My Top 4 Blogging Tips & Tools That Help Me Blog as a Hobby
*This is a Collaborative Post.
If you didn’t know already, blogging is a hobby and is not my main source of income. It’s not my “main” job and I don’t rely on it to pay the bills or put food on the table. With this, it means I have the luxury of being able to choose who I do and don’t work with, when I want to post, and what I want to post (although no one should really censor themselves, I understand it when people are less sweary online than they are in “real life”, for example).
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take any of this for granted. Blogging has allowed me to work with some wonderful people, visit some incredible places, and experience things I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to experience. It’s also resulted in finding a community and people who I now genuinely call my ‘friends’.
That being said, for me to still have the nice things that comes with having a growing platform I still have to make sure I keep up with certain ‘blog-min’. Also, because this isn’t my “real” job – meaning I’m not always online when I should be (such as when I’ve published a new post) – I’ve recently invested in tools to help boost my platform.
If, like me, blogging is also a hobby for you, check out a few of my recommendations to help you keep things ticking over when you’re not online.
Timehop (and other ‘memory makers’).
As I said, because blogging isn’t my main job. Therefore, I don’t often have the time or opportunity to create “new” content. With days that often repeat themselves week in week out, it’s hard to create an image for Instagram with offerings such as what I had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and my commute to work.
With this in mind, if I haven’t posted online for a while I will often check my Facebook memories or apps like Timehop to see what I was doing a year or two ago. This is also a useful tool if you take part in things like #ThrowbackThursday to break the week up or create a divide between any adverts you may be running.
Tools to help with your social media management take a huge weight off of you when it comes to publishing posts or sharing older posts that are still relevant. A lot of tools, like the one I’ve linked to, also come with calendars so that’s easier to see when your content is due to go out.
I often work a few weeks in advance (sometimes a few months when it comes to LGBTQ-related times of the year) and schedule a variety of posts over on our Facebook. When I’ve written a new blog post, I will also make sure that throughout the week of publishing I schedule a number of tweets advertising the fact that I have published something new. This means that I maximise exposure without having to physically be online.
This is not to say that you should spam your followers with old blog posts – no one wants or needs that – but to keep your blog ticking over it’s always worth thinking about putting some of your more ‘evergreen’ posts out there. You never know who might see it!
Broken Link Checkers
One of the most tiresome aspects of blogging is the admin side of things. When I have a blog-min day I often find I’m more tired than on days when I’ve done loads of writing. This is because, more often than not, it’s repetitive and dull, and because I don’t see any difference or feel like I’ve achieved anything, like I would when I’ve written something, I’m put off doing it.
But, it’s these little things that often make a huge difference to growing your platform. Without going into the finer details of DA (Domain Authority), if you want to be seen by people and brands then you need to optimise your platform (look up ‘SEO’ for more information on this).
One of the easiest ways to appear in search results is to have a decent DA. To increase your DA, things like commenting on other blogs and removing broken links will help towards this – although it does take time! Depending on how much time I have, I either use one of the broken link plugins via my blog or a website that scours my site for broken links. I then go through and delete them – tidying up along the way.
Plan Ahead / Keep a Diary!
I have at least two days off in the weekday, which means those days are usually crammed with emails, writing, any paid work that I need to create, or *shudders* admin, so it’s inevitable that I will forget the smaller things or the more “fun” things like actually reading the blogs I love or listening to Podcasts.
With this in mind, I optimise my Bullet Journal and have a several pages dedicated to logging things such as income and expenses, as well as planning any paid posts that I need to write or posts I want to write (but are still stuck in my head). It means that I can maximise my time, without the feeling of overwhelm. It’s also more likely that I’ll feel like I’ve achieved something when I see things bring ticked off.
At the end of the day, blogging is still a hobby for me, and whilst I want my little blog to grow, it’s no fun when it becomes a chore, and less about why I started in the first place (that’s if you started it as a hobby. If you started it to make money then this probably isn’t the post for you!). That’s why it’s really important to invest in a few small tools to make it easy so you can still prioritise what you love the most – the writing!
Is blogging a hobby for you? What are your top tips? Any apps to recommend?