When it comes to blogging I have time on my side, generally. And I'm thankful for it! Blogging is my main career and the only thing I have to deal with is an ageing dog that wants to constantly sleep on my lap as I blog. I have no distractions, other than my procrastinating ways and my introvert personality means I'm never needing to juggle an active social life with blogging... there just isn't one!! Side note: I'm fine with this, I have Netflix.
But there have been more than a handful of times when I've felt like I've had no time to sit down and blog. From life commitments to periods of being ill and having zero energy... which isn't a lack of time as such but I'd saw my time was taken up by being in bed! However, through these times I've learnt how to get sh*t done as it were and plough through blogging like a champ. I don't think I've ever used the word 'champ' before.
I've now come to realise that I like to blog in this way (detailed below) most of the time. It's productive, it cuts out the chance of procrastination and it frees up my time to watch more documentaries and tell my dog how much I love her! So, below are some time-saving blogging tips that you can hopefully take on board and put into action when time is limited. Here's to blogging efficiently and never worrying about not blogging or going off schedule, again!
Make the notes app your friend
This is such a boring and obvious one, so I'll try to be quick. This is the foundation of being an efficient blogger I believe! When inspiration strikes, write it down, basically. Whether it's in a designated notebook you keep in your handbag, Sticky Notes on your desktop or the notes on your phone. This means when you come to writing your next blog post you know exactly what you want to write about and you aren't putting it off or sat there wondering (while wasting time) what the hell to blog about. It also importantly makes you want to blog as you will hopefully have a juicy list of blog post ideas that you will want to get going on! Sometimes I even go further and write the title post in my notes app and then list the products I want to include within the post. This means they are on my mind and I know exactly what I need to grab when it comes to taking my blog photos for said post.
Create a template
From blogging for so many years I realised only last year that I have a sort of blogging template for my blog posts... and it really helps me write each post. I start with an intro, then have a paragraph or two to support my intro, then comes the bulk of my post with sectioned headers generally for ease of reading and then finally a brief summary and often a question to be that bit more engaging. Now I'm not saying copy my blog post structure, but to look back over old posts and see if you have your own natural structure, which I'm sure you will have, and then polish up a bit. This could be to always include headers or an ending paragraph that will include a relating post for the reader to possible go and read.
With your structure decided and a spare 5 minutes you can then layout out your next blog post and feel like you have 30% of it done already! For example, this blog post started life last week when I created the title, all my sub-headings and quickly wrote the intro and opening paragraphs. This meant when I sat down to write this post I could just type away and get it done! Having this kind of structure won't work for everyone but if you have ideas for blog posts spilling out of your brain it's great to get them out and in a structured way for when you are ready to fully commit to writing it. You can even take this further by deciding how many images you will include per post and create yourself even more of a structure.
Set Micro Deadlines with a Timer
When time is tight I use this method to get blog posts done, sharpish. It's definitely not a way to blog every day. Who wants to be against the clock? But it's effective! Depending on how long you have to spare, set your timer and get typing! When time is of the essence I generally put 30 minutes to an hour on my phone timer, turn off all distractions and type away. It definitely works and leads me nicely onto my next tip...
Type now, edit later
Whether your blogging with the above method or just want to get blog posts wrote more efficiently I would encourage you to get your words out, spelling mistakes and all. This means there's no dilly-dallying (underused phrase right there) correcting typos and punctuation or opening new tabs to find product links and just checking Facebook or Twitter while you're at it. It means you get your blog post wrote, granted, in a bit of a rough state, but in record time. Then as you read it through you can do all the editing you need. A good tip I picked up for when you are mid-flow but are stuck on a word or don't know the correct info/price is to simply put a '#' or something similar, that you then can 'Ctrl + F' through later and correct. If you're use to editing as you go this will feel unnatural to start with but once you see how quickly a blog post can be written in this manner I'm sure you will be converted!
For years I use to write blog posts the night before I'd post them live and occasionally I still do. But for the most part, I like to designate a block of time to sit down and write up a few blog posts. If time is tight this may be a weekday evening or a Saturday morning for you, when everyone is still in bed. It's simply a way of getting ahead and feeling productive! I also work in this way when taking my blog photos and again, it works! I batch photograph images for my week's worth of blog posts (4-5 sets) on a Thursday afternoon for around 3-4 hours and then edit them all and add them to blog posts the following day. This means my photo setup only needs to be set up once a week and the big old mess I make only needs to be cleared away once - thank god! Again, this is a certain way of working which may not be for you but it's worth giving a go to see how you get on with it!
Schedule your social
So you have your blog posts wrote and you are off being busy and getting on with your life. But you've got to constantly promote said blog posts, right? You haven't got time for that! This is where social scheduling comes in and makes sure each blog post gets promoted correctly on all the platforms you use. There are two ways of doing this for Facebook and Twitter. 1. Before your blog post has gone live 2. Once it's gone live. If you know you won't have any time to schedule your social shares once your blog post is live then I highly recommend grabbing your permalink (it's on the right of your blog post editor on Blogger) and your main image and scheduling it via Buffer to be promoted throughout the week after it's gone live, even scheduling it to be shared even further down the line. This is how I like to schedule all my blog posts for the week. Or on the day they go up you can grab the link and schedule further Facebook posts and tweets for the week. An optional step is scheduling posts to be pinned onto Pinterest at the most popular times and to be re-pinned to different boards further down the line. For this I use Tailwind (which also schedules for Instagram)... it looks complex to use but trust me once you get the add-in to your browser you can simply hover over your blog post images and schedule them with ease. If you are looking to increase your pageviews then I highly recommend using Pinterest in this way.
I feel I could write an entire e-book on the subject of time management when it comes to blogging, as it's a hobby/career that is very much time-consuming! Don't worry, I won't!
However, I do hope you can put a few of these tips into practice and save yourself a whole heap of time.
Let me know if you have any good time-saving blog tips! I'd love to hear them.