If you’re a blogger, I bet you get asked all the time how long do you spend on that every day? Yep, that’s a question I feel myself answering lots! I am pretty consistent and have found a routine that works. I try not to waiver from that too much, but things like school holidays and sometimes being unwell does ruin the flow. But mostly, I try to stick to the same pattern.
Blogging (as a job) should be treated like employment. The old cliche “you get back what you put in” goes for blogging too. I don’t treat it as a hobby (although I am sure some people do think I just do it for a bit of fun!). You know what I mean though – when someone says “what do you do?” I just reply with I write an interior design website. It’s easier to explain! Ha!
I do work at my blog every single day. Specifically I work anywhere from 20-30 hours a week. I fill up the rest of the week doing my other jobs, like working with clients who are building new houses, or designing websites and blogs. But I do start my day with my blog. I grab a coffee and head straight to the computer before the rest of my family wakes. Not everyone wants to get up as early as I do, but I think you need to find the same block of time to be consistent with your blog. If you write twice a week then that’s cool because you don’t have to write every day like I do! Just be consistent in your timing.
It depends what topics I need to write about for the week as to how many hours I also put in. An easy week is just where I write about topics I enjoy. A busier week includes writing sponsored posts where I need specific photos, drafts and approvals. This coming week ahead I have a VERY busy schedule because I’m coming out of 2 weeks of school holidays and I have lots of blog posts to write.
Finding a topic
I am up usually around 5am deciding on a topic. Sometimes I find this to be the hardest part of my morning! If I have a sponsored post, then fabulous, but if it’s just an ordinary day then I usually jump on Pinterest and start randomly scrolling looking for something to write about. If I am feeling motivated I write a few topics down so when I am stuck again I have something to go to. This can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes!
Most of my topic ideas come from:
- Ask people on my Facebook Chat Group
- Check out what some of my fav bloggers have been writing about (they inspire me to find ideas)
- Or I use this tool
I mostly limit my writing to 600 words (or less sometimes). I understand people don’t like to read long posts. They have a short attention span because there is so much goodness on the internet and they have to spread themselves around! I’d rather my readers come for a short time and more often. My style is more about the photos and generating discussion. Writing takes anywhere from 30 minutes – 2 hours. I also don’t leave blog posts half written in my draft area. If I am going to write it I like to finish it.
This part probably takes me the longest. If I use my own images I always have to edit them. Cropping, resizing, exposure, text overlay… I always include images which will be Pinnable. Actually 34% of my traffic comes from google/organic searches, and then 30% comes from Pinterest. So images are really important to my traffic. Photos take anywhere from 15 minutes – 1 hour.
I do use the YOAST plugin inside my blog for SEO. I attribute all my photos with keywords and add focus keywords and titles to my posts. The plugin helps you check your score and gives you the green light if you’ve got it right. I am always trying to make sure I’ve covered the SEO part for my blog posts seeing as a large portion of my traffic is coming from Google. I used to be a write and hit publish blogger, but with sooooo many bloggers now I think you have to be mindful of SEO. This takes about 5 minutes.
Pushing on social networks
Once I am happy with the blog post, then I need to get the word out there. I head to Facebook first and share that out. I always send out my new blog post before 8am every day. I have always done this and it seems to work well. Facebook loves consistency. A link and a few words work best for me. My own images work even better. Stock images just don’t seem to respond well with my readers. I Pin everything from my site. I am not a re-pinner (as in, I don’t often use Pinterest to re-pin other peoples’ images). I pin from my site to my boards. So when someone is on Pinterest and sees an image they like, they usually click through to my site. I use IFTTT to send posts to Twitter, and I use NextScripts to send my post automatically to StumbleUpon and Google+. If you set things up automatically it’s a real time saver! This takes about 5-15 minutes.
During the day
I spend a few hours reading, commenting, and monitoring all my social media accounts. This just depends on how much I want a blog post to be read. I can leave posts to just do their thing, or others I need to watch. So, you can see that each day I spend about 3-6 hours on my blog and social networks! I am usually checking and writing on weekends too. I watch my google analytics too much haha! I like to see what is performing well and what isn’t.
There you go! That’s my usual routine. I love the flexibility though. If I am feeling motivated I pre-plan, if not, then I go with the flow. If I’m tired, I just step away and do other things.
What does your blog routine look like? Maybe you’re just getting in to the game and looking for some ideas?