There may come a time when your blog is no longer your life.
I know, sounds kind of nuts right, but go with me here. When I started out, all I did was blog. I would just write something, throw it up, and share it on whatever channels were available to me at the time. If we’re talking my Blogspot days, I really only shared it on Facebook and had like one faithful reader. Now I have like five at least, but I digress. NOW … I cannot even tell you how hard it is to fit writing actual blogs into my schedule. But it’s okay because everything evolves and changes and your relationship with your blog may just do the same.
It was a topic that came to light in my mastermind group. It’s like you know how much you love writing, but at the same time you have a business that you are trying to run as well. I am writing a second book and working on promo and marketing strategies for that. I create resources for writers including courses and ebooks. I host events like the Writer’s Muse and Dear Love Brunch. I manage a ton of social on IG, Twitter, and a FB group for writers. Yes I am exhausted talking about it. Lol. Nevermind the fact that I also have a full-time job. This is not to toot my own horn or anything like that because I am just a dreamer in the hustle like many of you. But it’s to say that “just” writing or blogging really doesn’t take quite the same precedent on my to-do list as it used to.
As a solopreneur, you are everything in your company until you are blessed enough to actually outsource some of the work. Right now I have one person that helps me manage some of my tasks like scheduling newsletters, helping manage my FB group, completing research and more. But DASSIT. Other than that, I am my own PR team, my own graphic designer, and the talent. LOL. So you can imagine, one, how important time management becomes and two, how I have had to figure out how blogging now fits into that equation.
I’ve mentioned in other material how last year I really felt like I had reached a plateau and so to ramp up my exposure, I began posting 3-4 times per week and developing better social strategy and creating better visuals. And it has been fruitful for my own personal goals. But just this short time later, I already realize that’s a schedule I simply cannot maintain. And so, I have very easily navigated to posting just twice per week and making sure that it’s content I can stand behind and that I feel is useful.
As a writer and a business owner, there will come a time where you will have to evaluate your process. What are your goals and how will you consider all that you have to do to help your day to day align with those ultimate goals? So someone had a question in that same mastermind group about determining what material to put in a book and what to post. Our answer? Post less. Lol. Listen, if writing a book is important to you, then you will want to save your best material for the book. That’s an evaluation you have to make in regard to still posting enough to keep your audience intrigued but making certain to give your book first priority. We’re all juggling these things in various ways. How do you know what material to charge for vs. what to give away for free? How much time can I devote to my social channels, etc?
So I just want to encourage you that yes, our blogs are our babies as personal bloggers, but as personal brands, we have to begin to evaluate how to better use them as a tool. So I want to share a little insight into what that process has been like for me.
- Learning to use my blog to better support my other endeavors. I never thought about the importance of actually using my blog as a way to get people to my events or to tell people about my products. I pretty much just got on and wrote whatever I felt like that day. But as I have matured, I realize that it’s a great opportunity to just continue to share the message about whatever is important to me to promote at that time.
- I had to begin creating designated days for writing. With so many other things going on, it got harder to just write at random. You also know as a writer that it truly takes a certain headspace to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. So I started using Wednesdays as the days that I write posts. Now, all week I keep a running tab of ideas as they pop into my head. But it’s one day that I sit down to actually fill them out. Some people find that even outlining a few of their supporting points works. I will admit, sometimes I just write a title and have no idea where I wanted to go with it, so a few supporting lines may have been helpful.
- Batch writing. This goes right along with the above point. By setting aside one day to write, I write multiple posts that day. This process is so important and allows me the time to move onto other tasks. In that I also separated the days that I write vs. the days that I upload and do graphics. Those things require different headspace. Writing for the most part, I am better at during the day. Graphics and web stuff I can do at anytime. So by separating them I am best utilizing my prime hours for the important thing which is the writing.
- Learning that everything isn’t a blog post. I have talked about this in The Writer’s Muse group and a post on sharing your message across mediums. Sometimes an idea just isn’t meaty enough to write a whole blog on, but that doesn’t mean it’s not content for social or a Periscope or whatever the case may be. By understanding what is or isn’t a blog post for me, again, I am able to save myself time for other tasks.
At the end of the day, I love my blog. I am not here because it was the popular thing to do. I am here because I love writing, I love growth, and I love exploring all the swirling thoughts in my head on paper. But it feels like my work has become bigger than my blog, you know? And you can’t be afraid of that.
Your editorial calendar should not be something holding you captive. It should just be a guide for what you want to produce and you have to be smart at helping it support what you ultimately do. For me that’s write and help other writers. And you may want to produce just a super successful blog. If that is the case, by all means!
But what I have truly learned this year is first, the importance of keeping in sight what it is that YOU want. So that means not what social media is telling you is important or what you see others making money from doing but YOUR ultimate goal. And second, learning to cut out the unnecessary BS that we put in the way of actually achieving that specific goal. So not getting distracted and not holding on so tightly to something that is not serving the main goal.
So as a writer who blogs, don’t let your blog be a distraction. It should serve you. Just make sure that it’s doing that.