6. Work Smarter, Not Harder
I’m a minimalist at heart and believe there’s no reason to make blogging any harder than it needs to be. So I’m constantly looking for ways to be more efficient and work smarter, not harder.
A few things which I find helpful:
::Use Google Calendar — I find it very helpful to have a plan, but I rarely stick completely to the plan. With Google Calendar, I can map out the posts I’m planning to run during the upcoming week, but if something else comes up and they don’t end up running, I can quickly and easily drag and drop things to another day or week or month.
Google calendars are also really helpful for planning out series, giveaways and blog projects. In addition, we use them for our family calendar and my husband’s work calendar. It helps to be able to see both of our schedules at a glance!
::Use Email, Rather Than the Phone — Advertisers and other people often want to set up conference calls to discuss potential opportunities. I’ve found that you can spend a lot of unnecessary time on the phone only to discover that the opportunity isn’t a good fit.
If a company contacts me and wants to set up a phone call, I email back and say that I prefer to correspond by email and if they give me more details on the proposal, I’ll be glad to see if it’s something I’m interested in. In most cases, they will send back the proposal and instead of having to have a 20-minute phone call, it will instead only take me two minutes to review and respond.
I only set up phone calls when it is really merited and I feel like it’d be more productive and efficient to hammer out details by phone.
::Set Up WordPress Templates — I just recently discovered Article Templates, a WordPress plugin, and I’ve been blown away by how much time I’ve wasted by not using these!
Since I post a lot of deals on my blog, I often have the same photos and wording in some posts each week. For instance, every Saturday evening, I post the best deals at CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens for the upcoming week. I used to have to upload the image into the post and copy and paste the information about linking up at the bottom of the post.
Not anymore. I now have templates set up for Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid and with just a click of a button, the photo is uploaded and the wording for the link-ups is there and I just have to add in the new deals for the week and the post is ready to go.
If you have regular features on your blog, this can be a great timesaver for you!
::Have a Weekly Planning/Writing Retreat — It’s been said that one minute of planning saves you five minutes in execution. And I’d pretty well agree with that statement. Making time to plan ahead, instead of living by the seat of your pants is critical if you want to manage your time well.
So I set aside a block of time on Saturday to have a mini “Planning Retreat” while my husband takes the children out to to run errands or doing something fun. During this time, I plan out our upcoming week, map out my blog posts for the next week, tie up any loose ends on projects, place online orders, clean out my email to-answer file and just generally get things in order so that I can rest on Sunday and start with a clean slate on Monday. Taking this time to plan makes a world of difference in all areas of my life!
Next Monday, we’ll talk about Time Management when it comes to homemaking, laundry and household chores. And then I have an amazing line-up of guest posts from women in all different walks of life to share with you!
What are your best tips for saving time and staying organized as a blogger? I’d love to hear as I’m always looking for ways to streamline and be more efficient!
photos from Shutterstock