Today’s post was graciously written by Amy from the blog Triangle Honeymoon. I fell prey to checking her blog everyday when I learned that similar to myself, she babies her pups like there’s no tomorrow and shares a love of DIY projects. I asked her to give us a rundown of her blog and how she manages to stay so composed when she’s living a life that has so much going on.
Over two months ago Shannon asked if I would be interested in writing an article regarding the DIY blog slash real job balancing act. Of course I jumped at the chance. Having taken about two months to put this information together, I’ve come to realize that perhaps even I don’t have it all figured out. I do have tips though. As a pretty active DIY blogger, who also works full time and overtime in the real world, I have picked up some tricks along the way to help manage the work, the home, the projects, and the posting.
- Find a routine. Try to set aside the same time every day or every week to dedicate to your blog. This doesn’t have to be a long period of time, but just establishing consistency will help keep you on track and motivated. Use this same time for checking comments, replying to reader e-mails, uploading photos etc. My time is the last hour or so before I go to bed each night. I also carry a small notebook with me everywhere so I can jot down ideas for posts and projects as they come to me.
- Make a plan. In addition to needing time to write, I write a blog mostly about DIY. So, I need to save a few hours in every weekend just to work on projects so that I have something to write about. This doesn’t work all the time, but that’s always the plan. Making a list earlier in the week of what you want to accomplish and what supplies will be needed will also save you time. I try to shop for paint or other supplies during my lunch break, or immediately after work, so that come Saturday morning I’m ready to go.
- Establish some structure. Whether you write about DIY, food, or travel, it can be helpful to establish columns or regular features on your blog like “Wine Wednesday” or “Fashion Friday.” It doesn’t mean that you cannot write about other topics on those days or that you have to write these features every week but having some good go-to topics can help you muddle past the inevitable case of writer’s block.
- Use technology to your advantage. You don’t need an iPad in your purse to be an efficient blogger, but using features of your phone or tools of the internet that are already available to you can make an enormous difference in your productivity. The camera phone is a no-brainer. Snap away whenever you’re inspired, and use your regular blogging time to develop posts around those images. Use pinboards on Pinterest to keep track of your upcoming posts and ideas. There are also tons of apps out there that make your life easier if you just find them and use them. I write a lot of posts about Etsy items, eBay items, home décor, paint, etc. Searching an Etsy app over your lunch break and tracking items that speak to you can be an efficient way to avoid the time suck of web surfing for ideas later in the day. Also, get to know your blogging platform well and use the widgets and add-ons that are at your disposal. One of the greatest tools of WordPress that I use almost every day is the scheduling feature for posting. Most of my posts are written over the weekend or in the evening, but I schedule them to post first thing in the morning or in the afternoon when readership is higher but my time is spoken for.
- Get social. If you’ve taken the time to set up a whole website devoted to your business or thoughts on life, I’d imagine that many of you also have Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you don’t, consider adding this to your repertoire. Social media is a great way to keep the conversation going with your readers even when you don’t have the time to sit and write a lengthy blog post. Tweeting photos and small bits of information throughout your day can grow your readership and help those reading feel an even stronger connection to you as a writer.
- Don’t mix your work or life demands with your blog. Use work time for work time, family time for family time and blog time for blog time. As important as it is to set aside time to blog, it’s equally as important to not overdo the blogging. You don’t want to become unproductive from 9-5 simply because you’re obsessed with your blog stats. Remember what pays the bills. And you don’t want to neglect your family or other responsibilities for the same reason. What does this mean? Sometimes you’ll have to say no to someone. It’s bound to happen so go ahead and get comfortable with the idea.
The moral of the story? Compartmentalizing your goals and time is the key to keeping the ship afloat. All of this coming from a girl who took two months to write one post.
Again, a major thanks to Amy from Triangle Honeymoon for writing this post for me. I hope you all learned a little something to help you all with your blogs, I know I did. Please stop by her blog sometime today and leave her some love! Feel free to share any additional tips or tricks below in the comments section!
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