* How do you find the time?
* How do you get readers?
At a high level, I believe that the answer to those questions is the same as everything else in the great juggling act.
We need to prioritize and have a plan which includes confidence, effective actions, and support.
To dig in a little deeper, here are 10 other tips on how to be a successful blogger and also make it work with life balance.
1. Define "success." Know why you are blogging and what your goals are, if any. For me, it's just the joy of writing and getting my message out there to help people. Therefore, I define success more by readership; by followers and comments rather than "traffic." If your blog is monetized, you will probably care more about the latter. (And will likely be disappointed by my lack of focus here on such things as SEO and stat analytics.)
2. Set reasonable expectations for posting frequency. While research shows that posting on a consistent schedule increases loyal readership, there is no rule that says more often is always better. Think quality over quantity. Consistency is more important than frequency. As a side note, size matters. For a variety of reasons, posts between 300 - 800 words are ideal.
3. Set aside dedicated writing time. Since I write on the weekends, this means getting agreement from my family for a couple hours of "quiet time." It also means dusty baseboards. I could ask them to pick up the extra cleaning while I write, but I try to quit while I'm ahead.
4. Tell a story. No matter what the content, make it relatable. When I first started writing about life balance, I thought my blog had to be a preachy "how to" guide. When I started connecting advice to real experiences, memories and mistakes, it was not only more fun but my follower base jumped 250% and I started getting many more comments. Apparently misery really does love company.
5. Take notes. Even if you are not writing every day, you can still be inspired 24/7. I've done everything from carrying a small notebook to recording voice messages on my phone to sending myself emails. Whatever works for you, find a method which allows you to capture that inspiration as soon as it comes into your brain and record it for later when you actually have time to use it. Especially if you are over the age of 40. Or have given birth. I fall into both categories and I can tell you, the ol' memory just isn't what it used to be.
6. Find a community that "fits" you. There are lots of blog forums out there (just Google) but sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the best for you. Here's a tip: If you see more than one post on a page titled, "Follow me and I will follow you!" Don't walk. Run. But don't give up. Finding the one or two communities where you feel really connected and supported is critical to success.
7. Share the love. Key in both life and blogging is putting out what we want back. Want people to read, comment and subscribe? Go forth to read, comment and subscribe. This is not the same as the cold, obligatory "Follow me and I'll follow back." This is about sharing genuine interest. Find other bloggers in your niche and/or to whom you can relate and leave them thoughtful comments.
8. Be "social" not "soapbox." Many blogging articles will give you lots of advice about ways to use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to promote your blog. My added advice is instead of making it all about "Look at me! Read my blog!" post a status update or tweet to find out who else has a blog. Take the time to visit them and leave a thoughtful comment. People are much more likely to travel back up a two-way street.
9. Multi-task. Whereas writing takes chunks of dedicated, focused time (for me anyway), the ancillary activities can be done in much smaller doses. I respond to comments, check-in on my blog community and visit other blogs every day. Yet, I do these things for only moments at a time - usually while waiting for or doing other things. That way, it doesn't feel like "work." I don't watch a lot of TV but when I do, I have my iPad in my hands and am promoting my blog during the commercials. (Go Top Chef All Stars!)
10. Let go of perfection. This is especially true if you are one of those type A, "If I can't do it well, I won't do it at all" people. I say this with love since I am one of you: Get over it. Overthinking not only wastes time but greatly inhibits creativity. If you are a newbie and it's the design which is holding you up, just start with one of the many templates out there. I've upgraded my design five times. Most likely what you start with won't be your final version either. The content is easily transferable from one design to another. So, what are you waiting for?
If you have any specific questions about blogging or life balance, I'm happy to help. Just let me know.