A little over 10 years ago I thought it would be interesting to try blogging. I had been reading blogs for a few years. They were relatively new at the time. I liked that some could be personal while others very informative. I wanted to test to see if it was something I was interested in even as a hobby.
So for a full year I wrote a blog post each day. I had no idea what I was doing at the start, but after that first year I developed some routines that I still use today and also used in creating Ghost Blog Writers.
If you’re curious about the daily tasks of most bloggers here are a few thoughts…
1. Title Brainstorming
When I first started blogging I would just open the computer and try to riff on an idea. But there were many nights when it got pretty late before I had something to write about. Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned from those early days was the importance of title brainstorming.
So on some days a blogger will have this item on their to-do list. This could be an hour or two where you’re researching ideas for posts. You can still write down ideas you get in the spur of the moment, but I think it’s critical to schedule time for it.
This ensures that you’re always going to have something to write about when you schedule time for writing.
I like doing about 10 ideas per brainstorming sessions. So if you’re blogging daily you’ll need this once a week. If you’re blogging weekly, about once a month for titles.
Sometimes you’ll have a topic that is all from your knowledge and experience. But even then you may need to do some researching. Maybe you have old files or emails that you can reference. Maybe you even have old blog posts you can research.
Other posts will require that you find information to help with the posts. It might be a study that you can reference. It might be another post you can mention and expand upon. Sometimes you just want to see what is out there on the topic so you can see if you can add something different.
This takes time for almost every post and can often require a few hours.
Writing is definitely a daily task. The time can vary depending on how much prep work you do ahead of time and how much you know about the topic. It depends on how experienced you are with blogging. I find that the more you blog and the longer you’ve blogged the more efficient you get.
I typically like to write, walk away and then come back later to edit. Sometimes I’ll have another person edit. But usually I like to come back with fresh eyes and read through the post. I’m looking for simple errors or sometimes big changes. So editing can vary, but usually it’s no more than an hour for a blog post.
Once the post is good to go you have to put it on the site. I have liked writing in the blog editor and kind of format along the way. But there is also formatting to do once the post is written and edited. You’re looking at adding an image and headings and things like that. Usually this is about the same time with each post and doesn’t vary much.
If you want a blog with comments it’s good to schedule time each day to read the comments and reply if appropriate. There are some popular blogs where the engagement in the comments is more interesting than the blog itself.
And this can be a result of the blog owner doing the engaging.
Some bloggers do just fine by focusing on the creation. They let the quality of their work do its things with the search engines. And that can be fine.
But many like the promotion side of things. You may take 2-3 snippets from a post and share those on social media. You may even look at paid promotion on social media for the content you’re creating.
8. Scheduled “Emergency” Time
One item I feel to be important for a blogger is scheduling emergency time. And it’s probably helpful for many jobs. Basically you accept that “something” will “come up” every day. So just schedule an hour each day for this something that will come up.
You can’t know for sure what it will be, but if you schedule the time at least you have a buffer. And if you don’t need it now you have a free hour for other work.
But I find that I almost always need it.
Bonus: Finding New Opportunities
If you’re a freelance writer you also want to schedule time for finding new opportunities. My first paid blogging job was a word of mouth situation. But after I found that I liked making extra money I sought out opportunities. I would schedule time for it regularly. I found jobs on social media, on job boards and all kinds of places. It was key for growing the blogging business.
Even with all these things I would say that blogging is a straightforward daily operation. But you need discipline and I’m a fan of scheduling these tasks and any others you may find to be necessary. I like treating just about any job as something of a 9-5 routine.
You are what your routine is I like to think.
And it’s no different for bloggers.