Yesterday I published a post about Why I Blog.
Today, I’m going to explain how I blog.
Listen, I’m a busy Momma. Right now, blogging doesn’t bring in a significant income, and I can’t justify making it a priority. I really try to arrange my schedule to accommodate all my spiritual life and growth, my time with my husband, my time with my children, my roles and responsibilities as a foster Mom, and my responsibility of maintaining a home. Please hear me loud and clear when I say that I’m NOT perfect at handling this. In fact, I’m a screw-up a good portion of the time.
However, I do try to schedule my time so that I have time each day to blog. Some days this really, really doesn’t happen. But most days I make sure that it does.
So, how do I blog?
First, I think of an idea. This idea usually comes to at the most inconvenient of times. When I’m driving, for example. Or when I’m holding a screaming baby and making sure the toddler doesn’t pull a hot pan of water off the stove onto herself. But once I have the idea, I try to keep it in my head.
Next, when I have the chance to sit down in front of a computer, I compile a draft. I usually write the title (the idea that came to me) and then jot down a few main points. I then click ‘save draft’ and hardly ever write that post in that exact moment.
Sometime between wrangling children, cooking dinner and dealing with all those above responsibilities, I will plan out when I want my blog posts to be published. I write it down in my planner as soon as I can. Right now, in my planner I have blog posts planned out through the month of February. These posts are not written, but this way I can glance ahead and know that they are coming up. I also go through any link-ups that I might be a part of and write down those posts in my calendar, too. Some of those I have written down all the way until the end of 2016! I won’t even think about them until much, much further down the road, but since I have them written down I know that they are coming up!
Here is what my blogging station usually looks like: a laptop, my planner, my phone and a drink of water. And a bumbo seat, because lets face it…I usually have at least one child in my vicinity!
A closer look at my planner:
I write daily to-dos, the recipe that I will cook for dinner, the workout scheduled for that day and then any blog posts I plan to publish on that day. I also make sure to note if that is a day that Theo is at work or not.
When I get a big block of time to actually blog, I will usually try to knock out several posts at a time. Theo is really good about taking the girls for an hour or two once or twice a week and letting me crank out some posts. Or I will sit down during naptime and simply get whatever I can done. Since I already have all my ideas saved in the drafts folder, I just go through my drafts and write those posts. Some days I finish none. Some days I finish one or maybe two if I’m lucky. Some days I crank out several posts. It all depends on what the post is about, how many pictures it has, how heavy it is on my heart, etc.
The last thing that I do is schedule the post. Very, very rarely do I write a post and hit publish. Instead, I try to stay about a week ahead of my posts. I will have the idea, write the post, and then schedule it for the following week (or whenever I have it written in my calendar).Of course, there are some blog posts that I simply can’t write ahead of time. I usually try to have at least one of those a week. For example, I can’t recap the Christmas parade until we have actually gone to the Christmas parade. So I write it down in my planner and then make sure that 1-5 days after the event I have completed the post. I work ahead for several reasons. First, it keeps me on top of things. Second, it gives me a buffer. If I get sick or we have a crazy week, I don’t have to worry about saying goodbye to that post that I had wanted to publish. If you are a blogger, I recommend taking a day sometime this month and getting yourself ahead. The beauty in this is that once you have taken that chunk of time to work hard and get ahead, you can fairly easily maintain staying ahead.
If you look closely at this image below, you can see my post layout. I’ve published over 300 posts (in nearly two years of blogging), I have 3 scheduled posts and I have 10 draft posts.
When do I blog? Primarily during naptime. I also mentioned that Theo takes the girls and lets me have at it at least once a week. This is SO helpful. Sometimes, but not always, I will also blog at night after we have put the girls to bed. Theo and I like to curl up together and watch a show, and I will usually blog on the other laptop while we watch something.
Of course, there are always the ins and outs of how exactly to write a blog, to add pictures, to hyperlink, to do different fonts, etc. I will admit that I’m not an expert in that area AT ALL. I know the basics and I stick to the basics. Maybe one day I will be able to do more, but for now I’m happy with how it is.
And that, my friends, is how I maintain this here blog.