When we moved from our convenient little apartment on the edge of town to our wonderful house in the country I knew right away that my blogging was going to take a hit. In reality though only September had a really low post output compared to the previous three months:
June had 37
July had 35
August had 30
September had 13
October had 25
November had 19
One thing I've learned since moving out is that it’s REALLY hard to keep up with blogs who have new posts out every single day! I always thought it was a good thing that I wrote so much and posted so regularly, but now that I’m on the other end where I don’t have daily internet access I just find it plain annoying to try and keep up with even my favorite blogs on the limited time I get online.
Okay so let’s get to the part you clicked on this post to read about! There are a few things that have REALLY helped me be a successful blogger and I wanted to share them with you since I know not everyone has constant internet access and might find these tips helpful.
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR BLOG ACTIVE
|Start using a notebook to keep track of scheduled posts.|
Blog Notebook or Planner. First of all, you’re gonna have to get more organized! Since you're not online every day chances are you’ll forget when you last scheduled a blog post. Since the end of June I've been using a plain old notebook and a pen to keep track of the posts I've written and scheduled. This has been a lifesaver, especially when I’m at home since I can just glance at it and see when I need to get back online to schedule posts again.
Organized Folders on your Computer. Because you won't have access to the drafts online you'll have to write and store posts on your computer, laptop or a USB drive until you do get online to schedule the posts. Keeping things organized at home will help you be more effecient with your time when you do get online.
Let's take a look at my folders. I may look super organized, but really it's quite a giant mess! In the photo just above you can see the main BLUE EYED BEAUTY BLOG folder. (It's titled just like that on my laptop!) There are a few folders there where I've further organized posts and all those documents are drafts of posts I'm currently working on or plan to write in the future.
The folder with a star (the left photo) leads us into the next section (the photo on the right) where you can see I've put together posts and have photos for those posts all sorted in different folders. I have a folder for the current blog month, and then for previous blog months. As I get a post finished or almost done I plop the folder containing the post & photos into the month I plan to schedule it. Let's look at January's posts.
The photo on the bottom shows a few folders of posts that are finished or almost ready to go for the month of January. You can better see the word document and some of the photos that are sorted into each folder. The folders are labeled with the title of the post as I want it to appear on the blog so it's easier to find if I forget where I've put something.
Keeping folders sorted like this I'm able to plan ahead and write posts for multiple months at one time. When I first started doing the whole writing without being online I didn't have this organized of a folder system, and let me tell you: this is much easier to work with and keep track of things!
|please ignore the mistype on the folder title...|
my laptop was being picky and wouldn't type the lowercase 'h'.
Pre-name/Edit Photographs. Using the folder for this post as an example, you can see two of the photos used for this post. One thing that I didn't do right away was pre-label the photos for posts. I would usually wait until I got on the internet and then realize I had a ton of photos to label. This can be VERY time consuming when you're pressed for time.
I would suggest labeling photos with the name of your blog FIRST, the title of the post, and then the number for the order you want the photos to appear in your post. As you can see in the photo above I don't have a '01' photo yet because I wanted to finish the post before I created the title or main photo which would go at the top.
I do add my BEBBlog label to all my photos and I use picmonkey.com to do that, but for the most part I try to have all the other editing on the photo done at home (using Picasa 3). I love Picmonkey for creating awesome main photos for posts because you can use all sorts of overlays and texts (even without a subscription there are still a lot of neat options available!).
Write in Word Documents. Microsoft Word is now your best blogging friend! Write up the post exactly as you want it to appear on your blog. Put the title of the post at the very top, the into, recipe ingredients, directions, or craft requirements and directions... whatever it is you write about, put it together in the order you want it to appear.
If you will be using photos in your post (and almost every post of mine had at least one!), it might be helpful to use a reminder for where the photo is going in the post. This is ESPECIALLY helpful when writing photo tutorials or using multiple photos in one post. You will save time you get online by having the spots for each photo pre-marked so all you have to do is upload the specific photo to that section.
Schedule Posts to Publish Automatically. I cannot TELL you how important and lovely this little trick is! I wrote a post on HOW to schedule blog posts (in blogger!) and if you plan to blog without internet this is also going to be your best friend, especially if you want to maintain a fairly active blog.
Being able to schedule posts will give you the option of having as active a blog as you want. I've scheduled posts for as far as a month out and they have never failed to publish. As you can see in the photo you can select the day and time. I usually use the same time (6 am) to schedule my posts so they ALWAYS come out at the same time. I don't know that this is really necessary, but it gives me peace of mind so that's why I do it.
These are all the tips I can think of for now. It took me about four months to get this system worked out and now that I've got it down blogging from home is a breeze! If you have questions about something in the post or anything to do with blogging feel free to leave me a comment or email me your questions and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible!