It’s August – can you believe it? I honestly don’t know where this summer has gone. All of my days have seemed to blur together into weeks, and now here we are, the last full month of summer.
For those of you who don’t know, I am not a full-time blogger. I work in the skin care industry during the day and do this on the side. It’s exhausting to always be working, but I love this blog so it makes it fun. I’ve been blogging for a little over a year and a half, and I feel like it’s starting to really take off now!
Between my full-time gig, working out, blogging, and being a wife, friend and daughter, life can sometimes be pretty overwhelming. While I’m not a mega-influencer and still have very much to learn, I thought I’d still share some blogging tips on how I manage a growing blog while juggling the rest of my life.
I’ve tried so many ways to organize my blog. At first I had just a simple calendar, but over time my organization grew into multiple lists, disconnected notes on my phone, and random emails to myself. I would say the first order of business to making blog life easier is finding the right planner. I reached out to the team at Erin Condren for some help on this one.
My introduction to the brand was via a coworker of mine, who explained the difference in Erin Condren planners versus other ones. I’m not saying this will work for you, but I’ve found the set up of these Life Planners (not day planners) to be useful given that anyone can categorize the days any way they’d like. Unlike a traditional planner with the date and a set of lines, each day in this planner is broken up into 3 boxes. In these photos, you can see that I broke each day up in a basic manner: morning, afternoon, and night. However, over the last 2 weeks, I realized what I really needed was to separate things differently: life, blog to-dos, and posting schedules. Since I already have a full calendar at work, I wanted to keep everything non-work related in this separate planner.
What I really love about the Erin Condren planner is that you can really tailor it to your needs. Quite literally, since you can make a custom cover, but also with other things. If you’re into color-coding, she sells great markers. Maybe you’re a sticker gal who loves labeling. She’s got them, too! There are also dry erase lists you can pop in and out of the book if you want. You can even design the planner to be vertical or horizontal based on your preferences.
I still have a digital Excel calendar that I use to build out my month so that I can move around intended dates and photo shoots, but my big to-do lists and posting schedules go into the planner.
Tip #1: Find a planner that works for you, figure out the best way to use it, and then follow it religiously. Buy White Out.
A growing blog and with more partnerships also means contracts. I always write due dates in my Erin Condren planner, but you should always have your contracts easily accessible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to search my emails to find what I agreed to do with a brand. If a brand is paying you, it’s important for your brand and integrity to deliver assets properly and on time. Would you want to work with someone who didn’t deliver what you asked? Didn’t think so. Ditch your email searching.
Once I sign a contract, I create a folder for each brand within a bigger “Partnerships” one. I keep everything here – contracts, mood board, and decks so that I have everything in one place. By doing so, you won’t miss out on any detail and it’ll help you avoid having to reshoot photos. You don’t even have to reserve this mentality for paid partnerships; it’s a great way to keep track of gifted items you intend to post about as well.
Tip #2: Save contracts, creative briefs and other important partnership pieces in dedicated folders. This helps to avoid the “I forget that girl’s name at brand X” scenario when you search your emails.
An idea for an outfit or a blog post can really happen at any time. Not to mention, I may need to post something I was contracted for (see above). I used to keep notes everywhere and then I’d have bits of things here and there that never added up. Or, I’d be somewhere trying to remember contract terms or wanting to post an image to realize what I needed was on my computer.
I need my stuff to be where I am at all times, so I signed up for a Dropbox account. I put EVERYTHING blog related there. With this, I have the ease of posting photos on the fly from my library. There’s also the benefit of photos not taking up space on my computer. Blog posts, photos, invoices, and my digital calendar – literally everything goes into Dropbox. This way I can edit and look at things wherever I am. It also gives me the ability to grab any blog related stuff I have a quick second on my lunch break or before a gym class.
Tip #3 – Make all of your blog assets mobile. For me this is Dropbox but you can probably use iCloud or any type of cloud-based storage. It makes it so easy for on the go blogging and posting. Plus it’s super easy to reference those contracts when you’re on a shoot.
These are just a few blogging tips on how I manage myself. I know it may sound daunting to plan things out and to take the time to write in a planner. However, by setting aside some time early in the week, I’ve freed up my other days to write posts, go to the gym, and binge on Netflix. It’s kind of like meal prep. If you spend time to make your lunch in the beginning of the week, then you don’t have to worry about what you eat for the next 5 days.
I’ve actually become more productive since using my planner since I can see everything in one place! Since everything Charmed by Camille is within a thumb’s reach on my phone, I don’t need to wait to get home to blog or download a photo – I’m truly 24/7.
One thing to remember is while organization is great, it’s okay to get thrown off or change at the last minute what you post. Ink is forever, true, but that’s why they invented White Out. They key is to just not stress about it.
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