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In my experience as a pet lifestyle blogger, as well as working as a Virtual Assistant for bloggers, I’ve come to appreciate all the little things that can save me time, money, and heartache in the blogosphere. Any little blogging tips and tutorials or tricks that optimize my time on the computer means less work, less stress, and more time to enjoy life with my family and friends.
I know, however, that many of you are struggling to find a proper work-life balance. Every week I talk to frazzled bloggers who feel like they’re being pulled in a dozen different directions, trying to stay afloat in their online life while maintaining some semblance of a normal offline existence, and often they feel like they’re failing at both. That’s no good, because blogging should be fun! No one should be unhappy and stressed out about it.
That’s why I asked a few of my favorite pet blogging friends for their input. What tips did they offer? Well, they had a lot of great ideas but I managed to narrow it down to 5 blogging tips to make your online life easier, so that you can get back to loving your blog again.
5 Blogging Tips To Make Your Online Life Easier
- Install and use the WordPress editorial calendar plugin! It lets you easily save drafts and change publish dates with its simple click-and-drag functionality. With a single glance, it is so simple to see what you’ve got planned for months at a time. Jessica from You Did What Your Wiener, a blog about two adventurous Dachshunds, says, “This single plugin has saved me hours and hours over the life of my blogging career. It’s a definite must-have.”
- Use a high-quality theme for your blog. Sandra from Dolly the Doxie recommends using “a good theme, a responsive theme that adjusts to the size of device it’s being viewed on,” and Jen from Puppy Leaks adds, “When I finally made the move to the Genesis framework, all the customizations I wanted to make became so easy. There’s a great Genesis community out there that can help with all of your questions, and so many Genesis-specific plugins that simplify things for newbies like me. It’s saved me so much time and frustration being able to change things on my site with ease.”
- Elizabeth from The Chronicles of Cardigan suggests that you,”Find a good online photo editor, like PicMonkey, and bookmark it for easy access (or even download the extension). PicMonkey has so many uses beyond just editing photos, like creating pinnable images for Pinterest, resizing photos for Facebook updates or Instagram posts, even creating collages.” And what’s best? It’s free.
- Be yourself and share your story. Be true to who you are and realize that the world is a more interesting place because we’re all unique. Jody from Bark & Swagger reminds us not to be swayed by things outside your chosen niche. “Stick with and develop what you‘re passionate about, what people come to expect to find on your blog,” she says. Some might even call that building your brand.
- Turn your computer off. From time to time, it’s necessary to set it all aside and get a new perspective. Unplug. Give yourself some downtime. The truth is, your blog will be a lot more interesting to your readers if you occasionally give yourself a break and go live your life. Have fun, relax, and live a little. You’ll have all sorts of things to write about when you get back online later.
These are just a few tips for making your online life a little bit easier and whole lot more enjoyable. What tip would you like to share?
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Brandy VanDeKop says
These are great tips, Christina! But honestly, you had me at Virtual Assistant!! I think that is what I really need right now to move past frustration and into the fun of writing and creating. I will be in touch soon!
Rivkah Leah Gelb says
These are some great pointers! I don’t usually see people include in their “blogging tips” the concept of having a good theme and that’s something I’m working on improving right now. Thanks for the ideas!
Automate where ever possible. I use Viral Tag for Pinterest and Hootsuite for everything else, plus Feedblitz for my mail service and automatic posting to FB and Twitter. Every Sunday, I set up my shares for the week on all the previous week’s posts. Then I update my spreadsheet so I can see exactly how much growth I have (or haven’t) achieved that week. What you focus on grows. Also, find a good tech person! If you are on WP you are going to break things sometimes, and you need an expert to put things back to normal and also to advise you on things you can add to your site to make it better.
Nancy Man says
Agree 100% on most of these!
Especially love #5. Unplugging regularly is crucial if you want to avoid blogger burnout.
Can’t say I agree about pushing a premium WordPress theme like Genesis, though, when there are so many high-quality free WP themes out there. They’re beautiful, responsive, customizable, etc. I mean, how much “easier” is it to pay an annual fee for a theme when you really don’t need to? And there’s plenty of polite, timely support for free themes (and WP generally) over on the WordPress forums. Plus you’re automagically notified of theme updates, and bug-fixes…really you get the exact same stuff you’d get with a premium theme, you’re just not paying for it.
Christina Berry says
Nancy, you don’t pay an annual fee for Genesis themes. If you shop from Studiopress, which is what I recommend, you purchase the Genesis framework and your child theme one time, and that’s it. There are some other good themes available, but I have yet to find any that (in my opinion) exceed the quality of the Genesis framework.
Lori Hil says
Great tips! I have switched over to the Genesis Framework and Love my new Foodie Pro Theme, even though y blog is not about food. Thanks for sharing!
Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says
Great tips, Christina! I am going to check out the WordPress Editorial Calendar!
I use Coschedule to schedule my posts and as my editorial calendar! It has changed the way I blog and how much interaction I get with blog posts. I did have the wordpress one, but I never used it..shame on me, right!? haha
Great tips! I would love to hear more about how you became a VA for bloggers!
Alysia from My Domestic Dish says
Holy jeez, just got that plug in…. thank you SO much! Haha, I’ve found a new toy.
Great post- it all makes sense and we need a reminder like this once in a while. *shuts computer off*
Elizabeth Keene says
Getting the heck offline DOES make one’s online life easier (more restful, productive, interesting – who knew?)! Why is it SO hard to do? 😉 Nice post! Thank you for the mention, too, I can’t function without my PicMonkey!
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
#5 has got to be my all time nemesis. I would (if I could) stay handcuffed to this computer all day, that’s how much I enjoy this whole blogging thing! But realistically it’s not possible. I also have to find a way to balance the social media aspect. Any advice on that? I need a way to manage a realistic schedule between all the various sites we use. Any hints about that? Thanks – have a great weekend!
It’s great to have all the tips in one place!! I think we all needed to be reminded about #5 from time to time. 🙂
Jody Miller-Young says
Christina, love the article! Thanks so much for including Bark & Swagger. The other tips are so true and really helpful. What I’ve learned is it just takes time to figure out what works best for you, right? It’s a process, but what could be better than writing about what you love and being a part of a community of like-minded people? Great stuff; thanks!
I love all of the tips especially #5. I find myself just exhausted from a day of being on social media and blogging. Sometimes I stay on there just to be there and I really have nothing to say. Turning the computer off and taking a break feels good sometimes.
Megan Cooper says
#5, turning off that computer from time to time, is an excellent tip! When I do this, I actually feel more energized and ready to get back to it after taking a break. Adding some exercise in between helps too!