One of my goals this year is to tend this blog and post more regularly. It’s a great love and so important and rejuvenating for me to write and create here. But it gets squeezed out with work, with other life and people priorities and currently, with the joys of renovating!
So I am looking to see how I can make blogging easier and how I can make it less onerous to be here writing, creating, connecting and communicating. What’s the secret?
I’ve been scouting the net for clues and found some great posts full of ideas. I’ve also revisited my own thoughts on this issue.
Some sites that have provided valuable tips:
100 tips and tricks professionals use to make blogging easier
5 tips to make blogging easier
5 techniques and 10 tools for making blogging easier
My post on this previously:
Shorter posts, smaller steps
These sites reinforce that blogging is hard work but that the job can be made easier.
Here is some distilled wisdom from these instructive posts, the strategies of other bloggers I admire and my own experiences:
1. Get organised with your time
Make time to blog and schedule time for planning and writing even if it’s just short grabs of time:
Treat your blogging like a friend. Schedule a regular amount of time where you can completely focus on your blog. It might be 30 mins every Tuesday lunchtime or an hour every second Thursday at 9pm.
from: 5 tips to make blogging easier
Part of this is planning your blog posts and scheduling your time. See Charlie Gilkey’s ‘Productive Flourishing’ for some useful blog planner and calendar tools with tips on how to use them.
2. Collect your thoughts
Make sure you capture those fleeting thoughts that might result in a blog post. Brainstorm, mind map, make notes – find ways to capture those treasures on paper or digitally. It’s amazing how you think will remember something later but you often can’t. The random notes and clipped articles can be a rich source of ideas but you have to catch them and collect them like a bower bird.
A tip from 5 techniques and 10 tools for making blogging easier:
When capturing ideas for a post try to write more than just the title. Also write down the key points of the post. This will make life easier when writing later.
And here’s a really useful post from ‘The Mojo Lab’ on capturing creative ideas.
3. Be organised with the equipment and inputs
Try to be as organised as you can with the inputs: possible imagery, links, quotes, clippings and with the equipment: your computer, printer, browser and apps. It’s amazing how a fabulous idea can become a nightmare time-wise as you try to gather your resources. Some things are beyond our control but being organised with all the supporting technologies and resources can make the process so much easier when the times comes to write.
I find evernote the best for clipping articles, tagging them and making notes. I love feedly for managing online reading and keeping track of favourite posts and bloggers.
See ‘The Mojo Lab’ again for a great toolkit post and tips on all sorts of useful creative inputs and technologies.
4. Don’t make the task bigger than it can be
Yes, this post is getting long! But you don’t always have to write the long, well-researched, extensively redrafted blog piece – though these are important. Don’t defeat yourself mentally before you start. And don’t get hung up on having to write ‘x’ number of words.
In tip 89 of 100 tips and tricks professionals use to make blogging easier we are reminded to:
Chill out about length.
People are always in a tizzy about how long posts should be. It really doesn’t matter. Keep writing til you’re done.
5. Mix it up
Find different ways to blog: quotes, images, photo essays, short pieces, lists, poems, links to what you have discovered or enjoyed. Your blog posts don’t always have to feature lots of words. This is not to under-estimate the time investment and creativity of primarily visual posts or posts that share valued reads on the net – they all take time and care. But just to encourage an attitude of mixing it up so it’s not always writing time intensive pieces that require a lot of research, drafting and editing.
Some of my favourites:
Olivia White’s Sunday Reflections
Susannah Conway’s annual break from writing-focused pieces: The August Break
Tammy Strobel’s beautiful photo essays
6. Be more spontaneous
Try to write from the heart more without feeling that every piece has to be referenced, reworked and crafted over time. Try to learn to write and blog anywhere, not just at your special spot at home.
I am loving Ellen Nightingale’s Choose your own Journey for posts that have a spontaneous feel – coming from the flow of her days and thoughts as a creative working mother.
And I highly recommend Susannah Conway’s Blogging from the Heart e-course for learning about this special skill and art from one who has led and modelled its development, especially in terms of the emotional courage required.
7. Just do it…blog more often
And finally in a somewhat counter-intuitive approach to making blogging easier, Gretchen Rubin suggests do it every day and put yourself in ‘creativity boot camp‘:
Whenever anyone asks me for advice about how to keep up with writing for a blog, I always say: “Post every day.” Although this sounds arduous, many people find, as I do, that weirdly it’s easier to write every day than just a few times a week.
This is sound advice – I can see that the things that slow me down are because of the spaces in between. I am just not organised and it’s like starting over again each time. By being more engaged with blogging on a regular basis, it’s easier to pick up the pieces of all the tips above: capturing ideas, mixing it up, ensuring my systems and processes are up to speed, finding resources and being spontaneous.
I know some of my blogging buddies are working on this right now with Ellen Nightingale working on a 30 day challenge for her blog. And I am so loving the work that she is producing! I’m sure it’s not easy with all that she is juggling but Ellen’s blog is a great example of how engaging in a ‘boot camp’, committed way can result in beautiful outcomes.
So tell me, what makes blogging easier for you?
Would love to hear your tips and experiences! And I have to say this post took the longest time to write, managed to break all its own advice and everything went wrong whilst writing it including a glass shower screen shattering into a million pieces over my head today ( cf the joys of renovating above!) – so yes, a note to self if ever there was one. Would love to hear your thoughts to fuel my journey! Clearly there’s a long way to go!