How to Make Time to Blog
“How do you find time to blog?” is a question I’m often asked. For me, the answer is simple. I practice writing regularly. For you, the answer may be different.
Understand that every blogger starts blogging like they’re on fire. Their posts just seem to pour out of them and onto the computer screen effortlessly. Sound familiar?
When you first begin blogging, your initial passion drives you forward. Additionally, you’ve got a wealth of ideas and information you haven’t committed to this medium yet so every subject is fresh to you. You don’t need to search for blog topics. They just bubble out of your. Further the excitement of starting a new blog pushes you to crank out more articles and participate in the social media ecosystem.
As time go by, however, you can start to run out of ideas and if your blog is successful, you’re busier. Because it can become difficult to write fresh posts when you’re always on the go, here are thirteen ways to help you find time to blog.
- Break blogging tasks into smaller chunks. Just as readers snack on content, find ways to divide your blogging activities into pieces that can be done in smaller time segments. At BlogWorld Expo New York, Chris Brogan referred to this as quilting time together. Although you may not have an hour to write an entire post, you have ten minutes while you’re waiting for your child or spouse. Instead of playing a game on your smartphone, outline an article or brainstorm some potential title ideas.
- Collect blog post ideas. Jot ideas when you have them. Many bloggers find that they get their best ideas in the shower or just before they fall asleep. Keep a pad nearby at all times so that you can capture those fleeting ideas. Don’t think that you’ll remember those points in the morning but, like the rest of us, you don’t. (Here are 125 Free Blog Topics to help you get started.)
- Outline your blog article in advance. Don’t show up at the blank screen! Sketch out the major points you plan to cover in an article in advance. This helps to jump start your thinking because your brain can work on the idea while you’re doing other things.
- Use a blog post framework. Have an established structure for your blog posts. This can be helpful for creating content since it always follows the same arrangement. For example, 12 Most blog always starts with the words, The 12 Most, and contains twelve points about a topic. Before you view this as limiting, test it out on a few posts on your blog to see how it enables you to add content to the blog a few tidbits at a time.
- Set a date to blog. This can be effective if you blog on a less frequent basis. Set an appointment to write. Don’t just mentally set the time aside. Block off the time on your calendar so that no one can claim a right to it. To maximize effectiveness, it should be early or late in the day so that you’re less likely to skip it.
- Develop a writing habit. Like exercise or other routine, it takes constant practice to get it to be second nature. Choose a time to sit down at your computer for at least a half hour to blog. Most writers work best either early in the morning when their head is clear or late at night. Determine what works best for you.
- Start writing where the energy is. Many of us were taught that we have to start writing at the beginning. How many pieces of paper did you ball up in frustration writing “ What I did for My Summer Vacation” because you mistakenly believed that you have to write from the first word to the last word in order. Set yourself free and realize there are no content order police. (For more suggestions, check out Why Your Third Grade Teacher Was Wrong About Writing!)
- Wait for the passion to write. Find those cues and activities that create a desire to write. At the core, this is what blogging is about, the strong feelings for a specific topic. (Note: I believe in writing every day to get in shape so that your mind can craft your thoughts effectively.)
- Incorporate other media formats. Depending on your blog’s focus, you may be able to leverage other types of content (aka non-text content). This means including photographs, images, infographics, video, audio and presentations. Think about how to use these media options when presenting at conferences, etc. For example, The Satorialist only uses photographs to highlight his professional skill.
- Get help for blog support activities. You may be able to crank out article after article but you can’t wrap your brain around the blog’s technical platform. Ask for help, especially if you’re writing for a group or corporate blog.
- Conduct an interview. Get a little help from your friends. Make it a joint proposition. Ask someone well known in your category to answer relevant questions. This provides useful content and can improve your stature by association
- Survey experts, customers or other groups. Gather input from a group of people who are well known in your area. The benefit here is that the content supports your objective while linking to those quoted.
- Invite guest bloggers to lend a hand creating posts. Get other bloggers to contribute their work to your blog. While this content isn’t yours, it’s one way to get content on your blog on a regular process.
As a blogger, use a variety of these methods to produce your blog posts in smaller chunks of content that you can write in short periods of time. Try a variety of these methods to see when ones work best for you.
What’s your favorite tip for finding time to create a blog post?
Here are related articles in which you may be interested.
Here’s Mack Collier’s input on Finding Time to Blog.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/briandeadly/7322605322/