After years and years of juggling my blog with working in the fashion and beauty marketing industry, I sometimes sit back and think how on Earth do I do it? I know a lot of my friends and family have no idea how I master it all, but I rarely stop to think about it myself. But when I do, I tire myself out just contemplating it.
I mean, I blog every day, sometimes twice a day, and I have very active social media channels – especially Instagram. Earlier this year, I also launched YouTube – probably about five years too late, but nethertheless, it’s another channel to run and create content for.
I now spend the majority of my week running What Emma Did as a main business, then squeezing in journalism for an online news site in Manchester, and makeup artistry mainly for brides around Cheshire, Manchester and Staffordshire.
I get a lot of tweets and emails, and more recently, Instagram messages, asking me about how to stay organised when blogging, and how do I manage my time. So by looking at it, it seems like this topic of time management as a blogger and general blog/work/life organisation is something a lot of people struggle with.
I’ll admit it’s taken me a couple of years to get into a routine with it all, and even now I still get overwhelmed with it all.
One thing I will always say though, is that I’m pretty old school with my life organisation. I’m talking traditional notebooks, pen to paper, handwritten to-do lists, and scoring things out with pen.
Yes, you know that feeling. That incredible, uplifting feeling of taking an ink pen and scoring a line through a completed task. It’s my biggest high! You can’t beat owning a pretty notebook, and keeping it with you at all times, guarding it with your life. Because in a nutshell – it is your life. Well in my case, my notebook is definitely my life.
With this traditional way that I organise my blogging life, I have put together a few tips for those of you who want to put more effort into your blog and social media planning, without sacrificing other things in life. After all, it’s all about utilising the time you have and being prepared.
And trust me – you can successfully juggle your blog with your work, life, friends, family and social activities, if you make organisation your number 1 skill…
WRITE IT ALL DOWN
Any idea is a good idea. No matter what time of day an idea comes into your head, no matter how basic or complicated it is, write it down. I keep a page on in my notebook at the back which is a plain page and I draw little spider diagrams, and I fill it with notes from my phone.
Because if I’m walking around a supermarket and a beauty hack or subject of knowledge pops into my head and I think ‘hey, that would make a fab blog feature’, I jot it into my phones ‘notes’ section. Then when I get home, it’s straight into my notebook.
Sometimes, I wake up the next morning and go straight to my notes page and realised its filled with useless rubbish, but sometimes there will be a great idea for a post which I later go on to plan. I know it sounds ridiculous but the more you open your mind to new ideas, the easier it is to think of new ideas to post about.
Blogging can be a time-consuming hobby for some, and a time-consuming job for others. Hobby or job, make sure you plan everything to precision in order to keep on top of everything.
I look at my list of brands I need to write about, restaurants I’ve visited, outfit shoots I’ve done and products I’ve reviewed and look at them with ‘whats my priority?’ in mind. I then start to list them in priority order, usually by deadline first, and then things like blog posts that already have content ready to go (like edited photos), or ones I know are going to go down really well.
Then I look at general life, and what I have on that week. I record all blog events, reviews, invites and meetings in the diary section of my notebook, and I’ll look at them at the start of the week and score out any that are no longer beneficial to me. I’ll work with the diary plans and to-do list, and plan accordingly what I can realistically achieve to get done in the working week…
LISTS, LISTS, LISTS
I can’t shout about it enough: I’m a big fan of making lists. But it’s important to set yourself realistic goals with lists.
If you work on your blog in the evenings then set yourself a list of things to do prior to that evening and make sure you have everything you need to be able to tick everything off the list. If you work on your blog at weekends, set your list on a Friday and work through it on the weekend.
I like to split my lists into categories: Photos I need to take, copy I need to write, links I need to add in and any social I might want to schedule. Lists aren’t everybody’s thing but for me it makes me feel calm getting it all out of my head and onto paper.
I also list them in order of urgency too, and then re-write the list a day or two after, when *hopefully* I’ve crossed out a few tasks…
SET REMINDERS & ALARMS
If, like me, you have an embarrassingly bad memory, you might want to set some reminders on your phone. I find this really helps me because I have a memory like a sieve.
If you feel overwhelmed with things to do and forget to check your to do list, I sometimes set a reminder on my phone for even the simplest of things like ‘list that item on ebay tonight’ or ‘ring my Mum before bed’ -it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, you forget the important things that need doing.
When working on your blog and social media channels, remember that you don’t always have to be there, actively ‘live’ on your social channels, sharing everything you’ve published or photos you have taken. Learning how to schedule is really handy, especially for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you’re not able to put your social posts live when you’re elsewhere, or even early in the morning when you just want a lie in but don’t want to miss the busy commuting time for Instagram engagement, most platforms allow you to schedule the posts.
No one wants to ruin the ‘realness’ of Twitter or Instagram so I only ever schedule tweets promoting my blog posts. So I might schedule in a few tweets for the next day, sharing new blog posts I’ve published the day before.
Scheduling means I have more time to focus on writing posts and writing ‘real-time’ tweets about what I am eating, what I’m wearing, where I have gone… because that is just too interesting to miss really! In a nutshell, scheduling saves you sneaking out the office to tweet about your blog post that just went live and it’ll put your mind at ease when you’re not on ‘blog time’.
Remember guys, being a ‘blogger’ or ‘social influencer’ or however you like to name yourself, is meant to be a fun job or hobby. And as it’s meant to be enjoyable, do take these tips lightly. I’m quite full on with my blog work so I’m prone to get quite heavy with my stressing out and organising my work loads, but the top priority is that you should enjoy it, so try to avoid any stress!
I honestly would be lost without that trusty blog notebook, and can’t stress enough how a stylish, pretty one which reflects your personality can turn you into an organised goddess.
Being a ‘list Queen’ is so much more helpful than you may think!