|Author:||Nola||Published:||11 months ago|
|Tags:||blogging, time management, scheduling, repurposing content, guest blogging||Category:||Writing tips|
Last week we saw how discouragement can lead people to give up on their blogs. Time is another barrier. When our to-do lists are already overflowing, blogging can seem like another unwelcome task to add. If you ‘work smarter instead of harder’, however, you may find you have more time than you think.
It takes time to craft a thoughtful and well-researched post. If you overcommit and then can’t deliver quality material, you and your blog will suffer. Look at your schedule and decide how much time you can spend on your blog. Twice a week? Monthly? Bi-monthly? As well as setting a frequency goal, also decide on a reasonable blog length. You don’t have to write long essays covering dozens of points. If you can’t say all you want in 500 words or less, think about whether the topic could be split into a series of briefer posts. It’s better to start small and build, than to launch yourself with gusto and run out of puff by the third week.
Blogging can be stressful if you’re scrambling for ideas the day before you’re due to post. Block out some planning time. First, work out the types of posts you want to do over the next few months, then note the times when you’re likely to be busiest. As far as possible, schedule the easier posts for your busy periods (e.g. posts that don’t require a lot of extra research). Better still, find a time when you can write a few posts in one hit and then schedule them so you can have periods when you’re not writing new content. Yes, planning takes time, but it will save you time in the long run.
Use Guest Bloggers Occasionally
I’ve used six guest bloggers so far, and their posts have all been good value. Not only does it give me a break every now and then, but it helps advertise the guest bloggers’ work, showcases my blog site to a wider audience, and provides readers with new perspectives and different areas of expertise. I’m not a copywriter, so I invited Rachel Timmins to do a guest post on that topic. I’ve never written an episodic space opera, so I asked sci-fi author Adam David Collings to share some tips for plotting such a series. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Repurpose Your Content
Rather than thinking of a blog as something extra you have to squeeze in, think of ways in which you can get the most mileage out of the work you do. I’ve written blogs that I’ve been able to use in teaching (e.g. conference presentations) and vice versa. For example, I presented a workshop on how to use vivid imagery in creative writing, and then turned it into four blog posts (see Post 39 for a sample). Maybe you’ve had to do some research for your novel or nonfiction work. Could some of that research be turned into an interesting post? Just as recipe sites show you ten ways with avocado, you can maximise your time by considering various ways of repackaging your content.
Blogging can intrude on your other writing projects, so you need to regularly re-evaluate your goals to see if you’re making the best use of your time. There are also seasons when you may need to take a break for your health, sanity or the harmony of your household. Listen to your body and take time out if you need it. Hopefully you’ll come back refreshed and ready to blog up a storm. Your readers will still be waiting.
Do you have any other suggestions for making the most of your blogging time? I’d love to hear your strategies.