blog a fresh dose of content, it helps drive extra traffic, introduces your readers to new friends & of course takes a teeny bit of pressure of your schedule. However to successfully invite guest bloggers onto your site it’s incredibly important that you:
1) Have received your guest bloggers posts well in advance to give yourself time to pre-schedule – remember the object of this is to take pressure OFF you, not result in chasing blog buddies for their pending features.
2) Stay true to the content subject on your blog. If you’ve established a reputation for being a regular fashionista yet start introducing a mish-mash of guest blog topics on: ‘The benefits of talking to house plants’ (that clearly bare no relevance to your own content) readers may get a little disinterested or in some cases disgruntled.
3) Make an effort. If indeed one of your blog chums has made the commitment to write a great piece for your blog the least you can do is support his/her hard work by sharing on social media & being quick to respond to any interactions. Okay, it may help keep your blog relevant and fresh in new content but always be sure to support your blog buddies or you might not get the same in return.
Okay so blogging’s not Instagram, we get that, but us readers are a nosey bunch & often devour a great post with lots of interesting piccies to look at. It could be a girls night out (or in), a jolly holiday (or rainy weekend break) or maybe even a few snaps from a shopping spree/day trip/walk along the beach. It’s nice to inject a little personality into your blog so readers can get a small glimpse into your lifestyle. You be amazed at how easy it is to write a few sentences for each picture which soon builds up to another fun post – voila, you’ve cracked the schedule deadline once again!
As time moves on & your blog evolves in size don’t forget to re-share some of your previous features that some new readers may have missed out on. In fact I done the same thing very recently by combining a few of my older posts into one – not only did my new readers love catching up on stuff they missed but some of my older blog buddies really appreciated re-reading it too. It also helped drive oodles of extra new traffic to various parts of my blog and was incredibly quick to compose! Check it out by *clicking here* if you need some inspiration on how to lay out a recycled post – maybe you could do it with previous make-up looks or some of your favourite posts to date?
Although many bloggers hit a stage when creativity drains and the dreaded bloggers block looms like a grumbling storm cloud in the distance, usually this is just a case of being burnt-out of fresh ideas to treat your readers too. However many of us often miss the great little opportunities for easy peasy posts that can help our schedules and keep readers happy into the bargain. For example:
1) A daily makeup look: Just set everything you’ve smeared your face in to one side & when you’re finished simply take a picture of the finished look and what products you used by laying them on a pretty back ground or desk top.
2) An updated what’s in my handbag: yes, us gals love a good ‘What’s in my bag?’ as our curiosity never seems to dwindle with these topics. You could also try a ‘What’s in my make-up bag’ or ‘What’s in my college bag’. Not only do we get a quick peak at your gorgeous hand luggage but you get to run us through all the contents and have a damn good clear out into the bargain. A win win if you ask me!
Rolling mercilessly from week to week, not sure of what the next post will be is heading straight for a blog crash in my humble opinion. To avoid, why not start categorising certain topics for set days… for example; Monday’s feature could be fashion inspired, Wednesday guest blogger day & Friday all about make-up & getting sassy for the weekend. Although you don’t have to necessarily stick to this rhythm I personally find it helps to eliminate getting caught in a rut or (worse still) running out of ideas completely!
You all know by now that Sunday is my marathon writing day when the opportunity arises. It’s often the one day where I pad around the house in my comfies whilst Emma plays in the garden with her friends & Steve is torturing his ear-drums with a selection of questionable rock music. I however, am happily perched at my desk, flicking through my notepad filled with ideas & outlines… and considering that I’ve done most of the outlining on little breaks throughout the week, all’s left to do is glue everything together on the computer. Having those few solitary hours to absorb myself in scheduling posts makes me feel super organised and on top of my blog for the week ahead.
Have you any tips for blogging on a busy scheduling? What works for you? Or, what’s your greatest obstacle when it comes to keeping your blog updated? Whatever your thought’s I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stop by and say a quick hello.
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