3 Easy Steps For Blog Time Management
For many people, it’s difficult to create structure where there isn’t any and blogging is no different. Unless blogging is an integral part of your job with specific deadlines, it can be difficult to show up at your blog especially when other things are competing for your attention.
Blog time management helps you to create a structure and schedule to ensure your blog becomes part of your regular routine.
My mother me taught how to manage an unstructured project such as a blog.
My mother got her Masters degree in Social Work when I was in junior high. As a result, she had to create a routine to ensure she had time to get her class work done. After dinner, she pulled her typewriter out of the hall closet and studied using the dining room table as her desk.
Later my mother started her own business applying the same type of structure to her time. She got up every day at the same time, did her daily exercises and was at her desk by 9:00 am.
Based on my mother’s lessons, here’s a three step structure to help you to establish your blog time management.
1. Personal writing: Create words for yourself
Establish your writing habits by learning what works best for your writing regime.
- Regular writing. (Daily, preferably first thing in the morning before you’re distracted.) Writing is a habit. You need to show up at the page on a regular basis to be able to remove roadblocks. While we grow thinking that writers have a special inspiration, the reality is that it’s as much about being able to capture ideas when you have them and continually committing them to paper and structuring them. Read about well known writers and you’ll discover they’ve created routines to make time in their lives for writing, often early in the morning or late at night.
- Feed your brain. (Daily) Most readers need continual input from other sources. This means reading and engaging widely. Ideally have ways to gather information efficiently.
- Exercise and eat well. (Daily) Since at its core, writing is a physical activity, you need to incorporate a balanced diet and exercise into your schedule. It also provides the energy you need to keep going as well as taking you away from your writing so that your ideas can percolate.
2. Craft blog posts: Write for your readers
Develop blog posts. Organize information and content into posts. While you can just sit down and write, I find it easier to structure the piece before I start. It streamlines the process and helps avoid writers’ block.
- Collect ideas. (Whenever you have them) Have a place where you save post ideas for future use. Jot down as much as you’ve got while it’s fresh in your mind so it’s ready when you decide to write.
- Organize your thoughts into a document. (Twice a week to every day) Use paper, word processor or other content tool like Evernote. I like to outline my ideas before diving in to reduce editing work later.
- Craft your document into a blog post. (Twice a week to every day – This activity can be combined with the two above) This is where your posts come alive. If you’ve got the time, write the post and let it rest so you can see it with a fresh eye. That said, not all bloggers have this time luxury. Among the elements to integrate are: keywords for search optimization, images to attract attention and links to incorporate both to other articles on your blog and to third party content.
3. Build your blog: Craft content for your audience.
Integrate your blog posts into your publishing platform and promote them. Understand that:
- Build an editorial calendar. (Yearly and revise monthly) Use an editorial calendar to ensure your blog content is aligned with your business goals and readers’ needs. While you can use your blog as more of a journal, it’s less likely to attract an audience than writing content that meets your readers’ needs.
- Determine evergreen content needed. (Seasonal, monthly or weekly) Integrate your promotional calendar.
- Develop regular features or columns. (Weekly to daily) This provides structure for your content as well as your time since you (and/or your columnists) know about these articles in advance allowing you to plan for them.
- Craft Just-In-Time content. (Whenever appropriate) Decide how you’ll incorporate articles about hot topics and trending issues.
- Edit blog posts including technical support. (Depends on blog publishing schedule and writers submissions. This activity can be batched for increased efficiency.) As a publisher, your content needs to be well crafted and presented or it won’t attract an audience. Where possible have a dedicated resource or another person proofread your blog posts for spelling, grammar and understanding. If you don’t think this is important, understand that Social Media Examiner puts its columns through a rigorous four-week review. (Kudos to editor Cindy King!)
- Promote your content. (Depends on your publishing schedule.) Blogging requires more than an on-going flow of content. It needs to be distributed and shared.
- Share your blog posts. (Daily engagement at optimal sharing times.)
- Distribute posts (Based on publishing schedule.) Make sure that your blog posts receive the largest audience possible. Think broadly in terms of social media and your owned media channels to maximize the reach of each article.
- Engage on social media. (Daily) Regardless of when you publish articles, it’s critical to interact with your fans and followers.
- Allow social sharing (Depends on readers) Incorporate social sharing buttons on every page of your site except the checkout pages.
- Participate on other blogs. (Weekly to daily) Read and leave meaty comments on other people’s blogs as well as responding to your own readers on your blog.
- Write guest posts (Monthly or weekly) Contribute high quality blog posts to other blogs. You should be allowed to have one link back to your blog as well as a byline.(BTW—we do not accept guest posts.)
- Share your blog posts. (Daily engagement at optimal sharing times.)
When it comes to blog time management there’s no better person to turn to than your mom. Moms understand time management.
What are your blog time management tips and tricks?
Big hat tip to my mother for being so inspiring and always being my biggest cheerleader. I love you.
Join me at Social Media Marketing World this coming Spring in sunny San Diego, California, where I'll be presenting a session on Blogging.
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- Stephen Covey’s Inspired 7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers
- Why your blog is guaranteed to fail
- How to Find Time to Blog
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/4360987794/