I had a strange relationship with being organized and productive. There were bouts of energy where I worked frantically, slayed every to-do-list and went to bed a happy soul. There were also moments of absolute lull when I delayed things, got no work done and felt absolutely miserable.
When I started blogging I went through a similar phase. As much as I loved writing I couldn’t get myself to write as often I as should have. I was inconsistent with social media. I wasn’t productive and certainly not organized. As you can guess my blog remained stagnant.
What I am trying to say here is if you are really organized as a new blogger it helps your productivity and keeps you motivated.
I understand organization and productivity is relative. You may have no fixed method of doing anything and may still get wonderful results and that’s really okay. Also this is not a blog post where I blow my own trumpet, saying my work system is the best. It’s just an effort on my part to point out my mistakes and really hope you find it useful.
Staying Organized and Productive as a New Blogger
Get things done: I wish someone told me this when I started out. Sometimes it’s better to get things done than strive for perfection.
Blogging is so much fun but also hard work and it’s not just restricted to writing posts. The entire affiliate marketing, SEO, social media, email marketing, photography, plus managing your websites takes a lot of time and effort.
This compilation of small tasks each time you publish a post may overwhelm you if you strive for perfection.
I have ridiculous standards when it comes to my blog posts. I rejected more posts than I have uploaded. This nit-picking when researching for keywords, or designing pretty pins has adversely affected me at times. I would work long hours and complete my posts in twice the time I take now.
This resulted in posts not being uploaded within the deadline. Something I still regret.
I was really being over cautious maybe it’s my first blog and first blog is essentially your baby and everything had to be perfect. But this notion of perfection is an illusion.
Develop your own method: Blogging is a never-ending marathon and it really helps if you have a work schedule in place. When you are systematic you have a better direction to move ahead.
There are countless of time-management strategies you can follow. Maybe you won’t find a foolproof method at first but through trial and error you will find a way.
In the beginning I didn’t realize the importance of having a schedule and moved on randomly from day to day. I posted when I liked but come to understand soon that it doesn’t work that way. For a blogger to be consistent you have to have a schedule.
Treat Your Blog as a Business: Most blogger will tell you to treat your blog as your business and guess what they are right!
Your blog is your business and if you want to expand it you have to be serious about it. But it’s not tough, if you proceed systematically you will see results.
Take note of these points:
- Have fixed hours for working on your blog this includes answering comments, email-marketing and blog promotion as well as engagement with your followers.
- Set some time in a week or a month to brainstorm and track your progress
- Don’t let your blog work encroach your personal time. This is easier said than done I still struggle not to think about my blog all the time, even while I sleep but I try.
Notebooks, Planners and Printables: I am a huge stationery hoarder and planners and printables are my guilty pleasure. But besides my love for stationery items, notebooks, planners and printables have helped me much to remain on track.
I am thorough pen and paper girl. I enjoy putting my thoughts in a clean sheet. It’s therapeutic to me.
How I use these items?
- Planners: There are planners specifically for the blog, on 28th of each month I set-up monthly goals for the blog. Evaluate how far I have progressed. Plan for next month as well as note down ideas for posts in advance.
- There is a planner for tracking my social media. How would my post promotion schedule pan out? How I would promote old posts? And so on.
- Printables are usually used as a hard copy for my blog calendar, weekly social media schedule.
- I also have a printable blogpost checklist (it’s a life-saver), since each post has too many details it’s difficult to remember everything. For example, I almost always forget to add tags so it helps when I have a checklist besides me.
- I also keep are sticky notes (surprise, surprise) for daily and sometimes weekly tasks.
- Notebooks: I love notebooks! And I can’t live without notebooks. Before writing a post I have to jot down the rough idea in a notebook otherwise I can’t write at all. Once that is done I develop the idea in my desktop.
- Whenever I face a writer’s block I instantly start writing in a notebook. It always helps. Besides there are always random ideas and thoughts I am constantly scribbling down.
How Scheduling helps in being Organized
Scheduling: If you want to grow your blog, you need to schedule your posts in advance. There are bloggers who plan months of content in advance.
When you move from post to post it becomes really difficult to maintain the momentum especially if you post twice or thrice a week and like to write in-depth content.
You are most likely to miss your deadline and besides it’s just too much pressure. As I mentioned blogging is not just writing posts after you hit publish you have to promote your posts which consumes so much time.
You also have to engage with your followers, probably send out promotional emails. So these tasks are equally important. Imagine the work load you are dealing with!
How can you use batching to schedule posts?
There are bloggers who use the batching method where they take some time off blogging to write a bunch of blog posts together. This helps them to schedule their content in advance and leaves enough time to promote their content.
So if you are struggling right now between managing your content and social media as well as hundred other things you may find this approach useful. Take some time off and write at least 2-3 weeks worth of content together.
How I used batching?
Last November I had a huge blogging slump owing to poor health and I just didn’t have the motivation to blog. I decided to not to post anything until I felt better.
There some post drafts half written and I decided to complete those just for fun. This idea helped as I wrote without any pressure. I completed a couple of posts and after a month I started uploading.
Meanwhile, my health too recovered and since then I have been writing my posts in advance. It has helped me achieve the consistency I struggled with earlier.
Most importantly, I have time to write and improve my content as well as enjoy the process unlike earlier where I used to frantically cook up a post at the eleventh hour.
Although I don’t have months of content planned, I wish I was this productive, but I have just enough posts in reserve incase I decide to take a break or probably go on a holiday.
Automate Social Media: If you are not using automation tools to promote blog posts you must start using these now. These tools will save you ton of time and allow the time for active engagement and plan your promotion strategy.
For Twitter and Facebook I rely on Buffer while with Pinterest, Tailwind has been an amazing tool.
If you aren’t using tailwind you must consider using it. Pinterest is a visual search engine and has the potential of bringing a ton of traffic to your website. But manual pinning is not possible always so Tailwind comes to your rescue.
There are both monthly and annual plans. I would say go for the annual plan you can schedule unlimited pins as well as your Instagram posts too.
You can use this link to avail $15 discount when you sign up. It’s my referral link but I genuinely feel its an investment worth making.
How to Organize your Blog Work
Distraction free work: This was something struggled with. I was easily distracted and remained in the rabbit hole of Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms.
It ate up my time and added to the frustration. These days I have a fixed time for writing posts and I don’t keep my phone near me. I just shut myself in a room and zone out everything and focus on what needs to be done.
If you also face this, try this method find someplace quiet and distraction-free and get on with your work.
Priortise: When you sort out tasks on basis of priority you will have a better control over your business.
There are so many things piling up each day when you are maintaining your website. Some of these things may be urgent while other tasks can be attended later also.
A distinction between important and unimportant tasks will help you to focus on what needs to be done immediately.
Time Blocking: After you are done sorting your tasks on basis of priority, I would also suggest you set a time-limit for each task. It helps a lot!
A lot of bloggers advice this since it is helps you to be focused and productive.
I am easily distracted so I set a time-limit for tasks. I should also add here that when it comes to the blog I don’t have more than 3 tasks scheduled for the day. It then becomes easier to focus and complete each task within the time-limit.
Labeling: An important part of being an organized blogger is also to keep your files, folders and images organized. You might want to create separate files for monthly goals. Have a folder for your blog posts as well as images. This way you will save you so much time in case you need to reuse an image or refer to an article.
However, I prefer to keep my files and folders to the minimum. Personally for me too much labeling creates confusion.
Evaluate daily: At the end of each day make it a habit to check your to-do list to see how much you have actually done in one day.
Sometimes we jam-pack our schedule but fail to factor in the fatigue. Our brain is not designed to multi-task and more tasks in your list increases the risk of mistakes.
Don’t compare yourself to others: When you are just starting out patience is the key. Most bloggers who earn full-time now have worked really hard to grow their blogs. There is no point in comparing yourself to them.
In fact don’t compare yourself to anyone. You have your own USP and intuition, trust that.
I really hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please leave your thoughts below. Do you have some additional tips? Do share!