Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to I Find Time For Blogging

I have two young children and a full time career.  People often ask me, where do I find the time to blog, fold origami, work on my side businesses, so on and so forth…

The fact is, we all have the time.  It’s all a matter of priorities.  People on average watch 4 hours of television a day, go out partying with their friends or just sleep in late on a Sunday morning.  My priority is my family and part of that is ensuring I work hard at my day job to support them.  I’m far from the stereotypical “Super Mom”.  I hate the mundane housework.  My husband does the majority of the cooking and I do much of the cleaning.  My house if far from spotless and there’s always some disorganization.  I should be folding clothes right now, but I’m instead writing a blog post because that’s more enjoyable. 

Blogging every day is not an option. 

What is my secret?   I actually write postings and schedule them.  The elaborate posts might be one I wrote weeks ago.    When I do write a spur of the moment entry, I push out a scheduled one so my impromptu one can take its place.  The real challenge for me is to figure out what to write about when I do put aside the time.  I’m sure you noticed already that the the quality of some of my post varies.  I try to spend time writing on the topics that I feel that’s import like my business advice or my rare how-to.  

Here’s what I do, I hope it’s helpful for you:

Set realistic targets

I try to post once or twice a month a high quality post. My ultimate goal is once a week.  These posts to give my insight or advice to something many of us experience. The reason is that when I check my stats and analytics, those are the topics that gets the highest number of views and as with everyone’s purpose to having a blog in the first place, is to increase readership.

For you, it might be everyday, or 3 times a week, it’s up to you.  If your life doesn’t allow you to post that many in a week then don’t.

The rest of my posts are more general, but again, that’s realistic for me.  My readers seem enjoy the more light hearted posts too and it works for them!

What can you be consistent on?

There are blogs who have regular features like a “Wordless Wednesday” or “Friday Fun” or some sort of news highlight every Monday.  That works great for the regular and daily writer. My schedule doesn’t allow it but I wanted to have a some consistent theme but couldn’t figure out what. Someone recently told me they love my completely random photo series and I just only thought of that a few weeks ago.  Before children, I used to seek out a funny picture or sign and email photos to my friends.  Then thought, why not post them on my blog?  I tried that and in the end I created a new blog for those series all together called Completely Random Photos.

Stop feeling Blog Guilt

I’m sure many bloggers feel a small amount a guilt when they realized they haven’t posted for awhile.  I started to feel guilty when I had to neglect my blog late last year before I learned how to schedule the posts.  I realized that was silly, blogging is not my day job.  There is one blog I really enjoyed but she stopped posting for 4 months.  It was probably due to her upcoming wedding she mentioned.  About a month or so after the wedding month, she showed up on my RSS feeds again.  The best part, she just started to post where she left off and she never apologized for having a life.

Collect ideas

I find it easier to find topics for my West Coast Origami one because it’s very specific; crafts and creativity and Etsy has many creative people to feature.

For Cindy Ho Designs, it’s meant for business ideas, my business and as you notice, many personal entries.  My mind is cluttered with many potential topics but of course no time to write them all.  Instead, I have dozens of topic ideas sitting in draft on my blogs. No content, just many titles.  This way, when I do have writer’s block, I have ideas that I can pick and begin elaborating. 

Just write

People wonder how I write my longer posts.  I actually find it every difficult.  As a business person, I’m forced to ensure my emails are professional and tend to over think when writing.  I was like this when I first started blogging.  Then a friend of mine gave me time saving advice, just write.  This way you get your main idea down and then go back and edit for your audience.  This is a huge time saver.  I found my writing time was cut in half.

I hope this is helpful to you.  I still find it difficult to find time to write, but one thing for sure, I’m writing this during my children’s nap time, maybe a few weeks ago, and I scheduled post.

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