Blogging has really become a way of life for many people in both personal and professional aspects. It can be a great use of time, a way of expression, and a good source of income.
However, it can also be difficult to keep and maintain a productive rhythm. Productive flows can be haphazardly attained, but one of the sure fired ways to build a flow is with time and concentration. Don’t scream yet if time management isn’t your strongest skill.
The best thing about it is that it can always be learned and improved upon.
If you’re having trouble trying to assemble yourself, here are five time-saving hacks to manage and reduce the amount of time you spend blogging.
Having supporting content can be crucial to a post. Supporting content can vary between links, quotes, or visuals. Visuals count towards pictures (moving or still) or videos, and these do require their own approach.
You can either search for images online, buy stock images, or create your own content.
To cover briefly, if you’re looking for images, keep your topic in mind when searching and remember to source your finds. If you have to, contact the creator for permission to use. If you’re buying stock images, there’s a possibility you might have to source your supplier at the bottom of each of your posts.
If you have to, don’t forget to do that! The same applies, more or less, for finding videos. However, most of the time, the video can easily source itself, especially if you’re taking from YouTube.
If you’re creating or editing your visuals, this can take the most amount of time or at least the most amount of effort. If that’s the case, you want to get the most demotivating part out of the way first. Start with the basics (resizing, brightness/contrast adjustments) and just slowly work your way up.
It’s arguable that it would be best to approach these last because of their difficulty. However, if it’s truly difficult for you, it would be better to get them out the way first. Not just because of time but because of your mental approach to it.
Drag your feet going in and end on a high note rather the other way around. And if it doesn’t take much time at all, even better! No reason to dilly-dally.
Don’t force yourself to work for long periods of time to start off with if you can help it. Start with small windows of time to power through and build yourself up. Work for at least five uninterrupted minutes on content related to your post.
This could mean editing or finding pictures, writing the post, or checking your email. Do this for five minutes without outside distractions and take a break.
Once you’ve gotten comfortable with that (it might take a few posts to really get used to it), then jump up to ten minutes. Try to keep your focus solely on what you’re working on if you can. Once you’re comfortable, bump that up to twenty minutes and then finally thirty. It might not feel like a lot to start with, but it’s to get you used to a steady workflow without overloading yourself.
Work one post at a time. Don’t force yourself to continue onto the next one. Be sure to take at least a ten minute break. However, if you’re riding a creative wave that refuses to be ignored, go with it. Use that energy.
You can always go back, review, and edit what you have written. Just be careful and moderate yourself. You don’t have to push and ride that same wave every time.
A fact of life is that not everyone is organized. It can be tough to keep yourself ordered down to the last detail. Thankfully, it doesn’t always have to be a chore. Make sure you have a way to record your ideas.
There are tons of apps to assist with this. You can also audibly record yourself if it’s faster. If you’re a bit more cerebral, keep pen and paper on you. Flaunt that old school. Keep your notes where they can be easily found. They don’t have to be in a true, by-the-books sense of order. As long as it makes sense to you and you’re in the clear.
For your content, make sure you have one master folder dedicated to your blog (or blogs). If you’re not fond of numerous folders, develop a naming system that works for you. And remember to backup your files. If you don’t have an external hard drive, there are some alternatives, such as Hotmail’s OneDrive.
That’s right; create one. If you blog professionally, then this might not be something you always have to worry about.
There might be a style guide for you to adhere to.
Starting off as an independent blogger, you probably won’t have an outline of how you create your posts. Don’t worry too much about it because as you go, you start to develop your own style. Use that as your tool.
Having a ‘template’, like the ones offered by this plugin, for your posts, keeps you consistent. It creates an informal outline for how the post should flow, and takes away a lot of the creative pressure. If you have one style of posting, you should be fine with the singular template. You can also form a style for how you edit photos as well.
The idea, as with everything, is to create a base to go off of. Templates help you note what size your pictures should be, where your footer goes (if you use an image) and keeps all your footer links together.
If you have a foundation with your content, then you can safely branch out to do different styles of writing or editing.
This can be a bit of a difficult practice to fall into, but it’s overall straightforward. If you can, start using the queue on your blogging platform.
There are a few reasons to keep it from collecting dust. One of the main things is that if you finish a post ahead of time, you can add it there so you don’t forget to update it yourself. Another reason is that you can always start the basics of your post and save it there.
It becomes more of an informal deadline to you rather than leaving it to rest in your drafts. If you prepare a post, say, a week ahead of time, you can queue it and slowly edit or add onto it.
This de-stresses the writing process, prevents you from hurrying to create new content, and allows you a chance to review for mistakes.
Blogging will take a lot of time, depending on the subject matter. You don’t have to free up your entire schedule and shut yourself in to get work done. The best way to deal with it isn’t to force yourself to move faster either.
You just need to know the right corners to cut and what sort of mindset to have. The above six can serve as your foundation as you work through what works for you and what doesn’t. The best thing about having a base outline to follow is that it’s something of a safety net. So go, blog your heart.
Try something new. If you don’t like what you find, come back down and think for a while. Start from your foundation as you go back for round two.
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