Over the past couple of weeks you’ve focused on Goal Setting To End The Year Strong and Reflecting On 2016 To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet.
Now that we are five days into 2017, it’s time to work on your 2017 blogging resolutions, and that involves editorial calendar prep. Download your editorial and social media calendar here.
It lists unique holiday themes for January that you may be able to use for your own blog and also includes space to brainstorm and plan your own blog posts for the month. Once you’ve completed January you can simply add a new sheet, rename it, copy info from January and complete the rest of your editorial calendar. The time you put into your editorial calendar prep will help you blog even when you don’t have time. Trust me!
Now that you have a plan, here are my tips for blogging when you think you don’t have time:
Own your schedule
If you don’t guard your time, it will get nibbled away at bite by bite. Whether you use a to-do list or use time blocking for your blogging and social media time, you need to get it in your calendar and stick to it. Don’t let others intrude on the time you’ve set aside for your blogging and social media tasks. In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown writes that if he doesn’t own his life and schedule, someone else will. To whom do you want to give the power over your schedule?
Schedule your time
Now that you’ve owned your schedule you need to use the time you’ve set aside to its best effect. Will you work on social media? Do you need to flesh out your editorial calendar? Have you joined a blogger or influencer boost group that you need to participate in? Write it down. Make it happen. Repeat those two sentences. If you don’t write it down, your goals will become wishes, and the end of the day will arrive and you’ll be no closer to achieving them.
Use a timer
When I speak at conferences I hand out my favorite time management tool to several participants. My favorite tool? A little owl timer. I use this timer to keep me on task. The timer is set when I have a project in front of me that I am dreading. I can deal with anything for 15 minutes, so if a task is one I’ve been procrastinating, I suck it up, set the timer and get to it. Sometimes I find the task wasn’t as heinous as I’d anticipated, and I will work after the timer dings. Other times, I jump for joy when the timer dings and I know I am done with that task for the day. I find a timer more beneficial than setting a timer on my phone. Why? When I set a timer on my phone, I am continually checking it to make sure it’s still working and then when I check, I get drawn into emails and social media updates. The timer is low tech and keeps me on track.
Use a blogging template
This doesn’t mean that your blogging template means all of your blog posts will sound and look the same. A blogging template is a document that is sort of like a “fill in the blank” for your blog post. It’s a checklist of what you need for the post:
4. Main theme (stick to one topic ONLY per post)
5. Plan your blog intro, body, conclusion and call to action
This may sound ridiculous, but be honest: How often do you sit down to write and then find yourself distracted? Your block of writing time slips away because you don’t have a blog topic in mind, you’re getting distracted by social media notifications, you are suffering writer’s block. Believe me when I say, an editorial calendar will take away the last excuse to not writing when you have scheduled time to do just that.
The year is only five days old. Don’t let this first week slip away without your wrestling your schedule to the ground, taming it and making 2017 the most productive in your influencer career yet!
Where do you struggle when it comes to your blog, your social media, your time? Let me know in the comments.
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter.