7 February 2016

BEING A PART TIME BLOGGER


Blogging part time is probably one of the hardest and time consuming hobbies that you will invest in. I have been blogging for a hobby now for three years and I have always struggled with trying to maintain a consistent online profile and still being able to get my everyday tasks complete. Becoming a consistent blogger takes a lot of hard work and I admire someone who works full time and still manages to upload quality content on their blog everyday. Trying to balance everything takes a lot of practise and hard work but you can train yourself to become that blogger that can still produce amazing content and not having to forfeit anything in your personal life.

When I say this I don't mean you will be able to produce a new post everyday (unless that is something you are willing to do) it's more about producing the right amount for you. I have always had the predicament on how often I should try to post on my blog. What number is enough for me to attract readers and build a steady profile?  The answer to this is what suits you! Before my blog relaunched I wanted to be able to create two blog posts a week, I would love to be able to produce more but for now that is a realistic amount without creating extra stress that is unnecessary.

In January I managed to pre schedule all my posts which helped me so much, however I did lack with trying to be a persistent with my social media sites but I'm going to try and improve this even more in the months ahead. It was the first time ever in my three years of blogging that I managed to schedule a whole months worth of blog post. You may be asking yourself the question, what strategies did I use to schedule a whole month worth of content? Well someone once said you can't eat an elephant in a day and this is the mantra I try to remember when I am creating and scheduling things for my blog. The tools and resources that you use to help you with your blogging can truly make a difference and help you create a blog that is persistent and no longer stressful. I will take you through a step by step guide to how I create a constant stress free schedule for any struggling bloggers out there.



FINDING IDEAS
 This is something I have struggled in the past with. I often can't think of what to post when I really need an idea. It important to figure out how your creative juices flow and what helps you come up with content that works for you and your blog. I urge you to get a notebook if you don't yet have one as I have found  your inspiration can come when you least expect it. Write down everything that comes to mind even if to begin it sounds stupid. It could spark another idea for the perfect blog post. I also love to look at other blogs for inspiration and Pinterest is a life saver.

WRITING
I don't find writing content the easiest and I can sometimes be long winded or just not long enough. It is most definitely not my strong point but I am constantly trying to improve it. I have found my words flow the easiest early in the morning as I work best then so I try and complete as many posts in the morning until I feel like I have had enough. I urge no one to try and write something when they don't feel like it. Things can get very confusing and badly written if you choose to do this.

PHOTOGRAPHY
One of favourite aspects of blogging is the photography. I love setting up props and snapping away till my heart is content. Being organised with your photography is important and you should save a day every week to take your photographs in bulk. I like to make my photos organic and natural so I never plan them, I would however make a little list of the things I will need to include in the photograph to connect them with the writing. Take all photos early in the morning when the light is consistent and bright. I will then edit the photos which I also love doing, selecting the right photos and saving them to the name of the post to help with SEO.

SCHEDULING 
Most blog platforms have a feature which allows you to schedule your posts in advance. If you use blogger like me it will be at the right hand side when editing your blog post. There is no better feeling than having a months worth of posts waiting and ready to go live. However don't be pressured to schedule, it is not for everyone and some rather to produce the content when they want to do it, maybe closer to the date of publishing.

SOCIAL MEDIA
I don't think I should really be offering any advise or tips in this field because it's the one I always seem to forget about. I don't have the biggest following on my social media sites but I don't think this is the first thing you should be thinking about when creating successful social media accounts. I have learnt that engagement is key! Join in on as many Twitter chats as you can (there is a different one almost everyday) and just talk to fellow bloggers, it's something I really enjoy doing and it can also gain you some exposure. I have been trying to work hard on my Instagram as well but it's a site that I feel engagement is hard. I have personally found that people aren't as quick to invest in your account. Being constant is hugely important when it comes to Instagram, even more than other social media sites. I try to post everyday using a few hashtags similar to Twitter to reach people who may not know about my blog or Instagram. I have also been trying to create a 'theme'. I use this term very loosely as I don think it is crucial to do as it can  restrict you slightly but I feel it's what I and others enjoy. I take my Instagram photos in bulk as well but using my phone rather than my DSLR. I edit them using VSCO Cam and sometimes schedule them using Latergramme which is a life saver as I think posting everyday on Instagram is essential if you want to grow your brand.

What do you do to try and be a better part time blogger? 
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