. HOW TO KEEP ORGANISED AND INSPIRED .
First things first, this blog post will absolutely NOT tell you how to run your blog in the literal meaning, that is of course all up to you and the beauty and integrity that comes with creating and running your own little WWW dot. No, this post is more about my tips and tricks for keeping your blog momentum up, keeping organised and most importantly keeping inspired.
. KEEPING INSPIRED .
MAGAZINES . BOOKS . PINTEREST . BLOGS – Use these like they’re running out of fashion. I get endless inspiration and ideas from reading my favourite magazines (editorial style ideas, photography inspiration & just a general buzz for writing), buying beautiful books which document the most perfect photography & fill me with endless inspiration for how to compose my blog photos (plus of course if we’re talking DIY or Cookbooks you can give them a go giving you lots of fab content to then put back on your blog). Pinterest is course every bloggers best friend already, I dare you to even try and go on Pinterest for 10 minutes and not feel inspired or have pinned something on your own boards. Whether it’s just the images or content that gives you a few ideas for things to write yourself, or more simply spurring you on to share your favourite Pinterest accounts, there’s tons of inspiration and ideas to be found lurking in this mass land of imagery. It would be outrageous if I didn’t mention blogs too, of course we all inspire each other on & feed our imagination for possible content ideas. Don’t ever copy another bloggers content (that’s just not cool) but take inspiration from what you see and read. Despite being largely a style blog, I actually read a lot of food and lifestyle blogs too, I really love seeing how other categories / genres do things & getting inspiration from food, interiors or just general photography. I also read a lot of international blogs, in fact I’d probably say most my blog roll is international bloggers.
GET OUT & ABOUT – Not just because when you’re out doing things, you can of course document it and blog it (restaurant reviews, outfit of the day, hot spots in your favourite towns, day out ideas, a day in the life, street style, or simply a post with pictures – the opportunities are endless) but because just being out and taking in the world around you is inspiration enough to spur on your writing mojo.
SHOPPING & BROWSING ONLINE – I put my hands up, I do this a lot. Spending time browsing new collections, checking out the high streets offerings & losing hours browsing my favourite online stores. You don’t even have to buy everything you want or love and do a shopping haul post, you can curate all your favourite items and share them on a wish list or even pull together outfit ideas from imagery.
FRIENDS & FAMILY – Spending time with friends is super fun, but friends and family can also give you some great ideas too. I’m forever having ideas thrown at me from friends, Jase, family or collegues. Whether it’s related to improvements on my blog, content ideas or requests for certain features or praise for posts they loved. Getting feedback and ideas from those around you will really help give you a boost & give you a bit of mojo to get writing.
. KEEPING ORGANISED .
This is actually where the idea for this post originated from. I wanted to share my tips for keeping organised and keeping my blog running on a daily basis. Running a daily blog but also juggling a full time career is no easy feat, but it’s one that i’ve managed to do with a few little tricks I’ve picked up along the way.
WRITE EVERY IDEA DOWN – Often i’ll find that my commute to work & the moment I get into bed are when all my ideas come flooding through, usually for me these are outfits I want to style up but more recently posts such as this which I feel inspired to write. I don’t want to lose or forget any idea I have and so I always have two things at hand just in case. My little notebook which stays in my handbag at all times, in here I jot down dates for publishing posts I’m working on, collaborations I am working on, a to do list of all things I must do, but most importantly all the ideas I have for future blog posts (and also my blog itself). Secondly is my phone, I have an iPhone5, but what I use is by no means flash, I use notes. In my notes app I have dozens of pages of blog notes ranging from inspiration & ideas to a schedule for upcoming posts as well as notes on invoice dates & collaboration agreements. I find that having things written down, on something that is always accessible, really helpful, not only does it act as a to-do list, but it also makes sure no fantastic ideas are ever forgotten. When I have a little more time on my hands I’ll turn these ideas into a list for future posts for me to develop …
MAKE A LIST OF FUTURE POST – When you have a little time to play with I find making a schedule of your future posts really helpful. Given my time and energy is extremely limited in the week due to work, I do like to try and schedule (or at least have planned) a full weeks worth of blog posts every week. Usually on a weekend or towards the end of the week i’ll start going through my ideas and making a plan for what features I want to post in the coming week. I keep to my 5 outfits & 2 lifestyle features a week mostly and will jot down in my notebook the list of future features, plus what I need to do for each (idea / imagery / editorial / publish date). If I am feeling super organised i’ll even start a post (even if it’s just a title) and schedule the date so I have a clear line up of features on my blogger interface. It helps to keep things organised & clear.
GRAB A MOMENT & START WRITING – Once I have my ideas developed & my ‘future’ posts schedule in mind, I’ll just start writing when I feel inspired or when I have a little time to play with. For example I’m actually sat writing this post on Saturday morning, because I have a little time to play with, a week before today when it actually has gone live. Sometimes your brain is in the mood to write and so when this happens, capitalise on it, start writing even if the images aren’t shot yet or you’re not planning to blog the feature for a while. Don’t lose the writing flow. As with my ideas, my inspiration for words also often comes when i’m travelling or getting into bed, even if I don’t have my laptop on me to write up my thoughts, I’ll grab my phone and write the content in an email, ready to publish at the right time.
KEEP YOUR CAMERA ON YOU. JUST IN CASE – This isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if your camera like mine is rather big and heavy (I have the Canon 5DIII which is amazing but not the lightest), but having your camera on you for days out etc means you can always capture photos for future posts. I always ensure my camera is charged & ready for action, because any spare moment I have or if the light becomes ‘right’ I’ll try and get pictures for the posts I’ve got lined up. I don’t blog in a linear fashion, so often i’ll gather images, write features and publish the features all at different times. I personally usually start with my photos, then the editorial and then will schedule for live.
SCHEDULE – I don’t just mean in your to-do list, actually schedule your posts. If you have features written and ready for live, schedule them to save you worrying about it later. I always schedule my posts for 10am each day, obviously i’m at work at this time so whether I write my post the night before or a few days prior, i’ll always schedule my posts to go live in the coming days, to save me worrying about it on the day. Often I may find i’m in all day meetings and unable to even check my blog, so knowing I have content scheduled and ready for you guys is fab. It’s not something I do often (I used it for the first time whilst on holiday in Crete) but you can also schedule social media links to your blog too. I used buffer and scheduled a few tweets each day to share my current blog posts, you can even include images & hashtags, so it’s engaging content for your twitter feed even though it’s scheduled.
WHEN YOU’VE GOT IT . KEEP GOING – There are days when I don’t feel or have the time to blog at all. There are others when all I want to do is take pictures, edit pictures, write content & dream up ideas. When those moments come, I grab them and try and make the most of the time I have. Even if it’s for a post you’ve planned for 7 days time, if you’ve got the time and the ‘flow’ keep going, write until your hand hurts or until your patient boyfriend drags you away from the screen (yes this happens to me a lot). As I mentioned, this post was written a week ago when I was really inspired to write and had a couple of hours on my hands. It’s brilliant to have features written and scheduled for future dates, it takes off the pressure & means you don’t have to worry on those days.
. BLOGGING ON THE GO .
Leading a busy life often means you need to keep your blog running on the go, whether that be whilst you’re away at weekends, taking time out on holiday or simply busy working 5 days a week. There are a few little gadgets that keep me blogging on the go and a few ideas on how to keep your blog out there when you’re busy & not necessarily sat at the computer.
IPHONE – I find it near impossible to blog on my phone, however what I do use my phone an AWFUL lot for is to keep up the running of my blog & as mentioned organising myself and my blog. Aside from keeping my ideas logged, I will use my phone to check my posts are live and running as they are meant to be (no rogue skew-wiff images or major typo’s I didn’t spot), secondly I use it for sharing my new posts. I’ll save images from my blog to my phone to share on my blog’s Facebook page, my twitter feed & also my instagram. I’ll use my iPhone to keep up to date with the community whilst i’m out and about and also to share my blog across all the other channels people use to keep up to date.
IPAD – Again, whilst I find it near impossible to physically write and post a blog from my iPad (i’ve tried a few apps in the past but never found any that really work for me or allow for the HTML adapts I like to feed into each post), it does come in very handy for the day to day ‘running’ of my blog especially whilst travelling with work or going on holiday. When I don’t want to or am not able to take my laptop with me (e.g. if i’m spending time out with with family or Jase) but want to be able to check everything’s okay & keep the daily communications up – My iPad comes in very handy. If I need to get into a live or scheduled posts to edit anything I can do, but it’s mostly what I use for sharing my blog across my other channels, but also reading all my favourite blogs too. I have the bloglovin app which I use but also just keep bookmarked my favourite reads.
MACBOOK PRO – My one and only. My most relied upon tool (aside from my camera) is of course my laptop. I personally favour Apple but that’s largely because I’ve been using them since I first went to uni back in 2006 (OUCH). I started with a little white macbook which served me well for a few years, I then upgraded to a 15″ Macbook Pro for my final year at uni and this awesome machine served me up until about two years ago when it quite literally just stopped working (nightmare). This was the moment I realised how important my laptop was to me, the prospect of not being able to work on my blog, access my images or keep connected on the move sent me into a state of despair, so much so that I instantly went out and spent my entire savings on a new one. I couldn’t wait for a replacement so by 10am the next morning I’d nipped out of work to the Apple store in Covent Garden and bought myself my Macbook Pro 13″ (I couldn’t afford the cost of the 15″again). I absolutely love my Macbook and it comes with me basically everywhere, I find it extremely easy to use, it houses all my editing software which I use for my blog & generally is light and mobile. My laptop now is a few years old and I keep thinking about the retina display screen, but for now this laptop is absolutely perfect for my needs.
NOTE PAD & PEN – I like to keep things real too, it’s not all about gadgets of course. As I mentioned in the inspiration and organisation section, a note pad and pen are two very trusty tools of mine which I wouldn’t be without. It’s less for the ‘live running’ of a blog but more for the behind the scenes mental whirlwind, having a little notebook on hand helps remove all the noise from my head & keep it logged for when I need it. I like to treat myself to nice stationary as i’m a bit of an obsessive, paper chase always have beautiful notepads which I like to use (for my blog but also for work too).
WOW, so there you go. Most likely my longest ever blog feature, but what can I say, I got into the flow and ended up expanding this post from pure organisation to inspiration and managing a blog on the go too.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this is absolutely not a dictation on how a blog should be run, it’s just my way of doing it & it kinda works for me :)
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and of course your tips and tricks too. Make sure you leave a comment and let me know.