Beth Parnell writes her blog Dotty Dishes alongside running her own music PR agency which means she isn’t just good at managing her time – she’s an expert! From creating an image bank to keeping a social media routine, Beth shares with the IBA Blog her top tips for on how to manage your time as a blogger…
Being a blogger can be a hobby or it can your part-time or full-time job, but whatever it is for you, your time will always need managing and it can be hard to fit it all in. Personally, my lifestyle blog, Dotty Dishes, is my hobby and part-time job, and alongside running my own Music PR Agency, my to-do list is pretty never-ending!
As a blogger, we have multiple job roles. We are content creators, writers, stylists, photographers and videographers, designers, social media and SEO specialists and much more. On top of that, we have to keep on top of emails, reply to social media comments and messages, manage admin and accounts and attend events and meetings… the list could go on! It sounds exhausting doesn’t it?! But in a fun way I hope, as being a blogger really is great.
Fun aside, it takes organisation to get all of this done. And if you’re not in control, that’s when you start to get stressed, mistakes happen and the content you’re putting out into the world isn’t you’re best. Through improving my own time management, I have some clever tips that can help you keep on top of your blog and they’re all easy to implement into your routine for the future.
Take Images in Advance
On bright days with the perfect light, take more images than you need for your latest blog or Instagram post. This way you have an ‘image bank’ and can roll the images out when you might be struggling for other content, making sure the imagery is still up to standard. If photography is not really your thing and you struggle with it, hire a photographer to take lots of images for you that you can keep on file. You might want to, but you don’t always have to do everything yourself and it’s not cheating asking for help and utilising someone else’s skills that are better for the job at hand!
Keep a Social Media Routine that Works for You
Whether morning or night, working out what time is the best time of day for you to post is one of the most important things you can do to manage your time as a blogger. Use insights on your social media profiles to work out when your posts get the most engagement and stick to a routine. In terms of Instagram in particular, your followers will know if you post at 7am in the morning or 8pm at night and will look out for your posts, so it’s important to keep to a schedule. Don’t compare yourself to someone who posts twice a day on Instagram, when you can only post once, as it’s best to make social media work for you and stick with it.
Schedulers are great as they will take the stress out of posting when time is not on your side and can even automatically post for you. You can plan out a social media strategy week by week when you have some free time and then that’s a big part of your weekly to-do list ticked off. It also helps you to not forget to publicise that latest blog post to your followers.
I particularly like to use schedulers for Pinterest and Instagram and personally use Tailwind for Pinterest and Buffer for Instagram. I love Pinterest but find it hard to make time for it every day so instead, spend an hour or two each week scheduling pins to go out via Tailwind, which means they’re also visible to people at the best times each day so it’s win-win! IFTTT is a great app for scheduling posts to Facebook and Twitter also.
Plan Blog Content in Advance
On the scheduling front, it’s best to think in advance for your blog too, but rather than weekly, it’s really beneficial to think about what you’re going to be writing month by month. So, if you post once a week, what four posts are you going to be posting in each October, November and December? This is a great strategy to stop you getting into a creative rut and it also gives you time to plan content around any relevant themes or seasons. For example, people are going to want to start reading about how to decorate their home for Christmas or what the best party dresses are in November, not the week before Christmas.
Aswell as a good old notebook and pen to make lists (which is something I’m still a big fan of), there are tools such as Trello or Evernote, which are great for putting digital content schedules together.
Keep your Blog Posts Regular
This is something which comes as a direct result of planning out your content, as you know what you need to write, photograph and research when. If you only have time to post once a week, then that’s what you should do. It’s best not over-exert yourself as then you don’t keep to a routine and it’s good to have a set day that you post, so that your readers and followers know when to expect new content from you. So, if you want to post on a Wednesday, then keep Monday’s free to finish the blog post and schedule social media around it.
Comparison with other bloggers can often make you doubt yourself, but don’t worry if someone else is posting four times a week, treat your blog as YOURS and do what YOU think and only what YOU can handle.