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Time Saving Hacks for Bloggers #BlogCamp

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Last Saturday I spoke at Blog Camp about how to save time as a blogger and I had lots of requests for my talk to be put online, so here it is. It’s worth bearing in mind that I have a content schedule which means I publish between 2 and 4 times a day. This is due to the amount of brand work I do and my desire to keep a good balance of personal and third party content. Just because I do all of these things to help save me time, doesn’t mean you have to, or even need to, if you are posting once a day or less frequently. If you take one thing away from this that you weren’t doing before I will be happy! So on with the talk.

 

Are you a blogger that is always struggling to find time? Need more hours in the day to get things done? I share stacks of tips and tricks to work quicker, smarter and increase your productivity. Time saving hacks for bloggers. http://www.youbabymemummy.com

 

What do I know about saving time?

  • I started the blog when on maternity leave, with PND and looking after my 5 month old daughter full time.
  • I earned my first pennies from my blog after 4 months of blogging & was a professional blogger earning more than I did in my previous job after 18 months.
  • I put any success down to working really hard, being obsessed and saving time wherever I can!

 

Why you need to save time?

  • As bloggers, we are always doing multiple things; working and blogging, running a house and blogging, looking after children and blogging. We have so many things demanding our time and so we need to take back any time we can.
  • Even a few seconds here and there all adds up to give us more precious time.

 

How we can save time?

  • Batching – Same type of task at the same time.
  • Automation – Any repeated task automate them!
  • Scheduling – Time and content.
  • Using the time you have wisely.
  • nb. being busy and being productive is not the same thing.

 

Batching

  • Chunk the same tasks to be done at the same time.
  • For example; spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning taking all the pictures you need for outstanding posts. This would mean less time setting up the camera and you might catch some good light too.
  • Have an afternoon or even a couple of hours just doing social media commenting
  • WE ARE LESS PRODUCTIVE IF WE MULTI TASK!
  • Deep and narrow is the way to get things done.

 

Automation

  • If you repeat any task over and over again, find a way to automate it.
  • Example tasks might be; typing the same response to an initial PR enquiry.  Responding about a guest post. typing out your social media handles, your blog address, your postal address!
  • There are various ways in which you can automate/semi automate these repetitive tasks.
  • IF THIS THEN THAT (ITTT) – enables you to use recipes (or create your own!) to automate tasks.
  • How I use ITTT
  1. IG to Twitter as a picture not just a link.
  2. WordPress to Pinterest board. This is my favourite thing, as if I forget to pin I know my content is still being automatically pinned.
  3. Youtube upload to Google drive doc. This gives me a handy record of all my YT uploads and their links.
  • Canned email responses – set up auto responses/rules/filters for your email.

 

Scheduling – Content

  • You can’t do everything. Scheduling allows you more time to be present & effective in parts of your blog life that need you most. Think about how you can help others more, so you could respond to a comment they left on your blog or you could go and retweet or share one of their posts. They would benefit so much more from the share to your audience and it is quicker too.
  • Schedule posts on social media
  1. Twitter:I use social oomph* as it requires the least amount of time from me for biggest payoff. You can pop in a tweet, set the schedule, i.e, once every 10 hours; then set the frequency or even just pop a ‘0’ in and it will run forever! Buffer, coschedule, twuffer, hootsuite, edgar, etc etc.
  2. Schedule FaceBook in Facebook itself for better reach.
  3. Instagram: depends on the type of feed you have. schedule through buffergram is most time efficient as it actually pushes through to Instagram for you, unlike other schedulers. Later (formerly latergramme is also a good option).
  4. Pinterest: Tailwind is pretty epic. Board booster is another popular option.
  5. Youtube: schedule videos as you upload them (make them public as uploading, add play lists, then change to schedule).

 

Scheduling – Time = More Focused

  • Take time to schedule/plan your work. Even a 5 minute brain storm can get your thoughts in order so you can hit the ground running when you have your work time.
  • Use a timer – 10 minutes on social media/30 mins to write a post etc. Being your own boss/in charge of your own time means there is no-one kicking you out of the office at 5.30pm, so you need to impose time pressures on yourself to keep your work rate and productivity up.
  • Use a diary management system – bullet journal, diary, trello.  I use a Bullet Journal for my daily to do lists and various other lists, but Trello for projects, as a space to store weblinks, ideas, information especially the info with links attached which won’t be stored easily in a bullet journal. Trello is definitely worth a look, as it’s so flexible and you can set it up exactly how you want it. Great for collaborations too.
  • Use an editorial calendar for your blog – editorial calendar plugin for WP or excel spreadsheet.
  • Have a list of topic ideas ready to write. Even just the title in a draft post.

 

Working Speed Hacks

  • Keyboard shortcuts – Once set up (Mac users – system preferences – keyboard+/- auto text) a couple of key presses and text magically appears!

Examples of mine – 13C = my address pops up/ KR = Kind Regards/ Prinitial = Paragraph of text with fees and information about working with me / YBMMKlout / YBMMig / youbaby = my email / yweb = Web address – handy for responding quickly to ops on fb! These save me SOOOO much time.

  • Shortcuts for tasks – i.e. cmd + w = close window
  • Boomerang for Email – send your links to PRs when you are scheduling the post. Boomerang will send later, meaning you can write, schedule the post and the email. So you don’t  have to go back into everything when the post is live.
  • Feedly – A fabulous way to keep on top of blog commenting – different lists keep me organised, like my ‘Daily Must Reads’.
  • Close windows/distraction free writing in WP – to increase focus
  • Copy to draft plug in – A WP plug in that enables you to duplicate a post and then change some details and publish it as a new post. Very handy if you run a linky or you join in regularly with some, saves you entering all the badge codes each week.
  • Use Lightroom – Catalogues your images so you can type in; Sarah, garden, bubbles and all of the images you have tagged with those categories will appear! Also replicates one edit on countless images in a few clicks. Serious time saver and your pictures will look gorgeous too!
  • Shortcode excel doc –I have a document with Date/Title/Shortcode/Emailed/FB/Twitter and I complete this for each post I write. It makes it very quick to find a url of a certain post. I use highlighters to remind me when something is scheduled and if it still needs to be scheduled, emailed to PRs or scheduled on social media.  If my row is all grey, it’s all good to go!
  • SEO – Save time use Yoast WP plugin.
  • Coschedule Headline Analyser /Hubspot topic generator.Great tools to help you improve your headlines and find topic ideas.
  • Write the post you have time to write.
  • Think about when you are most productive and try to organise your work accordingly.
  • Think before you write. When you are waiting outside school or waiting for the kettle to boil. Plan the post in your head.
  • Save content you see on Facebook, so you always have great stuff to share on your page.
  • Printable to do list, saves time formatting each day and you can add it things you do everyday.
  • Use Canva for your media pack and any document that you need to regularly update.
  • Bookmark stock photo websites that are good – Kaboom pics, Unsplash, DTSP.
  • Organise inbox – waiting for response/waiting for product folders. So I can go straight to that folder, chase things or re-file the email when it has arrived or I have spoken to the person and received my response.

 

So there you have it, minus a slight tech issue and a distinct lack of time, you haven’t missed anything by not being in the session!

 




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Showing 44 comments
  • Laura - dear bear and beany
    Reply

    This is really fab Aby! I wish I had been at blog camp, but this is definitely the next best thing. So many great time savers I will be doing. Xx

  • Michelle
    Reply

    Great tips Aby! Definitely need to make better use of my time x

  • natalie
    Reply

    Aby you amaze me – great tips. I am so unorganised this will be a great help!

  • Alexandra
    Reply

    So good Aby, I need to read through this properly again and do each task like a check list. So, so, good. You are the queen of efficiency in my book. This is an amazingly helpful post.

  • Vai Chin
    Reply

    I think you deserve the title of Super Blogger, Aby! Thanks for sharing these x

  • Jayne
    Reply

    Fab tips lovely! Some really useful resources to take away and use.
    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 x

  • Emma
    Reply

    I don’t know how you do it. I am in awe! You are such an amazing, organised blogger. Just reading this post made me dizzy! So much to take on board here and a very useful post that will have to come back to again and again. I was only wondering the other day how you manage to do it all. Thanks for this it is really useful 🙂 x

  • Laura
    Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this Aby. I was at the session on Saturday but couldn’t note all your tips down fast enough! Some super-helpful time saving ideas here! x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Sorry I had to go so fast, I planned 45 minutes, then had to cut it down to 25 mins! Hence the rush x

  • Sam - Travelling With Our Kids
    Reply

    Great tips. Will need to try some of them out x

  • Mel
    Reply

    Brilliant tips, hun! It was such an honour to lead the session with you. x

  • Nyomi
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing this! There is so much in this I need to start doing!

  • Jo Sandelson
    Reply

    ‘Being busy and being productive not the same thing’
    How true is that! I’m going to print out this blog post as there are quite a few reminders I need and you put them clearly and succinctly so thanks. How on EARTH do you do so MANY?!? I’ve just posted my latest blog and it’s taken me 4 whole days to complete (about 3-4 hours per cartoon) including post production and re-drafting.
    I too am a great fan of Social Oomph – it’s brilliant isn’t it. Wish that I could go to blog camp but they say “No, no, no!!” La la la etc. All the best, Jo

  • Jo Sandelson
    Reply

    Hope it’s ok that I’ve linked up even though I wasn’t there – it’s blog event related as you might see …Jo

  • Lizzie Grover
    Reply

    Great tips hun! I know you’ve said about scheduling Facebook posts on there and not automatically, which I haven’t started doing yet but now you’ve said it twice I think I will. I think that’s a big thing for many bloggers is time management. I completely agree with you about focusing on one thing at a time. I find that whenever I’ve tried to multi-task it’s taken me much longer than if I had focused on just one thing. It’s a trick because naturally you think multi-taking would be more time efficient. Thanks for sharing all your secrets to running a successful blog, I know throughout your blog you’ve made my blogging life so much simpler and make so much more sense with your tips xx

  • Hannah Budding Smiles
    Reply

    Great tips hun, I need to get myself back into a more organised routine with my blog but am trying to be kind to myself and focus on Martha at the moment xx #TheList

  • Mackenzie Glanville
    Reply

    oh gosh I know I should schedule, I am such a scatter brain! I do waste so much time pottering around, I was just thinking yesterday I should organise photos ahead of time, but I know I probably won’t. I am terrible. One day I will be more organised, at least I have good intentions to be lol, thanks Abby you always have brilliant advice. If I ever make it to the UK for a visit I so have to meet you I think you are fab! #Thelist

  • An imperfect mum (Catie)
    Reply

    You really are amazing! So many useful tips. I need to be more productive and stop dotting about between tasks… TY

  • Laura
    Reply

    Amazing tips as always. I’ve recently begun using a calendar to work out my schedule for posts as opposed to just a list and this helps so much, and seems to keep me much more motivated too. Thanks! X #thelist

  • Wendy
    Reply

    Amazing tips! You are organised it is crazy, all I have is a diary. Definitely going to look into all of these as I NEED to start being more organised xx #TheList

  • Janine Dolan
    Reply

    Wow Aby, that is some detailed post. I am so bad when it comes to Scheduling. I still don’t do it. I release it there and then once I have the post written. I think it has also got to do with my blogging blocks. I constantly have them. Might have to get out more.

  • Tall Mum in Manchester
    Reply

    Lots of useful advice. Will be coming back to this post #thelist

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Such a helpful post!!
    Thanks!!
    L X
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #TheList

  • Briony
    Reply

    I’m obsessive about have a clear inbox, I pop everything into folders it really helps. I must start using IFTT it’s been on my blog to do list for ages but I haven’t got round to actually setting it up but it sounds like it will save me loads of time. #TheList

  • Annette, 3 Little Buttons
    Reply

    Hi Aby, so many fantastic tips I almost don’t know where to start. I am going to check out social oomph now. #The List

  • Jess Powell (Babi a Fi)
    Reply

    Some great tips – I really need to look into the Instagram schedulers! #thelist

  • Madeline
    Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this for those of us who weren’t at Blog Camp! It’s all really useful information, and a great insight into how hard you work! x #TheList

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    Goodness I need a lie down! Seriously though some great tips and you are so super organised well done! A lot to think about! Thanks for hosting #TheList x

  • Becca
    Reply

    Such a helpful post! I definitely need to put some of these tips into action! Thanks you. #thelist

  • AJ Grijalva
    Reply

    New blogger here. I will be referring back to this post quite a bit to put these helpful tips in action. Thanks, Aby!

  • Mummy here and there
    Reply

    Some hood tips. Thanks for sharing X #thelist

  • My Petit Canard
    Reply

    Amazing list and post Aby! Really wish I could have gone to Blog Camp, but I was so worried about travelling on my own so far away this far into my pregnancy. So glad that you’ve shared the tips you shared during your talk – lots of take aways. I’m already searching for the copy to draft wp plug in to download! Would love to know which specific one you use if you get a chance 🙂 Emily #TheList

  • Megan - Truly Madly Kids
    Reply

    I really need to get into social oomph, it sounds so useful on so many levels. thanks for all these tips – you are a font of knowledge!!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thanks glad it is useful. This might help to give you more info on social oomph http://wp.me/p4j9O0-8No x

  • Tammymum
    Reply

    This is a fab post, so useful that you. I have been wanting a plug in or tool that automatically links to Pinterest as I am just useless at it. I have also started grouping my tasks together, such as commenting and reading etc. A very good idea. Really great advice thank you xx #thelist

  • DiscomBUBulated
    Reply

    Wow, so much to take in! Where to start!? But thanks for listing it all out, I’ll one day get through it. Very useful resource 🙂

  • Ali Duke
    Reply

    Great tips here, thank you so much. I’m always looking for ways to save time.

  • Janet
    Reply

    Great post! I’ve been blogging for a while now but running my current blog for almost 18 months, although I have switched from Blogger to WordPress and also bought my website name. I moved early April and seem to have lost my mojo a little over the last few months but I’m getting it back now, thank goodness. I will certainly be using your advice as best as possible as I want to blog professionally but have so many other things to do in the meantime. It’s certainly hard and saving time is certainly important. Thank you so much for your tips! 🙂 Janet

  • Laura
    Reply

    This is brilliant Aby and exactly what I need as I am forever faffing around wasting time clicking between windows and social media! Thanks for sharing xx

  • Crummy Mummy
    Reply

    I didn’t realise it was possible to schedule in Facebook itself – thanks for that! #thelist

  • Sarah
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing all of this handy information! As a newbie I find all of this very interesting and want to soak up everything I can get my hands on. Your blog is such an inspiration! Definitely something to aspire to. #TheList

  • Cal at Family Makes
    Reply

    This is anamazing post. Mind boggling, but amazing! I’m sure one day I will understand a little more of it, but for now I’d just like to say what an awesome person you are for sharing so many of your tips and insights with us all. #TheList

  • Silly Mummy
    Reply

    Very helpful. I’m really struggling with time. i need to get to grips with scheduling social media and automating things. Batching is a good idea – I jump around too much. #thelist

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