Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How To: Manage a Blog If You Have A Career Outside Blogging

Previously, I prided myself on the spontaneous nature of my writing style. When I felt a wave of fiery creativity and inspiration, I'd quickly "jump" up and carve out some time to put my fingers to the keyboard and type up a post. The great thing about that was every write-up felt "fresh" and "hand delivered to me by the creative writing gods". The problem was that the "gods" went on vacation a lot. Truth: it is immature and unrealistic for a writer to only wait for waves of passion and inspiration to "hit" before writing. Writer's write, period. Whether feeling good or bad, write. Whether feeling inspiration on level 100 or on level 10, write. When strong bouts of passion hit, wonderful -- write. And when it feels like inspiration is purposely eluding, WRITE. The greatest writers understand this and focus more on the truth and honesty of their write-ups, as well as consistency. To achieve that, I need to properly manage the maintenance of Deserve Your Great Life and level of output (posts) generated. 

I'm committed to having a stronger blog presence in 2017 than I did last year. To achieve that, I have to take into consideration my writing habits, full-time job, and blogging goals for the year. For anyone else trying to manage a blog and a part or full-time career outside of the blogosphere, here are 3 practices I have found to be helpful and intend to implement throughout the year:

To help me stick to an active and consistent blogging regimen, I am using a blogging calendar to plan and organize my blogging practice for the year. The blogging calendar will include by date:
  • the concept / theme of each post to be written
  • the number of posts to be uploaded each week 
  • the day(s) and time each post will be uploaded
Do you already use a blogging calendar? If so, do you have any additional information you use your blogging calendar to document?

Since I work full-time hours during the week, well beyond 6pm most days, I am sticking to weekends for writing of posts -- more specifically, 3 hours on Saturdays and 3 hours on Sundays (preferably in the mornings). This should be enough time for me to write my post(s) for the upcoming week, edit them (yes, this is a real and time-consuming factor to account for), and setup/schedule my mailchimp account to send a notification email to each of you lovely subscribers on the predefined day and time the post should go out.

Do you find mornings to work better for you when it comes to writing? Evenings? Are you more productive writing at a stretch for several hours on end or for short 30 minute bursts with breaks in-between?

I am a story-teller. I love sharing sentiments through words and sometimes, those words are many :-). Another reason I shied away from posting last year was the sheer dread of having to churn out lengthy posts amidst my professional and personal schedule. I'm learning that quality posts of great value don't always have to be long -- they can be short, concise and straightforward, which I can happily commit to much easier in 2017.

What posts do you prefer writing -- lengthy versus shorter? What posts do you prefer reading -- lengthy versus shorter?

There you have it folks. As you can see from the items above, the key lies in active decision-making; deciding on a schedule of posts, a time to write those posts, and the format/size of those posts. From prior experience, I can tell you that lack of decision-making leads to reduced productivity (in this case, fewer-than-hoped blog posts) and reduced satisfaction. 

To all my fellow bloggers out there, let's push back on indecisiveness in 2017 and end our "blogger 2017 year" on a high note.

Until next time :)

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  1. Thanks for sharing Adaeze, i started using a blogging calendar last year. I made one for each month that contained all the topics i wanted to discuss but of course i came up with convenient excuses not to write.

    I find that i write better early hours of the morning or late into the night when every where is dark and quiet and all i hear are my thoughts

    I find that i tend to write lengthy posts but i want to change that to 500-750words max this year.

    cheers to ending this year on a high note

    1. Thank you for commenting, Alicia. I've been guilty of noting down topics to cover within a month and not getting the posts ready. What has helped me is getting as specific and detailed with the planning as possible -- scheduling the topics I'll cover down to the week and day. Also, setting a day/time deadline of when each post has to be written.

      I'm also a much "sharper tool" in the early mornings also when there is only quiet and no activity around to distract me from my thoughts.

      500-750 words per post is a great goal -- wordiness is a struggle for me; 2017 is my year of overcoming it :)

      I'm wishing you a wonderful year of writing and productivity ahead :)


  2. Hi Ada. Beautiful post. I am right at that moment Now where I am adjusting to a new blogging calender. Thank you.

    PS. I think you should edit this part: "I'm committed to having a stronger blog presence this year than in 2016." You wanted to say 2017, yeah?

    1. Thank you, Nwamaka :-))))

      And thank you for the edit suggestion! I actually intended for 'this year' to represent 2017 but since it wasn't clear, I have reworded it.

      Also, I tried checking out your blog / site but the link wasn't opening -- is there another link available? I'd love to find out more about your interest in media.