Secret Supermum | Finding Time To Blog

Tuesday 23 July 2019

black laptop computer on white tableIf there’s one word that most working mums would pick above all others to describe their life, I’m guessing it would be ‘busy’. 

I’m sure I was busy before trying to combine a full time job with the constant demands of two little humans, but working motherhood has been a steep learning curve in time management, prioritisation and dealing with all consuming waves of mum guilt. Finding the time to run a blog has been a constant factor in all this.

From the outside, it looks simple enough. But the process of writing and editing articles and running solo photo shoots  - never mind all the promotion you could do to increase the reach of your posts - is extremely time consuming.

So, whatever the reason for you feeling super busy - how do you create the time to give to your blog?

Work Out What You Love

Understanding the reasons behind 'why you do what you do' has been critical to me. In the blogger networks I’m a part of, I constantly see people who have set up a blog six months ago and are doing everything right in terms of promotion, but getting frustrated because they aren’t seeing the huge growth in metrics, audience and PR collab opportunities they expected. Their whole reason for getting into blogging is to win followers and opportunities. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

But I had to accept a long time ago that couldn’t be my journey anymore. I simply don’t have time to promote my posts on social networks and tout for followers - and I don’t enjoy that part of it anyway.

I asked myself why I was running a blog at all - the answer is, very simply, that I love to write. 

I’ve written stories in my bedroom since I was a little girl, and I need that creative outlet, especially as my day job moves further away from that. One day perhaps I’ll finally produce a novel, but while the hard work on character and plot development is beyond me, I like the bite-size writing fix my blog gives me.

Knowing that is my driver allows me to just focus on the bits which fulfil me and accept that I can’t chase other bits - as much as I would love to be involved.

Separate Your Tasks

Blogging is a completely blank canvas - there are no set rules that you have to follow. And as exciting as that can be, it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed and unclear where to begin. The secret here for me has been to separate out all the tasks I need to do. These tend to be:

  • Brainstorming content ideas
  • Carrying out topic research
  • Article outlines
  • First draft writing
  • Editing posts
  • Photographing or sourcing imagery
  • Article optimisation and linking
  • Sharing on Instagram (the only platform I am currently using for the blog)

With ten minutes spare here and there, you can seize on these little bits of unoccupied time and use them to tackle one of your tasks. If I’m sat there with my phone, I know I can do a little bit of editing, or line up some Insta captions. And every little helps!

Capture Inspiration

It's the funniest things which can inspire a post, and ideas usually come to you at the most inconvenient times. Never trust your brain to remember these (it's my policy never to trust my brain in general - sleep deprivation is a hell of a drug!).

It's a good idea to keep a notebook to record these flashes of inspiration as they occur. I use OneNote to keep my working and personal life in order, so I created a ‘Blog’ notebook in the app. It includes lists of new post ideas, outlines, photography I need to do, relevant hashtags and a content schedule, so it's all there whenever I need it.

That way I don’t have a handbag full of random Post-It's reading ‘INSTAGLAM!!!’ and ‘Post about mascara thingummybob’ that I can’t decipher after the fact.

woman sitting on brown concrete surface wearing brown boots beside brown leather handbag

Create An Outline

When you’ve just had an idea and are fired up, it can be easy to rattle off an article quickly. But I can guarantee you that if you have to park it and schedule in time to write that post later, you will feel completely blank when you’re staring at that laptop screen.

The formula that works for me to drag inspiration back kicking and screaming is write a very brief post outline. This will generally contain:

  • A title
  • The key question I want to answer
  • Two or three headings
  • Key links
  • A conclusion and links to further content

Having a framework helps me to kick my brain back into gear and begin the process of writing.

Find Your Peak Flow

There are times when the act of writing just seems to happen, seamlessly. And there are other times where you just can’t seem to make it work. I found it very helpful to identify the times when I generally feel  more creative and make sure I can devote some time to my blog then.

There can be sacrifices involved - I get up at 5.30 every morning to make time for everything, it takes me months to get through a Netflix box set because I hardly watch TV, and I often work through my lunch break so I can write a post without losing time with my kids. But I’m happy to do those things because they are worth it to me.

What works for you will be individual, but trying to adapt the time when you feel most creative so that you can write then is key.

Start Where The Energy Is

Not all posts are created equal. When I map out my posts in advance, I’m aiming for a balance of content between my four main categories - lifestyle, fashion, parenting and beauty.

That means that there are some articles I feel very inspired to write and others that I’m writing because I know that people want to see them - and they are all valuable content, but some get me more fired up to write than others. I try to start on those ones that I’m dying to work on, and it creates a momentum that powers me on to all the other posts.

Finding time for blogging is always a challenge if it isn’t your full time job, but with a little forward planning it is manageable.

Do you have any time management tips for bloggers to share?

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