Finding time to write up blog posts with any regularity can cause a great deal of stress, especially if you are juggling a full life. Setting up an editorial calendar will help when you do sit down to write that post because you will already have a topic. However, waiting until the last minute to do the write up can add a great deal of stress and will likely result in a less than spectacular post.
It is ironic that I'm writing this post now. It is 6:30 pm Wednesday. I've known since I started this series that I was going to write on this topic for Thursday. Yet, I'm here at the last minute putting this post together. Thankfully this isn't a nightly occurrence. Typically, I do all my posts over the weekend, depending on my schedule. Here a few tips to take to find time to write up quality posts.
Set aside a specific time each week
Like I said, I will write up all the posts for the week over the weekend. It is usually Sunday night, but if I'm having to write more than 2 of the posts that week, I will try to get a couple of done on Saturday. On Saturday I do it in the morning. I don't really sleep in, but I like to laze around. Blogging allows me to sit on the couch and sip a beverage. Sunday evenings I'm usually winding down, resting before the start of another busy week. So these times work well for me. Do you have a time were you are unwinding, maybe vegging infront of the TV that you could use to write up a post or two? Maybe while the kids nap?
Once you have committed to a certain time each week to blog, keep with it. It is like setting aside time to exercise or anything else that is important to you.
Break your posts into parts
Last week I mentioned formatting posts so that they are easier to write and thus take less time to write. You may also need to break down different parts of your writing in order to find time to write. Graphics can be time consuming. If you do regular features you may want to create graphics that are specific for that feature like my Tips on Thursday graphic. If you want to create unique for each post you may need to set aside a separate time for writing and graphic creation, unless you have a large block of time.
If you are just using book covers and an author photos, make sure you have these before you start writing. I have a folder for book covers and author photos. During the week I will gather these items so when I sit down on the weekend I don't have to go looking for stuff in addition to writing.
As several of my posts each week are submitted by others I will sometimes do the copy/paste if I have a few extra minutes during my weekend writing session and leave all the formatting until the next weekend.
If you like to use quotes in your reviews, then put them in a notepad (txt) file for easy copy/paste when you write up the review.
Another way to break a post into parts is using the formatting tips from last week. Particularly if you like to write long posts, but don't have large blocks of time. Work on each heading/bullet point separately. It may also help you decide to separate the topic into multiple posts.
Don't feel pressured to post more often than you have time for
I like posting 5 days a week, but I don't have time to write 5 posts each week. I'm good if I can get 2 full posts and a list post (new releases, best selling YA, 5 books for fantasy readers, etc.) done each week. Before I had staff writers, I wouldn't stress out if I didn't have content for every day. When I first started blogging my only goal was one post a week. That quickly increased to 2 posts a week. Do as much as you have time for. Your other life commitments are important and blogging shouldn't take over your life. Also remember that ever growing to-be-read book pile (that may be more important).
Destressing your blogging
Time is something we are all in short supply of and the pressures of keeping up a blog can lead to burnout. Knowing what to post is only have the battle. You must also know when to write. You will need to look at your schedule and see where there is some down time for you to devote to blogging. A regular time each week will make it easier to stick to.
I often need to an hour or more to write a tips post or if I want to create special graphics for a post. If you can't find a large block of time, then breaking the writing of a post into tasks will make it more manageable and give you something you can do in 20 minutes or whatever you schedule allows.
Realistically knowing your time limitations will be the biggest factor in reducing blogging stress and your risk of burnout.
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.