Any blogger will tell you that blogging takes up so much more time than they expected it would. It’s basically like having a second job, for which you either don’t get paid, or get paid very little. (Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but don’t count on being one of them.) Over several years and a few different blogs, I’ve developed a few tricks to keep myself organized, save myself time, and prevent blogging from feeling too much like an obligation. Sure, it’s work – and sometimes it definitely feels like it – but there are things you can do to keep it fun and keep yourself motivated. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Schedule Your Posts Ahead of Time
I cannot emphasize this enough. Trust me. Even though I’m not always great about this, I try to have posts scheduled at least a few days early, because then I don’t have to worry about them. They’re completely done. It also prevents that “crap, I haven’t posted something in a while, what should I write?” crisis. Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. But scheduling posts ahead of time can prevent some of that panic. And it will make your life easier to know that you have this set of posts done and you can focus on other things. It’s also very helpful when you know you have plans. For example, this post was written ahead of time because I knew this week would be pretty crazy at work. Guess what? Now I don’t have to come home and blog – my posts are already done for the week. (With the exception of Friday’s because I have no idea what I want to put on my December TBR.)
Plan the Posts You Want to Write
I use a bullet journal specifically for this purpose (that post is coming soon, I swear). I have all of my reading and blogging information all in one place, and I can see what posts I want to post in the near future, what I’ve already written, and what posts I need to write. I am pretty flexible with the schedule, I sometimes move posts to different dates, or rearrange my week. But it’s always good to have a reminder that I need to write my blog haul every month, or what day my monthly wrap up will fall on. I’ve also gotten in the habit of allowing myself time to work on more challenging posts, so I don’t have to write them all in one sitting the night before they go up, because I know when I want to post them.
Give Yourself a Break
This one took me far too long to learn. If you don’t feel like blogging, just don’t do it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to blog every day or have a certain number of posts up each week. Your writing will suffer for it, and so will you. Make blogging something you enjoy doing, and don’t freak out when your daily views are down because you haven’t posted anything in a day or two (I know it’s hard, but you can do it). This is also where scheduling posts comes in handy – you can afford to take time off, stress-free, if you have a post or two ready to go up. But it’s okay to take breaks, it’s okay if you lose a follower or two, and it’s okay to make your own mental health a priority over blogging.
Accept That It Will Take Time to Become “Successful”
Whatever your blogging goals are, it’s going to take time to get there. You are not going to be getting review requests from publishers a month in, or make any sort of revenue for a good long while (or ever) unless you’re actively selling a product. It took me more than two years to start receiving review requests from major publishers, and, three years in, I make about a dollar a month through affiliate links (yay, I can buy two coffees a year!). Granted, if you put in the work and have original posts, this could happen much more quickly for you than it did for me. But if you’re expecting blogging to pay for grad school, maybe find a Plan B.
Make It Fun
Write about what you like. DON’T write about something you think will make you money or get you more followers. Readers can tell, I promise, and you’ll be miserable writing it. Think about blogging as a hobby, not a job. If it turns into a job one day, that’s amazing. But don’t approach it that way. If you don’t feel passionate about what you’re writing, stop. It may be hard to believe, but I once ran a relatively successful blog about nail art, and one day, I decided I would rather be reading than spending an hour a day painting my nails. So I did. And I’m happier now than I was in the last few months of pushing through that blog. Even though I had a ton of fun writing it in the beginning. If you change, your blog can change with you. And it should never feel like a chore.
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get another installment of Book Blogging for Beginners up! I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions or tips you’d like so share, comment down below.