As it turns out, I have been trying ( for a while now ) to come up with some great advice that I would give to any blogger that is just getting started. When I first started blogging, I cherished any and all advice that I could get. I was starting something completely foreign to me and from the advice of others, it slowly but surely became something I knew I could be good at. So I found it pretty ironic when I am sitting down at a meeting with the owner of Olivia's Smile Decor, Renee Woodford, and she asks me for some advice on blogging with a full time job. My first thought was "Crap! I have been trying to come up with good advice for a while and I've got nothing!", but something about having to come up with advice on the spot sparked some inspiration and the advice just started flowing. Better yet, it was great advice ( if I do say so myself ). I guess I just needed to stop overthinking it. Now, I have decided that I want to share that same advice with you ( and then some )!
First Renee asked "How do you blog with a full time job?"
My answer was "Set a schedule for yourself". When I first started blogging, I struggled to stay on top of it and work full time. My main concern at the time was simply coming up with quality content to write, which is a great concern to have, but I also should have been concerned with developing a consistent schedule for posts. Once I started to implement a schedule for myself, it was as if a fire was lit under me. I had a deadline to meet, and that forced me to make more time for blogging as a result. At that point, I began coming home from work, relaxing for a short amount of time, and then get right to blogging. Blogging with a full time job is not easy, but it can be more manageable with this advice.
In addition to setting a schedule for yourself, I would also like to suggest creating a routine ( not the same thing.. trust me ). Come up with a feasible routine for yourself, whether it be in the morning or at night, that will help you remain productive and proactive when it comes to blogging. For instance, I set aside time each morning for "my form of breakfast", where I sit down with coffee, food, a notebook, and a pen in hand and I write down my to do list for the day and I brainstorm post ideas. This way I am making the absolute most of time that would otherwise be spent eating in front of a TV. Once the routine becomes more of a habit, it is much easier to consistently do.
Next Renee asked "Do you have guidelines that you follow for each post?"
Seriously, this was such a great question for her to have asked. First of all it sparked a whole new realm of advice that I had. Secondly, it showed that she was already thinking of how to be a better blogger before she even got started! ( Kudos to you Renee ) My answer to her was as follows. Keep SEO in mind at all times. As a blogger, you will need to write each post with Search Engine Optimization in the back of your mind to fulfill certain requirements to be seen and found. One thing that I always try and do is make sure that no matter what, my posts have more than 300 words. Even more so, when possible I like to hit over 1000 words.
Also, research and come up with keywords for each of your posts. There should be common keywords throughout the entirety of your post, from your post's titled to the alt text on your images, and it should be a term or phrase that you could imagine your readers typing into a search engine to find some great content. You can use Google Adwords to help you research, just don't skip this step!
Advice that I wish I would have thought of for Renee
Make use of a memo board. It is one thing to have your many goals, lists, and ideas in your head. It is another thing entirely to have them all displayed on a memo board. Having them all displayed in a visual way will make them act as a constant reminder to get things done and stay on top of your tasks. Put your memo board in a high traffic area, a spot where you won't ever miss it and it will slowly become an almost nagging ( in a good way ) feeling to get stuff done. Consider this method tried and true, because my memo board from this post has made a huge difference in my productivity.
Pick a topic that you already know and love. I know I already mentioned this in my post The Right Reasons To Start A Blog, but in all honesty I just cannot stress this point enough. When you are blogging about a topic that you are passionate about you will be more likely to want to set aside time and to want to come up with new and inspiring ideas. Your passion will easily show in your writing and, therefore, end up inspiring your readers as well. It is a win, win situation that I feel is easy to achieve when you love what you blog about. You never know what it will lead to. Both Renee Woodford and I, have turned our own Home Decor businesses into our full time jobs and blogging just helps us fuel it! Since we are practicing what we preach on a daily basis through our businesses, coming up with blog ideas just comes naturally.