Streamlining your blog tasks is key to keeping overwhelm at bay and blog batching is a simple to implement first step!
Every month, I create thousands of words worth of content for 3 websites, several clients, freelance writing opportunities and multiple social media clients. As my work has grown, I had to find the most efficient ways of getting those regular blog tasks done. It’s so incredibly easy to slip a little behind, have the to do list get longer and longer and wonder why you can’t even get the small things under control.
My answer: batching
What is blog batching?
Batching borrows a term from manufacturing. On assembly lines, a worker performs multiple sets of one task. This makes production efficient and effective – a principle easily applied to blogging. For example, I block off consistent days and times dedicated to writing. This is when I draft the articles and blog posts that are on my to do list. Scheduled based on my most productive writing time – before lunch and when I’m home alone -I block those times off on my calendar at the beginning of the month. Everything else is scheduled around them.
Why batch your blog tasks?
Blogging doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Even the most dedicated blogger finds themselves de-railed when life, well, happens. Coming down with a cold, a spontaneous weekend trip, possibilities are endless! And that’s exactly as it should be. Life happens. Instead of bracing yourself for an onslaught of work afterwards or worrying about catching up. create a blogging workflow that builds in the ability to let life happen.
Batching my blog tasks saves time. I schedule my most high value tasks for times when I am at my creative best. Writing content, drafting emails to my list, and writing pitches for brand partners needs to happen when the words are flowing. For me, I know this happens in the mornings (before 11 ideally) when my house is quiet and I can work uninterrupted. These times don’t happen that often with a family, a business and long to do list. Instead, I schedule blocks of time and protect them just like they were one of my son’s doctor’s appointments.
Honoring those appointments with my blog & business allows me to offer my audience something they need from me – consistency. Ya’ll, life is nuts sometimes. But, I still need to deliver value. There was a time when I find myself taking a look at my calendar and realizing that they latest in a series was supposed to go out that day – and rushing to get things finished. With batching, I’m able to create content ahead of time. My life needs the flexibility to move my to dos around while still meeting my deadlines.
For me, the most important change that batching brought to my blogging is momentum. It gets overwhelming – social media, content creation, images, planning, pitching, networking, connecting with readers. The to do list keeps growing. New strategies, tools and trends emerge that need to be checked out and maybe implemented. While I try to hold to the idea of mastering what I’m doing before adding anything, my blog tasks can easily start to bury my day. When I’m effectively maintaining my batching schedule, I build momentum. I know that Tuesday mornings I’m going to make solid progress on my content creation schedule. Once I have that out of the way, I roll straight on to image creation so that all that content has engaging images to share on social media. A file full of ready to use images means that my social scheduling is a snap.
What can I batch?
Choosing what tasks to batch is individual decision. Consider what your core tasks are – the things that stop you from making progress. Do you end up scheduling social media every time you sit down to work on your blog? Stop the cycle by setting aside time to schedule out two weeks at a time. Do you have several drafts waiting for images or editing? Put that on your list.
The point of batching is to roll up the tasks that are your blogging stumbling blocks and knock them out at set times so they don’t stop your forward progress! Consider batching:
- drafting your posts
- creating post graphics
- scheduling social media
- writing & scheduling email campaigns
Batching is for more than blogging – I apply the same principles to my lunches. As a work at home mom, I maximize the work time I have while my son is in school. I don’t want to take a long time to eat a healthy lunch, so I prep my lunches on Sunday evening.
Tips for successfully batching
- Know your work rhythm! Setting yourself up for success is more important than batching in the same way that another blogger does, no matter how successful they are.
- Set alarms. I use Google Calendar to block out my batch times and set the notifications to remind when to start and stop to keep me on track.
- Make it a routine. Just like an appointment with another professional, I keep these appointments consistently. That’s not to say my schedule doesn’t flex when needed – like when my son stays home from school sick – but I stick to my routine as much as possible. It’s part of treating my blog like the business it is.
Which task could you batch to improve your blogging routine?