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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

8 tips on How to manage time for blogging... (Despite a day job!)

In 2015, my blog averaged one post every day. In 2016 it was slightly less at about 5 posts a week, but still a large number. I am not claiming numbers mean everything. There’re many other bloggers who have written lesser but more popular/widely read posts. Reason I mentioned numbers is because to me smaller and quicker posts have been more convenient to manage than larger/detailed but less frequent posts. Many bloggers often find it hard to do even one post a week. Many people have asked how I manage time for blogging, despite a day job. In this post, I am explaining how I manage my time and what you can do to get over the time shortage and do decent amount of blogging.

Depending on workload, priorities in life and other factors, not everyone will be able to blog daily, but managing an hour or two once every week or fortnight shouldn't be impossible for anyone, if you follow below listed practices. If you still can't find time, it is largely because you've not taken blogging seriously enough.
A blog post demands time in following ways
1) Time & Effort involved in generating original content-such as traveling to a destination, identifying a new dress or recipe etc. This takes separate time and effort and is very unique to each blogger. I consider out of scope for this post. Time below refers to the scenario where you have some content to blog about but unable find time to put your thoughts together, compose a post and publish.
2) Time needed to formulate a topic and its details
3) Time required to type the actual content, prepare the photos/other supporting stuff and publish the post.

Many get stuck at #2. If you have the topic ideas and key points in mind, typing and publishing won't take too much effort. If you sit in front of computer and wonder what to blog, then you will take forever to complete. My key tip is to formulate a post and related details in your mind during idle time and later, when you have some free computer time, type it in and publish.

Having said that, let us see various ways to make time for a blogpost.

Suggestion 1: Break into smaller topics.
Finding 4-5 hours at a stretch is difficult. But freeing ourselves for 30 min or 1 hour is easier. If I go on a 4 day trip, I will have lots and lots of photos and experience to share. But if I try to cover everything in one post, it would be a very long post and I would need lots of time for the same. Instead, I usually break them up into smaller topics- one post on hotel where we stayed, another on the temples visited, one more on the beach/hill etc. This way, can spend 30 min-1 hour on a topic, write a quick post-like 500 odd words and publish with few relevant photos. Thus when short of time, split and conquer one small topic at a time.

Suggestion 2: Dedicate 1 hour a day for your blog
If you think “I will blog when I get time”, you will never get time. Instead, in your daily schedule, reserve 1 hour for blogging related activities- may be 1 hour before going to bed or 1 hour early morning. This way, you’re consciously aware that this is the blogging time and once you sit in-front of the computer, think of a topic and start typing, ideas are very likely to take shape.

Suggestion 3: Take notes when idle.
Every day, we will have several idle minutes- while stuck in traffic, while waiting in ATM queue, waiting in the mall while your spouse is doing shopping, while waiting for your food to be delivered and so on. During this time, you can ideate blog topics- what to write, what points to cover etc. If you think you can’t remember, carry a notepad or make a note in your mobile. Mobile apps of your blogging platform can come handy. Once you have the ideas and thoughts sorted out, composing a post when you have time in-front of computer is the easier part.

Suggestion 4: Read other blogs
When free, read other blogs. Any good writer must be a good reader first. Reading other blog posts will give you lots of new ideas, perspectives and tips you never thought about. It might make your future blogging simpler and better.

Suggestion 5: Cut time spent on other activities
Analyse your daily routine and see where all you are wasting time that can probably be diverted to blogging. Usually time spent on watching TV, whatsapp, facebook etc are all unproductive. If you can pull out few minutes from each of these, you will have enough time to compose a blogpost. Exit all useless groups and pages, avoid commenting and liking on everything that comes on your timeline, avoid checking the phone after each and every notification beep. Few seconds on each adds-up to several minutes a day.

Suggestion 6: Once in a while, prioritize blogging over other activities
If despite all above steps you are still unable to find time to blog, then it implies you’ve not prioritized blogging enough. May be once in a week, set yourself a priority and target- example- “I will not go to movie this weekend unless I publish this post”, or “I will sleep few hours less tonight, because my blog hasn’t been updated since two weeks” or “The shopping trip to the mall can be done next week also, let me finish my blog post first”. It may be inconvenient to do this, but not impossible.

Suggestion 7: Encourage others to contribute

You don’t have to do all the work all the time. Check if any of your family members are interested in giving a try- say after a trip, let your son/daughter or spouse draft their experience, instead of you doing the same. It will be great experience to them and a new perspective to your readers. You can ask your blogger friends to do guest posts once a while. But be careful while engaging 3rd party guest post writers- they will usually have an hidden agenda of getting a backlink and content is usually monotonous and has very little personal touch.

Suggestion 8: Use easy to generate content.
May be typing a 1000 word post is too time consuming for you. Making a 3 min video might be easier. Or a photo essay is relatively quicker. May be you can take a series of twitter/Instagram updates you did during the trip and weave it into a blog post. Explore these other forms of content and experiment with them. Interviews, listicles, compilation of best posts, quick reviews of thing you are using everyday etc can be tried once a while.

On a related note, there will be situations when you will have time but no idea what to write. I don’t have any magic solution for this, as the topics are unique to your area of interest and specialization. However, if you’re looking for some random ideas to blog about, you can try the following
-    A recent gadget you used/book you’ve read or place you visited- try to review it
-    Browse through your old trip album photos and see if you can think of a decent story
-    Check for topics that are trending on twitter/google search etc and see if you can add something to those topics/discussions by writing about the same topics

Did I miss anything? Do you have more tips or concerns? Do comment.

Happy blogging.
Indian Bloggers

25 comments :

Alok singhal said...

You've said it all! It's more of prioritizing it over other tasks, when you can.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Alok

Reshma Narasing said...

Great tips Srinidhi.I have really admired your consistency in writing posts :) Keep inspiring!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Reshma

Prasad Np said...

So much effort required and yet different companies / brands etc. expect bloggers to promote them for free ..... :P

thanks for the tips on time management

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Prasad- You're welcome

brand part is another topic altogether!

Sharmila Rao said...

great Shrinidhi, I like put one hour and the notes bit, my time is 4 am

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Sharmila Rao- Thanks

Karthik S said...

Loved reading your post. Currently I am myself on a 365 day blog challenge

Karthik S said...

Loved reading your post. Currently I am myself on a 365 day blog challenge

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Karthik. Best wishes

dhiru guri said...

Hope I get to implement some these tips and be regular at blogging this year.

dhiru guri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aravind GJ said...

Very useful tips!!

Sujata Tawde said...

Hi Shrinidhi , I am a regular reader and admirer of your blog. and this post takes the Cake, the Icing and Cherry too. I am going to implement almost all tips. Thanks a Cake+Icing+Cherry .

Mridula said...

And I need to find a way to blog more while traveling. I was better when I was working full time as I did not do as many trips :D

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Good suggestions.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Tomichan- Thanks

@Mridula: Time for you to hire a junior who will do all the writing...

@Sujatha: Thanks for your super kind words

@Aravind: Thanks

@Dhiru- Best wishes

D.Nambiar said...

Shrinidhi, I could use this post. Trying to find time for blogging has become such a struggle for me. You are so right -- thinking 'I'll write when I have that time,' just will not work.

This is a post to bookmark and come back to, every now and then. Thank you.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@DN My pleasure and best wishes

Nisha said...

You've said it all! It's more about prioritizing your time over other things.

I follow some of the tips mentioned here and have 100s of ideas but still words don't flow out. That's what I need to conquer now. And it takes lot more time that you have mentioned.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Nisha- Thanks

Yogi Saraswat said...

Yes ! we should update it regularly . useful post

R Niranjan Das said...

Helpful tips, Shrinidhi.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Niranjan and Yogi