One of the questions I get asked the most as a blogging tip is:
How do you find time to blog?
When I first started a blog I set myself a goal that I would fit it around my family time. My family comes first in my heart and I did not want my blog to become the first priority for me. In saying that I also believe that it is important as a woman and mother to have time to follow your passions in life, to do what you love to do and to make time in your schedule for those passions. With those two ideas in mind I set out to find a comfortable balance of taking care of my family and also following my passion and running my blog.
In the beginning I found running a blog took up a lot of my time. I would spend a great deal of time on each blog post (mainly because I lacked confidence in my writing) and extra time learning about blog code, SEO and all the other aspects of having a blog. I would write my blog posts at night time after the kids went to bed and would often stay up really late commenting on other blogs.
Now, I manage my blog very differently. I now get up early in the morning to write. I find my mind is clearer in the morning, I have fresh ideas and I can get my writing done faster compared to late at night where it felt like it would take me 10 minutes to put one sentence together! Getting up that little bit earlier gives me time to myself, I start my day doing something that I love to do and I feel happier for the rest of the day because I have written my thoughts out and I have had some 'me time'.
I also keep several blog posts on the go at once. If I have an idea I start writing out my thoughts and I will often come back to finish it off later on when I am having a day where I am not feeling very inspired. Every so often I will spend a night batch blog post writing. I might get Matt to take the kids out or they might all go and watch a movie in our rumpus room and I will sit down and smash out 5 or 6 blog posts in that one night. Then I can schedule them throughout my week and I can spend more time on my family.
I also have a blog notebook to write down any ideas about blog posts that I have and will refer to it when I do my blog writing. Often with one idea I can get 3 or 4 blog posts out of it. However, I find one of my biggest problems is that I have too many ideas and not enough time!
I also plan out in advance what blog posts I am going to post for the month on my blog. I write up a schedule and then discipline myself to stick to it. I say discipline because often I am not in the mood for writing those blog posts or for posting that topic on that certain day and I find it takes discipline to stick to a plan.
I think that a lot of people who start a blog are shocked at how much work it is to run one. It really does take a lot of work to maintain but if it is something that you love to do, it will not feel like work as you love it and are passionate about it.
For me personally, I am constantly working on ways to balance it better with my family. I pay attention to how my children are feeling towards me and my blog. If they feel I am spending too much time on it I cut back. I post less often and I drop the extra time of replying to comments. I love to reply to comments but if my children need me then it becomes my priority to reply to my children when they need me instead. I also try to keep a bunch of blog posts in reserve so that if I want to take a couple of weeks off to focus more on my family I can. This way my blog will keep running as I schedule those blog posts in and it becomes kind of like taking a blog holiday but nobody knows you are taking one!
I really appreciate that my readers know that my family comes first for me. They understand that I am not good at replying back some days, that I do appreciate every comment and that I love to write and to share my thoughts and ideas. Letting your readers know what your priorities are really helps you manage your blog and time as well. Then there is less pressure and expectation upon you as a blogger.