This is the third post in my series on blogging and social media. One question that comes up a lot is “How do you do everything?” the short answer is…I don’t. All the balls I juggle don’t always stay in the air as I hope they would, I’m human. Also, my children are grown so I am no longer chasing toddlers or homeschooling while I blog. Nevertheless, the time management for bloggers tips I am going to share will help anyone wanting to make better use of their time.
Before I share my daily schedule with you, I want to talk about what I see as the major areas that most parent bloggers need to manage, all of which I will touch on in this series.
Today I am going to focus on the task of blogging and over the next few weeks I’ll write about the others so make sure you are subscribed so you won’t miss a single post!
As a full time blogger I am writing 5-10 blog posts a week. I could not do that with out an editorial calendar. After trying many different types of editorial calendars I found out what works best for me. A dry erase calendar and a paper calendar. I print out monthly paper calendars from CalendarLabs.com for 6 months and fill in all of the weekly posts I do (aka Mouse House Monday, Win It Wednesday and Friday’s Recipe posts) I won’t have the exact topic for Monday’s & Wednesday’s posts that far out but at least I know where I stand. Next I decide which weeks are going to have themes and write that in the left margin (Easter, Mother’s Day, Summer Vacation etc). Now I use custom imprinted wall calendars to add in any upcoming sponsored posts, giveaways or series I have committed to writing. Once that is done I add the current month to my dry erase calendar. Each category of post I write is color coded so I can see at a glance what is coming up. This calendar hangs right over my desk so it is always in sight when I am working.
Future Posts PlugIn
A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to Future Posts Calendar plugin for WordPress. It adds a calendar onto your WordPress dashboard so that you can see when you have posts scheduled. It may sound like a silly thing, especially if you have a good editorial calendar but, since I write movie reviews which are often embargoed by the studios until specific dates, sometimes months after I have screened the movie this plugin comes in very handy.
Since you have an editorial calendar, your next step is to break your writing tasks down into individual tasks and schedule them throughout your week. I have tried several to-do apps to organize my blogging tasks but I have found I do best with old fashioned paper and pen. I like to make my weekly to-do list on Sunday so that I can dig in on Monday. You can use a small notebook and put each day on a separate page if you like. I choose to use the FREE printable “This Week” page from The Harmonized House Project. I write in my tasks for each day and I enjoy getting to cross them off as I complete them.
Dedicated Writing Time
What ever your schedule you will get more done if you have dedicated writing time and the whole family knows about it. My dedicated writing time is 11am-1pm M-F. Do I often write other times? Yes. This is not the time to edit photos or do research this is writing time. My “office” is in my bedroom and usually the door is ajar or open but when I am writing the door is closed, my phone is on silent and everyone knows not to bother me unless there is a fire, a death or lots of blood.
Dedicated Planning and Prepping Time
This is the time when I edit photos, create pinnable images, research posts, create outlines etc. If all of my prep work is done then and only then will I use this time for additional writing time.
My schedule probably won’t work for you. I am sharing this so that you can get an idea of how I work in blocks of time to accomplish my goals. Over the next few weeks I’ll be going into more detail about what happens during each part of my schedule.
9:00-10:00am Social Media
10:00-10:30am Breakfast, Facebook games and/or chat room
10:30-11:00am Daily Chores
1:00-2:00pm Social Media
2:00-2:30pm Lunch, Facebook games and/or chat room
2:30-3:00pm Daily Chores
3:00-5:00pm Prep time for posts you will write tomorrow.
5:00-6:00pm Social Media
This is my optimum schedule. Due to other commitments I only follow this schedule in it’s entirety on Monday, Thursday and the first and third Wednesday. The other days I edit it to meet my needs and writing commitments.
I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you have any comments or questions please leave them in the comments for this post. My goal with this Time Management for Bloggers series is to help you be a more efficient parent blogger.