YOU GUYS! I'm so excited to share the SWR Stage with my friend Paige Turner of Between Reality. She has a beautiful blog *drools at all the white space* and you should definitely add her to your bookmarks tab of BOOK BLOGGERS TO FOLLOW.
Today she is sharing with us how to better manage that book blog so we can get back to reading those books. BECAUSE, LET'S BE HONEST: WE DO IT FOR THE BOOKS. She is a part of the SWR Society, so you can access her and more of her wisdom there! Without further ado, I'll let her take it away!
The minute you start a blog, your personal priorities and your blog priorities got a little blurry. Why? Because you were already splitting up your time for your job, your family, your friends, and maybe a dog and a cat or four, but now your blog is in the mix.
It’s no secret that blogs are a lot of work, there’s so much to do! You need to manage social media, promote your blog, write guest posts, create content, somehow find a way to form a mailing list, still go to your 9-5 job, and the list never ends and oh! How do you keep up? How do you not succumb to the blurry stressful life of an overwhelmed blogger?
Prioritize. Prioritize. Prioritize.
I said it three times because you’re going to have to prioritize three times. First, prioritize generally. Second, prioritize specifically. Third, prioritize specifically when it comes to your blog.
The First Prioritize: It’s pretty general. Take all of your responsibilities into your arms, and one by one, list them from most important to not as important (notice I didn’t say not important, everything that matters to you is important!). So, for example: Family → Job → Friends → Pets → Blog. Obviously, this may vary.
The Second Prioritize: You need to figure out specifically what you’ve got to do immediately when it comes to each of your responsibilities. For example: Family: Pay Health insurance bill → Job: Complete presentation for tomorrow → etc → etc → Blog: Write a post
That’s all practical advice, now for the blog (blogtical?) advice. When it comes to your blog, you have to prioritize again. So, this is the third prioritize.
There are so many things to do with a blog. When I first started, I barely knew where to start. I needed to choose my blog’s platform (Wordpress, Blogspot, etc), what theme my blog would have, when I would post, what I would post, when I should create a Twitter account for my blog, and oh, maybe I should make an Instagram for it too? The list gets even longer as you look at other blogs and what they have and that’s okay! You have to keep improving your blog.
Unfortunately, as you look at other people’s blogs and your blog, and how far “behind” you are, you start to get overwhelmed.
You need to figure out what you need to do now. Whether that be choosing a blogging platform, or picking your blog’s theme, or writing and publishing your first post, or creating a professional email to use (your personal one just won’t cut it!), you need to know what to do first, second, third, etc. It’s important, I promise.
Don’t Lose Focus. It’s really important that you understand what can wait. You do need to have social media accounts linked to your blog, I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. But if you’re just starting out, it might not be best to stay glued to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, constantly retweeting, uploading photos, and posting. It isn’t that it doesn’t work, because being on social media does help bring traffic to your blog.
The point is, limit your focuses when getting started. Master 2-3 platforms first then add to them. Then you can promote your blog, write guest posts, manage a mailing list, and work on social media at the same time. It all goes back to...prioritizing.
Bread Is Amazing. I promise, I didn’t lose focus. Bread is amazing and so is your blog. So bread and your blog are pretty much the same. So...don’t bite off more than you can chew. When I first started blogging, I was posting a book review every day during the week. And it wasn’t just me sitting around reading books all day. I was in high-school while also in college part-time. I don’t know how I did it, but I would read a book every day and have a review posted Monday through Friday. It was nothing short of supernatural. Granted, my posting times were sporadic. Sometimes I would post at 6AM, sometimes 6PM, sometimes 9AM, but I would post. I enjoyed it too, I was having a ton of fun reading and then writing the reviews.
However, along the way I realized that it was too much to post a book review every day. So, I made the executive decision to only post three book reviews a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6AM and rarely do I have to deviate from my schedule.
(The Olympics ended two and a half weeks ago or so, but I did that anyway)
What’s your goal for your blog? Is it...TO BE THE BEST AND BIGGEST BLOGGER THAT THE BLOGGING WORLD HAS EVER SEEN!!!? Is it to make a ton of $$$$$$$? Is it to just have fun creating content and having other people read it?
If your goal is the first one, you’re going to have a tough time. It’s not possible to be the best blogger, not even the biggest. There’s always someone with more followers, more comments per post, more page views, more anything than you. Don’t get caught up in comparison. Focus on being the best YOU can be and what YOU can contribute to the book blogging realm.
If your goal is the second one, you’re going to have to be strategic and intentional in order to not come off as a money-grabbing scam. It’s not easy to make money off your blog. Plausible? Yes. Easy? Pft. You have to figure out how you are going to (honestly) make money through your blog and gain followers who trust you and are willing to financially invest in what you have to offer, and that can take a year or more. Blogging isn’t a get rich quick scheme.
If your goal is to just have fun and find book blogging friends, WELCOME TO THE CLUB!! That’s an amazing goal. While your goal will always change as your interests and what you enjoy changes, it’s a solid goal. It’s one you can work towards without feeling like you’re accomplishing nothing.
It may not seem like it sometimes, but it helps to know why you’re running your blog in order to continue want to know how. If you don’t see a point in your blog because it’s not the best/it isn’t making enough/any money, you won’t want to know how to manage it. Managing a blog isn’t easy, but don’t let it discourage you. At the end of the day, with some serious prioritizing, time management, and focus, you can successfully run your blog.
Isn't she AWESOME?
Why are you blogging? What are you blog goals? What tools or systems do you use to prioritize and manage your blog?