I currently run 3 completely different blogs in addition to creating content for my day job and other clients. I don’t have time to waste. Since a lot of work can go into a blog post – from coming up with new ideas, research, photography, copy and not to mention all the social media scheduling to actually get people to SEE all the work that I did, it’s incredibly important for me to streamline my blogging process as much as possible so that I have time to do everything else! Maybe you don’t run 3 different blogs, but I’m guessing you have other things going on in your life that you’d rather spend time on – like making money, making dinner, or making time for Real Housewives… Yeah, me too. Minus dinner because that’s what Seamless is for. Make room for more of whatever YOU need in your life with these 5 tips to save time creating blog posts – #trust, they have helped me out immensely!
Use An Editorial Calendar
Plan your posts. Whether you are using a planner, your google calendar, or another online calendar, plan your content out ahead of time! I’ve tried plugins like CoSchedule, but I always come back to the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin – I love it because it’s simple, but I can easily drag and drop post ideas into the calendar and move them around if I need to. It also allows me to see what drafts I have in process versus which posts are already done and scheduled. Any time I have a post idea, I’ll start a quick draft with a few bullet points if I can. Then towards the end of each month, I sit down and try and schedule out as much as possible for the next month. I find that its usually harder to come up with post ideas when I’m under pressure of a deadline, so planning things out in advance makes things much easier.
Batch Process Photos
Whenever possible, I prefer to use original photos for blog posts and my social media content – but I don’t want to take time out of every day to take and edit photos. I keep a running list in Evernote of ideas for photographs, and every couple of weeks I’ll schedule a few hours to take a TON of photos. Then I’ll edit them down to the ones that I think I will actually use and save them to dropbox so I can access them whenever I’m actually working on specific blog posts or social media promotions. Since I try to use natural light as much as possible (and I have a day job), batch processing photos also helps me to get consistent lighting and not have to worry about trying to set up studio lights in my living room at 9 pm on a Tuesday before a deadline (been there, done that, and it was awful).
Create Templates For Blog Post Graphics
I also have templates for blog post graphics (like the one above!) so I can basically just swap out the image and the text when I’m creating a new post. Not only does this help save time, but it also ensures that my graphics are consistent with my brand!
Start A Series
If there are certain topics you write about frequently, save time coming up with new blog post ideas by creating a series. If you’re not sure what topic to create a series around – check your stats to determine which posts are getting the most traffic! Chances are a few of them have something in common. If not, do a little brainstorming. Maybe once a week you can feature your work or interview a client or ask your readers a question – there are so many possibilities.
Consider Contributors or Guest Posts
Potentially the easiest way to save time creating blog posts – have other people create them! Whether you have people contribute regularly or accept occasional guest posts, enlisting other people create content for your blog can be a great way to free up some of your time while also growing your community. When we launched BGNYC earlier this year, I knew that I already had a lot of other things going on and probably wouldn’t be able to post as often as I would like. Taking on contributors has been a HUGE help, but it’s also important to make sure that anyone who you are allowing to publish on your site clearly understands your brand standards. You need to manage expectations (especially if you are like me and have high expectations!), so be clear on exactly what you want from the start.
If you are a blogger, what other tips do you have for saving time creating blog posts?