A question I get asked a lot is how do I find time to blog while working full-time. While I do have a virtual assistant who helps me with 1-2 hours of work a month, 99% of what you see here on The Mom Creative is done by me.
I thought it might be fun to share a bit about my workflow and how I find the time to blog. Honestly, these tips and tricks would work for anyone! But if you work outside the home AND blog, the biggest challenge for many is finding the time to write quality content and being efficient. Hopefully my methods might be helpful for others like me.
Here’s how I get it done:
Content planning: Use an editorial calendar
Many bloggers I know are not as crazy about planning content as I am. But honestly, I don’t think I could keep with The Mom Creative without being ruthless with my content planning.
This plug-in has been one of the biggest benefits of having my blog on WordPress. It keeps me so organized because I can easily see the posts I have in draft, move content around, evaluate if I have room for sponsored content (I limit sponsored posts to ensure balance on The Mom Creative), see the big picture, etc. It is so, so awesome. Every blogger I have turned onto it says it is life changing – ha!
I typically start working on blog posts 2-4 weeks ahead of when they will publish, though I am constantly shifting post drafts around. (Yes, this means I have some posts in draft that are slated for late April- early May.) I also have a annual editorial calendar of content I plan to highlight over the course of a year.
When I write: Weekends/mornings/evenings
Because I work 9-5, Monday-Friday, I need to get my writing done in the fringe hours. I wake-up at 5 am and often spend a bit of time working on blog stuff from 5-6. Whenever possible, I work on content for the following week on the weekend. I am considerably less overwhelmed when I have content drafted for the upcoming week on the weekend. I also find that working in advance helps my content to be more thought out and strategic.
When I take pictures: Mornings and on the weekends
Because I like to use natural light for my photography, I do all photography for the blog in the mornings and on weekends. Now that the days are getting longer, I will often occasionally use the evenings too. Usually though evenings are too chaotic because the kids and I don’t get home until 6. Since I am always working ahead on content, I keep a running list of shots that I need. Speaking of lists…
Keeping up with tasks: blog to do list
This is a big one for me. I always have several lists going that are related to the blog. Things like:
- Post ideas
- Edits to have my designer make to the design
- Invoices to send
- Task lists for specific posts (ie: take photos for tutorial, create Rafflecopter widget for giveaway)
Promotion: Schedule tweets and Facebook posts, when possible
I am a huge fan of Hootsuite, which is a free tool that allows you to manage your Twitter and Facebook accounts from one place. I will often schedule all tweets/FB posts related to a post at one time. This helps to promote the post over time + I don’t have to think about it once it is live.
Email: Stay on top of it
I do my best to respond to email as quickly as possible. If I don’t respond to email in a timely manner it tends to get buried.
What blog questions do you have?