Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Five SIMPLE Strategies to Make Blogging Easier


Does blogging feel like a chore? Are you constantly racing to catch up and write a post for the day? I used to be, but I've found a few tricks that have helped me streamline my blogging into something manageable. Different strokes for different folks, but I hope you find something here that works for you, too!

1. Go on and pre-schedule those posts. 
I typically have about a week's worth of posts pre-scheduled. Sometimes if I'm reading a lot I'll have reviews for a couple of weeks since I only post one or two per week anyway. The other days I fill in with a meme if it's an interesting topic or discussion posts.

2. Keep a running list of potential drafts in your blogging platform. 
I often get great ideas that will jump right out of my head if I don't write them down. I jot a few lines down in Blogger, save my draft, and I can easily come back to them later.

3. Utilize blocks of time. 
After 9 years of blogging, I've gotten pretty good at cranking out posts in a hurry. It just doesn't take me too long to formulate my thoughts anymore, unless it's a particularly thinky post. If I have a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, I'll write two or three posts to use later. Same thing with my lunch hour at work. If I do this a couple times a week, I have a generous backlog of content to hold me over.

4. Take advantage of blogging topics suggestions. 
When your brain hurts, why not get some help with a topic? Ain't no shame in it. I linked my list here, but there are LOTS more ideas across the interwebs.

5. Decide which days of the week you want to post and do more if you have time.
I quickly realized, when I had a writing resurgence and started blogging like a machine last year, that my visitor numbers tank on the weekend. I don't live and die by stats by any means, but if the visitors are wayyyy downnnn on weekends, why not take some days off myself? Now I blog Monday-Thursday and if I have some extra energy I'll pop in a Friday, Saturday or Sunday post.

Do you have any tips to share? I would love to hear them!



63 comments:

  1. Love and follow all of these, especially the pre-scheduling, drafts and blogging during the week. I think those really help me stay sane and motivated.

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    1. Amen sister! Until I figured out a system that worked for me, I was flying by the seat of my pants and (occasionally) stressing. No more!

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  2. And then there's the way to make it easier which is to stop! LOL I think about that all the time! LOL

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    1. Oh no! Feeling a bit of burn out, are we? lol I've been there!

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  3. Getting ahead with posts definitely helps but I have a stack of books to write about right now and I feel like I'll never catch up. I think the trick is to not overthink the posts I write. They're not intended to be brilliant essays, for heaven's sake.

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    1. Mini reviews!!! That's the way I cope. lol And not overthinking is important, too. Have fun!

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  4. I love scheduling posts in advance. Occasionally I'll end up way ahead of the curve and have posts scheduled a month out (that's the case now!!), and then I get so excited and proud of myself that I forget to keep adding posts. And then I get behind again. You'd think it wouldn't keep happening, but it happens every time.

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    1. I didn't do it for a long time, and I'm not sure why I resisted pre-scheduling. And I've done that too. Pre-schedule so far ahead that I forget to start scheduling again. Oops! lol

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  5. All great suggestions, Andi. My moods ebb and flow over time so when I get in a review writing mood, I write and write a lot. Like seriously...a lot. Sometimes I'll write 5-10 posts in one sitting because I'm taking advantage of a mood I know is likely to be fleeting. And it works for me. Pre-scheduling is also a life saver.

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    1. Thanks, Brooke! I'm the same way! ALWAYS slave to my moods, so if I'm feeling the writing mojo, I'd BETTER take advantage. And I always feel so productive after a writing spree.

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  6. Love these tips. I blog Monday through Friday but I think it might be a good time to cut it back to 4 days a week.

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    1. Thanks, Melissa! It was really a relief for me. And like I said, if I feel like doing a BookTube post or a foodie post or something additional, I can! But no pressure.

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  7. This is something I've mentioned to Tanya on her blog too (Girlxoxo.com) in that sometimes I get overwhelmed by all the blogging tips instead of just doing it. This is not to say that it's not important to share what works for us and "different strokes for different folks" but for me, I see lists of 5-7-9-10-15-20 ways to do something and my eyes glaze over because I know that I'm not going to be able to keep up with all, or sometimes any, of them. (Of course, tomorrow, I'll probably post my own 8 ways to make your blogging easier so just ignore what I'm writing here ;) ).

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    1. It's really about finding what works for us individually. We've been blogging long enough that we probably have a pretty good system, or if we prefer, a non-system. But hopefully this helps someone somewhere you may be newer at it or looking for some help getting into the groove. It took me an oddly long time to find what worked for me.

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    2. I'm still finding it (or not, depending on the day).

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  8. Great tips! Starting to write posts ahead of time and scheduling them is the best change I've made as a blogger. I don't have the energy to write posts after work (I'm always either getting up at 6 am or getting home at 10 pm because of my weird schedule), so it's nice to write my posts during the weekend (or during lunch breaks) and then not have to worry about them. I also keep a running list of post ideas!

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    1. Thanks, Leah! Same here, and I mentioned in a previous comment that it took me a REALLY long time to get to a point that I would pre-schedule. Not sure why. It's definitely a life saver when work and life in general are crazy.

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  9. Andi, we are on the same wavelength! It's like you got in my head. I luuuuuuuuurve my editorial calendar plugin thingie- it helps me see what I have scheduled and what I don't. I wish I could operate more than a week out, but I think there's a limit to how organized I'm capable of being.

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    1. Yeah, girl! I am envious of your plug-in. That's one of the cool things about Wordpress that doesn't float on Blogger so much. :( And I rarely get more than a week out. Sometimes two. But not often.

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  10. I do a variation of 2. - I keep a drafts folder in my email program where I jot down ideas, bits about books, etc.
    As for days of the week, I've stopped paying attention. If I feel like writing on Saturday, I will. :<)

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    1. I hear ya, Nan. For me it was a logical choice to ditch weekends on the whole because my fiance is always up here, and that's "catch up" time when my son is with his dad. But occasionally I'll find a recipe I want to share via Weekend Cooking or feel the itch to do a Sunday Salon post. It's all about mood. :)

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  11. I love being able to write the posts in advance and schedule them, and then not have to think about them. I also keep ideas in a notebook, but sometimes as draft posts, if they are something both me and my coblogger will use soon.

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    1. Amen, Julie! Writing them and then forgetting about them is a great thing. lol

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  12. I have templates that I reuse for various posts...I have a Sunday Salon template, a basic Review template and then one that includes a giveaway option.

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    1. That is a GREAT idea! I'd never really thought about it.

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  13. I'm in the biggest of blogging funks, pre-scheduling posts would probably help - instead of sitting down after I put the kids to be and having to write a post.

    I do keep a running list of potential idea drafts though - love that suggestion.

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    1. Awww, I'm sorry you're feeling funky, Rory. I know I am completely incapable of posting at night when I have mom responsibilities, so I had to come up with another way.

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  14. Great tips! I remember when I first started out I thought, why would you need to pre-schedule posts on a regular basis? HA!! It wasn't long before that question was smashed to bits!! I need to utilize blocks of time better...I'm already thinking of ways I can do that. Thanks for this post!

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    1. Thanks, Monika! I had a bit of skepticism about pre-scheduling too. Somehow I think I thought it was more "authentic" to blog on the fly. That was just stupid. lol Enjoy your time blocking! It's the only way to go, for me.

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  15. I love this post! I write my posts on the weekends and scheduling them out for the following week is such a time-saver. I definitely believe in doing things in smaller chunks rather than larger chunks because I don't lose motivation and I get more done.

    Throughout the week, I jot down ideas that I might have for future blog posts on my phone so that when I sit down to write my posts over the weekend, I don't have to waste time thinking about potential ideas to write about.

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    1. Thank you, alice-jane! Motivation is key, and if I don't have it, the posts aren't going to write themselves. Utilizing time wisely (and my moods) definitely works better for me.

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  16. Great tips, Andi. As soon as I get out of the current deadline hell, I plan to work out a system that will help me get more posts out. Your list is extremely helpful - it's definitely got me thinking!

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    1. Thanks, Belle! I'm so glad this is helpful for you! Good luck with deadline hell!

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  17. I'm so intrigued by what you said about weekdays/weekends! I have seen the opposite when it comes to posts, maybe not with traffic, but with comments. People might be visiting and reading during the week, but they're commenting on weekends. So I usually save the posts I want a lot of people to see and comment on for the weekends!

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    1. I often wonder if there are groups of readers that "move" in these specific ways. So there's a group of us who do most of our blogging, blog reading, and commenting during the week when we sit down at work to sliiiiiide into the day. Or at lunch. Or whatever. Then there are others who use the open hours on the weekends to do the same. I think this is probably why we see such differing but still noticeable trends that seem to contradict each other.

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  18. Prescheduling and outlining save my LIFE!

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  19. Since I started my blog in late September and then embarked on NaNoWriMo that very November I had to start out pre-scheduling posts, after NaNo was over it took me a little while to stop freaking out because I was running out of pre-scheduled posts. :) Great tips! Thanks!

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    1. LOL, I cannot even imagine trying to juggle NaNoWriMo and blogging. Or anything else, really. I admire you!

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  20. So true! I learned long ago not to worry about writing weekend posts, though I also try not to live and die by stats. I just consider blogging a Monday to Friday venture like my regular full-time job, I guess. :) And I definitely pre-schedule posts whenever possible, even if it's just a day ahead! Makes it feel so much less like a chore. Good tips, Andi!

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    1. Yeah, I'm right there with you, Meg! I've worked really hard on "boundaries" in my everyday life. So that means evenings are for Greyson (no blogging, no blog reading) and weekends are for David right now since that's the only time I see him. It makes blogging a M-F (or Thurs) thing!

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  21. Scheduling posts is so key. I love seeing things pop up on my blog that I admittedly have forgotten about.

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  22. Great suggestions. Oddly enough my most popular day this time round has been Sundays, so I'm trying to put up posts and reviews I really want to hear others' opinions about on Sundays.

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    1. Thanks, Trisha! I do notice things start to pick back up on Sundays, for sure. I love Sunday Salon for that very reason! Extra motivation. lol

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  23. All good tips, I get ahead and schedule and then I get all behind. Lately I've been in a read more then write mode. Things to practice more of I guess

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    1. I definitely get in the "read more than write" mood. But I have a really hard time tearing myself away from work to get any reading done here. So I inevitably end up using work lunch and breaks to write and home time to read. That kinda helped me get into this habit.

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  24. You totally snagged all my suggestions. I'm scheduled about a month in advance these days, I write typically on my lunch break to minimize time spent at home online. I don't usually post on the weekends except for Sunday Salon. I don't stress, and if I don't have anything, then I don't worry about it.

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    1. Haha! Great minds! That's awesome that you're scheduled so far ahead! I am working right now to schedule out (with some help) my wedding week when I'll be super busy. And yes, definitely need to minimize time writing at home. That was one of the motivators that got me into these habits.

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  25. Oh my gosh, I struggle with publishing post regularly! Especially when life gets busy in the fall and winter - so many birthdays fall then, and then the holidays....I have never prewritten a post and scheduled it, though lately I have been thinking that it might be a better way to post during the week more.

    I have come to realize that I have to enjoy posting and writing them as a pleasure to keep me coming back, never mind my readers. Interesting post, enjoyed it, Andi.

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    1. Susan, you might LOVE pre-scheduling! That way you can ride the waves of motivation and inspiration! And it helps take away some of the stress of trying to think of things and write them up. You definitely have to enjoy it. That is #1.

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  26. I absolutely love pre-scheduling posts!

    I take my blogging one week at a time. Next week is looking like a light week because the book I finished today I'm going to hold off on posting the review until the first week of March and I'm too busy to come up with other posts this week. Oh well, such is life at times, right? I need to not stress over it or it will lose it's joy. That's one thing I strive really hard to do is remember this is a hobby.

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    1. Cheers to pre-scheduling! Definitely don't stress if you have less to say. Forcing it never does any good. :)

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  27. I always have these plans to pre-schedule at the weekend, but I just never do it! Thankfully I do't find it takes too long to write posts now, but one day I will get into the routine of scheduling...

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    1. It's funny how the writing gets SO much quicker over the years, right??

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  28. All excellent excellent points. Now can you write a post for "what to do if you just want to read your book instead of blogging about it?" ;) I AM trying to be better--because I DO want to blog--but I operate better when I draft ahead of time and have a few ideas in my back pocket. So here I am during naptime trying to write a post for Saturday. And distracted by all the shiny new blog posts in my feed reader. ;)

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  29. I think I've been hanging out in your head...or you have been living in mine! :)

    I tend to schedule a review post once I start reading the book, so I usually have at least the next week or two scheduled if not written. Utilizing time is key and I think it makes you feel great when you actually get a post or two written!

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  30. Another thing I do is is jot down in a little notebook any inkling of an idea I have for a post or video. I learned the hard way when couldn't remember somethings or the names of the people who asked me questions or suggested a blog post or video. I don't get pressured anymore. I write when I'm inspired to about bookish stuff or teaching/learning English. That works better for me and my posts are a lot better that way.

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  31. I mostly used #2 and #5 and it works pretty well at keeping me going. Mostly I try to remind myself that blogging has to stay fun and I can do what I want with it.

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  32. I love your blogging tips! I try to schedule posts but I need to get better at doing it! I need to be better at utilizing blocks of time, too. I love looking at blogging tip posts! Awesome post!

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  33. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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  34. Thanks Andi, these are good. I pre-schedule one post a week and then if I do more that's great. I think taking as much stress out of reviewing as one can is key. Cheers. http://www.thecuecard.com/

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  35. Thanks for all your help Andi!

    Www.thebrokenshelf.com

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