This week, I want to talk a little bit about how you can get more blog posts published in a shorter time frame. That is what efficient blogging is really all about…getting things done, and not wasting time. A little blogging time management can go a long way!
Picture this scenario: The house is quiet. The kids are at school, or maybe even just napping, and you’ve got at least one whole uninterrupted hour to devote to your blog. You have a to-do list a mile long and a post you’ve been sporadically working on here and there, and some photos you need to edit.
You sit down and open your laptop and check in with Facebook (just for a second!). You open Pinterest and Twitter (because you are a multi-tasking phenom!) and return a few texts while you’re at it. One of your Facebook groups has a lively conversation going on that you keep getting sucked into, and OMG DID YOU SEE THOSE BABY PICTURES your friend just posted?!
And, oh! Drama on Twitter. Must find the whole conversation going on between these two strangers you’ve never met and find out who said what. OH! What a great idea, Pinterest! Totally pinning these muffins for later. And then you check your stats, because this is, after all, blogging time. Oh goodness! A real traffic spike…and then you spend ten minutes trying to find out who shared your post, and…your hour’s up.
The baby woke up, you need to go get the kids…your blogging is untouched.
Here are some tips for avoiding that scenario, and for increasing your blogging time management skills.
1. Turn off social media. ALL OF IT. Close Facebook (I know, I know! It practically hurts), close Pinterest, close Twitter. SHUT IT ALL DOWN. One hour without won’t kill you. It will only make you stronger.
2. Set priorities. Tonight, I felt compelled to write about a recent experience for my own blog. But I really needed to get this done, too, so I wasn’t stressing out about it tomorrow. So, I closed up my blog and shelved my idea for later. First things first!
3. Do one thing at a time. I’m always tempted to work on several projects at one time. I want to go back and forth between editing a photograph and writing a post. I always get things done a LOT faster, though, when I work on one at a time.
4. Perform harder tasks first. Do the difficult jobs first when you have more focus, and menial tasks when you’re feeling distracted. I learned this at a blogging conference and it has stuck with me. It seems so obvious, but unless you’re really paying attention to what you’re doing, and when, you might be missing out on something. Example: My kids are in school two mornings each week. I try to use that time to write and work on sponsored posts. When I’m catching up on trashy TV, I use that time to check emails and comment on other blogs – the kinds of tasks that take less of my attention but still need to get done. I try to be mindful about what I’m doing, and when.
5. Schedule “office hours” for yourself. For me, this is the time I have when the kids are in school. Sometimes, I’ll tell my husband I need more time (I usually give him an explicit amount of time – like one hour, or two hours) in the evenings or on the weekend, and then I use that time to blog. I write a ton at night after the kids are asleep (that’s how I’m writing this, actually), but setting real time aside to blog (during which you turn off ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA) can be an incredibly motivating factor!
6. Keep an editorial calendar. I use one to keep track of due dates for sponsored posts and other things I want to write. Knowing what I NEED to get done helps me decide which posts to write first, which is sometimes half the battle.
7. TURN OFF ALL THE SOCIAL MEDIA. Did I say that already? 😉 Trust me…your productivity will skyrocket without Facebook dinging at you every time you get a notification.
When I think about what I do to crank out the content (and I blog at three different places, so I have lots to come up with and get posted), these are the main things that come to mind.
And stay tuned for next week, when I’ll give you some tips for how to handle allll the social media that comes along with blogging (who knew, right?!).
What are your tips for creating more content, more quickly?