Life is busy. We all have jobs, social lives, passion projects, errands, chores and a thousand other responsibilities. In addition to what we have planned, there are times when stuff pops up unexpectedly.
SO…if you’re a writer, artist, or any other kind of blogger, it can be difficult to find time to blog on a regular basis. It’s something you enjoy doing, but when time gets tight, it can seem more like a burden than an outlet.
For instance, I happen to be a perfect example at the moment, because I just got a new job!
It’s a great content gig that I love so far. HOWEVER…it’s 40 hours per week, and it actually does not enable me to throw money in everyone’s faces, and it’s in Downtown LA (I live in Long Beach, CA). For anyone who doesn’t know, this is an epic commute.
Taking the blue line Metro train (the crazy people on the train provide great writing material) takes me close to 4 hours, roundtrip. In addition to the time I’m working, this means my weekdays last about 12 hours.
Now, add to that my commitment to finish the final draft of my script by the end of this month, and my hope to start The Artist’s Way very soon. My weekly script-reading goal has already fallen into dire straits.
So how do I find time for blogging? Here are five tips for finding time to post your blog on a weekly basis…
1. Set Goals (and keep them)
Set a handful of specific goals for your blog every week and do not stray from them.
Half the battle is staying focused.
Once you create your goals, or your plan, you’ll sit down to blog and already know exactly what to do. There’s no wasted time pondering what your topic is. Whether you want to do a written post or a video blog, etc. Just plan and follow through.
A good thing to have as part of your plan is a specific day of the week you publish your posts, a chosen day of the week that you work on your posts, and even an exact time when you sit your ass in a chair and do not get up until your blog post is finished.
2. Keep an Idea Book
I actually keep an idea document on my computer. Whenever I get an idea, I pull up this document and add it to an ongoing list. (And I mean whenever. I could be lying in bed, but if I have an idea, I get up and type it in right away.)
Ideas don’t care what you’re up to. They will pop into your head at random and inconvenient times, and if you don’t get them down right away, they’ll squirm out of your grasp later on.
Carrying an actual journal is certainly more conducive to random situations. For me, the Word doc was never a problem, since I worked from home. But now that I’m commuting via train, I’m pretty sure I’ll start keeping a small blog journal on me at all times.
And even though I often look over my list and think how stupid half the ideas are, it still helps. Almost every week, I waste no time staring at my computer wondering what to write about, because there is something viable in the list I keep.
3. Mix Things Up
I think it goes without saying that you should have an interest in your subject matter. But writing about any one topic for an extended period of time can become boring.
Blogging doesn’t necessarily have to be all word content. This has become especially true with expanding digital media access and shrinking attention spans. Spice up your blog with some new material, like a video, a comic strip, some gifs, an interview, a podcast…. Keep yourself interested and excited about what you’re doing.
The beauty of having your own blog is that you can do whatever you want, as long as it’s relevant to your niche. (For instance, I wouldn’t blog about Christmas trees…I don’t think). When your posts are fun, and not a burden, it may not seem as impossible to find time for blogging.
4. Keep Your Entries Short
As I mentioned above, a blog can be whatever you want it to be. And it certainly need not be any longer than 300 words. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you have to come up with some novel-length epiphany every time you set out to write a post.
It’s easy to find time for blogging when each entry is only a few paragraphs. In fact, posting shorter blogs more often is better than posting longer blogs infrequently if you’re trying to build a viewership.
5. Get Someone to Hold You Accountable
If you’re in a writing group or class, have some awesome friends, or have a strong social media following, tell them about your blog. Tell them that you’ll be blogging every week, on this day, and that they should come check it out.
This provides a sense of commitment and accountability. If you know you have an audience, no matter how small, you won’t want to let them down.
…So if you stick to your goals, have a journal or document with ongoing ideas, and enjoy what you’re blogging about, you’ll have 300 words typed up in no time, and a handful of friends or fellow writers you know will read it.