I’ve been blogging since 2005. Back when you used to have to walk two miles a day just to embed a code onto your side bar. Ok, that never happened, but you catch my drift. It’s been a while. To say I’m on autopilot at this point would be an understatement.
Let me give you a little more detail. My husband quit his job in 2007. So, the two of us have been home running our online based business for a very, long time. We work from our house. There’s no office I drive to in the AM to get away from my three kids and the chaos. I have to do everything in my natural environment and have acquired some survival skills because this is the suburban JUNGLE, folks.
Tips. I have some for you. You might like some and others might make you question your belief in me, but HEY… it’s been 10 years since I’ve become a work-at-home entrepreneur and I haven’t been institutionalized yet. I call that a win, my friends. A BIG FAT WIN.
10 Tricks To Help Streamline Your Mornings From One Blogger To Another
Here we go – in no particular order.
1. Emails First But Only The Urgent Ones
When you first wake up, even before you sit down for breakfast, check your email. Do not respond to any of them unless they are critical. I’m talking absolutely important – a missed deadline, a contract question, a lawsuit for heaven’s sake. Everything else just doesn’t matter. Have your breakfast. Kiss your kids. Brush your teeth. Be human. But I NEED to check my emails so I’m not thinking about my emails while I am doing all these other things. I like to be present when I’m with my family. If I don’t check my emails first thing, I find that I’m worry too much about what’s in store for me once they leave for school.
2. Have A Designated Work Area That Feels Right
When we first moved into my house, I set up a full office in my basement. It looked great. We had an extra room and it just made sense. But I never went down there to use it. It depressed me to be in a room without windows and to be so isolated from the rest of my family. We finally decided to remove the formal dining room from my main floor and use that space as my office. Sure, it doesn’t make sense to my grandmother, but for MY LIFE it works. Now, I work in a room that is filled with sunshine and is steps away from all the action. Be happy with where you have to spend most of your day. It really matters.
3. List Make Like A Boss
I am a “Type A, fanatical, crazy, I need to write this down because otherwise it isn’t real” kind of person. If you are working on your own that means you are accountable for everything. There’s no one checking in on me to make sure that I’m hitting deadlines and making conference calls. To combat this, I use every tool known to man – written and online. Become friends with Google Drive. Here’s an example of some of the tools I use:
- Daily To Do sheet that houses deadline dates for all posts due
- Collaboration Sheets with partner based on different project ideas
- Expense / Income Tracking Sheets
- Google Calendar – everything personal including kids’ after school activities
- Note taking for conference calls
- Reminders for post write ups
- Major milestones to hit
- Brain dumps (keep with me always)
4. Highs And Lows
Sometimes I write 2 posts in a day and sometimes I write 6. I’ve stopped feeling like I’m required to have to hit a specific number each day because then I just write for the sake of writing. We all know that’s when crazy content starts coming out of left field.
5. Start A Private Facebook Group For Support
Do you have a few blogger friends that you’ve known for a while? Start a group with them on Facebook and use it for support. A small one – not a 200 person one! I’m talking 10 or so people at most. Create a safe place to ask business questions or to throw ideas around. I’m in one and this is where I go when I’m trying to price out gigs, or when I’m trying to think of the right words to say when I want to negotiate different terms in a contract. You catch my drift? Surround yourself with smart people and grow together as a unified force.
6. Shoot Photos For Multiple Posts In One Day
This works for any type of posts. If you are doing fashion posts, shoot three or four of them in one morning. Are you a baker? Then pick an afternoon and whip up a few masterpieces and knock them out the park. I have found that if I am in the ZONE, I can get a bunch of things done at once and then deal with editing and writing later. The pictures are the hardest part. Take a shower, throw on some lipstick and pull yourself together for an hour or two. The rest of the week can be spent braless and in your robe. No one will know.
7. Social Media Life Takeover
Learn to do social media in between your life – not during it. This took me a really long time to figure out. And if I’m really being honest with you, I had to actually GIVE UP Pinterest to take back my afternoons. Pinterest was RULING me. When I let it go, I lost over 200,000 pageviews on my site. You know what? I’m ok with that. My sanity and my children come first. Sometimes you just need to make that decision. After I removed Pinterest from my small little Universe, I decided to just look at Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in between moments. What does that mean?
- While I’m waiting on line at Starbucks
- While I’m at the corner waiting for my kids to get off the bus
- While my husband is driving us all to Target
Not when my kids are home after school and we are all in the living room. NOT when my husband is talking to me at the dinner table. Eye contact people. Eye contact. The web is fun… but real life is fun(ner). Ok, that’s not a word, but you know what I mean.
8. Think Of Blog Series Titles That Are Easy To Maintain
I have very high level topics on Lady and the Blog and they are very easy to write.
- Today’s Obsession
- Daily Diary
- Daily VLOG
- Child Style
- What She Wore
- Fashion Friday
- Truthful Thursday
You catch my drift. I’m not MEGA specific when I create topic ideas. This makes it easy for me to write when I finally sit down at my desk and find a moment. Think of a few topics that you love and categorize them. Then keep them top of mind when your inspiration is running low.
9. Need Help? Hire Someone!
Stop feeling like you have to do everything alone. I can’t do a DIY post if my life depended on it. So, I buy these posts from VAs and call it a day. Whenever a client is looking to hit a certain number during a Twitter party, I ease my mind and hire a few girls to participate during the hour as panelists. I’m no hero. I’m not the captain that’s going to go down with a sinking ship. If I feel like I’m drowning, I get people to help me swim. There are plenty of people out there willing to get into this blogging world. Lean on them. It’s ok. This misconception that you have to be a one woman show is WRONG.
10. Say No
Yes, you heard me. I don’t take it if it doesn’t feel right. If you don’t pay me the money I think the campaign is worth, then I walk away. And you know what? That’s ok. I’m sure we will work together again another time. It’s all OK. If the product doesn’t sit right with me… I say no. If I don’t want to travel to the event because I have something personal going on that day, I say no. If the event is too late in the day, I say no. I say no because I can. And you can too. You have to be able to sleep at night — make sure you sleep soundly.
So, what do you think about my tips? Do you have any that you’d like to add? Would love to hear!
Full disclosure. I took this picture yesterday for a brand I’m working with and it sparked this blog post idea. I can’t guarantee that you won’t see it again somewhere else in the blogosphere. If your friends with me on Facebook, you also saw me turn myself into a zombie. I want to formally apologize for that. 🙂