Blogging, blogging, and not a moment to spare!
I am responsible for 15+ blogs a week. Some are personal, but the majority of them are professional. While I enjoy being busy and having a job I can from home, I can still become overwhelmed pretty easily without structure. I imagine I am not alone. That said, here are a few tips and tools I use every week. I would love any suggestions you might have, too!
I always blog in advance. Whether I’m going out of town on vacation or my kids get sick, it’s important to get a least a few days ahead (although I am usually a week ahead). While this may seem like too much structure, I find this allows me freedom to take days off as I need or want to. (I am on the 6th book of the Harry Potter series, so days off for reading are a must right now.)
- To keep track of my post needs, ideas, and deadlines, I usually use a free printable calendar. It doesn’t need to be pretty, just functional. I abbreviate all the urls of the blogs I write for and then write that abbreviation on the day that a post should be written in ink. If I have a topic in mind, I pencil it in so I won’t forget. Once I’ve written the post, sometimes weeks in advance, I highlight that post on the calendar to show me I’ve done it.
- In contrast, if you prefer a digital version of my calendar idea, try an editorial calendar as a plug-in. It will serve the same purpose and is less paperwork. Plus, it’s a pretty cool gadget.
- Writer’s block is pretty common, especially if you write for multiple blogs and/or on similar subject matter. I find it works best to write when the ideas are flowing. Sometimes, I have a brilliant moment and 3 or 4 posts flow quite naturally. Other times, I stare at a blank screen in frustration. Rather than waste time, I either switch topics or do something else for a few minutes. That way I might come up with a better idea. Again, writing ahead alleviates a lot of stress in this area.
- I also like to use a sound machine to block distracting noises. Even this free online generator works magic when you need a little noise coverage.
- As for actually generating ideas, I find that personal experiences and conversations with real people are great fodder for realistic, human posts. I carry a little notebook so I can jot down any ideas I have while not at the computer (and then transfer them to my calendar!).
Hopefully, one or two of those ideas will help you as you blog. Remember, I’d love to hear your tips and add them to this list!