Whether you're a college student adjusting after a long winter break or a part-time blogger returning to the office post holidays, maintaining a frequent posting schedule is often put on the back burner...and for good reason. When you've suddenly got 3 papers to write or 15 meetings to attend, blogging doesn't seem so important. Not to mention, it's so easy to say, "I'll get around to writing that post tomorrow." But, per usual, life tends to get in the way. Check out these quick tips for maintaining your blog and engaging your readers, no matter how hectic life gets:
1. Invest in a (Blog) Planner - You'll see this one in almost all of my how-to posts. Okay, maybe investing in a blog planner isn't the solution to everything. However, organizing sure is. I don't care if you're planning to maintain your body, your blog or your relationship. Keep track of when you're going to do things and what you've already done. Otherwise you will 1) forget 2) lose track of time or 3) procrastinate. Each possibility lends itself to your avoiding the task at hand and ultimately letting yourself, your blog or your loved one go. Carve out time to work on a post and stick to it.
TBC Tip: I strongly suggest investing in an actual blog planner, not an event planner. Blog planners not only allow you to schedule when you want to work on a post, but provide prompts that assist you in planning out every aspect of your future post. When you know exactly what needs to get done and how you're going to achieve it, you're not wasting any of the time you've set aside for executing the project. Remember that brainstorming and execution of a project are two separate phases and should be treated as such.
2. Queue Your Posts - "Queue your posts" is basically a fancy way of saying "schedule your posts ahead of time." Many hosts allow you to schedule when you want a draft to be published. Once you've scheduled, your site will publish the post on the date you've set automatically. This means that, once you're finished writing, you can take a breath and focus on important non-blog related work, knowing your site is being taken care of. Queuing your posts also allows you to strategize. By setting up and frequently checking Google Analytics, you can find out at what time of day your site gets the most traffic. No worries if you can't get to a computer when your site is at its peak. Just schedule your post to be automatically published for this time to maximize your traffic.
3. Revamp the Roundup - I totally get not having the time to do a full on photoshoot or DIY project, especially in the middle of the semester (or busy season if you're employed full-time). I've found roundups to be particularly helpful in combatting a busy schedule because the only resource required is your computer. This doesn't mean do a half-a** roundup post just to maintain your site. Create a roundup of some of your favorite posts you've read recently and of information you genuinely want to share with others. It should still take up a reasonable amount of time to put together the post, but you don't need to make any purchases or go on any lengthy photoshoots.
The bottom line: Blogging is not easy. In fact, it takes a hell of a lot of work. Creating quality posts is always going to be time consuming, even if you graduate to working on your blog full-time. However, manage your time and you should be able to maintain your site. After all, how often you post is up to you. Set a realistic goal and then use these tips to expedite it. Also keep in mind that quality is always more important than quantity. Even by following these three tricks religiously, there are still going to be a few bumps in the road. Know your limits but also know when to push yourself to keep driving your site traffic and engaging your readers.