Sunshine, beaches, barbecues, vacation! Yep, summer is here. For bloggers summer brings oodles of opportunities – and challenges as well. As temperatures rise, so do distractions, and motivation can take a hit. And without motivation, productivity takes a nose dive too.
Keeping your blog going strong during the summer can be challenge. Believe me, I know. As a mother of two, and a solopreneur with a busy copywriting business, I’ve got distractions flying around my head at all time. But my blog is an important part of my business so I’ve learned to incorporate the following easy systems that help me keeping it going strong all summer long – while still allowing myself some fun time off.
Plus, there are some fun motivation tips at the end you can use, as well as an invitation to join in my free Blog Summer Camp, that will really give you lots of ideas, info and motivation to keep blogging strong, all summer long!
Here we go:
- Get Serious About Time Management
It’s hard to stay motivated if you are not focused. If things are overwhelming or confusing, you’ll definitely start to procrastinate and it won’t take long for your blog to feel neglected.
Staying focused on the right activities will keep your business moving in the right direction. The specific activities you should focus on will vary depending on your business. To determine where you are spending the majority of your time, use a time tracking tool such as www.myhours.com.
When you’re working on the computer, it can be easy to spend too much time checking email, looking at Pinterest, chatting on Facebook or Twitter, reading other blogs, etc. Now, all of those things can be important parts of your business, but the important thing to keep asking yourself is: “Is this activity on track with what I want to accomplish this summer? And will it help grow my business?” If not, avoid that shiny object of distraction and remember to stay focused. Which brings me to my next tip for summer productivity:
- Find Your Focus
Really, this goes hand-in-hand with Time Management. Setting specific goals and sticking to them is essential for staying on track, staying motivated and truly getting some productivity out of your summer. So sit down right now and write down your goals for the summer. Make sure they are attainable and give them deadlines. Without a deadline, they’re just “wishes.”
Keep track of your progress and reward yourself accordingly. For instance, if you get your blog articles written ahead for the month, then you can give yourself a beach day.
It also helps when working toward goals if you have an accountability partner. This could be a family member, a business friend, a business coach, etc. They can help you stay focused and be the cheerleader you need to cross the finish line. This simple thing can help motivate you BIG time. Eventually, that person is going to ask you how you are progressing and you definitely want to have good news for them when that question comes up.
- Learn to Love Guest Blogging
Want to know how to provide excellent content in your blog and social media without writing it yourself? Guest articles! Don’t invite just anyone, though, let’s be strategic about it. Here’s what you can do:
- Make a short list of at least 5 other bloggers out there whose expertise compliments (not competes with) yours. Reach out to those people, let them know that you have an active blog and see if they are interested in being featured on your blog as a guest author.
- If your potential guest authors respond positively (and most usually do) be a good host and give them lots of support. Agree on deadlines and publication dates. Ask for the article to be sent to you at least a week or two ahead of publication so that you have time to set it up. That way you can take the day to play hooky with your kids at the state fair or getting ice cream in town, knowing that your blog is filled with fresh and valuable information your audience will appreciate.
- Share … and Share Again
Have you written really great articles in the past that were well received? Way to go! Now, don’t make the mistake of letting that awesome article sit there and gather dust – revisit it by sharing a quick summary of it with your readers with a link and a paragraph or two about how it is timely or valuable for them to read it again.
Other ways to reuse content include:
- Compiling a “best of” list
- Taking some great quotes you wrote and turning them into graphics that can be shared in Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
- Gather together past articles that share a similar topic, and create a small ebook or downloadable pdf that you can offer to current customers as a freebie – or as a list-building offer to new readers.
- Take Your Blog on the Road
Here’s another great way to keep your blog productive this summer: take it on the road. Wrap your laptop up in some trendy Lorna Jane yoga pants and take it out on the road with you. OK, the yoga pants thing is optional, but taking your blog on the road is a great way to mix business and fun – and the results can be fantastic! Going on a vacation? Type up a few notes when inspiration hits, share a fabulous photo of the place you were when inspired and voila, instant value. Going to a conference? Workshop? Again, share photos of the event and keep the content simple – just a few lines of where, why and what the big takeaway is that will educate, inspire or even just amuse your readers. Fresh, fun and fabulous – all in one!
Bonus Motivation Tips
- Change Your Space: If you aren’t feeling very motivated, try changing your space up a little bit. There are lots of little things you can do to your work space to make it much more inspiring. Put a vase filled with your favorite flowers next to your computer. Make yourself a fancy drink and use your prettiest mug. Or how about art? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That saying is very true when it comes to finding motivation. Find a picture of what inspires you and hang it up where you will see it while working. This could be pictures of your kids, a “vision board,” or anything else you find inspiring. When you’re feeling down or tempted to let it all go for the rest of the summer, look at your pictures and think about your goals. You’ll find the energy to keep going.
- Develop An Organization System: If you don’t already have an organization system for your business, now is definitely the time to start. Different people work best with different systems, so the final choice is up to you. If you’re strictly into paper (as in post-it notes and to-do lists), then add some zing by getting colorful paper, bright sharpies to write with a colors that add some punch to your paper. If you’re more techie, get organized online and using apps like Google Drive, Basecamp or Evernote that help you keep everything together in one spot so you can access it no matter where the summer takes you.
- HAVE FUN! Remember, it is summer, the season of fun. So when it comes to blogging, remind yourself that this is your chance to share what you love. Let that come through in your writing. Mix it up, write shorter articles and know that it’s ok. Share a great photo and thought for the day. Create a lovely graphic using your very own thoughts as a new way to share. (Click HERE for a free download showing you how to create your own graphics for free).
And for the best fun of all, join in my free Blog Summer Camp. You’ll get 4 weeks (plus bonus materials) filled with traditional camp fun tweaked just for blogging including Arts & Crafts, Sports & Recreation, and Song, Dance & Showtime to wrap it all up. There will be article ideas, templates, swipe files, how-to’s and checklists that you can use. All the fun of a summer camp without the mosquitos, bad food and sunburns. And I’ll send you virtual chocolate for the s’mores even!