I’ve loved to write ever since I was a child. When I was at school I would make up my own magazines complete with features and even an agony aunt section. I wrote my first short story aged 14 and I have had dreams of being published ever since.
Blogging has been amazing at giving me an outlet. Through my blog I’ve had the chance to collaborate with some amazing brands and I can actually now see a future where writing is my career, which is incredible.
I started blogging when my eldest son Cameron was a tiny baby, and I’ve been juggling writing with motherhood ever since. Sometimes it can be hard, trying to find the time for the kids and the blog. It takes a lot of forward planning, but I feel like I’ve finally found a balance.
I like to have at least a generalised idea of what I will be writing about in the coming weeks. I try and sit down and plan my content at the start of each month.
If I have a product to review or a collaborative post with a deadline, I will always slot it in, even if this means moving other posts around.
I also write about different topics on set days, which means that planning say beauty/style content for a month will only mean having to come up with 4 posts.
Scheduling Posts in Advance
People I speak to, especially other bloggers, are sometimes surprised to learn that I schedule my posts a week in advance. This means that I am always working ahead of myself, with a plan of what I have coming up.
I have been doing this for around a year now and it has been really helpful in keeping to a schedule and being able to spend time with the children more.
I post fairly regularly (4/5 times a week) and I just wouldn’t be able to do this if I didn’t schedule my posts in advance.
Having said this, I do still like to write posts completely off the cuff, and I will generally just post these whenever I finish them, meaning sometimes I will have more than one post up on one day. I think its good to get a mixture of planned and spontaneous content.
Writing Posts in Bulk
So, before I can schedule the posts, I have to write them. Writing is such a personal thing for everyone, and there isn’t a one size fits all approach.
For me, I find I can get in the zone fairly easily when I put my mind to it. I set aside a couple of hours, usually on a Saturday morning (although I am writing this on a Friday night as I am off to London in the morning), and I sit and write out the posts I have planned for the week ahead.
I am fortunate in that it doesn’t take me too long to write once I get myself immersed in my writing, and I can usually get all four or five of my posts finished in this timeframe.
Since I started making more effort with my blog photography, I have become obsessed with the weather!
Being at home throughout the week, I am lucky to be able to work my photography sessions around when the sun is out. The only problem is when the sun doesn’t come out all week (which has been the case lately).
I use the Olympus Pen E-PL8 to take my blog photos, and it is a brilliant camera, but it does work best in natural daylight.
Our conservatory is the lightest room in the house so I head out there whenever I need to get photos taken. I usually do this on a weekday whilst the older two kids are at school, and during Benjamin’s nap time (sunshine dependant).
In order to be as productive as possible with the limited time I have, I plan my photo setups ahead of time when I am planning my posts.
I have all my backdrops in one place, and I will have an idea in my mind of the materials I need for a flatly beforehand so that I can just grab it all and go.
For my Valentine’s Gift Guides, I had the backdrop ready to go with the flowers and ribbons in place so that I could take photos of items quickly without needing to rearrange.
Slotting in Social Media
Social media and blogging go hand in hand and I am the first person to raise my hand and admit I am more than a little obsessed with logging in and scrolling through the feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
When it comes to promoting myself via these channels though, I try and stick to times when I am not with the children.
When I am cooking, whilst breastfeeding Benjamin and after the children have gone to sleep are my prime times for keeping on track with social media.
Admin during Naptimes
As well as photography sessions, nap times during the day are useful for keeping on top of admin, especially sending and replying to emails.
I have email alerts on my iPhone so I am always available (not necessarily a good thing) and do reply to urgent emails whilst out and about during the day if I need to, but I try and sit down at my desk and go on my laptop to feel more in ‘work mode’.
Sunday is Family Day
One of the main reasons why I try and get all my blog posts sorted on Saturday is so that I have one full day at the weekend to focus my attention on being with the kids and Ed.
It can be hard to switch off from the blog, and I don’t always stay away from social media, but it’s good to get out and about and have some quality time as a family before another week starts.