How Do You Have Time To Blog?
I was asked the other day – “How do you have the time to blog?” – Great question. There are plenty of people out there who are attempting to do the same thing, are brimming with great ideas, but simply do not have the time. I’ll tell you – it’s no secret – you simply have to block it off like everything else. If you didn’t know, I also do a podcast and a TV show every weekday. How do I do it?
- I use Evernote to gather topics for my blog/podcast/video show. Whenever I came across a topic of interest I enter it into the Evernote notebook – which is duplicated across all of my devices, so there wherever I am, I can log the topic. Right now, I have 34 topics in the queue.
- I block off 3 hours every Saturday morning to blog. I grab my laptop, my headphones, jack them in and open VLC to my playlist. I like AJAPAI to write to – look him up on SoundCloud. I use Word to capture my posts, so I can easily highlight and do a word count. My goal is 5 500+ word posts a day, enough for a week. I go sit out on my deck and let everyone in my family know that I need quiet time to write.
- I copy 5 topics out of my Evernote into my Word doc, then start writing.
- I take about 2 hours to stream of consciousness and pound out all of the posts. Some require more time than others as I need to do some fact checking, etc. But I usually wrap up the writing in 2 hours of solid, butt in seat, concentrated writing.
- The next hour is editing (my wife typically reviews for content and grammar), posting into WordPress (using the schedule function) and searching Flickr creative commons for imagery to go with each post. Once I find a good image, I copy and paste the text, drop in the image, run an SEO check, then use this headline analysis tool to come up with a good headline. I can set up 5 posts in about an hour. So I’m usually done in 3 hours.
- Every weekday morning, I review my topics to see what might be currently relevant. I move my standing desk to its uppermost position, pull down the roller blind background behind me, move my laptop into position, load up my recording software, plug in my Snowball microphone, adjust the lighting, load my PC’s camera and video capture app, then click record. I talk for about 3-5 minutes on the topic of the day, then hit stop.
- I then unplug the Snowball and plug in my Plantronics USB headset, fire up Audacity, then hit record. I record the show then hit stop and save.
- First, I edit the audio by running the following sequence to make my voice sound awesome a) leveler b) normalize, c) compress and finally d) equalize with bass boost. I then add my pre-created intro and outro (YouTube has some great public domain music available for both video and audio use) upload it to my site, edit the XML feed, save it, and then load iTunes to make sure that the podcast is registered properly. Takes about 10 minutes in total.
- Turning to the video, I load Windows Movie Maker, load my last project, rename then save it. I then import my new video. Once that’s done I delete the old one, then move the intro/outro music and titles to the correct spots. Then its “save as high-definition video”. Once that’s done, go to YouTube, start the upload of the video file to YouTube, then when ready, publish it.
There you have it. About 15 minutes a day of recording audio/video, about 15 minutes of editing and waiting for various processes and uploads to complete, and 3 solid hours of writing a week. I’m sure that I could probably do it in less time, but I find that the batching of all of the posts at the same time each week, makes a big difference if I’m going to actually finish it or not. Multitasking is great for some tasks, but if you need real creativity, then you really need to shut yourself off and focus in a consistent, solid, batch processing way.
Now get to it – if I can do it – so can you. After all, it’s better to create than consume.
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