Post updated: 04.21.2017 [head to the bottom for updates!]
So often I get the comment ‘how do you do it’ this usually comes when I battling the lines at target with all three solo, or somehow making morning drop off look carefree. My answer – I don’t know. Truly and honestly, I just go with the freaking flow and somehow things fall into place and no one gets hurt or forgotten.
Since I can’t share my secret to keeping it together as a mom of three on the go, I’ll let you in on my secret of how I manage this one, time consuming, aspect of my crazy life, my blog; From North to South.
If you’ve taken time to read my about me…. (pausing for those who are going to click the link to my about me to read….)
Ok are you done?
…I started this blog thing back in 2015 over on a different medium. I then moved to this site and birthed my true final child – North to South (don’t worry Chloe, you’re still the baby). Since the start of this site, I have been actively working on growing my audience from family and friends (hi mom!) to people who have to read my about me, to know, about me. I post here once a week, and post to all my social media accounts several times throughout the day. Which means that I am managing at least four feature pieces, a few extra misc posts sprinkled here and there, and over 100 unique social media posts a month, in addition to my role as a mother, wife, and oh yeah my regular 9-5.
Phew – I guess I never looked at the numbers like that. This whole thing is a damn lot of work. I never thought for one second it would be easy, and I truly love it. So here’s how I keep it all together…
I keep a google doc of all my post ideas. Sometimes I only have a title and sometimes I only have the meat of the post – when the stars align I get a title and the meat at the same time (cue heavenly lights and singing angels). I keep it all here, I even add ideas for dates of when I think I might write it and if it’s time sensitive when I would ideally like to post it. On to the next step…
This is how I format all my stories on my end. I always keep track of what categories and tags I use here. Occasionally they change when I get to posting the actual story. I pull the title and notes (if existent) from the spreadsheet and populate them here. Then I get to writing. I will usually write a post, then print it ( I am a paper and red pen kind of editor). Once I go back in and make my edits, I’ll get a little more realistic with my dates. Once I have finished the edits on a story, I add ‘DONE’ to the file name. Then I head over to my calendar…
There it is- all the stuff I have scheduled and shit I need to do (sneak peak at the whole month for you!). Once a post is saved and scheduled on the site, I change the text to bold. I only keep track of special social posts here not my daily items. I typically schedule and put this calendar together two to three months at a time. Yes, I sit down and power through posts one weekend for two to three months at a time. This way I am only pulling one all nighter every few months (for the blog, the kids usually have other ideas of my schedule and often schedule their own all nights on other or the same night, which is always fun.
Yep, I schedule a lot of my more regular social media posts through hootsuite (yes I blurred out the image- you don’t get a sneak peak at everything for the month, sorry!). As I previously stated, I work 9-5, and I can’t be glued to my site all day because I have other shit to do. So my new posts are scheduled to post to Twitter and Facebook for me PHEW! I also post my favorite recipes that I have tried over the years every weeknight to help people like me who are surfing to find something to make for dinnah! I log in twice throughout the day so that I can see all my social platforms in one place and play a little catch up on my own feeds.
tailwind for Pinterest has been a life safer and allows for even more automation, which is key when your blog is your side hustle. I get the majority of my traffic from Pinterest, so that is where I focus a lot of my resources. I pay $15/month to automate my pinning and it’s entirely worth it. I don’t have to spend every waking moment on Pinterest pinning away while my kid screams ‘look at me’ during soccer practice. I can still get on with my every day stuff, and know that the main driver of traffic to my site is working hard for me.
I set goals and track a whole bunch of things in another tab of my content calendar on my googlesheet. It helps keep me on track. Why do this if I don’t have an end game? I know I can see the site analytics through wordpress and google analytics (both of which I have), I just like this quick view because I spend more time on my google drive than anywhere else. At the end of the month I use the other analytic tools to pull numbers, but when I want to set goals and see my progress over a span of time, I head here.
Visuals are huge and when you’re scrolling through through facebook, instagram and pinterest the image you choose is what is going to stop someone and hopefully bring them to your blog (hey look some of printables from the vault! – sign up at the bottom to get access!) I use most of my own photos and edit a bit on picmonkey, and create all my graphic images and printables on Canva. I love canva and am so happy my friend (hi lauren!) brought it to my attention!
I take two ‘me breaks’ throughout the day. Well ‘me’ in the sense that I am alone and not working, but not really me because I am pumping for baby. Anywho- during this time I pop on IG, twitter and pinterest and engage! I always comment back when someone comments on a photo of mine and scroll through for several minutes on my feed engaging with others posts and then hashtag surfing through to find others. Hop on twitter and like, retweet a few things funny things, post a gif (my language) and surf around.
If at this point it hasn’t become obvious, I will also just note that I store everything in my google drive and back up on box. I have every post I have ever written for the site saved – categories, tags and all.
A day in the life
Alright, so here’s what a typical day looks like for me.
I get to work early, yes it’s true, I do. I come in early so I have have 30 minutes to do the following
- Check blog views/visitors from the previous day
- Make sure any scheduled posts have done what they should have
- Check hi@ and info@ emails
- Grab my early birds on twitter (i’m so phunny) and post something about my hot mess of a morning or night
First ‘me break’ I mentioned comes at 10am. I hop on social media and blow that up for about 15-20 minutes depending how my pump is working that day
Then with lunch at noon I spend some more time
2pm is my second break and mail first then social on this break
I check out at 4:30 and head to pick up kids, get home, make dinner, bathe them and put them to bed.
Some nights I get to hop on the blog again, but not most nights. I’ll spend a bit of time on social media again while my husband watches some crap until he falls asleep then I steal the remote, switch to HGTV and my night is done.
Weekends – crazy family stuff all day, write all night – scheduled social post twice a day.
There you go- that’s how I run this little (big time consuming) thing I do
Alright, I’ve been doing ‘this thang’ a bit longer now, so I figured it was time to update.
I am very much a paper and pen kind of person and while most of my blog process is computer based, I still do a lot by hand. Even though I have my google sheet idea list, I still find myself writing ideas, mini outlines and mind maps out of ideas (when they aren’t just me blabbing). I really enjoy brain storming and having verbal diarrhea on paper (if that makes sense to anyone else). So if you’re a pen and paper kind of person like me, head on over to my resource library (click the image below) and get a hold of a few free printales to help you get your creative juices flowing!