My guest post today is from Bernice, author of the blog Living the Balanced Life. Bernice is a very supportive blogger and certainly knows how to encourage other women and mothers to find that balance that we all seek daily! She is a huge dose of inspiration, sharing her tips on how to make the most of your blogging time.
As mommy bloggers (or moms who blog) we have multiple areas of our lives we are responsible for. Our kids are a huge part of that, as well as our spouses or significant others. And then of course, somebody has to take care of the house so caring for ourselves may get thrown in there somewhere. As we are working to be successful in blogging, we are trying to keep everything in balance. One thing we can do is learn to be efficient and productive, making sure that the time we set aside for blogging, we’re able to get as much done as possible.
Tools to Help You Make the Most of Your Blogging Time:
Google Calendar: Google calendar allows you to layer in multiple calendars for all different areas of your life. I write for several blogs, plus have my own projects going. I have each blog layered as a different color so I can see what all I have coming up at a glance, but I can turn off layers if I am looking at other areas of my life. This is great for families to use as well. You can share access with other family members so everyone can see and add their own activities.
Google Reader: Reading and commenting on other blogs helps you build friendships and bonds with other bloggers and readers. Reading also gives you ideas that you can write from your own twist and angle. Using Google Reader works really well for me. I have a list of blogs organized by titled folders. Play around with it until you make it work for you. If you find you are not reading a blog that is in your reader, delete it!
Google Analytics: This is a great tool to help you see your traffic. It will tell you how many visitors came to your site, where they came from, how long they stayed, and from what page they left. I know I still have not mastered all the data that is available in GA, but it is very helpful. One of the biggest pieces of data I look at is where are my readers coming from. This helps me know what blogs fit my niche well, and if I should spend time there and time looking for others like it. It may also be a good place to look for options for guest posting.
Feedburner: Using Feedburner will allow your blog readers to subscribe via RSS reader. Setting it up is not difficult, but it’s essential for helping to make your blog easy to read through this subscription option.
Windows Live Writer or Microsoft Word: I had been using Live Writer as a blog writing program. You don’t have to be online and for me, it’s better to write offline so I can stay focused. I liked the features it has and then I realized my new version of Microsoft Word has a blog writer option in it as well.
Photography: Photos are important to your blog posts, but not everyone is a photographer. Good quality, eye-catching photos can make a big difference, but you shouldn’t just grab something off Google Images, since many of those images are copyrighted.
Facebook: You want to be sure you are utilizing Facebook. Share a link of your latest post. Share a picture you took. Interact with your fans/friends. Depending on whether you are growing a business/following, you will want a Facebook Fan page.
Twitter: Interacting with your readers via twitter is vital to growing a blog. For additional info on social media, see Theta Mom’s post Build your Following through the Power of Social Media.
YouTube: Some people may actually be more comfortable on camera than writing. Either way, video blogging, or vlogging, is becoming more and more popular. I found it was quicker to do vlog than it was to write and edit and format a written post! Consider giving it a shot, and it doesn’t have to be perfect!
Skype: One great thing about blogging and the internet is that it allows us to do business across thousands of miles. If you are collaborating with other bloggers on a project, or you want to interview someone for your blog, Skype is an awesome way to do so. Consider how Skype may work for you.
Don’t try to jump in and start all these at one time! Look at each one and see how you may be able to benefit from it and work it into your plans. If you feel you are overwhelmed and you need help balancing out your life, you would benefit from my recently released ebook, Find Your Balance.