When working on growing a blog, and juggling a full-time, often demanding, 9 -5 that I absolutely love, I sometimes struggled with overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress. Not because I didn’t like what I was doing, but because I didn’t have any systems in place to ensure that I can spend enough time with my work, my blog, my family and my friends. I soon realised that if I continue with willy-nilly trying to figure out how to fit my blog in to my 9-5, it will do more harm than good. And that is why I created a few systems to ensure that I can continue to grow my blog, be successful and happy at work, and spend enough time with my friends and family.
So, how do I do it? Below I chat about my 6-step process for writing and publishing blog posts whilst working my full time job. P.S. This post is much longer than my actual process, purely because I want to go in-depth with my exact process.
Write down a list of blog post ideas
I never, ever leave the house without a notebook and a pen in my purse. In fact, I even have a notepad app on my phone to ensure that when the inspiration and ideas strike, I will be prepared to jot them down. My notebook is filled with many blog post ideas. Right at this moment, I counted at least 70 blog post topics (enough to last me more than a year- yay).
P.S. One of my goals this year – to write at least one blog post each week.
When it comes to planning my content, I look at my notebook for the relevant topics and I do a brain storm around that topic. My brainstorms are always colourful and bright, in clouds or flowers, or hearts and stars. I enjoy making it pretty and colourful, just to help me stay inspired. My brainstorm-sessions start with my main topic in the middle, and then several branches leading to the important things I need to discuss in my post (you can see an example of my brainstorm in the pic below). This often leads to more, and more blog post ideas, ensuring my bank of blog post ideas are always full. The more I brainstorm, the more content ideas I have and the more I can publish! Yay!
Plug your topics in your calendar
I have a content calendar to ensure I always know what to post when. I have an online editorial calendar (I use Google Drive for this) and a paper calendar. It is great for content planning, and for me to always see what needs to happen when. Having my topics neatly in a calendar in front of me always ensures that I am kept accountable. My weekly planner also helps with writing down more information about the specific blog posts – what I need to mention, where I need to promote it, etc. This weekly planner goes hand-in-hand with my brainstorm pieces.
Brainstorm, write, pause, edit
Most of my brainstorming happens during the week, and I always write my blog posts over the weekend. I always create a space of about 2 hours in my Saturday to write my blog post. I am often more productive in the morning, so you’ll often find me writing whilst having breakfast and my morning milo (fun fact about me: I don’t drink coffee). After I write my content, I save it (that’s important folk), and I step away from it for a few hours. I know most people would prefer to do it all in one go, but when I take a moment to step away from my content, I can clear my mind about the topic and gather my thoughts before I actually publish the blog post. My Sundays are usually very quiet, so on a Sunday-afternoon, I will sit down, revisit my blog post and edit where needed. Sometimes, I make a lot of changes, just because I can now see things that I couldn’t see when I was writing the blog post. It is also great for seeing mistakes and ironing out anything that could be confusing or misinterpreted.
When I am done editing my blog post, I create my graphics for the actual post and for social media. This literally takes me 10 minutes because I have all of my templates saved on Canva (life-saver alert). All I need to do is change the title and the background image and voila! Graphics done and dusted.
Schedule or publish
Once I have my blog post and images ready to go, I will schedule it to be published 3 weeks later. All of my content is written in advance. This just helps me to stay on top of my game at all times. A great tip is to schedule your blog posts to go live when your readers are most active during the day. Take a look at your Google Analytics to see when your prime time is and publish your content during those times.
Schedule on social media
Immediately after publishing my blog post, I will use Hootsuite and Boardbooster to schedule my social media posts for me. My most-used platform is Pinterest, and then Twitter. It is fair to assume that your readers won’t see your updates immediately, so it’s good to remind them often. Here’s a sneak peek at my publishing schedule for Twitter:
- On day of scheduled post going live
- 1 day after published
- 2 days after published
- 1 week after published
- 1 month after published
- Once every two months after published
With Hootsuite, I can schedule all of these tweets far in advance and I don’t have to worry about manually writing tweets at certain times. Automation is key when juggling a blog and a 9-5. All of my pins are also automated with Boardbooster. It literally takes me 30 minutes each week and I am set.
P.S. Follow me on Pinterest here.
And there you have it. My long story on my short process for writing and publishing blog posts. Disclaimer: what works for me, might not work for you. Even though this process works 100% for me, I encourage you to use my process as a basis for creating your own process and rhythms.
*This post might contain affiliate links. This means that I will receive a small portion if you subscribe to, or buy anything from the links provided in this post. However, I will only promote products and services I use and I 100% believe in. No scamming you here, folks!