Coffee with Christine

Coffee with Christine: Blogging tips and tools

Balancing blogging, work, being a mom and wife can be nearly impossible. But I have learned a few things to make it a little easier. Here are some blogging tips, tricks and tools I use to help create content for my site.

A question that comes up a few times from you guys (I hate saying that, but it’s kind of true!), is how do I balance blogging, being a mom, wife and still working part time. Well, this is a million dollar question and I don’t have the answer. But does anyone really? It can all be pretty overwhelming and frankly, pretty stressful. There are some things I do though that have helped me over the years to make sitting down and actually blogging a lot easier!

Some links below contain affiliate links and/or discount codes at no additional cost to you to click through or shop through the links. I receive a small (like real small…ha!) commission if you purchase through the links.

Blogging tips and tricks that have helped me make writing a little easier and less stressful.
I am obsessed with this top from Nordstrom Rack! It’s perfect for summer and great with white shorts or pants. Also currently on sale for $15!
Blogging tips and tricks that have helped me make writing a little easier and less stressful.
These shoes from Old Navy are all over my Instagram feed. They are super comfortable, I even walked 18,00 steps in them in NYC, love them! I usually wear a size 7 and got them in a 6.5. White shorts from GAP.

Scheduling

My number 1 tip is scheduling! I have content planned out at least a week in advance (some incredible bloggers are weeks to months in advance!), of course in perfect world I would be months out too. But I’ll get there one day.

I try to stick to two to three posts a week. This helps plan out any photos I need to take and what I will post on my Instagram feed. The more prepared I am, the easier I can sit down and get the content out. I kind of think of it as teaching. In the classroom, I had lessons planned out way in advance, I knew what was coming. I approach blogging the same way.

I try to have content that is align with my current situation or any upcoming holidays. For example, Mila just turned six months or grilling season has just begun, so everything is pretty current. It helps with SEO and Google keyword searches too! The more activity you have on your blog, the higher you rank on Google, or so I hear…haha.

Many bloggers use Hootsuite, which is a content calendar and schedules all of your content. I did for awhile, but I found it easier just to use my phone, calendar and notes. It works for me, maybe because I am not posting a significant amount? Either way, I would check it out and see if it works for you!

How do I find the time to blog?

Honestly, I write before the kids wake up, during nap time and at night. For an unsponsored post, it typically takes me a 4-5 hours to get it out. For sponsored or travel posts, it can take up to 30 hours of work. The longest time it took me to write a post was this Saugatuck, Michigan because it was an influencer trip I took and there was so much content. Although, the post was not required, it was shared over 50 times and has bought A TON of traffic to my blog. It also opened up for lots of other opportunities, so that’s always something to consider.

The biggest tip I can share is if you know your topic ahead of time, the content flows much, much, easier. Do a little here, little there, it’ll add up. If you are using WordPress, download the app. You can draft out posts on the train, sitting on the couch, etc. But just start! That’s honestly the hardest part.

Update old posts

This is has helped me so much when I have busy weeks with the kiddos. I will take old posts and totally update them. Either take new photos, update links, fix any SEO issues, etc. This is something I learned from pretty seasoned bloggers along the way and it’s a lifesaver. It also helps drive more traffic to your blog and clean up any old content you don’t want anymore.

Pinterest & Tailwind

I just recently became pretty invested in Pinterest and started using Tailwind, which schedules your pins way in advance so you don’t have to manually pin everyday. I was pretty skeptic and tried the free trial and my traffic has TRIPLED on my blog. It’s crazy. I know have the basic plan ($9.99 a month) and I think it’s totally worth it. The trial is based on 100 scheduled Pins or 30 scheduled Instagram Posts. Additionally, you can purchase SmartLoop and Tribes which is posted to larger groups, which helps increase your traffic too.

I am still learning how to make the best pins and overall how Pinterest works, but if you really want a steady stream of traffic to your blog, Pinterest and Tailwind are the way to go.

Attitude

Before having Mila, I was a blogging machine. I had to get out at least 3 new posts each week, now my time is so limited and honestly, it’s not that serious! I will get to it, maybe a few days, weeks or months later, it will get done.

What’s important is creating quality over quantity. Even if it takes a little longer than planned, it’s better than putting crap out there and no one reads it. Then there’s really no point to blogging at all right?

Tools

Apps

Some apps I use to create pins or Instagram stories are Unfold and Canva. I use the free versions of them, but there are different plans.

I use the WordPress App (I like checking my stats at least 2-3 times a day), Instagram and Pinterest.

For editing photos, I use the free version of Snapseed and Lightroom. Although I don’t use any presets (although I have tried and they just aren’t me), there are some really great ones on Etsy.

Awhile ago, I did use the Preview app which helps plan out your Instagram feed and schedule photos in advance, but I found those photos never did well. Later, I found out that these photos were coming from a different IP address and Instagram was marking them as spam and we all know how the algorithm is…

Influencer Platforms

I think this sometimes kind of mystery for bloggers. There are now so many marketing platforms out there now, but here are a few I have either collaborate with or signed up for:

Magic Links– This program is AWESOME!!! It’s my personal favorite. MagicLinks has relationships with more than 3,500 retailers and a product catalog of more than 500 million products from which to share and earn from either CLICKS or PURCHASES. It’s great.

Linqia– I haven’t personally worked with them, but hear great things about some of their campaigns.

Foodie Tribe- This just specifically is for food bloggers and many of their campaigns are nationwide. The pay is good and they run campaigns with Potbelly’s, Red Lobster and other big brands.

IZEA– This platform is where you can bid on different opportunities. They also just have a big merger and complete website makeover, this are a lot more streamlined.

Clever– Although I haven’t worked with them yet, I still keep applying. They also just started doing weekly Youtube videos that I have found helpful.

Social Fabric- After years of applying and getting denied, I just got accepting into a few campaigns. Finally! I like working with them because all the deliverables are clearly laid out for you and they pay pretty well, it just takes time to get accepted.

Mavrck– They do a lot of product or gift card for payment, except, recently there have been paid opportunities.

Social Native- I started off doing these campaigns and they are great, but payment is rather low. If you are just starting, they are a great start.

Share a Sale- This database has a ton of affiliate partnerships and I’ve always gotten approved for each program. Basically, find a sponsor for your blog and get affiliate links for pretty much anything you can think of.  Also, Share a Sale pretty easy to use.

Grammarly– It’s free to use and sometimes catches errors better than spell check.

Fohr– You probably have seen this around Instagram. This platform analyzed your following and “verifies” your followers to make sure they are real. Honestly, I love the weekly Youtube videos the creator of Fohr, James Nord, does weekly. They are super educational and helpful!

Ok, so that’s it! I might be adding on to this list as I can think of more. But if you have anything else to add, include it in the comments! Also, if you found this helpful, please share away! Sharing is caring 🙂

Until next time,

Christine

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