Tuesday, 16 February 2016

10 10-Minute Blogging Activities You Can Do When You Don't Have Time To Blog

There is no such thing as not having time to blog, because in only 10 minutes, you can do any of these tasks that will blow your blog away in no time!

If I were to hazard a guess, you, like so many of us, don't have all the time in the world. You have work to go to, or school, or college, or some other life draining building to walk into, or you have children, lovely, beautiful, time consuming, attention seeking children that require more hours in the day than you have to start with. You wake up, you do the days activities, and you sleep. There just aren't enough hours in the day to brush your teeth, let alone actually blog.

Wrong you are my friend, for I have 10 simple, easy (and quick!) activities you can do, that will not only benefit your blog when you're away doing other, less exciting, important life tasks, but will take you less time than it does to cook my microwave mac 'n' cheese. I promise you, there's no lies here.

1. Schedule some social media


Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are life savers for people with no time, and it takes but a matter of seconds to type a tweet, include a link (and a photo if you have one, because photos make tweets x2 as likely to be shared!) and boom, easy as pie. Of course, that is assuming you've already set yourself up with one of these tools, (because if you haven't, you best check out this post and get started) as with the automatic feature of figuring out your best times to post on social media, you can be sorted on a free account for up to 10 posts. Hey, that's an entire day where I'm consider. 10 updates, 10 minutes, a whole 24 hours accounted for.

2. Share other people's content


Believe it or not, social media is not all about you, and while Facebook makes it easy for you to think it is, it really, really isn't. You should always be sharing other peoples content in between sharing your own, not only because you're an awesome member of the community, but because you want to be helping out the cool guys that follow you, and they would appreciate some helpful content that wasn't all you you you. Don't just self-promote, but promote your friends blogs and content, your favourite bloggers you visit. Go back to the sixties and share the loooove.

3. Reply to social media


I don't know about you, but sometimes I get notifications and I'm just too busy stroking my cat to reply to them. (I kid I kid, I'm almost always in work, it sucks because I hardly spend any time with my beautiful cat..) I read them, sure, but then I get sucked into a vortex of life and forget to ever thank people for sharing posts, or just start up a conversation with someone awesome that I love that's done something awesome for me. Bad form Amanda, baaaaad form. Take 10 to just thank to the people that share your work, or even like what you do, and actually be social on social media. The clues in the name..

4. Reply to comments


Oh man, if there's anything I'm worse than social media replying, it's comment replying. I get bombarded with emails from people I should really unsubscribe to, and although I always, always make a point of reading somebodys comment through the email, I rarely remember to reply on the day. It's possibly my worst habit. I'm learning to take time out the day (if I can spare it) to seriously reply to one or two comments, because one or two is much better than none, and even if it takes you a week to get through them, you've made sure that person who gave you some of their time, knows their worth some of yours. Relationships matter people, so be attentive and help them grow.

5. Reply to emails


Okay okay, I know that nobody really likes replying to emails, but in todays society, it's sort of a must. Whether you're responding as to why that promoted posts is running late, or you're planning an awesome co-post with another great blogger, you need to actually speak to them to iron out details. Prioritise between the important emails and the emails that can wait (or even just plain delete them, obviously only if you don't need them, be careful on that front) and get those tasks sorted before it's past the point of explanations. Life gets in the way, and as long as you're not replying a month later, people will understand.

6. Brainstorm content ideas


If I had a pound for every amazing blog post idea I've had but forgotten to write down, I could quit work, buy a house in the country, start up a farm and spend glorious days with my cat. Alas, I cannot. Ideas are like whistles in the wind, you have to take note of them before their gone, because like the sales ads say, when they're gone, they're gone. I'm getting into the practice of keeping pen and paper with me everywhere I go, and I've also always got my phone to hand to take notes on should pen and paper be difficult to find in my bag. Then, when you've got the actual time to blog, you have the ideas right when you need them.

7. Outline upcoming posts


One of my most newly acquired habits is outlining my posts before I come to write them. I was always a bit of a 'swing while we're winning' blogger and wrote as and when the inspiration took, but 2am late nights were ruining my effortless look and going into work looking like a zombie really suit retail unless it's halloween. A little bit of effort and information from the present you can really make a difference when future you comes to sit in front of that screen. What's better, switching on to a screen saying 'this bit here, talk about that there, add link here' or a the white screen of death? Mr Grim Reeper, you won't take me today.

8. Create or update blog graphics


No matter what program you use to create your blog graphics, you can almost always create a blog graphics within ten minutes with the help of templates. If you use Canva, you have templates and easy to reuse templates you've used previously. If you use Photoshop, you can create your own, and the same goes for Picmonkey. As long as you have a template, creating a new blog graphic takes no time at all. I'm currently in the process of updating my own so that my old content looks like my new editions, and if I make them in bulk, each graphic takes me 5 minutes, 8 tops. Create it, save it, upload it, add metadata for social sites and SEO and bam, you're rocking a new look in just 10 minutes.

9. Snap or snatch up some blog photography


Most graphics now are using photography to make them more attractive and appealing, and shoutout, it works. I'm no professional when it comes to my photography, but you can see for yourself on Instagram that I'm not a rookie either. Grab yourself a nice, naturally lit spot, grab a few bits and bobs, a few books, a candle, a box of matches and a cuddly toy, arrange and snap with your phone. Even if you just get one good photo in the 10 minute time period, it's one more than you had before. If you really suck at photography, spend those minutes searching for stock images to use at a later date. There's nothing better than searching your files and seeing the perfect image all ready and waiting for you to use it, saving you time, and stress.

10. Write a proactive to-do list for when you do have time


Stressing about the things you don't have time to do is not only unproductive, but it's also a mood killer, and when you've got a house to juggle and a circus to clean, those are two things you don't want getting in the way of your day. If you really don't have to time to do any of the above, make a list of things that need your attention as soon as you have it to spare. Prioritise the list and stick it somewhere you'll see it, and when the time comes and you have nothing filling it, grab your list and get to work. Knowing what you have to do is motivating and keeps you organised, plus you're likely to find the time if you know it needs doing.

As Benji said, never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.

Are you ever short on time to blog? How do you find time?

16 comments:

  1. I only work on my blog when I have the extra time, and then I don't stress out about it when I can't focus on it. I only post 2-3 times a week though, so that helps relieve the time pressure too. I'm big on commenting/replying, and I respond to every comment left on my blog and then I also visit/comment on their blogs. This can actually be more time consuming than putting posts together (there are days I visit 20-30 blogs and read/comment because of my bloglovin feed and then people leaving comments on my blog), but this is my favorite part of blogging so I don't mind and make that a priority :)

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    1. I only post 2-3 times a week also, and I agree, it does help with the lack of stressing about it all. I'm really trying to improve how quickly I reply to comments and social media, and it's definitely going well, so I'd say you're on a roll. If it's your favourite part, you'll love to do it, and that's the important thing :)

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  2. to be honest, i don't think i could do most of these in 10 minutes. the one that really stood out to me was the promoting others' content though. typically, i'm a rt kind of girl but i've never really taken the time to tweet others' links and i think, after reading this, that i totally should!

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    1. I'm the opposite Nova, I share other people's content, but forget to retweet them, it's terrible. Even if the tasks take you a little longer than 10 minutes, it's always worth knowing there's something we can do when we don't have loads of time :)

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  3. Oy, I am short on time every single day! I don't find time either- I simply overwork myself until I am too tired to function, and then I cry. It is NOT a solid plan, and I don't recommend it ;) I have so many of the same issues you do- commenting is so, so hard- even though it's one of my most favorite aspects of blogging! It's just time consuming I think, if you're doing it "right", by which I mean, actually reading someone's post and providing thoughtful responses (which I know you do too, so you can relate!)

    Social media is hard too. I schedule via Hootsuite when I do every post, but responses to social media? They're always late. Not on purpose, either, I just physically can't reply until hours later, usually. And emails... I am the actual worst with emails. I didn't used to be, but it's gotten bad.

    And I want to be better with pictures and such- I LOVE bookstagram and want to do ALL the tags and the monthly challenges and such, but my HUGE problem is that I have no natural light in my house at ALL- so it's really hard to take a good picture, as much as I want to. When the weather stops being gross at least I'll be able to take my books on field trips again ;)

    OH- but I DO make a mean to-do list ;) Great tips, Amanda!

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    1. There just aren't enough hours are there Shannon! I do find I can spend a good two hours replying to comments, even if it's just two posts worth because I want my replies to be meaningful and conversational, worth getting a reply in other words, and it does take time sometimes..

      In terms of photography, you don't have to have a great light source to get good photos. I'm thinking of getting into the details of how I deal with my photography, but the editing tools on most software allow you to tweak the lighting, so even if it's a tad dark, you can get a good photo. I would say practice practice practice! :)

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  4. Oh my goodness, this is a super fabulous post. Most of my social media is sharing other people's posts, so basically that's two birds with one stone *happydance* Oh man, I wish book photography took 10 minutes. Gah. It takes me at least an hour to set everything up and by that time the light's all wrong ... you should totally teach us some super fast photography tips. Outlining blog posts is literally the best, I basically outline every blog post now. I actually take one hour every weekend just to reply to comments and comment back, instead of doing it in increments -- that's just me, though, because I like to comment back and if I stop in the middle I will definitely forget if I've missed anyone. I still need to-do listing skills, though. Loved this list!!

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    1. Thanks Alyssa! Fast photography tips? I might give it a go, although it's sort of hard to explain how you 'throw something together' - bah! Some posts just get outlined with notes, others get the full treatment, just depends on how difficult it is to write the thing, you know? :)

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  5. The productivity in this post is just glorious. :') I LOVE IT. And yessss, omg, I need to get better at sharing other content. Like I share on my monthly recap, but I always forget to share in between that...and honestly sharing is a bit like karama. People do it to you, you do it to them. LIFE IS NICE. Ahem.

    Also I've gotten really bad at replying to comments. >_< I MEAN, I DO. But I've been leaving it till like 3-5 days later, which I would prefer not to! I want to be a bit faster. *nods*

    I loved this list!!

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    1. Aw yay, thanks Cait! I find it that way too, people will share for you if you share for them, but it also just makes you feel good because you're helping them, and your followers with content they'll love! As you can see, I'm trying to slay my comments, but bah, so hard *cries*

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  6. Social media scheduling is my lifesaver! Otherwise I would have had a hard time with timezones! And I always make sure that I reply to all tweets, as I know how much it sucks when someone ignores your ones.
    I am so bad at replying to emails and comments though! I procrastinate a lot, and then stress about it!

    Such a fantastic and resourceful post, Amanda! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I always struggled with that too, I'd be on the bus, or waking up in the night and trying to share and failing, scheduling has SAVED me loads of time and stress for sure. Thanks Mishma, glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  7. I take quiet times at work at times to quickly write down blog post ideas. I have a notebook filled with them now, which is awesome. I just have to find the time to write them up haha. I also like replying to my social media as often as I can when I have a few spare minutes.

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    1. That great Charnel, getting planned and scheduling is a great way to spend small amounts of time! You could try writing them up in bursts, like 10 minutes here, 15 there, and then it'll be done before you know it! :)

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  8. this post is helpful! Honestly I feel like I say this for all of your posts, but I just can't help it! I am either super busy or super lazy most days, so this list is great! Usually when I dont have a lot of time or energy I comment on other peoples blogs, or start going through all my emails which I always leave to the last minute...

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    1. Aw, thank you Maya! I find I do he visiting and going through the quick things when I'm low on time and energy, and this fits so well! :)

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