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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Behind the Blog: Scheduling and Sanity


Earlier this year I started a feature called Behind the Blog to show the other side of blogging.  It's been a long, long time since the last post (February!) but here we are today with another one.

I just finished my 3rd year of blogging, which I find pretty remarkable and a little bit crazy.  I didn't go into blogging thinking I'd stick it out for this long, but you guys make it pretty fun and hard to stop!  Anyway, the first 1.5 years or so blogging took over my life in a way that I didn't like.  At first I was okay with it because it was a new hobby and I was learning and discovering things about blogging and myself.  In that sense it felt okay to immerse myself in it.  But as more time passed I found myself still in the pattern of being consumed and immersed with it all, and I didn't like that.  To me, that wasn't a healthy focus to have or a way I wanted to do life as I had other things in life that I wanted to give energy to as well.

Maybe you're not like me and don't have an addictive personality like I do and don't go overboard with things.  I envy you!  But for myself, to help me better manage my time, energy, and focus, I came up with a blogging schedule.  Somehow knowing that blocks for blogging were carved out in my schedule helped free me to better focus on the non-blogging things.  Otherwise I would haphazardly waste time doing unproductive things related to blogging...or as Benson calls it..."dwaddling" around.  (aka dawdling...)

Here are some of the basic ways I organize my blogging schedule:

1.  Plan Outfits for the Week
This is actually more for real life and just partially for blogging.  I look at my calendar with the week's upcoming events and plan some outfits for them.  Call me anal or crazy or whatever, but I'd rather do that than stare at my closet each morning scratching my head and wondering what to wear.

2.  Plan Posts for the Week
Once a week I'll look ahead and plan posts for each day of the coming week or two.  I'll list the type of post for each day (outfit post, Mix & Match, style tips, Shopping Help, sponsored post, etc.) and if I can, the specifics of that post.  For example:

  • Monday  |  Outfit: chevron maxi dress + yellow cardi
  • Tuesday  |  How to Style: Patterned Shorts
  • Wednesday  |  Outfit: grey t-shirt dress + black
  • Thursday  |  Day to Night: t-shirt dress
  • Friday  |  Shopping Help

I like to put them at the top of my calendar like so:



3.  Keep Track of Deadlines
I also use the banners in my calendar shown above to help me keep track of deadlines and posts I've committed to.  These are things like sponsored posts, giveaways, linkups, collaborations with other bloggers, etc.  If they're not in this calendar, I'm not going to remember they're happening!

4.  Carve Out Slots to Work on Posts
I also schedule blocks of time where I can work on posts for the week.  If I can get it together and work fast enough I'll write a couple posts at once.  It's helpful to plan ahead so that some days I don't have to write any posts, and it's especially helpful if I *can't* write a post one day.  It also helps me plan ahead to make sure I've allocated enough time for posts that take longer to put together.

5.  Stack My Picture-Taking Times
When I first started blogging, I took outfit pictures by the day.  Now I usually only take pics once or twice a week, doing multiple outfits in one session.  Since I plan outfits weekly I know what I'll be wearing later in the week so I can take pictures of them in advance.



All of this helps me to know that I'll be able to do all I want to do but also provides boundaries so that there is a definitive end to the time I'll spend on it.  All in all, scheduling keeps me sane!

If you're a blogger and ever feel overwhelmed with it, I'd really encourage you to find a rhythm that's sustainable for yourself.  Otherwise you'll burn out and blogging may not be fun for you anymore.  Sad!  Whether it's a schedule or simply some "ground rules of blogging" that you will hold to, do it in a way that's sustainable and that you're happy with!

Catch the rest of the Behind the Blog series here! 

33 comments:

  1. Hi! This question has nothing to do with today's post but I bought a maxi skirt today (first time ever) and knew immediately that I would be asking you for some advice! It was a steal at Tjmaxx and I love it. Its all black and soo comfy..but I'm 5'3. It has a great waistband so I can fold it or pull it up so its short enough but I was wondering if you've ever considered wearing a maxi skirt as a..*gasp* dress? When I was in the dressing room I pulled it up and thought it was maybe possible but wasn't sure how to style it or look like I'm wearing a skirt as a dress.

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  2. I've been wanting to get back into blogging for quite some time now, but just the mere thought of jumping back into it has been a bit overwhelming. This post was really helpful and I think I'll be able to finally figure out what I want to do soon :) Thank you for sharing!

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  3. WE are not as organised as you, but we have several draft blog waiting, as we think of something good to write to set it to draft, its amazing how new ideas, piggy back off of those

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  4. I'm glad to hear that you found a process that works for you! I'm so grateful I did, or else I probably wouldn't be blogging anymore.


    I'm sure a baby will change my schedule, at least for the first while until I get the hang of life with a little one. As far as a mommy blog...even during pregnancy I said right off the bat that pregnancy updates would be less on the blog (though a little--it's part of life) but more on Instagram. Meaning...I have no intentions of turning this blog into a mommy blog anytime soon, unless it has to do with style, but I also can't predict what my future self will feel like doing.

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  5. I've totally seen people wear maxi skirts as dresses. They just hike them up to just below their shoulders and belt at the waist.

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  6. It can really get crazy, can't it? Good luck with finding your rhythm!

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  7. Good luck with it all, Sora! I don't know how often you were posting before, but maybe you could allow yourself to post less often as well so that it doesn't seem as overwhelming. I hope you find something that works for you and allows you to enjoy blogging again!

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  8. Good luck with everything, Brittany! If you haven't yet, check out the Wardrobe From Scratch Series too. (Link at the top of blog.) It tells you how to build a wardrobe from scratch that you can mix and match.

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  9. Оксана КовальчукSunday, July 13, 2014

    wow you're really hard working blogger. :)

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  10. It's really helpful for me to understand how you (and others) plan and execute blog photos. For me that's the hardest part. I tend to take note when I wear an outfit that I really like, save up several of these outfits and then take a bunch of outfit photos on the weekend. I like your idea better, though. Same concept just a bit more organized and your clothes probably aren't as wrinkly as mine since you haven't worn them for a whole day yet :)

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  11. HappinessatmidlifeSunday, July 13, 2014

    I am not organized as you when it comes to blogging. I do plan my outfit the night before depending on my work schedule. I take my photos the day I wear my outfit but it doesn't take that much time since my hubby takes my photos. t do write my post for the upcoming week at one time.


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  12. Hi Audrey, thank you for sharing your blogging tips. I find it quite hard to blog on a regular base. Scheduling blog sessions might work for me as well. I'm gonna try planning ahead for the coming weeks and see how it goes.
    Enjoy your pregnancy, you have a beautiful bump!

    Love,

    Mandy

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  13. Hi Audrey, great post! It's really interesting to see your process at work. Out of curiosity, approximately how much time do you spend in an average maintaining your blog (both in creating posts, and managing all the behind the scenes stuff)? I feel like you must be superwoman having a full-time job and posting on such a consistent schedule...

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  14. This post is really helpful Audrey! I am so happy I found your blog because you give great tips and your outfits are cute. You have great style and I like your blogging style! These are great tips, especially for a new blogger like myself. Keep up the good work!

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  15. Um, is it bad that I also thought "dwaddle" was correct? I actually looked it up, since that is how I have always pronounced it. Opps! Also, please turn into a mommy style blog! I'm on the look out for new ones, cuz the ones I follow now are wonderful to look at, but not so practical for me. Wearing heels to run errands? I wish...

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  16. Asis Gochhayat BapiSaturday, September 06, 2014

    This article is useful and greatfull.When I belt I look like my top half has shrunk and my bottom 2/3rds has swollen. Click here To More......

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  17. Asis Gochhayat BapiTuesday, September 09, 2014

    This is really cool. I'm cutting out the freezer paper now to make the rug. I'm just wondering if you coated the whole rug with the polyeurathane or just the painted parts? Also, did you heat set the paint? Looks great! Hoping mine turns out just as nice :)

    Infoeminent

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  18. Discovering my styleThursday, September 25, 2014

    I stumbled across your blog about 2 weeks ago. My baby is 2 months old so at first my plan was to lose the baby weight and throw out everything and buy a whole new wardrobe. However, I don't want to wait several months to start looking good. When I return from maternity leave I want to look and feel great. Your tips have helped me look at my wardrobe in a whole new way. I am remixing pieces and adding pops of color and realizing I have so many options. And it's not even costing me nearly as much money as I thought it would!!! You are such an inspiration. I love that you dress modestly but so stylishly. I know you're busy with a newborn but I hope you'll be able to keep posting on your blog. People like me need you!!! You are the first really practical source of fashion advise that has worked for me.

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  19. Congrats on your little one! And thank you for writing. I'm so encouraged to hear that you're saving money and able to use what you currently have in new ways! Sounds like you're doing awesome!

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  20. Finally a real person with real solutions. I hate shopping. Yup you read correctly; a woman who hates shopping. I am older than you (mid forty) but i dont want to dress like im out-dated. Your suggestions have made my blah closet to stylish. Thank you. I have all i need to remix my clothes.

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  21. Thanks so much for writing, Marilyn! I'm really glad to hear you're feeling better about your closet!

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  22. Thank you so much for all of your tips and this whole blog. As you say up there: it might be obvious tips and tricks to people but for me it is exactly those inputs that I need! I always felt like I got a closet full of clothes but unfortunatly none that actually are useful to build a beautiful outfit. Through your blog I got so many ideas for outfits that I feel like I've bought a whole new wardrobe :) thank you so much for all your great ideas and "obvious" tricks - love it :) ! x

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  23. I'm so glad to hear that, Sabrina! Thank you for taking the time to write--super encouraging! And have fun with your "new" wardrobe ;)

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  24. THANK YOU!!! I was the person who kept buying more and more clothes to create the outfits i saw on the manniquin or in the magazine, so, I always had too many clothes and no outfits!!! and I saw your title Building a mixable wardrobe part 1, it was EXACTLY what I needed and I'm going to teach my 10 year old to do it too!!!! You have inspired me to emptly my closet and start mixing and matching!!! THANK YOU again!!!!

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  25. Yay!! Thanks so much for sharing that! Good luck, and have fun!

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  26. THIS POST BLEW MY MIND. I've always dealt with my excess belt issues by using scotch tape (dumb) or safety pins (and stabbing myself repeatedly). It seriously never occurred to me that I could defy belt buckles like that. I don't even know what to do with myself right now.

    P.S. Thanks!

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  28. THIS IS A LIFESAVER!!! I've been having the WORST time finding blouses/tops that fit my figure! I can't BELIEVE i never thought to belt them!!!

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  29. Ahhhh, I hope you have more fun with your wardrobe by belting stuff now, Caitlen! Good luck!

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  31. I came to your blog googling tips on how to put an outfit together... I love this post! I'm 32 so many of the ideas make me want to face palm wondering how these ideas didn't occur to me earlier. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and journey with us :-)

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  32. So glad to hear that, Elana! I only realized that stuff at 28 or 29 (I'm 32 right now), but better late than never, right?! :)

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