Saturday, 14 May 2011

Blogging for Busy People

first, a nice serene picture to make us all feel calm. This post was supposed to go up on Thursday, but thanks to blogger's little issues never quite made it!

Blogging takes a lot of time. You know this, I know this, and though I suspect people who have never blogged before think we can dash off a blog post in a few minutes, somewhere between painting our toe nails and heading out for cupcakes, alas the truth is rather less fun.

Whenever I have a really busy week, like the last couple, part of me wonders how I have managed to keep blogging so regularly, for so long. Or how anyone does to be honest. It's true I've had breaks, but I've always come back to my blog because I really do love it.

So when I was on the train home from yet another late night at the office I started thinking about how to better fit my blog into my life, even when the going gets tough. I came up with a few of my own blogging strategies, some which I use now and some which I still need to work on.

1. Use Dead Time
My commute is usually about an hour each way, and it's the perfect time for reading blogs on my phone, leaving comments, or just updating twitter. I also travel down from London to Oxford quite regularly to visit my boyfriend and longer train journeys are perfect for drafting blog posts, or brainstorming new ideas.

2. Make a Plan
Sunday evenings are almost always devoted to blogging. I like to set out a vague plan of what I am going to blog about during the week. If I can set out in advance what I'm going to be blogging about, I find actually getting down to writing the post flows much more easily.

3. Spread your posts out
Some weeks I have loads to say, and other weeks I get a major case of blogger block. I try to stick to a one-topic-per-post rule in my blog, to spread out the good ideas, rather than posting them all at once and then having nothing more to say for a week! That's not to say I don't love reading long blog posts covering several different topics, although I then end up writing long rambly comments because I have so much to reply in return!

4. Get up early
This is one habit I blame Jen from A Little Bird Told Me for! Sometimes when I don't have time to take an outfit photo at the weekend I just have to bite the bullet, get up extra early, and take it in the morning before work. These are the photos I'm usually looking extra sleepy in!

5. Set aside time to reply to comments
For me commenting is just as important a part of blogging as writing my own blog. I always try to set aside time at least once a week to reply to the comments I've received, and comment on all my favourite blogs. If I don't plan to sit down and write some comments it tends to get left by the wayside and I would hate for that to happen.

6. Incorporate your life into blogging
I carry my camera around with me as often as possible, and take loads of photos. A lot of them don't end up on here but often if I'm out for dinner or going somewhere in particular you lot will here about it soon after! My favourite blogs are ones in which you really get to know the blogger, and what they're up to from day to day, so that's what I try to put into my own blog.

So these are my blogging tips for busy people, I'd love to hear any you have for fitting blogging into a busy life?


Jo said...

Definitely a great bit of advice! I had no idea that blogging would take up so much when I began!


Ania Alonso said...

I like it!

Chuck said...

Sensible stuff. I'm a bit nervous about the transition from student blogger to real life worker blogger. Will bookmark this for then. x

Chloe Likes To Talk said...

All very true, and very good advice. If I have big shifts (like moving from uni back to working etc) it tends to take me a while to find my feet in terms of fitting in the blog with life, but as your rightly say, it's about making it work with everything and finding the times that are going to work for you.

Scheduled posting seems to be a bit of a dirty words amongst bloggers, but I love it. Like you, I often have 2 or 3 post ideas at once, so being able to get them all written, and schedule them through a week is a massive help, particularly now whilst I'm up to my eyeballs with finals. IT doesn't mean I care any less about the blog, the people reading or my content, it's just a way of remembering everything and spreading it a bit better.

As for commenting- see above for rambly comment response! But seriously, I think commenting is what gives blogging it's community and I try to make sure I leave good comments- if I have nothing decent to add, I'd rather leave nothing at all.

Dree said...

I love these tips. I especially like how you set aside time to draft ideas on Sundays - I think I'm going to have to do that when I'm back at school/working. And I need to incorporate more of my life into the blog, once I'm back to having one again! Have a great weekend! ♥

Penny said...

i think the most valuable advice of all is the one about taking advantage of dead times- me too i use my frequent travels in virgin trains to process pictures and read blogs- also it is my 15minute break between studying hours ;)

Susie said...

These are really great tips, Harriet! I definitely try to set aside time to blog and to comment on other people's blogs/respond to comments. Most of my posts tend to me spontaneous--I never really have a plan for what I am going to post during the week, would probably cause me a bit less stress if I did though! xoxox

Sherin said...

Great tips. I often wonder how I managed while I still had a job!
Planning is a great idea. I often plan a week or so in advance, and the last tip is fantastic.

Shopgirl said...

Some great tips there Harriet! I have found that planning posts is definitely the way to go - I have my weekly posts pretty planned out and can schedule some for a week in advance.


PinkBow said...

I love this post, it's always interesting (& motivating) to hear others' tips.

Kat said...

Oh wow these are such great tips, I shall have to start incorporating them into my blogging life! 2 jobs & 6 day weeks makes it hard sometimes!


Kat said...

p.s lovely to meet you to! So nice meeting other bloggers- was my first proper event and everyone was so welcoming and nice :)


Cherry said...

Good tips, not sure about the getting up extra early one though, hehe!

Sophie said...

Amazing tips! I havn't blog for over a week, just not been managing my time well at all! I feel like i'm living at a million miles an hour recently. Will be using some of these tips!
I am just going though my comments now!

Lil said...

I really struggle with consistency on my blog, so this post is really useful. Thanks a lot!
Also: Im looking forward to saying hi at Aussie boot camp on Saturday!
Lil x

Anonymous said...

hey pretty girl, loved bumping into you the other day and thanks for the email. Will write you soon regarding the event.

I love this post. I def have problem with time, or lack of it esp when it comes to my blogging and you shared some great tips with us.

thanks you ♡

Lauren said...

I miss that dead time on the train. Then I think, well I could just get up early and do whatever ta home! I get so freaked out when I can't find time to comment properly, especially, as I'm following a zillion blogs now but I suppose dealing with 'real life' stuff has to take priority! I'm always grateful for the comments you leave on my blog x

Sophie - Country girl said...

this is really useful advice. Blogging has eaten all my spare time. Where does it go? I have no idea!

Sarah said...

Great post! I agree with everything you've said. I especially agree with making time for commenting, which is always the first thing that slips for me.

I try to fit blogging into my life by being quite strict about my schedule - I really dislike posting on consecutive days, and by having this rule, it means my posts are always spaced out. It also means that if I have lots of content, I can get it up and ready to go, and scheduled. If I have a quiet weekend, I can get 2 weeks worth of blogs done. I normally have at least two posts in my 'to write' list.

I used to take quite long breaks, but I do think that giving myself the challenge of always posting on one day - so for me it's posting a dress on friday - has improved my commitment to my blog. Even when I had no internet access at home I managed to make it happen! It is a challenge though and can take an awful lot of time.

My Hideaway said...

This is a great post! I haven't been blogging as long as you, and I'm still trying to find a way to fit it all in. It really is time consuming! I usually end up working on photos or posts late at night and then not getting enough sleep. I'm trying to work on drafting posts at the weekend and then scheduling them to appear during the week.

Marinka said...

this is a great post thanks for sharing the advice ^^

Anonymous said...

Fab tips!! Setting the alarm earlier will b a bit painful, but such a good idea.


A Girl, A Style said...

Fantastic post! And this is one of my eternal struggles too - with a very demanding full time day job, some weeks I find it SO hard to blog as often as I like.

My tops tips would be:
1) carry a notebook everywhere and like you, use that 'dead' time (travelling, in the doctor's waiting room, etc) to brainstorm ideas for future posts for that month.
2) carry a camera everywhere - you might come across something unexpected that will make a wonderful post, and you'll kick yourself if you can't post it because you didn't bring a camera.
3) Plan posts in advance. I have to sacrifice a bit of social life in order to spend evenings/weekends drafting posts for the week ahead. Where I can't do this, chances are posts don't go up that week!
4) Where you really can't find the time to post a meaningful blog (and not posting is better than posting something useless), be sure to tend to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr feeds - which all keep readers engaged, but which are a lot less time-intensive.

Briony xx