Lauren Casper »

managing my blog + social media… and being present

I often get asked how I manage to run my blog like I do while keeping up with two special needs children. I’m never quite sure how to answer so I’ve had to give this post a lot of thought. The thing that keeps coming back to me is the word intentional. You see, as much as I enjoy blogging, this isn’t a hobby for me. It’s a passion, a calling, and a way for me to help support our family. I have to be intentional about the time and energy I invest in my blog. I take it very seriously that I am blessed to earn some money by blogging and therefore I treat it like a part time job.

I also take it very seriously that I have been given the opportunity to stay home with my children. Not every mother gets that blessing and I don’t want to waste the precious time I’ve been given with my children by sitting in front of a computer all day. Again, I have to be very intentional about how I spend my time. That means I try to minimize my computer time when the kids are awake.Most of my blogging and other social media outlets take place during nap time and after the kids go to bed. Occasionally John will take the kids for an hour or so if I’m up against a deadline, but usually it all happens while they sleep.

So how do I keep on top of blogging? A couple of things have been a great help to me and have taught me how to use my time wisely and be more efficient. I can’t recommend Haley Morgan’s No Brainer Blog e-book enough! Seriously, get it today! You will learn so much about blogging with ease and maximizing your time spent online!

I have an editorial calendar. I love this for three reasons: first, it sounds all fancy and professional and makes me feel legit… second, it keeps my mind clear and I don’t lose good ideas because I didn’t post them right away… and third, it helps me hone in on the focus of my blog and allows me to see what’s coming up. I use google calendar – it syncs with my email and my phone. It’s all kinds of awesome.  I can color code things and make sure I have it all spaced out just how I want it. I plan my blog posts about a month out, but give myself freedom to move things around. I also put in which days sponsors are featured and when sponsor giveaway days occur so I never forget to promote them.

I schedule my blog posts. I write many of my posts as I have the time. Some days I’ll write three posts and schedule them to publish the day I have them in the calendar. I try to stay at least 2 posts ahead of the game, but it doesn’t always happen. It’s wonderful for things like next weekend when I’ll be gone Thursday – Tuesday. I still have posts planned and will finish and schedule them to publish automatically so I can just enjoy myself while we’re out of town.

I simplify my marketing strategy. My blog posts automatically update to twitter and my personal facebook page without me having to do a single thing. It’s wonderful. I take a minute after a post is published and post it to my blog facebook page and I’ll possibly pin it as well. Then I’m done with it. Easy peasy. On to the next thing.

*One little note about twitter — I use buffer to schedule my tweets for the day. I schedule tweets about my post a couple times a day and then schedule tweets about my sponsors or anything else I want to share. They’ll appear automatically for me and then I don’t check twitter again until the end of the day when I get on to respond to people who may have had something to share with me.

As for other social media outlets – twitter, pinterest, instagram… I like to think I do them all in moderation. I don’t spend much time on twitter at all (just schedule the tweets and spend a few minutes responding to things.) I don’t spend time on pinterest daily – I mostly only use it when I have something specific in mind (like a project, recipe, or outfit.) Same thing with instagram – I might spend a couple minutes a day looking and pictures and about the same about of time putting my own pictures up. Facebook is a daily thing for me. I check it occasionally but don’t feel that it rules my life. Most of my online time is spent sending and responding to emails and working on blog things.

One more tip and then I’ll stop! I get no phone notifications for anything accept phone calls and texts. It doesn’t beep when I get an email or fb notification or tweet or instagram comment/like. Nothing. In fact, my phone is usually on silent anyway which is why my friends know that it will likely take me a few hours to get their texts. 😉

I don’t know if my way of doing things is right for you, but it works for me. I work hard when it’s time to work hard and then I turn off the screen and focus on other things.

 

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