If someone asked what you need to make blogging easier, what would your answer be?
One of The SITS Girls asked her readers what they felt was the most difficult aspect of blogging. She expected answers relevant to how to grow readership, and instead she received answers about how to increase time.
Her response to those bloggers was, “I forgot that some of you are actually still sleeping out there!”
My recent post Warning: Your 24 Hour Day is Shrinking seems to have struck a chord with readers. Since its publication, I have received comments like this:
NO matter what you do, no matter how organized you are, and your suggestions are perfectly valid, but it’s never going to MAKE you time. It will never add minutes to your day…
How do you follow blogs, keep up with reading…?
…I am starting to feel ridiculously overwhelmed. I am happy if I get 10 comments on a post, and can engage a little with each of those people. But where do you find time to visit the pages of 50, 60, 100 other bloggers? I see this list of recent posts in my inbox (they get emailed to me) and want to read so many of them….but I have a job, two children, my own blog, a book to promote, food to be shopped for and cooked, an overseas move to organise, bills to pay, the garage to call……aaaagh, am starting to wonder if I need to duck out of blogging altogether as I don’t seem to be able to do it right.
How to Blog and Still Find Time for the Rest of Your Life
I have broken up the blogging tasks over the seven-day week. Since I work outside the home, this ensures all the tasks get done in the course of a week, even if they don’t get accomplished every day.
On Sunday, when I wake up, I promote the post I wrote the night before that published at 2:00 am Sunday morning.
I greet guests who came to my Linky party the week before. I have a comment schedule that I use to respond to commenters.
I also set up Monday’s Inspire Me Monday Linky Party and choose the two most inspirational posts from the previous Monday.
I respond to commenters and greet visitors to my blog.
Since my blog publishes on Tuesday, I write Tuesday’s blog post on Monday and preschedule it for publication at 2:00 am Tuesday morning. I also like to network at the Daily Post Community Pool.
Before I leave for work, I preschedule my new post on Twitter using Hootsuite.
I like to leave early enough to beat the traffic, so when I get to work, before it starts, using my smartphone, I post my link in Facebook and Google+ groups. I pay for a data package, so I am not using my work’s Internet.
I go to Linky parties that I have been invited to. Since people support me by coming to my Linky party, I like to return the blog love and support them. Besides, I have made great contacts through networking, so I try to visit other parties.
I have an Email list of bloggers who have visited Reflections before but don’t follow my blog. On Tuesday, I set up my MailChimp Email and preschedule it to go out at 2:00 am Wednesday morning. The bloggers on the East coast can wake up to my Email that week apprising them that the Linky party is going to close the next morning in case they still want to attend. Since they don’t follow my blog, they won’t be notified about it otherwise.
Since my blog doesn’t publish on Wednesday, I am free to write a guest post for another blog on Tuesday. I have heard it is a great way to get new readers, and my experience so far proves this is true.
I also respond to comments I’ve received since Sunday. I also try to network with other visitors to my blog since then.
On Thursdays, I reblog another blogger’s post. People have been so supportive of my writing by reblogging my posts, this is my way of giving back to a supportive community. Therefore, on Wednesday, I select Thursday’s reblog, and write my introductory comments as to why I chose the post for my readers. I call this series Reblog Thursdays.
Since I am not writing my own material to publish the next day, I have time to greet visitors to my blog and network by going to visit their blogs.
My husband and I generally catch up on our TV watching by watching shows we’ve recorded that aired while I was blogging the rest of the week.
I will promote Reblog Thursday‘s post the way I promoted the post I wrote on Monday.
Reflections does not publish on Friday. Since I am not writing an original post, I have time to perfect the guest post I started on Tuesday.
I also answer comments, greet visitors to my blog, and network by going to their blogs.
My husband and I go out to dinner. I have to make sure I still pay attention to other important aspects of my life besides blogging.
When I return from dinner, I write my Saturday post and preschedule it for 2:00 am.
I stay up to midnight since the SITS Girls have a very popular Linky party. In order to receive maximum traffic from the party, I try to be the first one to post my link.
When I am done blogging, I preschedule my blog to post on Twitter the next day using Hootsuite.
When I wake up, I greet visitors and reply to comments.
I also post my link to the post I wrote the night before on Facebook and Google+.
There are ways to use Hootsuite to do this, but so far I have only used Hootsuite to post my link on Twitter.
In the evening, generally after social plans (it is Saturday night, after all), I write and preschedule Sunday’s blog post.
I clean out my Email inbox every two hours. While I realize there are apps that can help me with this, I haven’t taken advantage of them just yet.
In conclusion, if you stay regimented, all the necessary tasks to successful blogging will get done every week even if they don’t get done every day.
In Do You Make These Three Blogging Mistakes? I wrote about the importance of responding to commenters in a timely manner. With this schedule, the commenters don’t go more than two days waiting for a reply from you.
What is important is finding a balance between your blogging life and the rest of your life. If you can’t find a balance at first, try to tweak your schedule until you find one that works for you.
Readers, if you think others could benefit from this suggested schedule, please share.
What do you do to find time for blogging and still have time for life outside of the Blogosphere? Is there a schedule that works for you that you can recommend in the comments section? I look forward to your views.