I recently asked my newsletter subscribers (a list which includes a lot of bloggers) for their input on some new resources I’m creating. I wanted to see if there were similar themes and questions among a group of bloggers and see which topics I could answer immediately, and which things needed more thought and research.
Some of the questions I received will be put into future guides, but others I can address here sooner and can share those answers with a wider audience. If you have a question or would like to weigh in on the information I share, the short survey lives here: The Fairy Blogmother’s Awesome Resource Development Survey.
Some of the questions were about self-hosting, and others asked about product reviews, press trips, and other ways of working with PR groups. I’ll be spending some time on those for sure. In the meantime, I wanted to share some responses to the questions I could answer more quickly. This is the first of those, and more will follow in the weeks to come. We’ll start with one of the four questions I asked survey-takers.
What is the biggest challenge (or biggest goal) you are currently facing with your blog?
And a response:
My biggest blog challenge is being able to spend time on it.
“Finding time to blog” was definitely a recurring theme, and I could make list after list of all of the important things on my to-do list at any given moment, and I’m sure you can do the same. We work, have families, relationships, care about our health, like to travel, are trying to keep up with election coverage and the conventions in a way that doesn’t make us want to poke our eyes out, and many, many other things. Even though blogging is a favorite way to spend my time, it’s also one of the things to get back-burnered when the other things need my attention (and they always do).
So, how do I make time for blogging? And how can you carve out a little more time to dedicate to your own little space?
Here are some things that have worked for me, but chime in at the end if you have other suggestions about what works for you.
The First 45
I recently blogged about how I make time for daily small steps that move my business forward, but the same idea can be applied to you and your blog. If the first thing I did every day was check my email or other social media channels, I’d get sucked into the Black Hole of the Internet, and all of my good ideas and fresh inspiration would go with it.
I recently started committing the first 45 minutes of my day to doing things that move my business forward and since my blogs support my business, sometimes this includes blog posts.
If it’s a priority to you to spend more time on your blog but your available time is limited, add in a small amount of time at the beginning of your day that’s just for you to spend time on writing.
You don’t have to crank out a blog post every single day. Maybe you only have a half hour, but you can spend that half hour brainstorming topic ideas, starting to outline an idea that’s forming in your mind, writing the first couple of paragraphs, and then editing and adding photos later. Before you know it, you’ll have something ready to publish. If you make this a habit, you’ll be writing and publishing more consistently.
Weekly Blog Time: Make it Social, Or Don’t
If you don’t have time every day, see if you can find a little extra time each week. Can you schedule in an hour or two, once a week, to dedicate to your blog? A couple of my friends here in Portland are also bloggers (hi, Kat and Megan!) and we’ve spent some weeknights together, laptops in laps and wine glasses in hand. We make dinner, sip Pinot Noir, and tap-tap-tap away on our laptops all the while catching up and spending time together. It’s a really fun way to get some social time in as well do some thinking out loud, bounce ideas around, and keep motivated because your blogger friends are right there beside you.
If your local friends aren’t bloggers, maybe make it a Skype date with a blogger friend in another city. Spend 15-30 minutes on chat with each other talking through ideas or places you feel stuck, and then spend the next 15-30 minutes writing. If you’re more into working solo, just carve out some time for you every week to spend on brainstorming, outlining, writing, and editing blog posts.
There’s an App for That
Both WordPress and Blogger have apps for the iPhone, so if you find yourself on your commute, in a waiting room, or in some other situation where the ideas are brimming but you don’t have access to a computer, use the app to jot down notes and get something ready to publish. You can come back to it later when you are on your own computer to make edits, add photos, and schedule it, or you can keep it simple and publish straight from the app.
I’ve used the WordPress app for iPhone before, but I strongly rely on Evernote countless times throughout the day to jot down ideas. Since it syncs with the Evernote app on my computer, I can pull these notes up when I’m ready to edit and elaborate and copy and paste what I started with into my WordPress blog post draft for actual editing and adding photos (when I add photos).
These are just a few ways to find and carve out more time for blogging. You’ve told me it’s something you want to spend more time on, and I understand how busy you are. I’d love to hear other suggestions or ideas from other bloggers.
How do YOU commit yourself to spending time on your blog on a regular basis?