Over the last 6 months I’ve learned a lot from blogging. I’ve investigated ways in which other bloggers generate and socialse their content, as well as reading marketing and PR guidance on the best practices on how to gain reach, and brand to client interaction and such.
This information goes in, and is extremely vital to getting your head around how the whole blogging and influencer lifestyle works, however I’ve found that instead of trying to be regimented to the “guidelines”, I gained more success by churning out all of the knowledge into my own little recipe that works for me. What’s right for ‘saysallymay’.
So I have to work on my website, content creation, and socialisng, all around a full time and unrelated career. At first I had no idea how to juggle everything, because as you know, to BE noticed and generate a following, you need to be as consistent as possible with your target audience and activity.
As my content quality improved, along with securing and knowing the niche I was most comfortable with, I just needed to keep it up and push out new stuff on a regular basis.
How did I do this?
At first? Badly. I didn’t know when best to post, I didn’t always stay true to my blogging schedule, and I was just sometimes too darn lazy. It was a mess. How did I overcome this? Here’s my self help guide to “getting in gear”:
One of the first things was to: Make myself feel important. I wasn’t keeping track of my goals, and therefore needed to write them down. To encourage myself to do this, I bought myself a nice little selection of brand new “blogging stationery”, note cards, a planner, and a whole load of stickers.
Right on unprompted cue actually, this morning I received a delivery from Toad Diaries! This little team of creative folk got in touch from #Bloggersball, and generously passed a few of us who wanted them a sample (well..an ACTUAL thing) of their personalised diaries and planners!
I opted for a “Hardback, 24 Months, A5, UK Journal, with an Ice Cream cover design, with a weekly planner per page, and lined notes”. You can choose from all kinds of cover designs though, and even add your own text to the front and back. Lovely idea! Just take a look at the range. You can go hardback like me, or spiral bound. Lots of options.
Pretty little thing. This one retails as around £17.94 after tax. There’s a whole bunch of room in here for me to scribble stuff down in, and because it has no dates printed in it, I don’t have to leave any sections blank for any months I’ve already missed this yeah! Go straight here to start playing around with the customisation tool, and let me know what your favourite combos are!
The checklist that works for me:
- Socialise. Socialise. Socialise! Chatting with brands and other bloggers build motivation, inspiration, and can do wonders for self esteem. Chatting more with my audience made me feel determined and “good enough” to deliver what they would get excited about.
- Socialise some more! I signed up for every gosh darn blogging event I could, and wiggled my way in to help out with anything I could to gain more experience points and inspiration. Also, that kind of thing generates automatic content! Amazing!
- Go crazy with Hootesuite. That’s right….I’m a scheduler now. My major posts new in each week go onto Hootesuite, to be automatically posted onto twitter throughout the day. Not very often, not spammy, and always personally written and jigged around with in terms of visuals each time, but just enough to show people “I’m still here!”, whilst I’m at work.
- Set a time in each day to do a specific blogging related task. This might sound a bit like school, but keeping a timetable of a structured plan of action, keeping it the same for each day in the week, really ramps up the auto-pilot mode, and gets you into a routine that would feel weird to break…
My personal routine:
So I’m going to share with you my very simple “timetable” during the week, and how this fits in with my day job:
- 7:30am : Emails. I have half an hour before my carpool arrives. It’s time to get back to brands, and reply to PR and Marketing people, as well as send out emails across to anyone or anythingcatching my eye throughout the week, which might need blogger and influencer involvment from someone like me. I should absolutely point out that I don’t get paid by companies for any promotional work I do for them, and never accept or request representation of a brand who doesn’t fit in with my niche. That’s very, very important.
- 8:00am-9:00am : I like to say good morning to my twitter followers, and interact a little with a few retweets of my favourite blogger’s posts and so on. It’s cute, and makes me smile what people say and stuff. This is done whilst I’m on my way to work in the car.
- 12:50pm-1:00pm : First scheduled Hootesuite blog post will go out.
- 1:00pm–2:00pm : I draft up some blog posts during my work lunch hour.
- 4:30pm(ish) : Second scheduled Hootesuite blog post will go out. I’ll respond to any twitter comments here, during a tea break.
- 5:30pm–6:30pm : Twitter chatting and email responding whilst on my way home in the car.
- 7:30pm : Optional evening Hootesuite blog post will go out.
- 9:00pm–10:00pm : Throw some visuals into my drafted blog posts sitting waiting standby for launching. Wrap up the posts with the right tagging and stuff. Plan the next day’s blog.
- 10:00pm : Optional goodnight chatter on twitter.
- 10:30pm–11:00pm : Reply to any missed, or further received PR, Marketing, or Blogger related emails.
- 11:00pm+ : I’m hopefully asleep.
And that’s my secret to keeping on track. Without this kind of structure to keep me kicked up the backside, I feel like I perhaps wouldn’t have experienced the amount of growth and recognition that I’ve so gratefully received over the last few months, so I really do highly recommend thinking of similar ways to set your goals, and keep on target.
How do you keep the pace with blogging if you have other distractions in life?