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Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here’s How One Blogger Turned it Around

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? Here's How One Blogger Turned it Around, on ProBlogger.net.

You would have read yesterday about the growing discontentment with blogging and what to do next, and how Megan Tietz finally realized it was time to walk away. Liberating, eh?

Today we chat to Nicole Avery from Planning With Kids, who was dangerously close to burnout at the end of 2014. She knew if she didn’t change her approach to blogging, she was going to ditch the whole thing entirely. Her ideas of how to pull back, recalibrate and start again with a new focus is super-inspirational, and I am sure that those of you who are looking for fresh ways to do an old thing will find Nicole’s tips incredibly useful.

 

5 tips to get you back on track when you feel like quitting blogging

Towards the end of last year I reached my lowest point with blogging. I was tired, overwhelmed and feeling completely over blogging. I felt like quitting.

Blogging brings along amazing opportunities but it is possible to take on too many. Blogging is a wonderful medium to share, but it is no longer just about blogging, there are newsletters to write, social media channels to grow and products to make. Blogging is a fabulous medium to start an online business but with tens of thousands of blogs started every day, keeping up can feel like you are continually running a super fast race struggling to keep up.

My love of blogging though won out and I continued blogging, managing to turn around how I was feeling in the space of three months. While I did more than what is listed below, here are 5 key things I did to get me back on track.

1. Take a break

Each year I usually take two full breaks from the blog, one in the summer school holidays and then the second in the winter school holidays. Due to family circumstances, I never had the break in July and never seemed to find the time to take it later in the year.

Taking a break from the blog is essential to maintaining my enthusiasm and love of what I do. So at the end of December, I took a break (I had planned to take time off in late January). Usually to take a break I work super hard in the lead up to schedule blog posts and social media posts. This time I just took almost a week off and didn’t post. I gave my weekly newsletter a rest for the whole of January and I pared back my social media activity, for example I went from four posts a day on facebook to one.

2. Analyse your time

It was in my break that I came across the Pareto principle. If you are not familiar with it, it can defined as follows:

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.[1] {source}

If I was to apply the 80/20 rule to my blogging it meant that 80% of the time I was spending on blogging was only creating 20% of my results. Effectively most of my time was being spent activities that were not adding value.

To understand this better and see if it was indeed true, I used RescueTime to see exactly how I was spending my time. RescueTIme focuses on measuring exclusively active computer time and detects when your computer is idle. My initial analysis showed me very clearly that the vast majority of my time was spent on activities that contributed very little to results, way too much time on email and social media. On my least productive activities I was spending only 26% of my time on design and composition. A huge wake up call and a stark reminder that if you are spending your time on the wrong activities, no matter how well you manage your time, you will not achieve the productivity you are after.

3. Set a goal

I came across and interview with Jay Papasan on a podcast called a Dose of Leadership and it helped me greatly. Jay Papasan is the author of the book The One Thing. Listening to him speak helped me realise something I think I knew all along. My many and varied goals needed to become a goal clear and concise goal.

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. Russian proverb

So I created one goal for my work life and one goal for my personal life. It has made a huge difference to how I operate on a daily basis. It has given me clear purpose for 2015 and has aided me in making better decisions. My goal is in the forefront of my mind every time I make a decision – will it help me achieve my goal for the year? If not then I have no choice but to say no. Having one goal makes this process so much easier.

4. Create a work schedule

Creating a work schedule helped me get back on track for two key reasons:

  • It scheduled in the activities that will help me achieve my goal for the year. We are all aware if you don’t plan it is unlikely to happen.
  • It prevented decision fatigue – work is just one part of my life. There is always a great deal going on at home and by creating a work schedule it is effectively telling me what to when. Not having to think about what to do means I can just get started on my work each day and not lose time procrastinating over where to start.

5. Practice daily gratitude

This one is a little out there I know, but I have found my attitude to the task at hand plays a huge part in how I approach it and the results it creates. Practicing gratitude does wonders for improving your attitude – we do really have so much to be grateful for if we take the time to think about it.

I began using the 5 minute journal app which I cannot recommend highly enough. I have always thought practicing gratitude would just add to the list of things I have to do and become a burden. This app however allows me to practice intentional gratitude in 5 minutes each morning and evening.

Instead of bemoaning the pressures that come from running a small online business, I would very frequently list it as something I was grateful for. For example:

  • I was grateful I could easily help out in my son’s class at short notice.
  • I was grateful picking up a sick child from school was not stressful and could be done in minutes.
  • I am grateful I can choose to clear my calendar and not take on additional work to free up more time when family life gets busy.
  • I am very grateful blogging allows me travel overseas each year.
  • I am so grateful I receive the most amazing feedback from readers who read my posts and take action.

Have you ever felt like quitting blogging? What did you do to turn things around?

Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids aged 16 to 6. Nicole is slightly addicted to spreadsheets, tea, running and CrossFit. Family is the most important thing in her life and her goal for 2015 is to be a planned, patient and present mother to her beautiful kids.

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!)

Thinking of Quitting Blogging? The Tale of One Blogger Who Did (and What Happened Next!) on ProBlogger.netThere has been a definite shift in the blogosphere over the last 12 or so months, and I’ve heard story after story of people who feel a real sense of transition in the air. Blogging can take a toll on the strongest of people, what with its 24-hour cycle, it’s relentless need to be updated, and its ability to totally take over your life if you let it.

What I’ve noticed, though, is how hard it is for people to let go. Either to let go of their blogs completely, or to let go of the parts of blogging that don’t serve them (me included!). It could be fear holding them back, or resistance to change, the motivation is different for all – but I wondered how helpful it would be to hear from people who dealt with all of these feelings very differently.

From someone who straight-up quit, to someone who hung in there, to another who merged blogging with other pursuits, the experiences I’ll be sharing this week have given me hope. I always find it useful to see how others have made huge changes and not only survived, but thrived, and I know you’re going to find some solace in the stories  from Megan Tietz today, Nicole Avery of Planning With Kids Wednesday, and Heather Armstrong from Dooce on Friday.

Megan blogged at Sorta Crunchy for eight years before finally laying it to rest at the beginning of 2015, and setting off for pastures new. If you’ve ever thought of just walking away and starting afresh somewhere else, this one’s for you.

When did you start to realise it might be time to stop blogging?

I happened across a post from my archives a few weeks ago, something I had written in the summer of 2012. That was shortly after my book had been released, and I know now as I read back over it that in my heart, I knew it was time to stop blogging back then. But I had a book to promote and a platform to maintain, so I powered through and kept at it for a few more years.

In the late summer of 2014, I had one of those rare but wonderful epiphany moments where out of the blue, the thought “I’m closing my blog” rolled through my mind, and it felt so incredibly hopeful and liberating, I knew that the time had finally come to be finished.

Were you making an income?

Sort of. I experimented with different income streams including private ads, sponsored campaigns, and affiliate work, but it was only ever enough to pay my blogging bills and have a little extra play money on the side.

Did you know you had a different direction you wanted to go in, or did that come later?

My friend Tsh Oxenreider had been generous in asking me to be a frequent guest on her Art of Simple podcast, and that experience gave me the confidence to being exploring creating my own show. I knew that I was deeply burned out on writing, yet my personality is one that craves connection and community. I’m solidly in my late thirties now and the thought of teaching myself how to work in a new medium was exhilarating and inspiring.

How did you finally make the decision?

I know this sounds a little woo-woo, but I genuinely feel like the decision was made for me. Once I knew it was time to close the blog, I found it excruciatingly difficult to write anything. It was as if after writing easily and frequently since I was in the fifth grade, I had finally used up all of my words. I couldn’t have kept blogging even if I wanted to. The well had run utterly dry.

What were the factors that led you to stop? Were they internal reasons or external?

I would say it was 95% internal and only 5% external. The external reasons include the pressure to create Pinterest-worthy posts, click-inspiring headlines, and content that would perform well on all social media platforms. But as I said above, it was mostly this internal assurance that the time had come to move on and move forward to taking on new projects.

Have you felt/seen/heard evidence that this feeling of discontent is widespread among bloggers?

It’s funny, having been part of the blogging community for over eight years, I’ve certainly seen bloggers far more widely-read and well-known step away from their platforms for a variety of reasons long before I chose to do so myself. Yet I think it’s one of those things when once you’ve tuned into a certain vibe, you start to feel it everywhere you turn. Yes, I think there is a feeling of discontent amongst my peers who are still blogging, but I think that’s the nature of this beast; a beast which on the one hand has done away with the gate-keepers and made a path for creatives to share their work in ways never possible before, but on the other hand, it requires of you the creation of awesome, amazing, share-able content day after day into perpetuity.

Why podcasting?

I have dreams of exploring lots of new mediums in the realm of new media, but I decided to start with podcasting because I am an unrepentant podcast junkie. The more shows I discovered and the more I found myself delighted by what others are creating in this realm, the more I became consumed with the idea of creating my own show. Even just a few months in, this is one of the most exciting, rewarding, and thrilling things I’ve ever done. I’m in love with the process and product, start to finish. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner!

What advice do you have for people who are thinking of stopping, but are a bit frightened to totally pull the pin?

When you are dating someone seriously and begin to ask, “is this person The One?” you’re often told, “when you know, you know.” I feel it’s the same way with blogging. When it’s time to stop – not just take a break to recover and rediscover your purpose and mission in blogging, but truly stop blogging – you just know. And it is absolutely scary. I spent a few months scribbling in my journal thoughts revolving around the question, “but now what am I going to do?” So take the time to work through the fear and any other negative feelings that surface as a result of such a big decision, but know that everything good and valuable and important that you learned from blogging can be put into practice in a dazzling number of ways outside of this medium.

What’s life like on the other side?

Liberating. People often ask me if I miss blogging, and I can genuinely say that I don’t! I think that’s because I didn’t take my own advice and pushed myself to keep blogging long after it was time for me to be done. I didn’t realize how much mental real estate blogging was taking up in my mind, but now that that chapter is over, I feel so much more free. There’s a wonderful lightness that comes with following your intuition, no matter how scary the path is that it leads you down. It’s a newfound freedom that I am enjoying immensely.


Do you feel a bit like quitting? Like there’s something else on the horizon you’d like to explore, but you can’t just walk away? Let’s chat in the comments, cos I feel like that too…

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

10 PBEVENT Speakers Tell How They Stay Motivated

10 ProBlogger Training Event speakers tell about how they stay motivated in their current work. Inspiring stuff!

All secrets are being revealed on ProBlogger this week! We’ve had the morning routines of superstar bloggers and online entrepreneurs, and also their number one life hack (especially for time management). Today, they share how they keep going when the going gets tough.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200One, I am the sole provider for my children. Keeping them housed, clothed, fed and happy is the highest priority in my life. Two, I love where I am in my life and cherish the experiences that have brought me here to do what I do. I stay motivated so that I can create even bigger and broader experiences.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200

 

Because I have the best job in the world and I want to keep it.

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong
 

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Seeing people learn new things and exploring new ideas keeps me motivated. When you see things ‘click’ for someone it’s extremely rewarding. I also love it when I hear how the work and training we do at Loves Data has helped someone – it’s an incredible feeling to receive a card, an email, or a chocogram, from someone saying how much they appreciate what we do.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200Habit. I’m very good at negotiating with myself and can talk myself out of doing anything so relying on motivation to overcome this just makes life too hard. Instead, I’ve created habits around the things that are important to me/just need to be done. For example: writing and exercise are super-important to me but it would be so easy to de-prioritise them in amongst everything else going on in my day. So being in the habit of getting up early and doing them as the first order of the day every single day … it means I never have to go looking for motivation.

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200Honestly, I don’t have to try very hard to stay motivated—I LOVE what I do! I can’t think of a job that I would enjoy more, or that would allow me to combine all the things I love. I get bored easily, but the blogging world is always changing. I enjoy strategizing & the process of trying to get ahead of the curve. My biggest problem is not getting motivated, but trying to find the time to implement all my ideas. This year my husband made me promise to take Sundays off, which I have, but I often find myself wandering around the house wishing I could work on my latest project!

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200If you are fully aligned to your vision, living and breathing it, it all falls into place without too much effort. It’s so important to fully integrate yourself in your message and what you do. The rest then will simply follow and flow. With this in mind, I don’t need to stay motivated, I’m generally always motivated.

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

 

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200Simple (sort of)… I live my life using a bit of Steve Jobs’ philosophy – if I find that I am not enjoying something in life and know that I can do something better, I will make the switch or adjust my life accordingly. By always doing what I want, I will always be motivated to do what I do.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas
 
 

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200I really, really love what I do. My full-time job is Vice President of Educational Content at Copyblogger. I am running the day-to-day operations of the Copyblogger blog, which is an honor and a wonderful challenge, too.

Along with Editor-in-Chief Stefanie Flaxman and Chief Content Writer Demian Farnworth, we set the tone and editorial direction of the Copyblogger blog, and plan how we’ll complement the written information with editorial images that help tell the story of each post.

In addition to that, I’m overseeing the educational content offered at Copyblogger Media, and there’s a lot of it!

I’m a teacher at heart, so both of these jobs make me feel like I’m contributing to help people make progress in their businesses and their lives.

That’s all the motivation I need. :-)

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200I work on what I love and what inspires me at the time so who wouldn’t be motivated to do that? I do lose focus a little bit sometimes so I have a few things that pull me back into line like chatting with other entrepreneurs, listening to podcasts and speaking at and attending conferences.

 

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I think about my old life waking up every morning to an alarm to go to a job I hated and my first words uttered were “Oh F***!”. That memory makes a 15 hour day working on my blog easy to do. I also have a very engaged email communication relationship (which I’ll share more about in my session). Each week, I read stories about my reader’s lives, fears, hopes and dreams and I’m so so inspired to continue working to help them. I seriously would have quit if it were not for those emails.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week / ProBlogger.net

I’ve seen so much good content lately on the subject of blogging – I always love a downloadable schedule that someone else has taken the time to create, and sneaking a peek into how others make money is such an eye-opener! I’ve curated a couple of links you might find helpful as we try to kick ass on the internet this week.

6 Social Media Templates to Save You Hours of Work // Hootsuite

There’s everything from a template to help you create a social media strategy to guide you in your daily online activities, to audit checklists, content calendars, and image size cheat sheets for download to streamline your workflow.

Facebook Rolling out Significant Upgrades to Ads Manager and Power Editor // Marketing Land

They say big improvements are coming that will increase the congruity of ad creation and editing with data and metrics as well as the usability and searchability within an account. Get excited!

6 Ways to Grow Your Blog Audience // Social Media Examiner

Practical tips on the subjects of blog promotion, consistent scheduling, offering subscription points, expanding your content, and finding content through readers. You can also listen to an audio recording of the article.

How I Made $132,339 Last Month Blogging // StartupCamp

Dale Partridge gives an income report for April, broken down into each revenue stream, and colour-coded to signify whether it was higher or lower than last year. He also includes some links you might find helpful to grow your readership like he has.

Why Link Building is NOT the Future of SEO // Quicksprout

Neil Patel lays down the law for SEO enthusiasts. Been focusing on link building? You might want to think again!

 

Have you read something awesome lately? I’d love to see a link and have a chat in the comments.

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

10 PBEVENT Speakers Reveal their #1 Life Hack

10 PBEvent speakers share their #1 Life Hack for getting stuff done! problogger.netFollowing on from the earlier post about what our speakers get up to in the mornings, we also asked them to give us their number-one time management or life hack – how DO they get everything done?!

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200Delegating. I used to have the hardest time asking for help, but now it’s a basic part of survival. One example: I have a babysitter for two hours in the afternoon so that I can get in a full work day, and if I’m running behind on anything in the house she lends a helping hand.

 

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I reward myself for a good days work by lying on the couch from 2-3pm and yell at the political hi-jinks on Question Time. That, or catch up with my Kardashians.

 

 

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Honestly, I’m not the greatest at time management, but simple and short to-do lists help keep me focused. I also keep my work email turned off on my phone (unless I’m traveling) to stay sane – there’s always more emails to look at and more work to do, so this is one technique I use to help preserve some balance.

 

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200The one minute rule. If there’s something to be done (wash a dish, send an email, file a letter) that will take less than one minute, I just do it. Otherwise the bloody thing will sit there for weeks and that’s ridiculous!
Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

 

 

Ruth Soukup: Founder of Living Well Spending Less

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I’m a big fan of the book, “Eat That Frog,” by Brian Tracy. I read it years ago, and it completely changed the way I structured my day. I try to be very vigilant about doing the big things first—eating my frogs first thing in the morning. I save the easier, fun things, like meetings, phone calls, & editing photos for the afternoon, when I am not quite as motivated.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200I’m an all or nothing kind of girl – so as far as time management goes, if I know I’m ‘off’ I don’t even bother. For me it’s so about quality over quantity, so tuning into this has been such a life saver for me. What it means is if I’m having an off day, I don’t even bother, it’s counterproductive.

If I had to say there was one ‘app’ or thing that saves me time and time again – it’s my google calendar. It means that everything is in the once place, the whole team (and family) has access and it makes life one heck of a lot easier!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200You asked the wrong person because I am late for everything :) But seriously, I will usually do my best to avoid any type of meeting as they are usually boring, unproductive and the same information can be exchanged faster via a phone call. Of course meetings are sometimes necessary and it will depend on each persons individual situation…
Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200My favorite time management hack is to try not to tackle more than three projects in a day.

That doesn’t mean I only do three things every day! It means that in terms of projects that will take me more than 30 minutes of work, I try to keep three on my list, and no more.

I’ve found that when I reduce my list to three main projects, I’m able to get them done. And I don’t suffer from feeling guilty about “not doing enough with my day.”

Instead, I’ll often finish them with time to spare. When that happens, I look ahead to other projects on my main to-do list, and pick something to get ahead on.

That’s a completely different feeling than the “look at all I didn’t get to” routine I used to put myself through at the end of every day. Doing this has transformed the way I approach my time.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200The only time management hack I employ is I ensure that I automate or delegate most of my jobs. Definitely the ones I don’t like and aren’t good at but even the ones I do like and am good at, at least the critical business ones. That way I spend 100% of my time (or very close to it) doing only what inspires me on that day and time becomes much less of an issue than it is for most people.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200Meditation. It helps bring clarity of thought and a grounded sense of calm. That helps you tap more into flow and when you’re in flow time doesn’t exist. I truly believe that mediation has been the most powerful life hack for me for productivity + so many other things.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

 

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.
PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

10 PBEVENT Speakers Share their Morning Routine

MORNING ROUTINE

There’s a real buzz in the air now that the ProBlogger Training Event schedule has been released. Everywhere, people are chatting about where they’re going to be when, sessions are being highlighted, and bloggers are stalking the guest list, wondering who they’re going to meet.

We have some exceptional speakers this year, presenting on some of the most sought-after and useful topics. We grilled them about some of their habits and practices to let you peek behind the scenes of how they do it all. Keep an eye out for the other posts in the series that detail their secrets to productivity, and how they stay motivated.

HEATHER ARMSTRONG: Author, speaker, and blogger at Dooce

Heather-Headshot-1.2015-200x200I set my alarm for 6:30 AM, which is 30 minutes prior to the time my girls need to be up, because I am in love with the snooze button (anyone who travels or rooms with me must hate me for this because I could hit snooze for three hours and love every minute of sleep in between each snooze).

At 7 AM I go into my 5-yr-old’s room, wake her up, carry her into her older sister’s room and we linger there for a few minutes while everyone yawns. Then we all head downstairs, and I continue to the basement where my dogs sleep. I let them out of their crates, feed them breakfast, and let them out for the morning making sure to change the older dog’s diaper in the process.

My kids eat breakfast while I prepare their lunches, then we head back upstairs where I help them get dressed and brush their hair and teeth. That leaves me with about 20 minutes to throw on my workout clothes, put on a little mascara and take a deep breath in consideration of what lies ahead of me that day. After I sign homework and help them check off everything they need in their backpacks, we head out the door.

Heather will be presenting the keynote session: The Courage of Compassion: Transforming Your Experience with Criticism

MRS WOOG: Mouthy 40-something housewife from the burbs. Blogs at Woogsworld

Kayte-Murphy-200x200I wake up and reluctantly get out of bed. Make sure the kids are out of bed and make two coffees. One for immediate consumption and one so I don’t have to make another one in 5 minutes. I spend a fair bit of time saying any one of the following over and over again:

  • Where is your jumper?
  • Where is your lunchbox?
  • Get off your brother!
  • Have you cleaned your teeth?
  • Do you have normal uniform or sport uniform today?
  • No, I have not seen your uniform

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. I log on when the kids are ready for school which is such a lie. I log on after my first coffee. First I check the site is working, skim emails, make sure I the site has not been invaded by spambots. I check all the news sites for inspiration. I check the notes on my phone and recent photos I have taken before I decide on the topic of the day. Then I spend about 20 minutes banging it out, press publish before I go for a 5KM run, another lie.

I spend the rest of the morning working on various writing projects.

Mrs Woog will be on the panel for: How to monetise a personal blog with Heather Armstrong

BENJAMIN MANGOLD: Director of Digital and Analytics at Loves Data + Google-certified expert for Google Analytics

benjamin-mangold-800-2-200x200Most mornings I grab my phone and open Google News. It’s a great little app and it lets me quickly check the weather while also scanning the news headlines. After that, I open Digg or Google Play Newsstand to scan through articles. Then it’s time to get out of bed (yes … I was still in bed scanning my news!) and get the day started.

Benjamin will be presenting the session: Metrics that Matter: Google Analytics for Actionable Insights

KELLY EXETER: Owner of Swish Design, a boutique web and graphic design company.

KellySquareHeadShotHiRes-200x200I wake up at 4.10am and scroll through Facebook while drinking two massive glasses of water. From 4.30am-5.30/6am I write (that’s the main reason I get up so early, it’s the only way I get any kind of quality writing time/time to myself!)

Then 6-6.40am I go for a run or go to CrossFit. Once home from that it’s shower > get kids up > send husband and 2yo off to work/daycare > take 6yo to school … and by 9.30am, I finally get to sit down at my desk and start my working day :)

Kelly will be presenting the session: Blogging voice and the art of creating meaningful connections through writing

RUTH SOUKUP: Founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com

Ruth-Profile-600x600-200x200I am a morning person so I am usually up very early—around 4am. I know that sounds crazy, but it is when I get the most work done and when my brain works best! I try to go for a very quick 15-minute run, just to get my blood pumping. I usually listen to a podcast while I am running, and then spend a few minutes lifting weights and stretching when I am done.

Then I get dressed, grab my stuff, and ride my bike (technically it is an adult tricycle) to my office, which is only a mile away. I try to get there no later than 5 or 5:30 am so that I can get a good 3 or 4 hours of quiet, dedicated writing time in before anyone else arrives. I have a kitchen there & I also keep a spare set of toiletries, so that I can just GO and get my coffee, eat breakfast, and put on makeup later.

My first priority is always to work on creating amazing content for my readers, whether that be books, courses, blog posts, an e-newsletter, etc I think the more you write, the better you get, so I spend a lot of time writing every day.

By 9am most of my team has arrived to the office, at which point I switch into “manager” mode—planning social meda, working on projects, discussing marketing ideas, responding to emails, etc.

Ruth will be presenting the keynote session The 5 Ordinary Habits of Extraordinary Bloggers, and breakout session Pinterest Marketing 101: The Three Elements of the Perfect Pin

NAT KRINGOUDIS: Women’s health revolutionist and fertility fixer at natkringoudis.com.au

Nat_1698-200x200With two small children, there is no such thing as a morning routine!

I do however follow more a night time routine. I enjoy some downtime of an evening, I like the ritual of writing/journalling, taking a shower, a cup of tea, I like to set my intention for the next day and have myself organised. It’s all about the small things especially once kids are in the picture!

Nat will be presenting the session: How to create your gangbuster e-product

BRANDON COWAN: 21-year-old co-founder and Director of Crazy Dog Apps

Brandon-Cowan-1-200x200I’m a bit odd… Routine for me is having a lack of routine… It varies each day and seems to change every month. Probably because I don’t really plan much in my life in general. Currently, I will wake up some time between 10am and 3pm, grab my laptop from under my bed and reply to emails whilst still in bed for a few hours (yes, I do have a ‘horror story’ of unintentionally having a video call with the CEO of an international gaming company and about a dozen other people when I was in bed without a shirt on not so long ago).

After that, I’ll sometimes make a few phone calls, take my foster dog [as of time of writing] for a walk (I sneakily let her jump on people when we walk and if they react positively, I tell them that the dog is available for adoption – how’s that for marketing?) and then the rest of the day varies. It can include creating or modifying an app specification document (it’s as fun as it sounds), reviewing and testing apps, providing information to people wanting to make an app, creating animated videos and speaking with clients. I sometimes also speak at events and other times I have random meetings (but not often).

On other days, I might wake up at about 6am to work for the whole day looking after dogs at dog day care at my local vet. Then at nighttime I do my app work. It’s nice to balance what I do and I ironically recently got another job to give me a break from my app work although I still usually work on about 6 apps at once…
I don’t usually follow weekends or public holidays with my work as each day blends into the next for me.

Brandon will be presenting the session: Creating Business Ideas

PAMELA WILSON: Big Brand System and Copyblogger Media

Pamela-Wilson-600px-sq-200x200One of the most wonderful perks about my current life is I can wake up with no alarm. Despite this, my eyes pop open like clockwork every morning (weekends included) sometime between 6-6:30 am.
I drink warm water and lemon, followed by a cup of tea or coffee. Then I check email to make sure nothing urgent has happened overnight.

In the first part of the day I review the list I set up for myself the night before. And I visit 750words.com to get my first 750 words of the day written.

This site has helped me adopt a regular writing habit. Oftentimes I repurpose what I write there for blog posts or email newsletters. And sometimes I just use it as a place to sort through my thoughts.

I try to do a bit of exercise first thing before my day gets too busy. That may be a walk, some Qigong, yoga, or a bit of time on an elliptical machine.

I do love the mornings! It’s a great time to be productive.

Pamela will be presenting the session: Design 101: How to Use Design Basics to Polish Up Your Blog, and How to Create a Content Event That Builds Your Email List

DAN NORRIS: serial entrepreneur, award winning blogger and the author of the best selling business book The 7 Day Startup

dan-norris-1-200x200Assuming I don’t have the kids I wake up either from the sun rising over the beach or the sound of the ocean. I then look out my window to see what the surf is doing. If there’s waves I head out for a surf. If not I (don’t tell anyone) grab my phone and get on Instagram and Facebook oops! Then I walk up to the coffee shop, take my kindle and have a coffee and read a book.

I walk back along the beach, maybe listen to a podcast on the way and think about what I’m doing that day. I either work from home or head into co-working to work from there.

Dan will be presenting the session: How to use your blog to supercharge your small business

CAROLINE MAKEPEACE: Co-founder of y travel blog

Caz-Makepeace-bio-square-600-x-600-200x200I spend the first 20 – 60 mins meditating. I then read an inspiring positive message, for the day currently from Marianne Williamson’s, “A Year of Miracles” The rest of my routine varies in order depending on the day, but the routine involves the following: sometimes I may write in my journal. I’ll fit in exercise somehow, either yoga or boot camp. I wake up my inner body with a morning tonic tea. I then spend the morning with the girls, preparing them for school, while I have a green smoothie. Once the girls are in school, it’s time to start work with a green tea.

Caroline will be presenting the session: From Blog to Business – the steps you need to take from to create a profitable business online

THE EVENT

There are a handful of tickets left, so be quick to ensure you don’t miss out! You can go here to purchase.

PBEVENT is Australia’s biggest and longest-running blogging conference. Our first 400 tickets sold in around 20 minutes this year, firmly establishing it the ‘go-to’ event on the blogging community’s calendar for training and networking.

In 2015, ProBlogger Training Event is presented by Olympus and will be relocating to the spacious RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, ready for over 650 bloggers on August 14 and 15.

5 Basics to Having Your Post go Viral

5 basics to having your post go viral - the foundations of shareable content on ProBlogger.net

The longer I blog, the more I hear of bloggers trying to go viral.

I’m sure on top of posting consistently, using social media strategically, and generally providing interesting, useful, and inspiring content on the internet, it would be a little help if that content was seen by as many people as possible. Even better if those people hang around and provide ongoing traffic. Going viral wouldn’t hurt, right?

While it won’t happen to everyone, and it’s almost impossible to force, there’s no doubt going viral can be useful when you can get it. Viral posts usually have similar threads in common, so you’re bound to give your post a little push if you can ensure it contains this combination of essentials:

1. Reach out and touch somebody

The one aspect that always appears in viral content is its ability to invoke an emotion in the reader.

No emotion? No sharing!

In addition to that, the most shared content is said to be content that evokes a strong positive emotional response. So yeah anger and indignation will get people sharing (outrage is also good!), apparently what works best is the warm and fuzzies. A 2010 study of the New York Times “most emailed” list found the articles that were shared often tended to fall into one of four categories: awe-inspiring, emotional, positive, or surprising.

Recently, two professors studying the motivations of virality came to the conclusion that while content is shared for ultimately many reasons, it’s emotional reactions that tend to drive the most shares. In addition to that, content that makes your heart race is more likely to go viral. Written anything that powerful yet?!

In the article, they say “Content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”

Have a think about how you can get your message across. Is there a personal story you can share? Is there a humanist spin you can put on it? How can you really create your post with “resonating with the reader” in mind?

Viral content is compelling, interesting, funny, moving, and if you’ve really hit the jackpot – the next item on our list!

2. Be useful

Everybody loves a life hack. I’ve been eating apples wrong all this time? Chinese Takeout? Slicing grapes? Mind blown, must share.

When you think about creating content that people can’t help but share, thing about how you can be useful. How you can add value, find their pain points and solve them. Have they got questions? Answer them? Be inspiring, be emotive, heck, maybe even be a little controversial. But useful content is king – you’re starting off on the right foot if you’ve got that down pat.

3. It’s all about the reader

Apparently people will share content when it says something about who they are. It might make them seem intelligent, it might show how much they care for the less fortunate, or it might just show they’ve an excellent sense of humour. They’ll share reflections of their personalities, and you’re going to give them the content to do just that. The article says sharable content is “often a statement about what you believe in, what causes or values you align yourself with, and what, in particular, you love and identify with”, so make sure your content fills one of those needs.

Aaaaaaand I googled the term “extreme selfies” after reading that article. Buzzfeed, you’ve done it again!

4. Get a Head Start

If you want your content out there, being seen by the max amount of eyeballs possible, then begin by putting it there. Don’t just publish and hold your breath. We all know Facebook is making it difficult to be seen in newsfeeds, and evidence is showing Twitter doesn’t drive traffic like it once did – so think outside the box. I’m sure you’ve got an RSS or email post mailout sorted, but you can also upload to Slideshare, LinkedIn, YouTube, have something in your email signatures, forum signatures, you can submit to Digg and Reddit if you can, even StumbleUpon if you think that might help.

Don’t discount Google+, there’s still a few going strong over there! Some blog commenting systems (particularly WordPress style ones) have the option to link to a post – choose that one when you’re commenting. Post it to Pinterest – several times. Does it have a Pinterest-worthy image? Get on that!

Have you sorted the SEO? Is it keyword-rich (but natural, because nobody’s gonna read a robot)? Have you provided keywords for images, and in the alt-text? Have you checked the metadata?

You can ask people to share, if you think it will help. Email influential people (if relevant) and ask them to share if they feel it will benefit their readers. Ask people to retweet. Invite them to share at the bottom of your posts. Mention sharing in your Facebook update. Ask your friends and family to share if they can/want to. Sometimes all it takes is a little prompt.

It also doesn’t hurt to jump on a news story or trend when it’s reaching its peak. Does it have an angle you can cover on your blog? What is capturing the internet’s attention that you can build on, or provide an alternative opinion to? Do you have further information, something themed that will resonate, or have you covered this issue before? Ride that wave!

5. Make it easy

You really can’t expect people to share if you haven’t made it easy for them to begin with [tweet that!]. Have clear social sharing icons displayed prominently (wherever works for you – a scrolling set on the side, at the bottom of your post, at the top, etc), and ensure you’ve configured them to show the top five or six platforms you think will be most useful or that people are likely to share on.

Provide tweetable quotes, like I have above. Two clicks and they’re done! Have a Facebook-sized image somewhere in your post that people can use. Lead that horse as close as you can to the water, and they just might drink!

Have you ever had a post go viral? Did it fit the criteria here? Do you remember the viral posts that have caught your attention? What was it about them that compelled you to share? I’d love to chat!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Domain Name

Choosing a domain name - Don't choose anything until you've read these four things to consider at problogger.net

When there’s more than 284 million registered domain names online, you’re going to want yours to stand out. But you also want to be easily remembered, have a URL that accurately describes your business, and it would help if it ranks well in Google. Right?

Right.

It’s very easy to buy a domain name that you come to regret later. What was useful and fashionable years ago suddenly is unwieldy and a pain in the butt to describe now. You might take what you can get if your favoured domain is already taken, only for that to expire later on and you’re stuck with one you don’t like.

Even worse, you could pay a great deal more for it later, or even spend quite a bit of money rebranding and redirecting years after you’ve become established just because that domain you’ve always wanted has suddenly become available.

It might be tempting to buy up quick to stop other people from taking the one you’re currently considering, but it won’t hurt to take a few minutes to ensure what you’re getting is what you want, what works, and what will stand you in good stead for the long haul.

The four things you should consider when choosing your domain name are:

The Human Perspective

Ease

You want a domain that’s simple to read, simple to say, and simple to remember. It also helps if it’s easy to type.

It’s one of the core values of marketing to be memorable, and simplicity is usually best. If you can create a url that is no longer than two or three words, with no phonetic bits to confuse people’s ears (razinghomes.com and raisinghomes.com might sound exactly the same but mean the total opposite of each other – confusing, right?), and doesn’t have unusual spelling, you’re well on your way to creating a domain name that works for you.

Readability

It probably does sound a bit fun to do some teacherstalking.org, but I’m sure the people behind Teachers Talking have other ideas. In the same vein, ferrethandjobs.com still cracks me up although they soon changed to ferrethjobs.com before going offline – no ferrets getting frisky to see here.

Have a look at how your words run together. Are there any surprises there you haven’t thought of? Send your proposed URL to a friend and ask for their initial reaction. Write it down, say it out loud – how does it roll off the tongue? any word that ends in “s” only to be followed by a word that begins with “ex” is a recipe for disaster so probably best to avoid that combination!

Unless you’re super-niche and you’re expecting a super-niche audience, it’s a good idea to steer clear of slang and corporate-speak. Different countries also have different vernacular and that can actually work in a lot of cases (see skintdad.co.uk for example), but outside the UK and Australia, “skint” and other colloquial terms might be unfamiliar.

The Brand Perspective

You’re always going to want people to know what you’re about in the shortest amount of time possible. You don’t really want a URL that doesn’t accurately describe what you do, or at least isn’t easily understood fairly quickly. It’s best to do some research and some brainstorming to find out what’s popular, what works, what sums up your business and what gives the right impression.

You might consider calling your blog or website something reasonably long, but that doesn’t mean your URL has to be the exact same name. The URL is like your business card, it should be short and sharp and to the point – just giving the recipient enough info to get started. You can then expand on your site if need be, but unwieldy URLs aren’t usually going to be useful when giving prospective audiences a snapshot of what to expect on your blog.

Domain Extensions

Back in the day there were a handful of choices – .com, .net,  .org, etc, and a lot of them had extra extensions depending on what country you were in.

While it’s still sensible to stick to what works, there are also other options to consider, especially if they work particularly well with your business name or genre. Newer ones include .biz, .info, .me, .shop – all sorts of things (a larger list is here) that might describe your work more accurately. Do keep in mind though, most people’s minds revert to “.com” when trying to remember URLs, so an exotic one might mean you’re missing out on traffic.

Uniqueness

There’s no way around the need to be unique when it comes to business names. Not only do you want to be memorable and hopefully the only one – but you also don’t want to get yourself into legal trouble either. Do some Googling to see what business names and URLs already registered are similar (or the same) to yours. You can search through business directories, phone books, and blog curation sites like Bloglovin‘ to find out who is blogging under what name and make your decision from what you find.

The SEO Perspective

Relevance

Just about everyone is looking to rank well in Google to help all those people searching for exactly what your blog provides. If you’ve got a clever and funny blog name but it has no bearing on your actual content, then your URL is not going to be the first few options a searcher sees when they’re looking for what you’ve got. You don’t have to make it boring as hell just so it ranks well, you just need to be able to strike that balance between cute and useful.

For many, their URL is going to be dependent upon their blog or business name, and if your blog content isn’t easily identifiable from the name, then it’s going to be that much harder for your blog to show up in search results. Not impossible – because with consistent posting and hard work to get yourself out there and linked to, you can begin to build credibility – but just that little bit harder without the natural traffic that you could be getting.

Keywords

For the super-expansive lowdown on how to make a great URL that ranks highly in Google, you have to read Moz’s SEO Best Practices for URLs. It’s going to take you through what a URL is, how to make a great one, and what are the ways search engines prefer. In a nutshell, if you’ve got keywords in your URL that pertain to your content, the better your SEO results. Keeping in mind the content you write will populate the longer URLs directing to each blog post, which means there are more chances for your keywords to show up naturally. But if you can create an original URL for your site that contain the keywords for your content, you’re halfway there.

How do you find your keywords? Brainstorm a list of what your site is about. Is it recipes? Fashion? Travel? Write down all the words you can think of that people will be searching for, and the key words in your content pieces. You can also check sites like Google Keyword Tool, Buzzsumo, Keyword Tool, etc to find out what are the popular searchwords are for your genre.

The Legal Perspective

Copyright and Trademark

Obviously it’s going to cost you a lot of time, money, and heartache if you’re sued for infringement because you’ve started trading as a company with the same name as, or can easily be confused with another company. To a lesser extent you might just piss another blogger off who has worked hard to establish themselves, and are now losing traffic to you. Copyright is difficult to control on the World Wide Web, but there are avenues for people to take if their intellectual property – including blog names and URLs – has been compromised.

I can’t stress enough to check and re-check other blogs, sites, and company names before you embark on your URL buy. There may be people out there with the same blog name as the one you want, but they haven’t bought the official domain or their blogs are left stagnant (which actually happened to me! So I started a blog with that name and it’s been going five years without incident). It is up to you whether you want to take that opportunity and make something of it, or if you’re not entirely confident it’s available for you to use. It will be obvious what you can’t have, as someone else will be currently using it – but you need to do your homework to avoid future legal battles and one hell of a headache.

You can do this by first checking trademarked business names, and then doing an informal search for other current blogs and sites. In the US, you can check who owns what at Copyright.gov and uspto.gov –  The Patent and Trademark Office even have a Trademark Electronic Search System to make searching easier. In Australia, you can search for a registered business name at asic.gov.au, and search for registered trade marks at ipaustralia.gov.au. Doing Google, Bloglovin’, Facebook, and Twitter searches for the blog name or URL you want will turn up all the people currently blogging under that name. Who knows, you might be inspired to choose something you like better than what you had in mind, thereby bypassing legal and blog-community troubles down the road.

 

Do you have a URL tale of woe? Nailed it right off the bat? I’d love to hear!

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

 

3 Ways Scheduling Will Make You a Better Blogger

There's more things to do with a blog than there is hours in the day. These tips will help you schedule like a pro and get your life back.Do you feel a bit like a slave to your social media? Always thinking about your next blog post, forgetting to respond to that guy on Twitter, and never Pinning at the right time?

I know what it’s like to always feel like you’re running to catch up, instead of being in control of how and where you spend your time.

There’s nothing wrong with flying by the seat of your pants and only writing or hanging out on social media when inspiration strikes – if it works for you. If you’ve found that’s a little too chaotic to be sustainable long-term, then you’ll benefit from being more intentional with your time. Which frees you up to have even more of it.

Three Reasons Why Scheduling is Good

It gives you more time

If it’s one thing I hear the most, it’s that bloggers don’t have enough time in the day to do all the things they want to (or think they should) to build their blog and make it the best it can be.

Time is finite, it’s so easily wasted, and yeah, it feels like there’s just not enough of it. Many of us are working on our blogs in the cracks of time we have around other work, family, and life commitments, and there are periods where we feel as though we are succeeding at the juggle about as well as we’d succeed at performing brain surgery on a puppy.

The reality is, you have to make time. Nobody is going to walk in, grab your kids and say “we’re going to the park, you blog for a couple of hours” (are they? If they are, can you send them to me?!), or take on a big project at your day job to free up time for you to finally get started on that eBook you’ve been putting off. If you’re not scheduling in time to blog, and scheduling your posts and social media updates, then of course you’re not getting as much done as you would like.

Scheduling = more time. Time to live, time to work evenly on all your projects, time to take your own kids to the park. (Tweet that!)

It gives you more flexibility

To be honest, I don’t know of any blogger who can sit on the internet all day and respond in real time, whether that’s publishing at the most appropriate hour, or answering every email, tweet, and Facebook message received. Nobody is up at two in the morning Pinning their latest posts because that’s when their particular audience is online (hello working from the Southern Hemisphere).

There are some people who like to read my blog at five in the morning. There are hundreds who come after I’ve gone to bed at night. The last thing I want to do is hit publish before sunup, but I also don’t want to miss out on the traffic that comes at the most convenient time for them, so post scheduling works in both my favour and theirs.

I know sometimes the word “schedule” makes people shudder, and they’ll tell you they prefer “flexible” any day. Schedule sounds locked down, tight, rigid. The beauty of working online is so we can publish immediately, spontaneously, and so we don’t have to toe the line of a 9-to-5. But done right, scheduling can bring freedom – what you want is a flexible schedule, something that works just for you.

Scheduling means I can more effectively work around my young family, who I really do have to respond in real time to. When my work is scheduled and my home day goes awry, I’ve got the flexibility to be present in the moment. If home is quiet, I’ve got the flexibility to blog and maybe set a few more scheduled posts and updates for the times I can’t be online. This kind of flexibility is invaluable.

It gives you control

One of the biggest lessons I learned last year is that I don’t work well in chaos. Trying to work, live, run a family, and blog all at once however I could fit it in was benefiting no-one. Least of all me. I felt stressed, constantly undone, forever forgetting things, and I went to bed almost every day knowing I’d let at least one person down.

Feeling always behind the eight ball is not how I want to get through each day long-term. I don’t want to feel reactionary to each situation as it arises, I’d rather be a step ahead, with a clear head, and proactive.

Scheduling allows me to control my time online, instead of it controlling me. I can write when I want, I can publish when I want, I can be on social media when I want, and there’s flexibility at the end of the day to rejig it if necessary. My readers get content in the times that work for them, and I can interact in the times that work for me. Win-win!

Three Ways Scheduling will Make You a Better Blogger

You are more present

Well, OK – the beauty of scheduling means you can blog without actually physically being present. But the times when you are online, you can be fully present. This is your time to blog, to interact on social media, to chat on Twitter. You don’t also have to be cooking dinner, finding gym shoes, or emailing your boss.

You can work when you’ve got the time spare, and you can concentrate better during that time.

You are more considered

So many mistakes are made when you rush, when you’re throwing something up and running out the door. If you’re writing something that isn’t going up until next Tuesday, there’s no rush. You can write, edit, and give it a once-over between now and then, picking up issues, typos, and adding that link to the article you just couldn’t remember at the time.

When you’re fully present with your writing or your social media, you write better and are more likely to avoid problems that crop up when your concentration is divided. You look more in control and authoritative. And you’re interacting when it’s best for you.

You’re sharing what matters

I know what it’s like when you’ve just found five cool things that your readers will love, but you can’t share all five at once – and you’re likely to forget or give up if you physically post them across a reasonable period of time. Scheduling helpful or funny articles at the times your audience would most like to see them (i.e. when they’re online and they’ve actually got the time to click through) means you’re being the most useful to them you can be. And we all know Usefulness is King!

You’re also not rushing to share something, anything in order to be seen – you’re sharing what’s useful, entertaining, or inspiring because you’ve got the time to find those things, and you’re giving it to your audience at the right time.

Three Ways To Schedule your Work

Start with a plan

I always say planning is essential to be more efficient and to use your time more wisely. In 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier, I talk about planning (and scheduling + automating!) and how they can give you more freedom. In order to schedule your time and your content, you have to know what you want to do, where you want it to take you, and when you work best.

I do everything from long-term checklists and calendars to a five-minute brainstorm and rough outline of the tasks of the day and in what order I’ll do them. I can’t recommend enough that five-minute brainstorm before you get started – it saves a lot of time and heartache later. Slotting your tasks into the time you have available that day will be the best thing you can do that morning to get started on the right foot.

Then, of course, you can branch out into larger, more long-term goals and lists (and refer to those lists when writing your monthly, weekly, or daily plan).

Related: Setting Blog Goals: Why You Need Them, and How To Write Them

Do what works

Get to know the automation tools available out there for bloggers – Buffer, Hootsuite, CoSchedule, Edgar, or whichever one works for you. Get to know when your audience is online, what kinds of updates they respond to, and what kinds of content you enjoy creating. There’s no point posting to Facebook 11 times a day if it’s irrelevant, uninteresting, or clickbait.

Related: Boost Your Organic Reach on Facebook with These Tips

Use social media scheduling

Different apps work for different needs, although the ones I mentioned in the previous point usually cover several platforms. For example, I use CoSchedule to schedule my daily posts to Facebook and Twitter, and they make it easier to post way into the future. I can post several times to Twitter without leaving my WordPress dashboard. Facebook prefers its own scheduling tool, so if I can, I’ll delete the CoSchedule upload to Facebook and use the Facebook scheduler. If’I’m out that day, I leave the CoSchedule one – I do find that the Facebook schedule has better reach.

I use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling, Buffer for tweets on Twitter or tweeting articles from other sites, and I’m interested at looking into Edgar for a couple of other things I’ve got in mind. I’d love to know which one you use though, and why? I think they’re all useful for different things.

Related: How to Socialize Your Posts for Maximum Effect

Stacey is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.