I dream of being a full time blogger, with all the time in the world to take photos and write posts, however, the reality is not so perfect. I work full time and spend most of my free time seeing friends and family. I really have to plan all my content ahead of time or else everything will get pushed to the side. This post is all about how to plan your blogging workload around your current commitments to make the most of your time.
Tip 1: Be realistic
Look at your weekly diary and plot 1 hour blocks where you have free time that could be used for blogging, but be realistic. Yes you have a free hour as soon as you get in from work but will you be busy putting the tea on or get distracted by the mail etc? The same goes for planning time when you know you wont be motivated, eg if your not a morning person don’t plan to do an hours work as soon as you wake up.
My free time is normally after I’ve ate tea around 7pm. This is a time where I can switch off, know that all my jobs are done for the afternoon and I can focus on my blog. I plan two 1 hour slots a week and then most Sundays I have 4 hours dedicated to blogging, photo editing and planning. But remember be realistic, if you always are busy Sundays and like to relax in the afternoons on Sunday then this may not be the best time for you to be productive. The first few weeks of this will be trial and error and you will quickly realise what times of the day work best for you.
Tip 2: Plan your content a month at a time
Take time to think what is the theme of your blog for the next 3 months, where you are travelling to, what events are happening and what do you want to focus on this month. Planning out your posts in advance will make your life a lot easier when it comes to picking up the laptop and just writing, rather than sitting thinking of ideas and then probably getting distracted by social media when looking for inspiration. (Guilty!)
I use an excel spreadsheet and have all the dates on the left and blog post ideas on the right, I can then easily move them around if I need to delay the post or move it forward to meet a deadline. See below for an example of how I plan my content, as you can see I have blocks to say if I’ve wrote the post, the photos have been edited, if the post is completed and scheduled and finally if I have created the Pinterest advert for the post. I’ve used this system for the last two years and it is perfect for me, however you may prefer to plan on paper instead.
A great video to watch is this one by Brittany Vasseur which helps you plan your week in blocks and this is great to then work along side your blog planning.
Tip 3: Plan a mix between quick posts and lengthy posts
I always plan to mix my posts between quick and lengthy posts. For quick posts I plan wish lists, diary posts and blogger spotlight post. Lengthy posts will be collaborations, guides and travel tips. Creating a mix between the two means you are creating a balance in your workload. You can then plan to do the quick posts in the week when you have less time and focus on the lengthy posts at the weekend or days off when you can dedicate two hours or more.
Tip 4: Get guest blog posts or collaborations
A great tip to keep your blog up to date and create less work for yourself is get some guests to post on your blog or collaboration posts with other bloggers. I have done a few of these in the past and they have worked really well. For me I limit these to one a month however if you post about 5 times a week then I would say you can get away with doing 2 or more guest posts a month.
You want to make sure you are clear with the guest on what topics you are happy to write about, what the time scale is and if you have any other criteria such as 6 photos to go along with the post. You want to also ensure the content is relevant to your blog or adds something valuable. For example I ask my guest bloggers to post about hair, cruelty free makeup or travel however this can be changed for your niche.
Tip 5: Time for blog promotion and social media
You also need think about the time to put aside to blog promotion for example posting on instagram, posting links on facebook etc. I spend 15 minutes every morning on instagram and then 30 minutes in the evening on facebook, youtube and my blog responding to comments and again being on instagram. I spend an hour every weekend on Pinterest too promoting my posts and creating boards of inspiration.
Tip 6: Change the plan as your commitments change
As with any plan, things change and what works for you now might not work for you in 6 months time. Make sure you evaluate your plan every few months to make sure you are getting the best out of your plan and make sure you are also not over worked. You can then also re evaluate your goals and where you want your blog to be in the future. A great video to watch is this video by Meghan Livingstone which will give you some great tips for achieving your goals alongside commitments.
I hope you have found this post useful and it will help you in your blogging journey. As always if you have any other tips be sure to post these in the comments below. Thanks for reading x