Well isn’t this a difficult one? How many of you out there have a blog and just don’t know where to start or what to do?
Do you find it difficult to write a blog post?
Are you a busy Mum, someone who has too much to do and doesn’t know what to do first or perhaps you live with a chronic illness?
Well take it from me, as someone who suffers from many different chronic illnesses, it is often difficult to work out which way is up, let alone trying to write a blog post. In my case, there are times that I desperately want to put my blog first, but I am in the grips of a migraine and writing is something that I cannot even think about doing. Other times I would really like to write but my husband is at home, I am feeling well and I want to spend time with him.
How do I do it? Life seems impossible at times. You want to make your blog successful but with no time to write or even get your blog posts up on your blog how are you supposed to get it all done?
I don’t think that there is a perfect answer in all honesty, but I can tell you what I do and give you the steps I take to make writing easier for me. Take a look at them and think about how these might work within your life.
The Answer – The Batch Process
The whole idea behind the batch process is that you are going to break the blog writing process into several steps and dedicate chunks of time to these steps/ batches.
1. Brainstorming Blog Post Ideas
Imagine that you are sat at your desk and you have writer’s block. You have a title but no words are coming forth. This is the worst place to be for any writer.
With the batch process you will no longer have the problem of writers’ block as what you will do instead is sit and have a brainstorming session on blog titles/ post ideas. I will sit there with my laptop and come up with as many ideas as I can think of with the power of my brain and the internet. They can range from the simple, mundane to weird and wacky to something like the title of this one. The things you write about do not necessarily have to be just what your blog is about.
When I started I had this great idea that the only thing I would blog about was zero waste. I soon decided that I had more ideas than just this one topic but my life isn’t that simple. I have chronic illnesses; I make all the products in my shop and I love talking. How can I just talk about one thing? Decision made, my blog will cover more than just zero waste. There will be different sections for different topics of interest.
Your blog may be focused on one topic but this does not stop you writing down all the ideas that come into your head. Brainstorm everything, you do not have to write about them all, it all helps to create an interesting blog with different and creative topics.
The whole point about brainstorming lots of ideas for blog posts is that when you do sit down to write next you don’t have to think about what you are going to write about. You just go to your list, choose a title that you feel like writing about and start writing. It takes all the stress out of the process.
2. Batch Research
The next step is to do all your research for your blog posts at once. This way you can spend all your ‘faffy’ time on the internet or looking in books in one fell swoop. If you are anything like me you will need some self-discipline at this point so you don’t go looking at crochet patterns on Pinterest for your next project or reading the latest news on the Coronavirus.
3. Batch Writing
We finally start to write!
The way I have always planned my writing time is to ‘try’ to write for at least an hour a day. Now you might be thinking to yourself ‘only an hour a day’ or alternatively you might be thinking OMG writing every day!
Well in that hour I can type approximately 1300 words if I’m on a roll and sometimes more if I don’t have any distractions.
You may find it is worth locking yourself away in a room for this time and turning off the music, the television and if you can, run away from the children, the dog, the cat, and any other distractions when you want to write!
Now I know when you have a little one or with a chronic illness, it can be very difficult to find the time. It may be that instead of writing in the conventional sense you need to get creative and start dictation and use word to text software on your phone/ laptop so that you can write whilst you hold the baby. Let’s face it your touch typing skills are not going to be at their best when you are holding the little cherub!
When you do write is just to write. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. You don’t need to go back and fix all of those typos that you can see. It is just words and I am not worried about how it reads or even what it says on this first draft. The aim is to get something written, not for it to be word perfect. If you are not sure about something and think you need to do some more research DON’T DO IT NOW. Make yourself a note and come back to it later. Theoretically, you should have done all your research in the previous step
Remove all distractions
If you go on the internet whilst you are trying to write this first draft you will get distracted and all that hard work you are putting into this blog post will be wasted and you won’t get it finished in one sitting. Remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how bad this first draft is. You are trying to get into the habit of writing and getting information down. As you repeat the process you will get better and better at it. Writing blog posts will become a habit.
Once you have finished this first draft, WALK AWAY! Or even start another post if you still have the writing drive.
DO NOT READ!
You need to leave yourself at least 24 hours before you read what you have written and come to it with a fresh head. If you read it now you will see what you want to see and not what is really there as you still have ideas running around your head.
4. Batch Editing
When you do read the first draft you can be more clinical about what you have written if you have come to it with a fresh set of eyes. I also find that I don’t add in my pictures at this stage. I will read it through and make my corrections and then think about what images and pictures need to go in. I will also think about any affiliate or passive income links I may want to put into the article.
Further research can be done at this stage so you have all your facts checked out and you are happy with the information you have put into your post.
5. Batch Scheduling
Once you are happy with your blog post and you think it is good to go then you can schedule it to post at the appropriate time. You can do this with multiple posts and hey presto you have a month or a couple of months worth of blog posts ready to go all at once.
Batch blogging in this way enables you to break your blog writing process into simple processes so that you do all your writing in one go, all your reading of first drafts in one go and then all your formatting of posts in one go. You end up with a pile of finished articles to post on your blog without all the hassle of having to write one piece from start to finish and the stress of having to get it all done in a short amount of time.
This break down allows your brain to do similar processes together which makes it easier for it to ‘compute’. Our brains are a little bit like computers and like to group process the same types of information at the same time.
I find this so much easier to fit into my life of chronic illness as I’m not stressed by trying to fit writing a whole blog post into a day. I’m breaking it down into bite-size sections and I end up with more blog posts written than I would previously have had.
A tip I have is that it helps that I can touch type from my days when I worked as a secretary at university to earn a few extra pennies. For those of you who can’t touch type, I would really recommend learning how. It is surprising how quickly you can improve your speed. Also, it is fun freaking out people by typing and holding a conversation at the same time. I know my husband used to look at me funny as I used to type in the office and look at him. Maybe it was just because I am a woman with super-duper multi-tasking skills 😉.
For those of you with busy lives, who want to write a blog make sure to get into the habit of writing daily. Even if you can’t commit to writing every day make sure you write as much as you can. The more you write the easier it will become and the quicker your posts will come out.
I really hope that you have found this useful. For those of you like me who live with chronic migraines and struggle to look at a computer screen regularly, this really does work and really does help. For those who are just too busy to find much spare time to write, this approach will also help.
Whoever you are, Good luck with your own writing.