My blog writing process as a working mum

I love blogging.  If I didn’t, it’d be a problem really.

I have to admit though, that it’s probably not the best hobby for someone with an addictive personality and a love of numbers.  It means I get a bit obsessive and get drawn into my love for stats.  And I stay up way too late which means I’m too tired to get up and exercise in the mornings like I used to…fat bottom alert, hence the serious diet now.

But ultimately I do it for myself and N to remember everything by, as that’s why I set it up in the first place, before I knew parenting blogs, stats and networks existed.  I have no idea how I missed them, but I did until about 6 months in when I went self hosted.

My blog writing process as a working mum - Bubbbalue and me

I started blogging after I went back to work following my maternity leave.  Initially I went back working slightly shorter hours to allow for the commute and nursery hours, but now I’m back working full time (with a wonderful 15 minute maximum commute).  It does mean that I have to blog at any moment I can if I want to keep up to speed.  I did make the mistake of starting to blog daily about a year ago, so that keeps the pressure on.  I miss the occasional day, but mostly I still blog daily.  My aim for next year is to cut that down a bit.  Maybe by the end of next year I’ll be down to 5 days a week.

Because I work and then have N to look after and spend time with  (I’m ignoring the OH in that because he’s always working during the day time, and in the evenings he falls asleep in front of the television), I have to be smart about getting my blogging done.

I blog in the evenings mostly.  At the moment I have a big stack of draft posts built up (it helped having no internet at home for 3 weeks over the summer which gave my drafts a boost, and I’ve been adding new ones as I’ve been publishing others.  It helps free up my time for the actual publishing stage.

My blog writing process

1, Copy and paste in the relevant post from OneNote into my blog.

I love OneNote, I can use it on any of my devices, although I don’t at the moment.  Otherwise I have a file of blog ideas/drafts, and carry it around with me on a memory stick which means I can easily write up drafts without online distractions wherever I am.

2, Try and avoid having social media or email windows open at the same time so I can concentrate on the post

3, Edit my photos.

At the moment I use Picmonkey.  It’s easy and free, although I do pay the small cost for the Royale version.  I’ve just done a Lightroom course with Shaw Academy, so I need to get up to speed on the webinars I missed and sign up to Lightroom.

4, Publish the post and share.

At the moment my blog doesn’t always fully publish and auto share, so I’m manually sharing posts when it doesn’t play ball.

5, Set up various tweets to schedule in my spreadsheet of posts.

I use Hootsuite, and schedule 2-3 times the next day, once on each of the next 2 days, and then a week and 2 weeks later where it’s not a seasonal post.  I’ll usually manually tweet the morning after as well while I’m checking in on twitter.

Then the evening is usually mine to check in to the facebook blogging groups I’m in, catch up on linky commenting, and general social media chat.  In between I check my personal email and my blog/other email.

If it’s a recent event I’m writing a post on, or a weekly linky like Living Arrows or Project 365, then I’ll write that evening if I’ve not already done it beforehand in some grabbed spare time.  Those days I do tend to be later publishing because I usually get more distracted.

If I’ve nothing on at a lunchtime, I’ll sometimes write post drafts as well.  Along with 3 weeks of no internet, I rely on that time, and the odd time at weekends when N is out on the farm and I’ve nothing else on.  Even an hour, if I’ve already jotted down a list of posts can help get me another post (sometimes 2) written.

I note down posts on my phone  (or blog draft file) as and when I think of them, or I’ll never remember them.  Most of my blog post ideas come from when I’m out and about, or talking to N, so I don’t want to miss that moment and idea.

Photography

I mostly edit my photos as and when I need them.  When I’ve been out taking photos I’ll generally upload them to the laptop straight away.  I’ll usually do minor edits then – rotating, maybe some auto exposure, deleting bad photos – just in microsoft windows photo gallery.  Then proper edits I do later when I’ve got the post in mind.

photography for blogging

I don’t do much editing to my photos.  I want to reflect what I see in real life in my photos, so I usually only change the brightness, check the colour, improve the sharpness  and resize.  I always aim for one photo in a post, but other times I have a veritable feast of images.

Stats

You have to be a really strong person not to check your stats when you blog.  I think it’s in the human nature to want to compare to others, and I do that.  I’m pretty competitive and love numbers, and am a bit of a perfectionist so I can’t help it.

But while I do look at a few other bloggers who were similarly ranked when I started knowing about such things, ultimately I’m trying to improve for myself each time.

However, if you’re worried about how much time you spend on your computer and blogging, it’s worth checking out Rescue Time.  It’s a free app, and it logs everything you do on your computer while it’s running.  It then categorises them, so as well as showing you the overall time spent, it breaks down to the top websites/apps you’re using, and then by type of activity.  So for example, social media, editing, browsing, shopping, communication etc.  It groups those into productive and non productive so it tells you how productive your time has been.

If you’re blogging and on social media you’ll always have high unproductive because anything social media is classed as that, but anything like editing and comms is more productive.  I find it really interesting and does make you think about how you can bring the time down.

Of course, if you want the true picture you need to have Rescue Time on all your device s – mine’s only on my home laptop, so doesn’t get anything done on the work one, or my phone (which is limited).  Horrifically, I spend around 35 hours a week on my laptop, that’s the equivalent of my full time job.  Thankfully it’s now down to around 30 hours – mostly helped by me going back to dancing once a week.

So blogging while working full time does work, it just needs set times to blog and making use of any spare time…oh and probably either not cleaning more than once a week or having a cleaner!  The downside is of course, that going to events just doesn’t work.  Most are during the working week, or too short notice, or at weekends when sods law we’ve got something else on.

While I love blogging, I don’t think I’d ever give up working.  I don’t think I’d enjoy blogging as much, I’d probably have to change the way I blog or what I blog about, and then feel pressure about my blog.  I love my blog the way it is and for me that’s the most important thing.

Do you work and blog?  How do you cope with doing both?  Or how do you manage when you’ve kids at home?

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Mr and Mrs T Plus Three

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27 thoughts on “My blog writing process as a working mum

  1. This is great I also work full time and wonder if I have taken on too much! I’ve not ventured into Hootsuite yet but it’s on my list of things to look at. Love that you use to write posts on your daily commute what a great idea xx #TheList

    1. I drive to work so not sure where the writing while I commute came from? Hootesuite is handy although for the occasional facebook scheduling I use Facebook itself.

  2. Just like you I work full time and I also blog.
    These days I mostly blog during my working hours. Don’t tell anyone lol its the only time I get to concentrate and write something decent lately.

  3. I can categorically say that if I worked full-time then I would definitely not be able to keep up with blogging. I admire you and everyone who does it on a daily basis. Thank you for the tips though – I really need to try OneNote! #TheList

  4. I’ve been able to blog a lot more while I’ve been on maternity leave and I do wonder how I’m going to keep up my blog when I go back to work. Getting a cleaner is something I’m seriously considering because I hate a messy house, but I hate cleaning more. It’s such a distraction from the things I really want to do like have fun with my family and write about it. At the moment, I think my processes are very similar to yours. We’ll see if they change in the next month! #thelist

  5. I work full time too and need to be more organised – this post is very helpful! I do a lot of blogging on my phone, get everything set up and then pop onto the computer to make sure it all looks OK. I also do a bit at work sometimes if it’s particularly quiet or on lunch. Then in the evenings, on a Tuesday I have the whole night as other half is out and the rest of the week on the nights he is putting Zach to bed I do some then! It’s just fitting it in when I can! #TheList

  6. I love reading about how other bloggers do it. I work part-time so it gives me a bit of space to blog, but I’m also writing a novel so it’s hard to juggle things, as you need to work hard and maintain the blog, if you want it to be in any way successful I think. I spend a huge amount of time cleaning and organising the house too and it’s not possible to do anything writing or blogging related when the baby is up – so everything works around the few hours she naps and when she’s in bed. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for it – but at least I’m productive when the time comes. Love it all though – gives me focus, and I’ve learned so many skills since I’ve started to work on my blog – rather than throw up a random post, like when I first started. I am addicted though. And what is exercise???

  7. Great post! You are so well organized. I am a working, single mother and new to blogging and I am struggling to find the time to do it all. This blog post is inspiring …thanks for sharing!

    1. Ah, it definitely makes it harder mixing in single parenthood too. My OH doesn’t do much, but he is in in the evenings so he gets jumped on more than me, giving a bit of time to catch up on bits early on.

  8. I totally could have written this! I love blogging and it is so addictive! I think because there’s so much potential to make money whilst blogging too it makes it even more addictive x

    1. Ah, I’m not that fussed about the money, as I work full time, so it’s a nice bonus. I just like the community, the personal improvement and just writing. It’s my way of talking when I don’t get the chance to talk outside of work (my OH doesn’t really talk much and I don’t see friends as much as I’d like).

  9. This was a very interesting read. You sound similar to me, although perhaps a bit better organised! I blog every day too, although recently have slipped to 6 times a week. My blog is an online diary of our lives so I don’t forget the things that matter to us. Readers are good, but my stats are never going to set the world alight and that’s fine by me!

    1. I don’t think mine ever will either, but it’s nice to have regulars who return time and time again, and when I enjoy their blogs too. Thanks for stopping by Sarah

  10. I work full time as well as blogging so I know what you mean about trying to fit everything in. How you do that and have a child is beyond me, you must be dedicated lol! I like the idea of the tracker app but I know the results would horrify me so I don’t think I’ll be using it 🙂 By my own rough estimate, I spend more hours a week blogging and doing all the related bits that I do at work!
    Debbie

    1. I know what you mean about that. I know I spend more time too – once I’ve allocated being on my phone/dipping in at work at lunch.
      Over Christmas I was up to 45 hours one week! Horrific. And I thought I was cutting down (N was out on the farm I hasten to add!)

  11. It was difficult when I was studying and blogging. Now that I have all the time in the word and started my Freelancing in Art. Blogging has become easier for me to cope. I set my time for blogging 3 times a week. The gap is where I mainly work. Since YT becoming my target to start filming. Now, it’s going to be challenging to stay Focus. I guess it keep us motivated and not give up on it. However, I’m really bad keeping my time in place when you take a long break. I do love and admire to keeping yourself organized. So far I’m all over the place. It’s the new year you wanna do a lot of things. Don’t you feel that way too?

  12. It sounds like you are so organised. I am a SAHM and try to blog when I can but i find it difficult to fit it all in so you are super woman to me 🙂 I think it obviously helps that you are ahead of yourself with the draft posts and also do things as and when they need doing. I’m guilty of leaving things to the last minute, something I am hoping to improve on in the future.

    1. Yes, I think the only way I can do it is grab time as and when. It helps that I do housework only when it really needs doing, and that I rarely cook meals during the week meaning there’s less time spent clearing up after N’s in bed. It still means a lot of late nights – too late nights.

  13. I admire you for being so organised, working and blogging. You already know I never look at stats until a PR asks for them. I’ve rarely ever scheduled forward tweets either – something I should be doing this year maybe as I intend to blog less! I’d be happy to get to one post a day rather than at least 2. Less is going to be more here this year hopefully.

    1. That’s my plan too. Worked well last week, but I’ve just got so much to write at the moment. I’m hoping that on photo days sun/mon – I’ll not do an extra post, but just those. Ideally by the end of the year I want to be down to 5 a week. We’ll see if I can do that. Might not be regularly.

      I do need to schedule more in one go and have a blitz session though. When I started scheduling I went through tonnes of old posts to do those, but now I’m back to starting, so need to do some of my evergreen posts. I don’t like the automatic plugins because I like to choose, but that’s an alternative if you want to cut down time.

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