I've said this time and time again, blogging is NOT all about taking cute pictures with presets for our Instagram feed and getting free products from our favorite brands. It's so much more to it than that! As busy as our life is already, I still find it comforting to stay organized as a blogger no matter what your blog niche or industry is. Organization for you as a beauty blogger, may mean cleaning and properly storing your beauty and skin care products weekly or if you're a fashion blogger, finally putting away, that pile of clothes that's on the back of your chair or worse, that are all scattered around on the floor lol.
Here are simple but yet very important things that I do to stay organized as a blogger:
I keep my workspace organized
I don't know about you but, I can not work in a crowded and chaotic space. My workspace has to be neat at all times in order for me to stay organized. This doesn't mean that while I'm working, that my desk doesn't get messy. In those moments, I reset, straighten up the clutter and then I'm able to resume my work. My workspace is very colorful and it's known to fit my "artsy" personality as people often say about me. So with all of the colorful and meaningful decor that I have, I still have to stay organized.
Being organized as a blogger is key and a huge part of your success as a blogger. Take a look at your workspace (even if it's your bed for now) and make sure that it's organized. If it is not organized, dedicate some time on your off day and clean up the clutter, dispose of things that you no longer need or are simply outdated such as magazines you've collected for inspiration. Doing this, will allow your creativity to flow easily if your workspace is free of clutter.
I batch & schedule my content
So that I won't stress myself out trying to post blogs in real time, I batch a lot of my written content and/or photo shoots, in one day. I would like to add here that this is basically another way to describe what my work hours are. I'm a full-time blogger and entrepreneur so with each respective sides to my business, they each require me to create two different work schedules. I batch content on the weekdays now as a blogger and work as a photographer on the weekends because that's when my clients are off work and available for my photography services.
Knowing this, I schedule my blog posts ahead of time so that while I'm working with a client on Sunday at 12pm CST, my new blog post is being posted on my website by the scheduling feature that Wix provides. If you use Wordpress, you can schedule your posts in advance also. The only way to do that, is by batching your content. At minimum, take about three hours total to write three blog posts for example. Then, after you have everything in order for example, you've checked for grammatical errors, placed photos within your blog posts, made sure the post is SEO friendly, etc., now you can go ahead and schedule each blog post individually. If you need more tips on balancing your 9-5 and blogging, click here.
I automate tasks, emails, etc.
Again, I'm never a fan of doing things in real time as a blogger so I automate a lot of my tasks and weekly emails......similar to scheduling posts. If you find that your readers typically have the same questions, instead of answering them over and over, create a FAQ page on your website or write a blog post answering them so that when those questions arise (and they will), your automation system can direct them to it. I send multiple emails to my newsletter subscribers every week and unless my subscribers have a specific question about a service I provide, they are directed to my sales links to book a photography service, read product descriptions, etc., to alleviate unnecessary back and forth communication between us. We live in a digital era and the business side of blogging can be time consuming if you haven't automated your systems.
I monitor my expenses daily, weekly and monthly
I don't know who needs to hear this but, it costs M-O-N-E-Y to be a blogger and successfully run a blog. Regardless if you're doing it full-time, part-time or as a hobby. Your website has expenses, equipment you need to purchase and use, wardrobe and props you need to book a photographer, mileage for meetings, software programs, etc. To stay organized in this area in the past, I would usually just rely on my blog analytics and create spreadsheets but this year, I signed up for Quickbooks Self-employed to really monitor my expenses daily, weekly and monthly.
Using this program allows me to monitor my overall expenses and next year, I will be able to import the information into TurboTax to file my taxes. Being organized as a blogger also means being responsible and reporting income, profit and losses to Uncle Sam. For those of us bloggers that monetize from our blogs, I highly recommend you sign up for Quickbooks or any program/system that monitors your expenses. Lastly, monitoring my expenses, allows me to stay on budget every month as a blogger cause it can be very tempting to buy every little thing that I think I need or simply that I just want.
I store important documents in Google Drive
Working with brands on campaigns and other partnerships, I'm sometimes required to sign contracts. Google Drive is a great tool to store your important documents, blog posts, photos, etc. I teach courses on blogging and social media marketing to bloggers, influencers and businesswomen, so I also store my presentations there, yearly taxes, my logos and anything else I deem IMPORTANT to run my blog. Don't crowd your laptop hard drive with all of your important information, simply store it in Google Drive. As a backup system, please invest in an external hard drive and save all said important documents stated above.
Every blogger is different and every blogger requires different systems and tools to run their blogs. I know bloggers who save every blog post to Google Drive and I know of bloggers who only save their blog photos in Google Drive. Whatever works best for you to stay organized, do it! If a brand I'm working with has questions regarding the scope of work and deliverables while we're on a conference call, I can easily go to Google Drive and pull up the original contract quickly to review. I'm not fumbling through piles of paper on my desk or in my desk drawers looking for the document. Bottomline here is, don't miss another opportunity as a blogger simply because you're not organized.
Blogging is a great way to stay connected to your tribe, community or customers. Being organized as a blogger is very rewarding no matter what you blog about or how often you blog. So commit to staying organized this year as a blogger, to make things easier on you and make the experience on your website user friendly for your readers. If you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, comment below and let me know how you are going to stay organized as a blogger this year?