Wednesday, 13 September 2017

How To Save Time Blogging

How To Save Time Blogging | www.hannahemilylane.com
Working full time and blogging can seem impossible. Especially when you're working an office job, the last thing you want to do when you get home sometimes is open up your laptop and stare at a screen for a few more hours (but we all still do it anyway haha). When I was working in Germany, I had an hour commute each way on public transport and I fitted in a lot of blogging during those long U-Bahn rides, but now I drive to work and I definitely can't blog during these journeys haha. My commute is shorter now though so that's a lot better!

But sometimes we need to find some corners to cut to save time when we blog. The thing with blogging is that you can always do more. There's always emails to reply to, posts to write, photos to edit, proofreading, interacting and engaging with other bloggers, self promoting, tidying up old posts, redesigning, commenting, you name it. It's impossible to fit it all in, but here are some ways you can squeeze a bit more into your blogging time to get the most out of it:


Create templates


This is my main one as it saves me SO much time. Initially this may be a little time-consuming, but in the long run you'll be grateful. It also helps you keep a succinct and consistent blogging style/brand. 

Pinterest Graphics

Mel somewhat inspired this post when we were actually talking about blogging (for once) in our blogging girls group chat, as she said that Pinterest takes time as you need to make graphics etc. Initially it did take me some time especially as I was creating unique style pins for every post, but now I have a template created in Illustrator. I just drop the picture in - usually the same one as my main blog post photo, change the text and off we go. It's a 2 minute job but can create A LOT of traffic to my blog. 

Blog Post Template

I also have a blog post template coded and set up, where I have some placeholder text for my intro paragraph, then the page break, headings and core body text, a finishing sentence, plus my signature. It's a minor thing but it can definitely save me some time as I can just get straight into the writing as the formatting is already in place.

Photo Batch Editing

This one is only for if you use Adobe Lightroom really, as I'm not sure how or if you can do it in other programmes. Lightroom is a fantastic programme for organising and editing photos, especially if you use an external hard drive to store photos on as you it saves a smaller file of the photo so you can still view these photos even if you don't have your external hard drive connected. But one of the other great things about this programme is that batch editing photos is easy, as you can copy and paste edits. It also automatically applies my watermark on export!

Routine


For me, I work a lot quicker if I have a set routine. You'll naturally establish one the more you blog, but consciously making one can speed this along. I have a spreadsheet where I organise everything and it helps me to follow a routine. All blog post ideas are stored in here, so when it comes to writing a post, I pick an idea, write the copy, take and edit the pictures, make the graphic, add to the post, check the formatting and done. I have a routine for my photos too which helps me to avoid wasting time - I know that my main blog photo and pinterest graphic photo will be portrait. Knowing which format I need ahead of time ensures I don't have to retake photos. Also having a content plan allows you to get straight into the blogging side of it when you sit down to write a post.You can check out the spreadsheet I use here.

Instagram hashtags


This is something I've started doing very recently and I can already tell it's going to save me a huge amount of time when I instagram. The trick is to create a keyboard shortcut on iPhones which is a shortcut to all the hashtags. To do this, go into Settings --> General --> Keyboard --> Text Replacement and then click the + button. You could use the shortcut 'lifestylehashtags' to include all your favourite lifestyle post instagram hashtags, or 'fashionhashtag' or 'travelhashtags' etc. It's such a time-saver! 

"Free writing" 


This is a writing technique I've come to adopt with my blog and through uni and it speeds up the whole writing process SO much. Basically, just write as you think and don't stop to edit or for typos. Come back and edit after you've completely finished writing. If I stopped and really perfected each sentence before moving on to the next one it would take me considerably longer to get a post done. I also think with a blog, it really helps get a conversational tone across as you are writing how you might speak instead of in a formal, thought out tone, if that makes sense? Ha. 


Stock photos


Having your own selection of stock photos can be a huge timesaver. I've slowly built up a collection of photos that I can use for a post that doesn't necessarily require a specific photo (like this one). Personally, I wouldn't ever use a stock photo (taken by someone else) on my blog as I like as much as poss on here to be my own work, and I like other blogs that use original imagery too and that have a clear 'style' and aesthetic, but that could also be an option. Building up your own little library can be really helpful when you don't have time to grab a photo, or the short, dark winter days don't lend themselves to nice, well-lit photos. 


Have you got tricks for saving time or do you find yourself spending far too much time on one blog post?


Hannah Lane


Other posts you might like: 

10 Quick & Easy Ways to Update Your Blog Design | The Ultimate Blog Organisation Spreadsheet

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