So you’re a blogger?
Then you’ll be the first to know that time is not always your friend. In fact time is so precious, you’ll often find yourself wishing and wondering about how you can have more of it.
I used to wonder how other bloggers made it look so easy. They always seemed to have a strong presence on social media and somehow still managed to post two or more times a day on their blogs, as well as lead a seemingly normal life. How do they do it?
The secret to making it look like you have it all together, is to look for ways to save time. I’ve recently found that getting organised, without cutting corners, leaves me more time to build and interact with my community and to write the posts I love.
Here are 5 time saving hacks for bloggers, used by the pros but can be used by anyone:
1. Shoot Photos In Bulk
Do you use your own images for your blog posts? Whether you need photos for three posts this week, or seven, shooting photos in bulk is a great time saving hack for bloggers.
If you have lots of products to shoot for reviews, why not try and photograph them all at the same time? Set aside a few hours a week for a photo shoot and then some more again for editing in bulk. You’ll be in the mind frame for doing these tasks, can choose the best day for lighting and can get more done in one go.
I personally love to take lots of outdoor photos of products and I also take outdoor family photos for my Instagram and days out posts. Why not take the products along with you and double batch your tasks? Sometimes the most creative of backdrops can be found out and about.
If you need generic blog images, be sure to check out my post ‘Free Beautiful Images for your Blog‘ to find out how to get great stock images on a budget, or for free.
2. Make Graphic Templates
Canva is my best friend! I know some bloggers prefer Picmonkey and others love Adobe Illustrate. I store lots of my favourite ‘Life Unexpected’ branded templates in Canva (like the pinnable image on this post). That way all I need to do is add in my new post title and a matching picture, every time I write a new post.
I have a template for each social media platform, so I can create all my images needed for marketing really quickly. Check out my post ‘How To Make The Best Blog Graphics’ for more information on how to do this.
3. Schedule Social Media
Do you schedule social media? Now I use scheduling tools, I really don’t understand how I used to find the time to send out updates, advertising my new posts, every single day.
I know that some people are wary about scheduling because it can seem robotic. But guess what? Your readers won’t mind.
They follow and like you, because they want to hear about your great posts. So schedule away! That gives you more time to interact with people on social media as yourself. It also gives you more time to thank people for retweets and to share other peoples posts, which is good karma for your blog!
I use Meet Edgar for scheduling twitter, but know loads of bloggers who swear by Social Oomph. If schedulers overwhelm you (they did me!) then start off with the more simple ‘Tweetdeck’, till you get your confidence up.
Always schedule Facebook on Facebook. They don’t like outside companies posting to their platform and your posts won’t get as much reach. Other than that, Grum is great for Instagram and you can even write the first comment using this scheduler, which I always use so I can include a bunch of hashtags, to boost the image to a wider audience, without cluttering up the ‘caption’ box.
The two general favourites for scheduling Pinterest are Tailwind and Board Booster. I personally use Tailwind and although I have only just started using this scheduling tool, I have gained a lot of re-pins and a few hundred more followers in only a few weeks.
Do you like to use any other scheduling tools?
4. Time Blocking
I am so bad for procrastinating. Are you? I always find myself needing to write a few blog posts and ending up instead, spending an hour scrolling through Pinterest, looking at things that are very un-work related.
I recently had a lovely guest poster share with us, how she uses time blocking for her blog and I stand by her in how amazing it is for keeping you on track of what you need to do.
Set aside some time for your blog and say to yourself, in that hour I am going to write two posts, or in those two hours I’m going to schedule social media for the week or reply to comments. Try not to multitask. Multitasking can be overwhelming and you can actually end up doing a lot less than you would if you time block.
You’d be surprised by how much you can check off your ‘to do’ list with time blocking. Try it out and let us know how you get on!
5. Use Time Saving Tools
There are so many time saving tools in the form of plugins or just everyday laptop hacks.
Why not use keyboard shortcuts for phrases you use a lot? Or add an e-mail signature so you don’t need to sign off e-mails everyday? Why don’t you keep an invoice template so you don’t have to draw one up, every time you need to send them off to brands?
Look around for the best time saving tools for your blog. Even things like the ‘editorial calendar’ plugin can be helpful in saving you time in working out and planning your monthly schedule, as it’s there in one very easy to move around, visual format.
I love to use plugins like the YOAST WP plugin, to organise my SEO. This also helps me to make sure my posts are full of great ‘searchable’ keywords. Other hacks I use include using folders to organise my inbox. I have one folder for ‘e-mails to reply to’, another for PR’s I need to send a follow up e-mail to, after I’ve reviewed their product.
My favourite way to save time is to write lists of things to do. Checklists are great for keeping you organised. Check out my free ‘daily blogging checklist‘ printable, to help you stay on track with your blogging ‘to do’ list.
What do you do to save time on blogging tasks? We’d love to know! Do you use any of these already? Let us know in the comments below.