Today I am finally publishing a post that one of my followers asked me to write a long time ago. OK, so it was only a few months ago. But I still promised that I’d do it right away and then… I didn’t. Which is kind of ironic, considering the content of this post. COLLEGE ATE MY LIFE.
Anyway, Mawa Mahima @ All Things Wordy asked me how I manage to be so productive in college. How do I find time to go to class and do homework and read and write and blog, and all those other things I love to do? The answer is that
I don’t get very much sleep it’s complicated. BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
Whether you’re heading off to college in the near future and are wondering how to maintain your blog or are already in college and struggling to balance the more fun stuff like blogging with necessary things such as, well, HOMEWORK, I hope that this post helps you and gives you some ideas! I think these ideas are applicable to all student bloggers, TBH – if you’re in middle school or high school, a lot of ideas mentioned here are still applicable.
Soooo let’s jump right in! Here are my suggestions:
1. Decide what your priorities are and adjust your schedule accordingly
For example, getting up even just half an hour earlier gives you more time to blog. Decide not only what is important to you, but what is REASONABLE for you. If you set a goal to wake up at 6:30 instead of 7:00 in order to blog but you consistently have trouble motivating yourself to get out of bed that early, maybe that’s not the best way to adjust your schedule. What’s the point in making goals that you know you won’t reach? All that does is make you mad at yourself.
So in that case, look at how you use the rest of your time. Could you check Facebook less frequently or work on your homework more efficiently? (Personally, I get up from my desk to make endless cups of tea when I don’t feel like finishing my homework.)
You may even want to – gasp – GIVE UP SOME OF YOUR READING TIME. I knoooow, it’s hard and also awful, but sometimes it’s not humanly possible to DO ALL THE THINGS so you have to make decisions about which things to work on when. You can always let your blog slide for a while later on so you can catch up on your reading.
2. Every time you get an idea for a post, WRITE IT DOWN
This is pretty basic advice for all bloggers (or writers in general), but I think it bears repeating because COLLEGE IS HECTIC AND STRESSFUL and in all that chaos, it’s easy to forget things. (If mommy brain is a thing, can college brain be a thing too?)
Lately I’ve found myself jotting down reminders for EVERYTHING. If I get an idea for a blog post or a paper or a Her Campus article, I write it down ASAP – and if I can’t find a scrap piece of paper, I write it on my hands.
Trust me, college is ridiculously busy and you will forget your ideas if you don’t write them down.
3. Create a post schedule at intervals
I aim to do this every month or so, although it doesn’t always end up happening. I don’t have to stick to this schedule, and many times I end up switching posts around and fine-tuning things anyway, but it’s really helpful to have an idea of what I’d like to publish when… otherwise you waste valuable blogging time each day (or however often you blog) by sitting there and trying to figure out what to write that day. I don’t have time to waste – I have 63o3894 other things to do now that I’m in college.
4. Schedule your posts
This is different from the previous bit of advice in that I’m now telling you that WRITING YOUR POSTS IN ADVANCE AND THEN SCHEDULING THEM IS THE ACTUAL BEST. I’m not sure how other platforms such as Blogger work, but you can definitely do this on WordPress. I love that feeling of accomplishment after I’ve written and scheduled posts for not just the next few days, but for the next few weeks as well!
I think we all know that there will be days that are just too busy for blogging, but there will also be days when you have plenty of time to blog and you just don’t want to. TRUST ME ON THIS. If you schedule posts, you won’t have to worry about messing up your blog schedule on the days you’re too tired or unmotivated to write anything!
5. Write posts on your phone
I know, I know, this isn’t the most ideal way to write and publish new blog posts, but if you’re itching to write a blog post but you’re halfway across campus and forgot your laptop and don’t feel like trudging back to your dorm to fetch it, your phone will totally work. THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.
6. Save longer posts for weekends or breaks
If you know a particular post will take a lot of work, don’t even try to write it now. Save it for a day when you have more time! This is especially true if you need to take photos, make a ton of graphics, reread a book before reviewing it, et cetera. Designate certain posts as your spring break project, or whatever. That’s what I’m doing. AHHH ONE MORE WEEK OF SCHOOL LEFT UNTIL BREAK I CAN’T WAIT.
7. Consider writing shorter posts during the school year
Tags, linkups, top ten lists, and so on and so forth are all good ideas for those days when you really want to write something but you just don’t have the time (or brainpower) for the next Great American Novel. (Great American Blog Post? Is that a thing? I’m gonna make it a thing.) In my experience, posts like these often get the most views, too, so it’s a win-win situation either way!
8. Write about your classes, extracurricular activities, et cetera
The previous pieces of advice were all about time management, and now I’d like to transition to some content-related advice. If you ever feel stuck and don’t know what to write about, WRITE ABOUT SCHOOL! I love reading posts like these because everyone’s experience is so different.
Tell us what you’ve learned so far! Make a list of clubs you’re involved in and why you joined. Write about why you love your school. The possibilities are endless, really. You spend a lot of time in school, so it should give you plenty of ideas for things to write about!
9. Turn your assignments into blog posts
Nothing says you can’t publish your essays! Obviously, not all of them may be relevant – if any deal with topics that are extremely technical or difficult to understand, it may be best not to publish those. You and your classmates and your professor may understand what it’s about, but your followers might not.
Everything else, though? It’s fair game. Today I turned in an essay for my Wonder Woman course that compared Apollo & Artemis to Luke & Leia, and I’m probably going to post it here at some point because A) I’m proud of it and B) I had SO MUCH FUN writing it. Using this strategy allows you to kill two birds with one stone while showing off how much you’ve learned in college, too!
10. Post photos
If you’re not in the mood to write much of a post… don’t! Find a handful of recent photos and write about them. Long thinky posts are nice, but breaks from writing long thinky posts are nice too. Change things up by posting a selfie you took last week and tell us why you were happy in that photo!
11. Don’t overdo it
If you try to do it all, burnout is inevitable. SO DON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE. If you need to decrease the number of posts you write each week or even go on hiatus for a while, do so. If your heart just isn’t in blogging right now, but you don’t want to completely abandon your blog, it is totally OK to take a break. There’s no use in trudging on if it’s beginning to make you resent blogging.
12. Ask people to write guest posts
I’m not going to follow my own advice here, because I’m weird about guest posts – I’ll write them for other blogs, but I feel that since this is my own blog, I should be the one putting in all the time and effort. That’s just me, though. YOU DO YOU. If you want a break from blogging, ask around – I’m sure you can find PLENTY of other bloggers willing to help out and write something cool for your blog!
Well, I hope you found this post useful! I’d really appreciate it if you told your friends about it, promoted it on social media, et cetera, not because I’m trying to get more page views – I mean, I am, but that’s not the only reason why I’m asking – but because it seems like many bloggers struggle with this and I’d like to be able to help in some way. It can be difficult to juggle school, work, blogging, and all your other hobbies and commitments, but it is doable. You just have to find a way.