Many times before on this blog I’ve spoken about getting organised. Decluttering your mind, giving everything its place and putting systems in order. I’ve organised my desk area (http://100waystohappy.com/2015/05/01/challenge-33-organise-your-work-area/), I’ve organised my wardrobe (http://100waystohappy.com/2015/01/11/challenge-3-clear-out/) and I’ve organised my life (http://100waystohappy.com/2015/02/01/challenge-9-get-organised/) but I’ve never got around to organising this blog.
The last few weeks I’ve been feeling a bit demotivated with the blog. I’ve been finding it hard to come up with ideas for posts and challenges, I’ve been writing Thursday’s posts on Thursday evening and Sunday’s on Sunday morning and they’ve been going up later and later. I’ve felt stressed about it, started seeing coming up with ideas and writing posts as a chore, always on my to do list. Once I’ve completed one there’s another one to do. I started to resent blogging. But that’s not why I started.
I started blogging for fun, because I love writing and wanted to get better at photography. I wanted to set myself the challenges each week to improve my life, to become part of my life, not to be a stressful addition. When I re-read my first post and remember why I started this, I hate that it’s become so stressful in recent weeks. It was supposed to be a life improver, not the opposite. When I really think about what the problem is, I know it’s that I’m just not planning ahead enough. When you’re writing a beauty or fashion blog, it’s a little easier to string a post together on the day but when your blog involves setting yourself a challenge you need to plan things in advance.
This week, I read this post from Dizzy Brunette 3: http://www.dizzybrunette3.com/2015/05/ways-to-be-more-organised-with-your-blog.html and it stroke many a chord with me. It is so difficult balancing a full time job and managing a blog, even a small blog like mine. When I challenged myself to write two posts a week for the whole year, I knew it would be tough. I knew it would involve lots of weekend work and staying up late but I knew also it would be worth it if I stuck to my challenges and if I inspired just one other person. But life throws up many other unexpected and unplanned challenges too along the way and things get busier and your blog is no longer the fun priority but just an extra thing to do. So it’s important to help it fit in easily and to have a plan.
Using Corrie’s tips as inspiration I came up with my own steps to get blog organised:
- Use your commute/lunch break/spare time to get involved in the blogging community: Keeping up to date with other bloggers tweets and posts via social media and Blog Lovin’ will give you inspiration for future posts and keep you up to date with what others are doing. This will also mean you’re getting involved, commenting on others blogs and tweeting other bloggers. Doing this on my commute is the easiest way for it not to become a chore for me, it means I’m occupying myself in otherwise wasted time.
- Set up all your social media: If your social media is all set up and working together it will keep your workload down. When I started this blog, I set up Twitter and Instagram and I naturally updated them as and when I had something interesting to say/take a photo of. But I’m slowly realising there are other social media sites which can help me manage this blog too. I still don’t fully understand Blog Lovin’ but I love using it for reading blogs and for updating my readers. Make sure to follow me there if you haven’t already: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/100waystohappycom-13674093. It automatically updates my Twitter which is great and it reminds me if I haven’t caught up on my favourite blogs. I’ve also just started using Pinterest which is brilliant for inspiring me for future blog posts and challenges. I’ve only just begun with my board but am planning to check it every morning commute – follow me here if you want: https://uk.pinterest.com/100waystohappy/
- Make a spreadsheet schedule: I’ve made myself a spreadsheet with each blog date for the next month and an idea beside it. Now, each 14th of the month I’m going to plan all my blogs for the next month. Coming up with ideas on the spot is probably my biggest challenge so thinking ahead is going to make a big difference. Do comment below or tweet me if you have any ideas for future posts! I’ve also set a monthly reminder on my phone to remind me to put together next month’s schedule.
- Plan your photos and next steps: I’ve added two columns to my spreadsheet which lists which activity I need to do before writing the post and which photos I will take to accompany it. This helps me plan whether photos will be taken when doing the activity or whether I need a photo shoot myself. It also means I can take photos for multiple blog posts at once if needed. I get my diary out and make sure I can do the activity the week before the blog post, helping me plan out my weeks and fit everything in.
- Schedule posts and tweets: Scheduling is an organised person’s dream. I’ve always taken advantage of scheduling blog posts, meaning I don’t have to be in and at my screen every Sunday and Thursday. But I’ve only just started scheduling tweets about my blog, before if I was busy when a blog uploaded I just wouldn’t tweet it or I’d panic and run to try and find signal somewhere. Now, you all know everytime I upload a new blog and I can still get on with my life!
These are my steps to get blog organised, as well as just remembering always that blogging is supposed to be fun and reminding myself why I started in the first place. Let me know if you have any other tips?