Monday Motivation: My Blogging Process8:41 AM
When I decided to get serious about blogging, I didn't really have a routine. I just hopped on my laptop and did whatever I felt like for a few weeks. This left me feeling like I had accomplished nothing in a 6 hour time period. No one really wants to feel like that, right? It took me a while to realize that the key to at-home productivity is within a routine. So, I sat down with my lovely Day Designer planner and wrote down my routine for blogging.
This could almost double as my morning routine, because most of these things start at 9 am, with regular morning activities sprinkled in between. I'll read my emails, then brush my teeth. I'll post a tweet, then start cooking some breakfast (or "fixing" breakfast because lets me real I never wake up and cook). This routine is effective for me because it's shown results. My goal was to get more done in a smaller amount of time. I wanted to end the work day feeling accomplished and satisfied.
1// Check emails + social media: I start here because I can do all this from my phone. My alarm goes off at 7 am, but I'm usually not fully awake until 8 or 8:30. I'll take about 30 minutes to scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Then, I'll head over to my Gmail app and read the emails that came through while I was asleep. I normally wont reply until I'm on my laptop, but if it's a quick response I'll do it from the comfort of my own bed.
2// Post today's blog @ 10:00 am: If I'm productive enough, this will have been scheduled the night before (or TWO days before on a miracle day). I set my posts to schedule then because I know that's when most of my audience is waking up in the summertime. College kids are sleeping in & they'll catch my links on twitter and Facebook around that time. I spread my social media links throughout the day My goal is to tweet 3x a day about a daily post, and pin different photographs on different boards throughout the day. I share my link to Facebook around lunchtime because this is the peak activity hour.
3// Daily reads: If you're part of the Her Campus Blogger Network, you might have seen my post in regards to a 'daily reads' question. I LOVE blogs and I love supporting my fellow bloggers. Reading blogs is half the fun of actually being a blogger. I have a select few that I read daily and subscribe to their newsletters. I like staying up to date on quality blogs that push out great content. I also enjoy personal newsletters, that's why I make mine so personal. If you're a blogger and would like for me to check out your blog, tweet me a link!
4// Write + photograph: This is the nitty gritty of my blogging career. it takes the longest time and is, in my opinion, the most important. You could market your brand all you want, but if you're not processing some baller content, what are you really doing? I have an editorial calendar that is updated through mid September. I try to write one post a day. Once I feel like I've finished that part, I'll start photographing. I almost always stick to my Canon for blog photos. These are what I use for Pinterest, so they need be be top quality. I don't own any artificial lighting, but I did invest in a white blanket for a backdrop, and the "Facetune" app for editing. Best $3.00 purchase of my life.
5// Schedule posts + tweets: Once I've completely finished a post, including proofing, I'll schedule it on the day that is on my editorial calendar. I'm trying very hard to stick to this, but sometimes I'll change it up. For example, my VoxBox came in and I'd like to review it, so I plugged it in early rather than in an empty spot. I also schedule a tweet via Buffer and Zapier. I use Zapier for Facebook as well - anytime a new post goes live, it will automatically post onto my Facebook page + my twitter. I'll use Buffer for picture tweets and other links. Insider Tip: Install the Buffer chrome extension to your browser, and you can automatically add picture tweets to your schedule, extremely similar to the Pinterest chrome extension.
6// Update newsletter: This is my favorite part of the process, which is also why I put it last. I want to end my routine on a fun note! I used to send out RSS updates to my subscribers, but then I noticed my own email habits. I never opened other RSS feed updates, so why would people be opening mine?! I've since then transitioned into a weekly newsletter. It's personal each week, and I update it daily. My newsletter includes a personal letter from myself, a "blogger spotlight" that features other bloggers around the world, and some free stuff. Because I want this to be personal and different each week, I work on a little bit each day. That way I'm not scrambling to create something on Sunday night. My newsletter goes out every Monday morning at 8:00 AM. If you're not subscribed, please consider joining the P&B family!
My advice to both new and old bloggers - develop your own routine. Figure out what you need to get done for the day, and strategically schedule it. My blogging process allows me to get caught up on social media, write, and post daily. What will yours be like?