I've spent a lot of time thinking about, and trying to squeeze in blogging while managing the day job, having a LIFE, and planning my wedding on top of all of these things, so the blogging/day job series of posts that I have been writing lately for IFB (6 Organization Tools for Bloggers with Day Jobs; How to Balance Blogging with the Day Job) has certainly been on the top of my mind. I have been relieved to know that the community feels a lot of the same frustrations and dilemmas that I have with trying to do it all, and with this latest post, I have pulled from advice that friends and fellow bloggers have given me, and practice themselves in order to speedily get to the parts that you love about blogging.
Sort through the Paraphernalia in Advance
Hours, days, or even weeks before the writing process begins, sort through the physical products; items you receive for review, products needed for photo or video shoots, and have it ready to go for when you have time to process and work on these goods. Knowing where everything is will help you to be able to bang out the content in one fell swoop.
I have a set of plastic drawers that are labeled “to review' and “reviewed,” with the items taking highest priority in the front and least in the back, so that I can quickly know what I can work on or if I feel like I've hit a writing slump I can rifle through it for some inspiration.
A Label Maker is Your New Best Friend
I use a DYMO at the office, and P-Touch at home, and since my handwriting resembles that of a fourth grader's, it has been a lifesaver with mailing and organizing all of my blog-realted goodies. I have file folders labeled with info such as all of the press releases and jump drives that I'd like to look through, one for magazine tear-outs of inspiration, a bin for “tech equipment” like cameras, batteries, wire, and the like, and since I cover fashion and beauty, I have little bins marked “eyes,” “face,” “lips,” etc so that if I'm doing a little story, I can get directly what I need ASAP.
Consider What Digital Media Can be Consolidated
Do you actually have your contacts saved by company or category, or do you have to dig through emails to find a contact every time you need to reach out?
Are you going to Twitter.com, then Facebook.com, then Tumblr, then ___ to send out updates, or can you merge this into one application? Just reevaluating the system that you have in place, and considering if there is a more streamlined way to do things may save you a lot of time, and aggravation, in the near future!
Brand Your Content
Currently, when are you posting the different kinds of content you may have? By trying to make more of a schedule for yourself, you may be able to get to content faster, plan in advance, and set readers expectations for what to expect, and when.
For example, every Monday might be a day to post about a new item of clothing you purchased, Tuesday could be a trend/shopping piece, Wednesday could be an outfit post day, Thursday could be dedicated to a fashion-news related post, and Friday can be your recap for the week/wildcard of whatever might be on your mind and you want to share. Even if you don't post every day or have a niche, singular focus, thinking about when and what kind of content you share in advance might come to the rescue when you only have 15 minutes to right a post.
Set Aside an “Etc” Blogging Time
I've written in the past about trying to find time to write, but also you may want to create a time, even if it's once per week, to do any pre-writing or blogging related activities. For me, every Saturday morning I go through anything and everything I've let accumulate physically or digitally, and organize and prep it for when I will write. I try not to let this exceed an hour, and usually I have plans or errands to run that prevent it from going any further than the time allotted anyways. If I have alternate plans and can't do it one week, I don't feel bad about it because I can still work and write posts without doing it, and it can wait until I will have time again (hopefully) the following week.
What tactic(s) are you using that help?
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