7 Stress Free Ways To Run Your Blog

Blogging is great isn’t it? Except you’ve got to come up with new content week in, week out.

Sometimes this can be stressful as you feel the constant pressure to perform. If you don’t want running your blog to feel like being a corporate slave, you’ve got to find ways of easing the strain.

The answer to running any kind of blog, from a travel blog to a digital marketing blog stress free is good planning. Here are my tips.

1. Use an editorial calendar

The first thing to do is to set up an editorial calendar for your blog. You can do this based on the types of posts that got most attention in the past or the type you most enjoyed writing.

An editorial calendar takes the stress out of blogging because you know exactly what kind of content you need to find for a given day. I’ll come back to the editorial calendar at the end.

2. Keep an ideas file

Hand in hand with the editorial calendar goes an ideas file. Ideally, you’ll have access to this wherever you go.

It could be as simple as a notebook that you take everywhere with you, or a digital document that you keep in sync on your computer, laptop and smartphone, using a program like Evernote or something similar.

As a travel blogger, every trip leads to ideas, and many interactions with other bloggers also give food for thought. Write ideas down as they happen and you will find it easy to fill your editorial calendar.

3. Write great posts – and schedule them

Once you have those blog post ideas noted down, start writing them up. Combine them in different ways, if that works, so you can create some truly great posts. But when you do – and this is key – don’t use them all at once.

Great posts need to be spaced out so people have time to absorb them. So you probably won’t need more than one or two of those a week. See, isn’t that already sounding better than the daily grind?

4. Use guest posts

There’s no rule that says that you have to write all the great content on your blog yourself. You could try using sites like MyBlogGuest and Blogger LinkUp to find guest posts on areas you don’t cover.

I’m a bit of a nomad, but there are places I’ve never visited, so I recently used these sites to find bloggers who wrote about Brazil and India for my travel blog from personal experience. This was a win-win – I got blog content and my readers got to find out about somewhere new.

5. Interview other bloggers

Get to know your blogging community and let your readers do the same by interviewing other bloggers. Whether you use email interviews, podcast interviews or video interviews, you will be adding something new to the mix on your travel blog.

To get good interviews, either come up with a great interview template (a set of questions you ask all interviewees), which is the easier option or research your subjects so you can tailor the interview to them. You can also do a mixture of both.

With interviews, the hardest part is the editing, but most of the content is generated by your interviewee.

6. Use photos and videos

This is a great one, especially for travel bloggers or those in a creative industry. Some bloggers make a daily photo post, where all they have to do is write a caption.

If you’ve got thousands of digital photos stored, then this might work for you. Others generate or source videos related to a theme and publish these. Again, the content you have to generate is minimal, so it’s a good idea to do one of these posts every so often.

7. Do round-ups

Round-ups are a great way to get new content on your blog without having to write something completely new. They provide value for your readers and there are lots of ways to do these. Problogger Darren Rowse is a great believer in ‘sneeze pages’ that collect the existing content on your blog around various themes.

You can also collate the best or most commented or most trafficked posts over a period of a week, month or quarter. You get new blog readers all the time and this is a great way to alert them to what they might have missed.

If you don’t mind some extra effort you can also do round-ups of the best posts you’ve read on a particular topic. This is a good way to interact and connect with other bloggers.

You can also collate and comment on the news in your niche. Some of my newsy posts on airport parking and other aspects of travel have been well received.

Putting it all together

I said I’d come back to the editorial calendar. Now that you have all these content ideas, you can really make this a useful tool.

Schedule your killer posts on the days when your blog gets the most traffic and at the time when most people look at the posts (you can use your stats to find this info).  Then slot in some of the other posts around them.

On my travel blog, I currently have a regular interview slot and a regular guest post slot, and then rotate among the other kinds of content on the other three days I post.

I’ve found that this approach helps me plan. Instead of having an empty blog looming large in my mind, I now know what content I need when and can use my ideas file to fill gaps.

Do you plan your blog content in advance? What works best for you?

Sharon Hurley Hall has been travel blogging for three years. She manages the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking firm, Park Ride Fly USA.

Photo credit: Tilitran

26 Comments

  • katepickle

    Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

    Great ideas. I use the calendar plugin and it keeps me sane… so nice to be able to set out all the post ideas and space things out and make them work for you!

  • Lisa Murray

    Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

    Thanks for your great tips…I also like to write a whole lot of posts at once… once in the groove the writing seems to flow with ease!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

      Batch writing is a great tip, Lisa – I’ve been tempted recently by the ContentPalooza people – I could have 6 months’ worth of content ready by the end of November.

  • Just in time, I was looking for ideas on what to write about – you have given me plenty. Will link to your post when I do a review post next!
    Cheers!
    Marya

  • Great tips! Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of stuff you already know but can never seem to remember when you’re staring at the screen trying to come up with content!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

      I know the feeling, Nichole – maybe I should print this out and stick it on a noticeboard as a reminder. ;)

  • se7en

    Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

    Hay Sharon, This is such a great post!!! I know my readers, not to mention myself, love reading about how to blog and tips on how to get it done. Really seeing how to plot and plan blog posts is such useful post and I will definitely be passing this one on!!!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

      Thanks, se7en – I don’t know about you, but I get plenty of ideas. However, having a structure to organize them is even more important.

  • I’ve just started using the editorial calendar and it’s fantastic. So much easier to blog knowing what’s coming up and being able to see it all on one page.

    I also have a little ideas book that I jot down anything that has inspired me. It’s working well so far.

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

      I used to take a notebook everywhere with me, Claire, and I still usually have a small notepad. I supplement that with the notes feature on my smartphone – I can type up a short outline quite quickly!

  • Ivan Walsh

    Nov 1, 2011 - Reply

    For me, having an editorial calendar is the only way I can stay sane :)

  • dExTeR eUgEnIo

    Nov 2, 2011 - Reply

    thanks sharon.

    i posted up something similar a while back and apart from the points youve raised (which were critical), was to have more than one blog or at least keep writing on things other than your blog.

    blogging is hard business, especially if your blog focuses on one topic. i found having a general blog (that i dont even seo) that allows me to write about anything, and everything, helps me clear out any “blocks” i may get when writing about the one thing all the time.

    i guess, guest posting on other blogs would have the same effect. though some of the blog posts ive written, would hardly meet the “good taste” criteria :)

    • Annabel Candy

      Nov 2, 2011 - Reply

      Hi Dexter, great to see you here. I have two blogs so double the work load but I do like your idea of having a free blog where I can just do my thing:)

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 2, 2011 - Reply

      Writing on multiple blogs definitely helps with writing skill development, Dexter.

    • Dexter, you’re exactly right about this. I have 3 official blogs and then 1 personal blog. My personal blog is to make me feel light and free; I have no specific categories or stuff. I like about anything that comes to my mind. I don’t worry about SEO, backlinks or whatnot!

      Whenever I have a writer’s block, I write for my personal blog, and its so refreshing. It is also fun!

  • Jan

    Nov 2, 2011 - Reply

    Great tips. We do all get stressed and this helps. I have not put my blog up yet. So this really helped me.

  • Sharon,

    Blogging can really get stressful. It’s so great to have these tips. The point you made about spacing out posts so people have time to absorb them is interesting. Some popular bloggers like Gwen Bell and EV Bogue encourage you to post every single day. I don’t know how they manage it. And, as a recipient it feels overwhelming. But it appears to be one of the best ways to bring traffic to your blog. So another stressful conundrum!

    • Sharon Hurley Hall

      Nov 4, 2011 - Reply

      I’ve tried both types of scheduling, Sandra, and have concluded that a daily posting schedule doesn’t work well for my readers. I think if you are doing a newsy blog, then multiple posts daily are appropriate if something is happening. It’s a personal choice, though. A good middle ground is to occasionally take part in a blog challenge where you post daily for a while. That brings new readers to your blog and adds some interest. Then you can revert to your regular schedule.

  • Eddie Gear

    Nov 8, 2011 - Reply

    Hi Annabel,

    One of the best ways to stay productive and stress free is to organize your self well. My posts are all scheduled a day in advance. Which means content ideas are already in place a few days in advance. Since the topic I write about is not news nor trending topics, its okay as long as the information is useful and valuable to my readers.

  • [...] 7 Stress Free Ways To Run Your Blog [...]

  • Keshvar

    Dec 11, 2011 - Reply

    Thank you Sharon. Returning to work in a few weeks after being on maternity leave and wasn’t sure how I would manage family, home and work while maintaining my blog. Your tips are invaluable!

  • Jeanette Melian

    Dec 12, 2011 - Reply

    Wonderful tips that make sense. I already use the idea of keeping a small notebook. handy Or I have evn used the voice recorder feature on my IPhone so I don’t forget any good ideas. I like the use of an editorial calendar. Thank you.
    Jeanette

  • This is really great to read and surely even better to do! They are practical and very useful, thanks!

  • Awesome post. This is truly helpful for a newbie like me. thanks!

Leave a comment