Something I hear a lot in the food blogging community is: “I really should post to my blog…but I just don’t have the time.”
I’m a mom with a full-time job and several side gigs, and I post to my blog, Purple House Café, every other day. The first question I get asked by friends, family, readers and other food bloggers is “how do you find the time?”
Much as I’d like to tell you where I found the 25th hour in my day, these seven ideas for finding the time to work on your food blog have helped me along the way, and will have to suffice until we find the technology to slow down time:
- Quit "shoulding" yourself. If you find you keep saying “I should post more often,” and you’re dragging yourself into your kitchen to make food and begrudgingly taking pictures, your lack of enthusiasm and passion for your blog will show in its content. Take a step back to reassess: remember what drove you to learn CSS, stand on a chair to get the perfect angle on that cupcake photo, or gain fifteen pounds in search of the best locally-sourced hamburger in the early days of your blog. Is it time to revisit the focus of your blog? Your posting frequency? Remember, blogging is supposed to be fun. If you’re not having fun, or if it feels like a chore, it’s time for a change. You might just find that a new perspective is all you need to rediscover the enthusiasm that had you posting 14 times a day when you first started.
- Have a “blog binge.” Got a couple of hours on the weekend? Pour yourself a cold one, make a few recipes, and while the sauce is simmering or the cookies are baking, write the blog posts to go with them. Set up your barnboard and antique forks, and take pictures of the dishes as they are completed. Having some posts on the backburner for days or weeks that you don’t have time to blog can be a great way to ensure you maintain your blogging schedule and a happy readership.
- Keep a running list of blog ideas so you’re not suffering from lack of inspiration when you do have the time to blog. Write down restaurants you’d like to visit, hot topics you’d like to address, or ideas for stories you’d like to share. If you are a cook or baker, fuel your inspiration by hunting through Pinterest boards, paging through old cookbooks, and asking your friends and readers for their favourite recipes. E, add in note and link of last week’s editorial post – perfect fit here.
- Do you need to eat dinner anyways? Why not blog about it? Plan out your week’s meals with your blog in mind. Maybe that salad you wanted to make on Wednesday is one you’ve been meaning to share with your readers, or maybe you whipped up a wicked apple crisp to satisfy your sweet tooth some evening. Plan to blog about a couple of your weekly meals by adding in enough time to photograph the finished product before your family swoops in. And, a word to the wise: let your fellow dinner-eaters know that you need a few minutes to photograph before they eat, lest they become hangry. Or, better yet, make an extra serving and save it for when you have a little bit more time (or natural light) to take photos.
- Do a little bit every day. Your blog is like your relationship, your housework, and your leg hair: when you tend to it frequently, it rarely gets ugly. Do as much or as little as you like, but try to do something every single day. Maybe you upload your most recent photos and respond to a few comments. Perhaps you’re on an espresso-fueled mania of blogspiration and whip out eight posts while simultaneously reformatting your theme and jotting down ideas for a legendary pizza. Either way, breaking down what sometimes seems like a lot of work into little pieces that you can tackle each day makes taking the time to blog easy and stress-free.
- Get creative. I have been known to drag my food, camera and styling props on the bus to work so that I can snap some pics in the light of my office window at lunch hour. Where can you find time and space in your day to do a bit of work on your blog? Maybe you can save a slice of that cake and a scoop of that incredible mac n’ cheese, get up half an hour early some morning and take some lovely photos while enjoying your coffee and listening to the dog snore. This has worked for me, even when I’ve woken to a dark cloudy day and had to stage my food out on the slush-covered deck to get a great shot.
- Have a party, or offer to bring treats to the next office “do.” The friends and families of food bloggers should be well-fed and happy. Having a dinner party and making several dishes is a great excuse to try out some new recipe variations and snap a few photos before your guests arrive. A three course meal could turn into four blog posts: three recipes and one with tips on hosting dinner parties! A work function or other get-togethers like baby showers or housewarmings are great opportunities to win hearts and minds with your amazing food, and score a blog post out of it.
As we all know, blogging is incredibly fun, and offers us an opportunity to share our passion for food, but it can be extremely time-consuming. Hopefully these tips will help you to make time for your blog, fitting those joyful moments of recipe development and taste testing in seamlessly with other more mundane tasks, like cleaning out the goldfish aquarium or, you know, going to work every day.
Jessie Harrold is a public health professional/doula/lactation educator/freelance writer/toddler-mom who blogs at www.purplehousecafe.com, contributes to www.tasteofnovascotia.com and has a penchant for making her family wait while she photographs their supper. Tweet her at @JessieHarrold, give her a "Like" on Facebook at Purple House Cafe and last but not least, check out her Pinterest action.