Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Finding time to blog

When I first started blogging, I found staying up till the early hours of the morning typing away and commenting on blog posts a pleasure. I had so many ideas written down in my note book and I thought that the more I posted, the more page views I would receive. It was working for my blog until it all got too much. I would panic that my blog was going to suffer when I had family down, had to work extra hours at work or I was too sick to write. It has only been fairly recently that I have woken up to that fact that my blog is not a chore or another obligation, it's my own personal creative space. I should only blog when I want to and only if I am enjoying it. Also, I do not earn any money from Blogging so why should it stress me out so much. 

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Image: Stokpic.com

I wanted to write some tips for those who may be struggling to find the time to blog:

1. It's OK to take a break
One of the things I have noticed recently is bloggers apologising for their lack of blog posts or presence on social media. Feeling guilty about letting your readers down never helped anyone to create a blog post people are going to want to read, its pretty obvious when a blog post is rushed. If it's getting too difficult for you to fit your ideal standard for blog posts around your busy lifestyle, take a break till you do have a little bit of free time. Even the bigger bloggers take a break now and again, your readers will still be there when you start posting again. Give them a little heads up though that you do intend to return, they will understand. 

2. Have a plan
When I first started blogging, I would just post randomly. Sometimes there would be two posts a day one week, and only three posts for the entire week after. I read somewhere that readers enjoy continuity so I took this on board and now have a stable plan of what I post each week. My goal now is to post two long posts a week which I aim to publish on Tuesdays and Fridays. Sometimes this may not happen due to my busy lifestyle but I refuse to let myself get stressed over it, it's fine to miss a few days. My advice for bloggers who want to keep to regular publishing is to take a realistic look at the time you can devote to blogging, and use that to draw up your plan for when you can post. It's really helpful for me as I don't feel like I'm setting myself up to fail. 

3. Consider creating a blog series
I haven't yet done this one but I have seen they are becoming increasingly popular amongst the blogs I read.  I love the idea of having a little structure within a blog to make it more manageable. My favourite ones are those that are photo based. They are less time intensive and so will allow my brain to rest before I attempt a long worded blog post. Another great bonus of these blog series is that readers will keep coming back again and again as they know what to expect when they click your links. 

4. Create a blogging calendar 
It is a good idea to take control of what days and what time you publish your blog posts. Be as flexible as you need to be, its your blog! Take into account your most busiest days of the week and insure you post the less intensive posts on these days, save your longer posts for the quieter days. I also want to add that I think its important to add into your calendar a day off for yourself. I have given myself two days off from blogging, Wednesday and Saturday, just so I have more time to concentrate on my non-Internet life too, never feel pressured into posting every single day. 

5. Make use of drafts
If you find a little bit of time in your day to sit down and write up a blog post, there is no need to get stressed if you get called away, leaving your post unfinished. Also there is no need to worry if your post is not perfect because you rushed it a little, save it in drafts to edit when you next have available free time. I post two long posts a week, each one would have been in my drafts for at least a week, sometimes more, prior to posting. I will edit and add little bits each day until I am happy to schedule them for publishing on my set days. I currently have at least ten half written posts and around twenty posts with just titles sitting in my drafts. I would be walking around town, on the school run or just lying in bed and suddenly be hit with an idea so I would start a new draft through my mobile app with just the title of my idea. Some will never be published but they are there for when I am suck for ideas.

6. Find some willing guest bloggers
If you are off on your holidays, expecting a busy week at work, or simply just want a blogging break but want to keep your blog moving, put out a #bloggerswanted shout out on twitter for someone to guest post for you. There are plenty of bloggers out there who are willing to write guest posts as it helps them promote their blog, so you will be helping each other out.

I hope some of these tips help those who struggle with juggling life and blogging. Just remember your blog is your own personal creative space, your hard work and no one else's. Don't feel pressured into blogging regularly if it stresses you out. Take a breather and only write because you want to.

Have you got any advice to add for those who struggle to find the time to blog? 

Gem x

Mums' Days
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18 comments

  1. Ooohh great tips! I barely have time to brush my hair let alone blog. I think i stress myself out unnecessarily about my blog, its funny that sometimes we forget that blogging was meant to be an enjoyable thing.

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  2. You've got some great ideas here. One way to balance blogging with uni that I have is to keep a little pocket planner. I write the type of post I'll be doing throughout the month on chosen dates (reviews, recommendations, discussions, etc) and then plan my content accordingly.

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  3. Some sound advice there, I find planning and writing when i have ideas then pre-scheduling takes the pressure off. Often when we start writing it leads to more ideas so try and get as many out (at least in draft as possible, you can always check back through and edit as fit, before posting but at least you are then utilising your creative moments.

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  4. Some fabulous tips there. Especially the guest bloggers tip. I think I have subconciously started following some of them so we are on the same wave length there! #brilliantblogposts x

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  5. Finding the time to blog is always varied for me atm. My toddler no longer naps so we are slowly starting to enjoy a wee movie on the ipad on the bed behind me as Mummy blogs! {currently whats happening now!} haha x

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  6. I totally agree with all your tips, but especially having time for yourself. We all need time off and even if scheduling it in is the only way it will work then that's the way you need to do it. Blogging should be a pleasure! Great post. #BrilliantBlogPosts

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  7. Great post. I have found myself getting stressed recently and really had to tell myself that blogging is my hobby I shouldn't do it if I don't enjoy it!
    #BrilliantBlogPosts Becky xx

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  8. Great tips lovely, I am glad you have found a balance x

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  9. Thanks for these tips, it is good to hear another blogger saying how important it is to take a break and not to get stressed if you can't post as often as you'd like. I have all these ideals in my head and they hardly ever eventuate! hanks for the reassurance!

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  10. These are good tips. I don't really stick to a schedule or anything and I find that some weeks I can get a post up every day and others I struggle to even do one or two. I don't really have the time to write multiple posts in advance and schedule them ahead so if I'm having a busy week then the blog does get neglected. I do like to use the drafts though so I can come back to things when I do have a spare minute to work on them.

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  11. Great tips - I'm still posting totally at random and haven't got as far as planning when is best to write etc, but really think I should! x

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  12. Great tips. I have just had a mini blog break due to illness and feeling a bit unsure about blogging but have now decided to start making some changes to my blog so i enjoy it more. Love the idea of guest blogging i might have to try and see if someone will do a post swap with me x #thelist

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  13. Setting up a series or two can definitely help provide some structure and focus to the week. I'm currently testing four different series (of which I will probably drop one), all short and punchy, and with two of them not time-dependent so that if I sit down for an hour I can typically knock out four in one go - a whole month! That means that even if I'm having an otherwise uninspired week, there's always something going on with my blog.

    Drafts are also a key part of a blogger's armoury. I often leave a few bullet points or half-written posts in draft, just waiting for some spare time for me to come back to them or the right moment of inspiration that turns a mediocre draft into something that fizzes off the page. It's not uncommon for me to leave posts in draft for a month or more - when the time is right I come back. One post I left for 3 years and tried to write/rewrite maybe a dozen times before I finally completed it. It's without doubt the toughest post I've ever had to write - it was very personal and dredged up some deep emotions - but it's also one I'm immensely proud of. If I hadn't let it sit in draft for so long, I just wouldn't have done it justice.

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  14. Fabulous advice! I do love a good blog list ;) #thelist

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  15. Really useful insight and advice. I often feel quite guilty about blogging and that my priorities are in the wrong place but I think if you set aside some time rather than constant dribs and drabs and I find it useful to have some non technology time too. Everything in moderation! Have a lovely day! (Came to you through Wave to Mummy's post x)

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  16. Some great advice - I WISH I could do better with my planning but it somehow kills it for me. For the sake of continuity I need to just suck it up and stop being a rookie! But I totally agree with everything you say, especially taking a break - I do earn money from my blog but I'm still about the taking time out if I'm ill, tired, on holiday or just can't be arsed!! It's my creative space after all ;)

    Thanks for linking up xx #thelist

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  17. Good one Gmma; it's our blog anyway, isn't it. I'm still finding my feet and really far from where I'd like to be. However, I find it funny how it is easy it is get bogged down with blogging; it really shouldn't be like that. I try and remind myself that it's my blog at the end of the day and it's up to me to do what I want with it! #aNoviceMumBlogBounce :-)

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  18. Fab tips! I always say I'm going to plan my posts and it somehow never happens...this has motivated me to get cracking on that!! Thanks xx

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