The New Year is well and truly upon us; in fact, 2017 is such old news that I feel like I should be making my 2018 resolutions. Better late than never as they say, so this year I have decided to digress from the norm. I will not make promises to go to the gym more or to stop eating donuts (easy achievements, I just don’t feel like it guys). Nope, this year I am going to focus on my blogging productivity. As a part time HR Officer, and some time freelancer, I find it a constant battle between prioritising where it is that my focuses lie. I am in love with writing; it is my life’s calling card, but I also have bills to pay.
Long days in the office are a necessary evil at times, so I often come home withered, uninspired and not in the mood to write. I have found myself drowning with work, and feel like I let down my precious clients when I miss deadlines. I realised that I needed to come up with a solution to my blogging fails, and I needed to come up with it quick. This epiphany led me to batching. And batching, I think is the way forward.
What is batching?
Batching is arranging things in sets or groups. Within a blogging context, it refers to writing content in bulk. Goodbye Wednesday twilight’s when I type vigorously at midnight, all the while slurping on an extra-large glass of red. It’s to keep me focused people. And sayonara 6am starts when I try to knock out an overdue blog post before heading into the office. I have decided to move forward with batch blogging, which will see me spend a Sunday knocking out back to back posts. I am going to be 3 steps ahead of the game. If you need any more reasons why batching is the answer, I have decided to tell you right here.
I am not alone fellow writers; as much as we love our craft, sometimes it is hard to get the creative juices flowing. I am prone to avoidance tactics. If the ideas are not smacking me in the face, I am likely to turn off the laptop and watch re-runs of Friends. However, I notice that when I am on writing form, the inspirational tap is trickling and it doesn’t stop. So why have I been stopping writing after one post? Ridiculous, right?! Sitting at a computer, with some meditative music is really soothing and generally once we writers get going, we can keep going. So, grab that time by the horns and really make use of it! You will appreciate that glass of wine even more when you can have it knowing how much work you have knocked out.
Batching is an efficient way of working. The point above regarding creativeness adds to this as obviously writing comes thick and fast once the ideas are there. Aside from the actual content, sourcing of images can be a time-consuming process, particularly if you are doing this on a blog by blog basis. Organising your images ahead of schedule can give you back more time to do other things.
I think I touched on this when I mentioned those manic midweeks trying to write while slightly inebriated. Being behind on schedule is just plain stressful. While the idea of sitting down for hours to write can be scary, you will be so pleased when you are ahead of your writing calendar. More importantly if you are writing for clients, they are going to be happy too, and will feel reassured that their content is in good hands.
Shift in Focus
By writing several blog posts in advance, you are essentially freeing up time that can be spent on new projects. When I set out to be a writer my big picture dream was to write a book. I am nowhere near achieving that; in fact, I can’t even remember the last time I read a book. I have gotten so caught up in playing client catch up, that I have lost sight of what I want to achieve. I want to continue to write and grow in the blogging sphere, and I want to continue to work with the fantastic people that I get to write for. However, I also want to knock that book out. So, by batching blogs, I can free up a day and get lost in creativity. Or maybe just start with reading a book.
When I speak of Foundation Posts, I mean those sort of evergreen ones, the posts that are relevant no matter what time of year it is. I am sure people will argue that batching can’t work in a fast-paced world, but there is always content that has some timelessness about it. Have a think about what blogs you can create in bulk that will slot in during the year, and utilise that extra time you now have to write about the juicy new findings in-between.
I hope that this has given you some food for thought and I would love for your feedback on blog batching! Has it worked for you?