Balancing High School & Blogging

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Monday y'all and Happy Halloween! I have the day off of school, which makes this Monday a lot better than usual. Today, I'm sharing a post I've been wanting to do for a while: how to balance blogging with high school.

I started Chic in Carolina in March 2015, when I was a sophomore. Chic in Carolina has been a major part of my life since then and especially in my junior and senior years, it has taken a bit more planning to keep new content coming y'all's way (the reason why some weeks posts go up a bit late). Since blogging is one of my favorite things to do in my free time, I have developed some ways to balance the blog with school since starting Chic in Carolina.

Have an agenda just for blogging
I recently started using Designer Blogs's Blog Planner (which you can receive for free by subscribing to their emails) and I love it so far. It is so important to have a space to plan out different posts and also keep track of other blog related things (such as monthly follower counts or sponsorships).

Plan your content calendar ahead of time
If I don't have ideas on my Google Calendar ahead of time for a particular week, it makes the process of writing posts for y'all so much longer and typically doesn't produce the best posts as I'm rushing to come up with something. I always write down (or note in my phone) ideas as they come and then transfer these ideas to my calendar. This helps so much in producing original content that your readers actually want to see and also saves some time as well.

Stay on top of your emails
This is a big one for me as I am so guilty of letting emails pile up in my blog inbox. Before I know it, I have a ton of emails that need responses to so it's so much more efficient to just reply to them ASAP. Also, when working with brands, it is definitely better to respond quickly than several days or weeks later.

Pre-schedule posts on the weekend
Honestly, I write and publish over the weekend because I don't exactly have the time to be writing posts throughout the week. Scheduling everything ahead of time helps me have posts for y'all go up every during busy weeks and also lets me focus on social media during the week.

Keep a running to do list
To-do lists are seriously one my favorite things. Beside using them all the time for school and just life in general, I love using them for the blog as well. Write down everything blog-related you need to do that day or week on your to do list. The action of crossing something of off my list is such a motivator for me so writing something down, even if it's as simple as "email ____ back" or "Instagram", really helps you get that item done.

Schedule Tweets & Facebook for New Posts
Whenever I post a new post, I always tweet or put something on Facebook about the new post. I tend to schedule these ahead of time by using Hootsuite or just Facebook so that way it's taken care of ahead of time and I don't have to worry about it. I also schedule regular tweets on Hootsuite, which is a great way to be active on Twitter without actually being active on Twitter.

Set times that are "for the blog"
Blogging is so much more than simply typing up a post and hitting publish, which I'm sure y'all have realized. I always have quite a bit of blog-related work to do (which I love!) so putting aside time every day to work on the blog for at least a few minutes is so so important. Setting a specific time (let's say 3 PM-4 PM) is important because it establishes that blogging time as part of your routine.

Focus on your main platforms of social media
When life gets super busy, it gets harder to constantly be on all sources of social media. Choose the platforms that are the most important to you and then focus primarily on those during busy times. For instance, I typically focus on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter rather than Tumblr and Facebook. Quality over quantity is important for social media, so focusing on the important platforms will not only save you time but also boost your following.

Know when to take a break
This seems a bit counterintuitive but there is weeks during the school year that make blogging a bit more challenging (like exams). During these busy times, it may be beneficial to take a blogging break, whether that be a day or a week. Blogging is supposed to be fun so knowing you can take a break whenever you need to is helpful in those weeks when school takes the priority.

How do y'all balance blogging with school or work? Let me know in the comments!

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