Running a blog is not as time-consuming as you may think. By selecting the right platform and laying the foundation effectively, your blog can run like a well-oiled machine. Here's how to go about managing an engaging blog and keeping your day job too.
You'll want to set clear priorities for your day-to-day functions and stick to them. If your day job has a regular nine-to-five schedule, keep that in mind as you prepare your articles. Remember that visitors will frequent your blog at all hours of the day, so you'll need to come up with a way to moderate and respond to comments around the clock.
Keeping your smart phone close at hand will help you fill in the gaps during the day. For instance, if you've got ten minutes to spare before a meeting or on your lunch break, you can manage your blog from your own personal device, assuming your employer has an implemented BYOD solutions like the ones offered by BlackBerry and has a policy that allows you to do this.
Give Yourself Deadlines and Automate
Since you spend around a third of your waking hours logging time at a full-time job — write up a schedule for your posts, give yourself daily and weekly deadlines, and stick to them. This will help you throw up the posts in a regular manner like clockwork. Having a deadline helps most writers stay on track anyway, so do yourself a favor and structure yourself.
It will take some discipline, but we didn't say it would be easy; we said it was possible. If you aren't on track to hit your deadline, turn off the television and focus on your laptop until you finish your latest post. You'll be glad you did. With a regular writing schedule, you can plug your posts into the site on the dates and times you specify. It'll keep your blog moving along even when you're doing something completely unrelated.
Get Inspiration from Your Daily Life
Just like any other writer, bloggers will occasionally hit writer's block. It's hard to not feel like everything's been said before and arrive to a conclusion that you don't have anything to write about. It's true in a sense. The trick is to provide a new and meaningful perspective for your readers. Make it a personal habit to reflect on your daily life, and pull inspiration from it.
If you're thinking something, or feeling a certain way, you can guarantee that you're not the only person thinking that or feeling that way. If you someone in your life is struggling, look at their big picture, the life lessons they're learning, and turn that into a valid lesson for others to reflect on and learn from. That's not to say you should air your friends' dirty laundry for all of the internet to read. No, just the concept of the problem itself, and how it relates to the big picture of life.
It's Okay to Pull in Extra Writers
When your blog starts to build momentum, you may begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to keep up. Don't worry, this is a good sign and the very best problem to have. Keep readers interested and engaged by bringing in fresh perspective with guest posts. You may even want to add an option for readers and other writers to submit through a "Write for Me" option on your site. By featuring guest posts and contributions on your site, it will help expand and enhance your readership.
Analyze Site Traffic
Any successful blogger will tell you that being aware of the traffic you're getting is crucial. Analyzing your site's performance will help you determine what the best days and times are for your audience, as well as which types of posts get more traffic than others.
While you're checking on comments and user activity, you should also check your visitor traffic. When you're having a great traffic day, it's best to know right away so that you can make the most of it by focusing on the specific page and add a link to content you'd like readers to see, or re-publishing something that didn't get much traffic but is still relevant. This will keep visitors engaged and on your site longer.
In today's fast-paced, constantly moving world, running a successful blog is a lot of work; especially if you've got a full-time gig on top of it. Remember these tips and use your best judgment -- it is more than possible to run a successful blog while keeping a day job.
This guest post was submitted by Ted Hunt. Ted Hunt is a freelance content writer with a focus on tech, social media, blogging, business & marketing.
When he’s not behind a computer, Ted spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, FL. Follow him at @tedhunt9!