So you’ve been writing your blog for a while now, and you’re starting to grow an audience. PR reps are contacting you, asking if you would do reviews and you have started to make a buck or two, albeit intermittently. But where do you go from here?
How do you keep growing and become a professional blogger (if that’s what your goal is) when your time is already maxed out, and you feel overwhelmed with what you already have on your plate?
Fear, not my bloggy friends! Here I would like to share a few tips that helped me take control & move forward with my blogging.
1. Get Organised
As soon as you have more than a couple of things to do, it is essential that you get & stay organised. When you have different people communicating with you about all kinds of things, with widely differing expectations and deadlines you’ll quickly drown under waves of information unless you get organised. It doesn’t matter if this is an electronic organisation, or good old fashioned pen and paper – just make sure you know exactly what you have going on at all times. My suggested minimums would be:
- Contacts – Keep everyone’s name, company, email, phone number, etc. in one place.
- Calendar -Put every deadline on your calendar, as well as marking out the time it will take you to complete the work
- Work details – Keep all of the details for each job together. Agreed input & outputs, timelines, payment, etc. This way you have one spot to check anything.
2. Treat it like you would any other job
When you were blogging as a hobby, it was OK to leave 12 draft posts waiting for inspiration to strike, to do a bit here and there, fitting it in with everything else in your life. However, once you start trying to build your blog into a business (and that’s exactly what it is if you are making money from it), you will have to take it more seriously. If you want your blog to pay you money you have to be good to it and treat it with the respect it deserves. That means treating it, and yourself as a blogger, with respect.
3. Carve yourself out a Blogging Nook
Not everyone has space for an office or even an office space in another room, but it will make a huge difference to you if you can carve yourself out some kind of space dedicated to your work as a blogger. I have spent many hours sitting on the sofa, watching TV with the family and ‘blogging’ at the same time. While this is okay from time to time, you’ll be amazed at how much you get done and how little time it takes when you have somewhere to go and work instead.
4. Schedule your blogging time
Don’t just try and blog when you have the chance. You are doing your blog & yourself a great disservice by engaging in drive-by blogging. It is not something to be squeezed in quickly between eating dinner and the kid’s bath time. You will get so much more done and will do it to a greater standard if you schedule a specific time when writing for your blog comes first.
5. Don’t waste time if you’re not ‘In the Zone’
You’ve sat down, at your scheduled time, in your special blogging spot and you know that you have to write that killer post for your client by Wednesday and you settle in to write. And stare at the screen. You have no inspiration. None. Your mind is blank. So you check out Facebook & Twitter, pin a few meals that you might try one day on Pinterest and check & recheck your email 12 times an hour. STOP. If you are not able to work – and let’s face it we all have days like that, go and do something else productive instead. Unless you are surfing for research (and admit it, you know you’re not ), you are wasting your valuable time. Take a walk, eat or do the laundry – anything but waste your time.
Finally – you should really be flexible with this advice. If you’ve scheduled writing time and one of the kids is sick – reschedule and work well when things are calm. Remember – you are a professional, you, your blog, your clients and most importantly your readers deserve the best.