How to keep up your blog & social media when you don’t have enough time

Paws

How to keep up your blog when you don’t have enough time and how much time to spend on it is a question Paws for Reflection faces every day. Paws would love to spend more time blogging and writing about cats, pets, and animals. But an even more difficult question is how do we keep up with the social media part to make our efforts successful.

The problem is we have to work full-time plus. Paws also works 40 hours a week, with a 1 hour commute to work. When she does overtime that’s close to 58 hours a week, or more. And Paws’ has to admit, we do need about 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night. We have a big house, and 5 cats. It all takes time.

As Paws enters 2 plus years of blogging, we wonder how to keep it all together. We strive for 2 good blog posts per week, plus participation in BlogPaws’ bloghop, Wordless Wednesday. We go to a few cat shows and other cat related events to keep our photographs up to par. And we try to attend 2 conferences a year: BlogPaws and The Cat Writer’s Association Annual Conference, now a part of MEOW World.

And then, life happens. A shed collapses over the weekend. Now there’s meeting with an insurance adjuster at 8 am tomorrow. There’s cleaning up and salvaging what’s left. There’s making the decision on whether to go to BlogPaws2014. Do we work more overtime to cover the damages? There’s a trip to the vet? And did we say a few stories that are on deadline to write?

We also strive to keep up with the deadlines on paid writing assignments all that. Though we struggle with time management, and we can, with a stretch, keep up with all of this. We’ve learned that we can schedule our blog posts out ahead. We can work ahead, so that we don’t have the stress of a deadline on top of our head.

Where we struggle is the whole social media piece? Where’s the time for this.

Paws keeps remembering a statement from an old beau who said, work smarter, not harder. We’re trying to focus on one thing, rather than many. That helps. If we focus on getting blog posts out 4 weeks, we can free up the time needed to meet the deadline for the freelance assignment. The next weekend we can focus on the newspaper article and make it to the venues we need to visit to do the story.

This weekend, Paws mom has spent 20 hours writing, and she has a deadline looming on a very important freelance article next week. So next weekend, no blog posts. The story comes front and center.

But social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and what’s more. Paws admits we really flounder on Facebook. Our page is https://www.facebook.com/CatsPawsforReflection. We can’t change the name because FB won’t let us. We’ve stayed stagnant at around 1100 fans forever. We have a personal FB page with about 400 followers, many of whom should be following the page, rather than friends.

Twitter, we get, but it’s slow going. No friends. The tweets go everywhere.

And then Pinterest. Well, interesting, fun, and more time…Instagram, YouTube, learning to do better video, keeping up with the technology for the blog… have we said, we’re screaming down the highway in frustration.

So why do it? We have to. While Paws attempts to recoup funds to attend a couple of conferences and pay for the ‘blogging stuff’, like domain names, hosting sites, software, and photo equipment, we do this because….. the drumroll… we want to make a difference in the lives of cats and their humans. Cats are more human than many realize. And for us cat people, they are our family.

Cats rule in my life, and that’s the commitment Paws has made to blogging. Paws is working on a self-published book, and wants to create even more chaos in our life, by getting more freelance assignments.

Meanwhile, we need to find time to spend snuggling with those very special 5 kitties that need lots of tender loving care. Too bad, we couldn’t have the cats become my assistants. Wonder what they would say on social media? We know we gotta spend more time there, but how…..

If you have any secrets on how to make the whole social media piece work, please share? Because the fact is Paws really sucks at social media.

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BJ

BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.

11 Responses

  1. I’m often to running a blog and i really admire your content.
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  2. I am very bad at social media. I try, then forget, and it is a big circle of not getting much done. I couldn’t begin to try to keep up with you on any level. My takeaway here is to quit thinking of what I do as overwhelming get back to work!

  3. It can be difficult, and there are times when you simply have to take a break for a bit. Our human’s career causes her to have to travel – sometimes a lot. And last year, she worked 13 out of 12 months! (EEK)

    We’ve found that keeping a calendar helps a LOT. Pre-scheduling simple posts in advance takes a lot of stress off the ones that take more time & energy to create.

    And – unless they’re sponsored posts – the ones that take more time can then be pushed to later if Real Life beings to demand more of us. Not sure this helped….

    • BJ says:

      Thanks for posting because I really like your blog. I am trying to pre-schedule, and find some lighter, easier posts to use in-between. Also trying to say, ok, today, we write a lot of blog posts. What I’m really struggling with is the whole social media piece, and I know I gotta do it, cause I need to be more social and more engaging. And I’m not sure how to fit that whole piece into the picture. Suggestions would be welcome.

  4. I totally agree with you. When I get home from a long day of working, the last thing I really feel like doing is other “work” – keeping up with social media, reading blogs and news sites, updating my own blog, etc. But once it’s done, it feels great…and I usually reward myself with some sort of chocolate 🙂 As Sharon said, it’s all about your passion for writing and your passion for animals – makes it all worth it in the end.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Wow, you sure have a busy life. It’s in our nature to succeed, to accomplish what needs to be done. Most everyone has said “I can’t do this” or “this is too much” and in the end it all works out and the job gets done. Then you can sit back and congratulate yourself for doing the impossible for a minute and then start on the next task. We’re only human after all.

  6. Sharon S. says:

    Your life sounds just like mine and probably most other bloggers. I feel like the gun shot for a race goes off every morning and I run and run until the race is over late at night. Working smarter is a great tip, but no matter what life throws at us, the passion behind our words is what keeps me hitting the computer every day.

    • bjbangs says:

      Sharon: Great comments. Particularly like the part about the passion behind our words, which is so true. Sometimes, we just get so caught up in running to get things done, we need to stop for a few moments, and think about why we do this.

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