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How to Run Two Blogs in the Midst of a Busy Life

This guest post is by Jennifer Fulwiler of ConversionDiary.com.

When I announced to readers of my regular blog that I had accepted a paid blogging gig for a national newspaper, my email inbox was flooded with one question: “How do you do it?” I have four children under the age of seven and am also working on a book, so, needless to say, before I accepted this new blogging position, I had to think carefully about how to write quality blog content with minimal effort.

I am happy to report that everything is going well: I’m able to keep up with both blogs without taking time away from my other priorities, and I’m getting great feedback from readers.

So how do I do it? Here are my top five secrets.

1. Keep a clean list of post ideas and update it frequently

When fellow bloggers tell me that they have trouble updating their blogs frequently, my first question is always: Do you keep a list of post ideas? I’m surprised at how often the answer is no, since I find this to be the key to regular blogging.

When the blank screen looms in front of you, there’s no way you’ll be able to recall every good post idea you’ve ever thought of. It’s critical to have a clean, well organized list to turn to. If you update this list frequently, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you amass great ideas (the list for my personal blog includes 87 items). The more ideas you have to choose from, the easier it will be to find a topic that inspires you when crunch time hits.

2. Have ideas for easy posts at your fingertips

There are times when life gets crazy and I simply don’t have time to write a regular post. That’s when I turn to my trusty list of easy post ideas, each of which allows me to touch base with my readers in a short amount of time. Some of my favorite go-to techniques are:

  • asking readers a question (I keep a separate list called “Questions to ask readers” for this purpose)
  • posting a roundup of my favorite links from around the web
  • creating a “best-of-comments” post, where I highlight the most helpful comments from a previous post
  • posting an interesting excerpt from a favorite book, with just a couple paragraphs of commentary (I highlight favorite passages in the books I read, which makes these posts especially easy)
  • asking a question on Twitter and posting a screenshot of responses
  • doing a photo post with one or multiple pictures with minimal commentary
  • answering a series of “getting to know you” questions and asking readers to do the same (e.g. “What time do you get up in the morning?”, “What is the most dangerous place you’ve ever visited?”, etc.)
  • reviewing the top products that make my life easier in the area related to my blog
  • asking a fellow blogger to write a guest post
  • writing an “awards” post where I name my favorite people in a certain category (e.g. “My 8 favorite female bloggers”)
  • rerunning an old post.

3. Embrace deadlines

My new blogging job requires me to write three posts a week, on a set schedule. This has been a new experience, since with my personal blog I could updated whenever I felt like it. To my surprise, having deadlines has been a great benefit to me. It’s taught me to cultivate self-discipline, stay organized, and stop wasting time. Consider setting deadlines for your own blog, even if you don’t have to—you’ll find that it transforms your mindset from “amateur” to “professional” overnight.

4. Let go of perfectionism

One of the most fascinating discoveries of my new blogging venture has been seeing the benefits of lowering the bar. In order to keep up with both blogs, I’ve had to pull items from my post ideas file that I normally would have skipped. I’ve had to publish posts that I didn’t think were perfect. And you know what? My readers have loved it. I’m now sharing information that I would have normally kept to myself, and the response has been fantastic. In fact, my four most popular items within the last month have all been posts that I never would have written if I weren’t under deadline pressure.

My new motto for whether a topic makes the cut to write about is simply: If it’s interesting to me, it’ll be interesting to someone else.

It doesn’t have to be a magnum opus. It doesn’t have to include mind-blowing commentary that will change the world. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to include tons of links. If I’m doing nothing more than conveying a simple insight or tidbit of information that I found helpful, that’s enough; there are undoubtedly many other people out there who will find it helpful as well.

5. Remember that it’s not all about you

Before I had so much blogging to keep up with, I felt like everything had to come from me. Each post had to be based solely on my own personal wisdom. With my new workload I’ve been forced to share: I link to other bloggers’ content, ask for guest posts, share excerpts from good books, interview interesting people, post link roundups—and a bunch of other things that highlight someone else’s talents. The result has not only been a grateful response from other bloggers and writers, but my own posts have been better as well.

What tips can you add to help others run multiple blogs as part of their already-busy lives?

Jennifer Fulwiler is a freelance writer as well as the chaos manager for her busy household, which currently includes four young children. Her personal blog is ConversionDiary.com.

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Comments

  1. Justin says:

    I agree here, write everything down, and stopped trying to be perfect with your writing. A blog to me is like shooting the breeze with one of you buds.

  2. Joshua says:

    “If it’s interesting to me, it’ll be interesting to someone else.”

    Good post! This is what I needed to hear the most because I sometimes feel afraid that no one else will enjoy something that I enjoy. But I have found that, in most cases, there is always someone with a similar interest.

    • RainbowEU says:

      Yes, I believe that there is always someone out there with similar interests or at least interested in what you have to say! However, only today I was thinking about how people around us limit this belief. I work with a group of people – day in, day out- who have a totally different perspective on life. This at times unmotivates me from expressing myself online. Fortunately, the internet has brought people from all over the world closer together.

  3. On the subject of “letting go of perfectionism”… NEVER! I refuse. If it comes to not keeping my blogs up to my (admittedly unrealistic) expectations, I’d rather cut down to just one blog. I just feel like, personally, my own neuroses wouldn’t allow me to lower my standards in favor of a “quantity over quality” policy.

  4. Nicky Spur says:

    I do the exact same thing of writing ideas down when the pop up in my mind, so much so that I have a string almost as long as your as potential blog posts for the future. Only issue is that I find I prefer to sit down and just begin writing on something entirely new rather than build on an old topic, that way I feel I’m really tapping into my mind rather than scratching together past thoughts.

  5. Jimmy says:

    Those of us that have new blogs have to also make time for marketing, someone seems to have forgotten that. I mean it’s pretty damn important, more important than posts that’s for sure.

  6. Kenia says:

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    When I read, “I’m able to keep up with both blogs without taking time away from my other priorities,” I couldn’t help but wonder: what does that mean exactly?

    Sufficient time spent on other priorities is subjective so will vary from person to person. While one person thinks spending 1 hour with their kids each evening is plenty, others think that any less than 3 hours is considered “taking time away.”

    In any case, good luck with everything! It sounds like *you’re* happy with how your time is divvied up and that’s a great thing!

  7. Being able to manage time is the most important factor in blogging. You should think of ideas that would benefit not only your readers but you as well.

  8. Bex says:

    I think “Letting go of perfectionism” is a great point. Although many biz people are using their blog as one of their marketing strategies and would like it to be in it’s best shape, every body knows no one is perfect. After all, “first thought is best thought” (Allen Ginsberg).

  9. Jerrick Yeoh says:

    That why there will come out some schedule from expert that come out with a big post then follow up with 2 small post then come out again with a big post with new topic. So you dun need spend of the time write out an big post. 2 small post enough time for you to rest and find for a new big post to write for, so it ever to bring back the traffic that loss in the two small post. No point that no matter how busy you are, you still need find sometime for blog, or not you will be busy and lazy to continue your blog.

  10. I agree with scorecard. Sometimes one feels so overwhelmed with life. They feel like they may never be free. But for some its easy to put thoughts to paper. And others have the thoughts but sadly no paper.

  11. Frank Strong says:

    You’re comment on perfection resonates with me — there’s an old saying that perfection is the enemy of good. As for keeping a running list of ideas — one thing I try to be diligent about is sending myself an email with any ideas I get immediately. I save those in a separate folder to review later. Alternatively, I’ll record a voice memo on my phone and email that to myself. Great tips — great post!

  12. Shyam says:

    Hi I’m new to blogging and I’m researching everything that need to learn in this big blogging world. and i came to this article. And I learned something from this article. Thanks for it and I like your posts.!

  13. Having a focus and also a list of post ideas are helpful. It’s very useful knowing what are the search terms of your blog; they are unvaluable resources of ideas for great posts.
    Nice Post, thank you!

  14. Brad says:

    Writing down your post ideas is a must do and there are so many different ways to keep track of content now. One method I find useful is simply bookmark (eg, Google Bookmarks) interesting content and use the same tag for things to blog about, eg; post idea.

  15. I don’t keep a list of blog ideas- I probably should- then one isn’t tempted to write simply a reaction to life- mommy-blog-style! :)

  16. I totally agree with you especially on your first and last point. Every writer sometimes forget the basics of writing which requires simple jotting down of ideas and creating an outline that would guide them all through out blogging. And on your last point, a lot of people may have also observed the phenomenon that not everything in a blogger’s blog is written by the bloggers themselves. I think that blogging has also something to do with the interaction of writer and reader and it’s always nice to involve the readers not only through a discussion on what you wrote but also to have them write for others as well with your blog.