While I was blogging last weekend, I snapped the above picture for my Project Life daily photo. I often come across people asking how I manage finding time to do anything other than the essentials with a toddler when I am in the office almost 50% of my week days. I have been pretty bad at keeping with a blogging schedule as seen here by the lack of weekly posts. Quite the opposite from what I had originally set out to do earlier this year, but I'm getting back into it now that summer is about to run its course. I thought I'd share some tips on my blogging process as a busy working mom.
Weekdays are 100% focused on work and the essentials. Therefore I have to do everything else during the weekends including managing this blog and my creative endeavors. Since every minute counts, I've devised a bit of a system for more efficient blogging. I think of it as less writing, more living.
- Build a habit and set realistic goals. Figure out how much time will be committed to writing. Learn how long it takes to create a post and then set goals on frequency. I decided that I will only spend 1-2 hours a week to blog posts which means I can realistically only post once a week.
- Plan ahead, create a calendar, and organize your notes in a way that works best for you. When an idea for a blog post is sparked, put it into Evernote or your planner. Use commute time to organize notes on what you want to write, reference, and share. "Pencil in" the calendar with blog topics so you know your goal for each post. I tend to let real life determine my posts so my starting point are photos on my phone. Sometimes you write with intent and the photography follows. Figure out what works best for you and otherwise it'll never stick.
- Put care into content but embrace imperfection. There's no such thing as perfection with a baby, especially when you are doing the job of a photographer, editor, copy writer, copy editor, and graphic designer along the way! Be okay with that but always proof and rely on a checklist to help. I spent an early part of my career proofing marketing collateral and checklists never failed me. Put together a checklist of things you always have to proof such as title, copy, images, videos, links, credits, any legal language, and scheduled launch date.
- Say no. Most importantly know when to work, when to care for the family, when to play (and blog), and when to simply say no to a project or someone who wants your time. Do your best to prioritize.
Here's my process:
- Take photos and videos. I let photos/videos and everyday life inspire my writing topics.
- Evernote is my command center and I start piecing everything together in it during my commute to and from work.
- Determine subject of post. Once I have my photos and topic, related tags and categories come naturally and I add those to my Evernote.
- Prepare an outline of the topic. The basics include an intro to what you're posting, how it can help or benefit others, and why it's important to you.
- Note references, save credits, and clip links.
- Sit down and write! This is the fun part and goes hand in hand with proofing and scheduling.
- Proof and schedule.
Extra tips for blogging from the couch with family: Make sure the babe(s) are independently playing and already occupied. Secondly, set an alarm at exactly 30 and 55 minute markers to keep on track. Lastly, stick to the time you've committed to blogging, no more or less.
About Evernote: I love all of the gorgeous planners out there with crisp planning pages and beautiful handwritten notes. However, this method that once worked so well during my high school and college days has proven ineffective for me as a working mom. Evernote has been a game changer for me. (More about Evernote in a future post.) My best advice is to find the system that works best for you!