11 Strategies to Help Keep a Blogger from Going Mad: Blog-vember Strategies 2018
11 Strategies to Help Keep
a Blogger from Going Mad:
Blog-vember Strategies 2018
If you haven’t already heard—and I thought EVERYONE had, since I’ve been blabbing so much about it—we’re doing Blog-vember again this year. Yay! Last year was our first time and it was a pure, unadulterated mess! I will freely admit that. This year, however, I swore that I couldn’t go through the madness again….. Unless…… Yes…… There ARE things that I can do to make this process easier. (After all, I am one year old and a lot wiser in blogging than I was just a mere year ago.
What I thought I’d do is put some of that wisdom to work for us, so that, yes, indeed, we can do Blog-vember WITHOUT losing my mind and with some type of real focus. While I don’t plan to share all the details of the process here, I will share what methods I am putting into place to help this process move along in a more orderly fashion.
1. Have a plan
Just like lesson planning—from my former life—having a plan is the first step, so let’s start there. This time, instead of grabbing a topic out of thin-air and throwing together a post, I have a structure in place already. (We’ll do a “Question a Day” video, where we choose from a bag of questions on a variety of topics. The answers that emerge will be the essence of each day’s video post. The video post—with a few tweaks—will turn into the blog post; while the blog post may or may not reflect the video/podcast topic.) Phew! I am already breathing a slight sigh of relief (since we shot the videos last week, so that part is done).
2. Batch record videos
The best part about it all is that we did the recording of the videos—on three different cameras—already (which should save us from scrambling around in the moment). The bad news is that at least one camera from each of those rolling went out during the probably hour-long recording, which means that they will be more difficult to sync. And given that we get our audio from the cameras, the fact that we cannot consistently depend on one source over all others will mean that the sound—and video—may be choppier than I would like. But the best news is that, since “done” is the new perfect, it is perfectly done, so that I can begin the work of editing. I consider that the second win of the process.
3. Re-use YouTube thumbnail graphic
While I pride myself on creating our YouTube thumbnails as their own original “thing”—despite expert advance that says that you SHOULD re-use the same one for branding purposes. However, in the attempt to save my sanity—and those few extra minutes messing around with them (when I should be doing 10 other things)—I am going to opt to re-use the same graphic with slight title tweaks. I am hoping that this makes getting them done much quicker, which would be a third win toward this process.
4. Batch-produce a week’s worth of content at a time
Since I already have the materials and know the frame for each post, it is my plan to sit my ass down and get a week’s worth of videos edited in one day a week—which sounds MUCH easier than it is. (I am the type of person who likes to bounce between projects in a day, as the “spirit” leads. This method would require me to stay on this one task until I have completed 7 days’ worth of videos.) What I am trying to convince myself is that if I can see the tangible benefit of being able to stay on-top of posts during this daily sprint, I will be motivated to stay focused and get it done. IF I can stick to this strategy, it will be a fourth win for this process.
5. Use the same video description
Those of you who upload YouTube videos realize the value of a well-constructed video description. Not only do I want to include as many SEO-friendly keywords as possible, but I also want to point to a few affiliate links, other related videos and blog posts, and all social media links, as well as a call to action. In fact, if a video description is written well, a visitor may be coming back to you for other experiences, because they will be aware that this is not the end of the joy you can provide. Having said that, these video descriptions are often as long as a blog post and sometimes take as long to write as a blog post! To avoid freaking out about each one—and maybe even forgetting important information—I am planning to create a master video description for the purposes of this Blog-vember and only tweak a little of it, as necessary, for each post. If I can craft the first one well and re-use it, I will consider this a fifth win.
6. Save and upload at night
Again, this is for those who use YouTube, but saving the video to your computer and then uploading them to YouTube can take hours! It is just a slow process when you want to maintain HD quality files. Often, I won’t start uploading until the morning, which means that my computer gets tied up for hours at a time. What that means is that I can’t work on anything else on my computer while that is happening (or it will even further slow up the processing!). I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling it, I get on a roll and want to get things done right when I am feeling it. That is why I am going to try to stay disciplined enough to get things done, so that I can save and upload all videos overnight. This will save my sanity and allow my motivation to do other things flow. If I can do this—and this is a big IF—I will consider this a sixth win.
7. Re-use the same podcast graphic
Again, I am the design queen and pride myself on creating a different podcast graphic for each episode—even though Apple does not use it, but SoundCloud does. For the sake of getting things done in an orderly and a timely fashion, I will yield to the idea of creating a master graphic and tweaking it only slightly for each day’s podcast episode. If I can stifle my urge to fiddle too much, I will save a little more of my sanity, because I won’t be up half the night getting graphics put together to get the things uploaded! --Don’t laugh! It has happened before. –Anyway, keeping to this promise to myself could save me even more stress and be a win in the end.
8. Finish blog posts already in draft mode
Because I am such a flibbertigibbet, I have quite a pile of blog posts that I have started, but lost the motivation to finish. –That’s why I stress doing things in the moment, when I am feeling it…. –I will do myself a favor, in service to Blog-vember, and take inventory of those unfinished posts, find the ones that really only need some spit and shine (or a link or two) and get those mofos up as Blog-vember posts. I realize that I can’t be queen of the world unless I can level-headedly re-assess the good stuff that’s just sitting in a file folder, waiting to make its debut into the world. Again, I would consider it a win to start the month with some longer-form posts ALREADY written. So, hell yeah, that would be a major 8th win!
9. Time block work time
I’ve alluded to this earlier, but seriously dedicated full-day chunks of time to get a leg up on a week’s worth of content is crucial. As I have mentioned, I have had times when staying focused has not been my jam. Sometimes, I am like a genie in a bottle—and have done magical stuff in a snap—and other times, I am like The Little Old Lady that Lives in a Shoe and have so many ideas that I don’t know what to do (and so, I end up taking a frigging nap, because I’ve burned myself out before I have even started!) –Again, don’t laugh! It has happened more times than I care to discuss. –In fact, it is for this reason that I must go into this whole Blog-vember thing and be honest with myself and set up structures, so that I can do better and get it done. If I can commit to HUGE chunks of focused work, I know this could work.
10. Make a master list
Staying organized throughout the process, so that I don’t end up constantly stumbling over the same stuff is another strategy that I know, if I implement, will work well for me. I like to make lists before I do something, check those items off, and/or if the line-up changes, I like to keep track of those changes. By having this list, not only do I feel a sense of accomplishment by crossing things off, but I can always go back to see what has been covered, so I won’t start barking up the wrong tree, so to speak, and end up wasting valuable energy that should rightfully be put elsewhere. If I can be faithful in this activity of list-making, -keeping, and –maintaining, I know things will run smoother, thus saving my sanity yet again.
11. Use social media posting scheduler
Okay, so I know I am VERY late to the Tailwind, Hootsuite, and whatever else party, but I am here now. Since I know that posting is just first part of the equation for blog success, I can’t afford to fall down on promoting our posts just because I’m posting like a mad-woman! That’s why in the next week or so, I will need to figure out how to sign up and schedule some of the content I produce. Doing this will keep me from pulling my hair out, since generally, I spend one day a week posting and the rest of the week promoting. Well, I won’t be able to do that, will I? I’ve got to figure out how to bulk schedule promotion of these posts, so that I don’t have my face jammed in social media for the entire month of November! This may actually be the magic bullet to Blog-vember success…. we’ll see…. Anyway, it can only help not to have to worry about doing that for each post to each social media each day. I definitely would consider it a win to lighten that load!
There you have it; my recipe for success, as it were, on how to keep myself from going bonkers, but to stay on top of the three posts—yes, I know I’m nuts!—a day for 30 days in the Blog-vember challenge.
Are you participating in any blogging/vlogging/podcasting challenges? How’s it going for you? What strategies do you use to stay on top of all that is required without losing YOUR head? Please share. Thanks in advance.