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How to Run Two Blogs in the Midst of a Busy Life

Posted By Guest Blogger 15th of March 2011 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This guest post is by Jennifer Fulwiler of ConversionDiary.com.

When I announced to readers of my regular blog that I had accepted a paid blogging gig for a national newspaper, my email inbox was flooded with one question: “How do you do it?” I have four children under the age of seven and am also working on a book, so, needless to say, before I accepted this new blogging position, I had to think carefully about how to write quality blog content with minimal effort.

I am happy to report that everything is going well: I’m able to keep up with both blogs without taking time away from my other priorities, and I’m getting great feedback from readers.

So how do I do it? Here are my top five secrets.

1. Keep a clean list of post ideas and update it frequently

When fellow bloggers tell me that they have trouble updating their blogs frequently, my first question is always: Do you keep a list of post ideas? I’m surprised at how often the answer is no, since I find this to be the key to regular blogging.

When the blank screen looms in front of you, there’s no way you’ll be able to recall every good post idea you’ve ever thought of. It’s critical to have a clean, well organized list to turn to. If you update this list frequently, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you amass great ideas (the list for my personal blog includes 87 items). The more ideas you have to choose from, the easier it will be to find a topic that inspires you when crunch time hits.

2. Have ideas for easy posts at your fingertips

There are times when life gets crazy and I simply don’t have time to write a regular post. That’s when I turn to my trusty list of easy post ideas, each of which allows me to touch base with my readers in a short amount of time. Some of my favorite go-to techniques are:

  • asking readers a question (I keep a separate list called “Questions to ask readers” for this purpose)
  • posting a roundup of my favorite links from around the web
  • creating a “best-of-comments” post, where I highlight the most helpful comments from a previous post
  • posting an interesting excerpt from a favorite book, with just a couple paragraphs of commentary (I highlight favorite passages in the books I read, which makes these posts especially easy)
  • asking a question on Twitter and posting a screenshot of responses
  • doing a photo post with one or multiple pictures with minimal commentary
  • answering a series of “getting to know you” questions and asking readers to do the same (e.g. “What time do you get up in the morning?”, “What is the most dangerous place you’ve ever visited?”, etc.)
  • reviewing the top products that make my life easier in the area related to my blog
  • asking a fellow blogger to write a guest post
  • writing an “awards” post where I name my favorite people in a certain category (e.g. “My 8 favorite female bloggers”)
  • rerunning an old post.

3. Embrace deadlines

My new blogging job requires me to write three posts a week, on a set schedule. This has been a new experience, since with my personal blog I could updated whenever I felt like it. To my surprise, having deadlines has been a great benefit to me. It’s taught me to cultivate self-discipline, stay organized, and stop wasting time. Consider setting deadlines for your own blog, even if you don’t have to—you’ll find that it transforms your mindset from “amateur” to “professional” overnight.

4. Let go of perfectionism

One of the most fascinating discoveries of my new blogging venture has been seeing the benefits of lowering the bar. In order to keep up with both blogs, I’ve had to pull items from my post ideas file that I normally would have skipped. I’ve had to publish posts that I didn’t think were perfect. And you know what? My readers have loved it. I’m now sharing information that I would have normally kept to myself, and the response has been fantastic. In fact, my four most popular items within the last month have all been posts that I never would have written if I weren’t under deadline pressure.

My new motto for whether a topic makes the cut to write about is simply: If it’s interesting to me, it’ll be interesting to someone else.

It doesn’t have to be a magnum opus. It doesn’t have to include mind-blowing commentary that will change the world. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to include tons of links. If I’m doing nothing more than conveying a simple insight or tidbit of information that I found helpful, that’s enough; there are undoubtedly many other people out there who will find it helpful as well.

5. Remember that it’s not all about you

Before I had so much blogging to keep up with, I felt like everything had to come from me. Each post had to be based solely on my own personal wisdom. With my new workload I’ve been forced to share: I link to other bloggers’ content, ask for guest posts, share excerpts from good books, interview interesting people, post link roundups—and a bunch of other things that highlight someone else’s talents. The result has not only been a grateful response from other bloggers and writers, but my own posts have been better as well.

What tips can you add to help others run multiple blogs as part of their already-busy lives?

Jennifer Fulwiler is a freelance writer as well as the chaos manager for her busy household, which currently includes four young children. Her personal blog is ConversionDiary.com.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Great post, Jennifer. I run four blogs so I can understand and relate to your situation. These are simple but very effective ideas to get creative and organized. Thanks for the motivation.

  2. I love the “questions to ask readers” and letting go of perfectionism suggestion. For a perfectionist like myself, this is a big hurdle to get over! Easier said than done, but I’m glad to hear others say it.

  3. Inspirational post – thanks Jennifer. I too run two blog and home school and have a host of other commitments and people ask me ‘how do you do it?’ Like you I have a list of blog fodder which is sometimes scribbled at 2am or when I pass a billboard or when browsing through a magazine. I’m visual so I actually cut pretty pictures out of magazines to add to my list ;)

    Another important thing for me is to accept that creativity ebbs and flows. When I’m on a wave I ride that wave until I hit the shore. ie I take that energy and run with it until it ends. It might mean staying up to 3am a couple of nights every 6 weeks or so but when you’re in the flow of writing you are SO much more productive than the black screen days. This means in a creative time I can write a couple of weeks or more of posts and stack them up ready for posting.

    it also means if I burn out I can take a week off and no one really notices ;)

    AND it’s a great way to be a bit more Zen about things; because after a while of hitting the black screen you realise, like all other seasons and rhythms in life, the creativity will flow again!

  4. I have something do say. Something concerning point 4. This is my view:

    Embrace perfectionism!

    Not being a perfectionist leads to being satisfied with anything. Yes, nothing is perfect, but perfect must be our aim, even if we don’t reach to the highest point. If all bloggers were perfectionists, a lot of the useless and boring content we have now would not exist; rather, a lot of great-value content would be filling the blogosphere.

    Am I wrong?

    • Yes. I am a perfectionist and I hate it. Trust me, it’s a toxic characteristic. I think there are many perfectionists out there who would be able to write gorgeous blog posts, but who don’t even start because they feel overwhelmed and they think it will never be good enough.

      Having that said, high standards are a good thing of course.

      (And luckily for me, I am getting better and better at being a non-perfectionist.)

      • It’s great training to start off as a perfectionist. I’m sure that Jennifer’s ‘quicker’ writing has benefited from the period when she spent more time on her writing.

      • Well, I didn’t meant the never-satisfied type of perfectionist. I meant the perfectionist that doesn’t publishes anything until proud of his work. And if you have high standards, your skills will upgrade constantly.

  5. Great secrets you have there Jennifer. I agree with every point you made. Number two could have been a blog in itself.

    One blog is already hard enough for me. It’s certainly a big task to handle in a busy life. But it in the end it all comes down to setting priorities and letting things go.

    I personally have a large file with a lot of ideas i need to work out. Most of them are half way done and occasinaly i publish an article.

  6. Great tips, thanks for sharing. I recently launched my second blog, so I was in need of some ideas for how to write/manage both. My first blog already has a following, as I’ve been writing it for 3 years now. But my new blog requires marketing, guest posting, etc. which I need to fit into my schedule along with my day job, family and everything else I do. This post gave me some great pointers for making it work.

  7. I have been using a list of everything that I want to post. It has worked out GREAT for me. I do have the same problem with not posting an article because I dont think its perfect. I will work on that in the near future.

    Thank you

  8. Thanks for all the great ideas for blog content when you don’t have time to write a full post. I’ve been trying to come up with other ways of engaging my readers & getting comments so the “Ask your readers a question” tip should do the trick.

  9. I also have 2 blogs and have a 3rd blog I contribute to at work and it does get tough to keep up with everything. I already keep a running list of post ideas and I need to remember that not every post will be perfect. I have also learned that if I don’t feel like writing, I don’t. If I am not feeling it that will come through in my writing and I would rather wait until the mood strikes and write an authentic post. Great post!

  10. I can’t even fathom not having a list of post ideas. I have three blogs (about to make it four) and just sitting in front computer screen to write whatever I’m thinking about today would be so hard. (On the other hand, I also tell myself it’s okay if I have this burning post that I just have to write, even though my calendar says I should be posting something else.)

    One other thing I’d note about my multiple blogging experience, I try to inject my personality everywhere. But different blogs know different aspects of me. What I write on The Bitch Blog isn’t the same as what I’d write on Diary of a Mad Freelancer and neither is the tone.

  11. Great points. We all need a little discipline when dealing with busy home and work lives. I think the thing that throws me off most is perfectionism. Just get out there and do it, whatever the it for you happens to be.

    Good luck with your new job!

  12. Hi Jennifer,

    Keeping a clean list of things to do clears the mind and gives room for some other productive lines of thought. Thanks for the post.

  13. I was kind of wondering if it is manageable. I suppose it depends on how many times you want to post on each. I agree with having deadlines though. It seems to work for me too.
    I’ve only been blogging for 2 months but I really enjoy it and once you’ve done the initial set up, there’s only minor tweaking to be done so I suppose it can’t be too overwhelming.

    I’ve bookmarked this post for the ideas.

    Thanks Jennifer!

    Ali x

  14. I do this as well!! A list of blog ideas really is great.

    By the way, I use Evernote to keep track of them and I love it. I can access my ideas off line, online and on my iPhone and it’s very easy to sort them. And there is enough space to not only write down the idea, but to add links and other information as well. Sometimes I write half the post in Evernote!

  15. Point 5 Is a good one: its important to embrace the collective wisdom of experts in your niche add you own spin and additional info, to be good you don’t need to be the best just be relevant and blog on what you know and employ the wisdom of others when it goes beyond your knowledge.

  16. Great ideas Jennifer! I do pretty well with keeping ideas saved up, but you’ve got some great thought provokers here for better ways to launch posts in a pinch. Here’s wishing you continued success!

  17. This is really helpful. I have kids as well and if you`re doing your daily 100% job, it`s quite hard to run a time consuming thing like a website/blog. I will definitely try point 1+2, which I`m still very lazy on. Also, your point 4 makes me think about my attitude in terms of blogging. Thanks!

  18. Great suggestion.

  19. Your tips under #2 are gold! Thanks for those

  20. Simple points here, yet ideally easy to do. I think personally I always feel like my posts are about me or what “I” think is worthy of a topic. The agony of perfection is a quick second. Just these two alone make me procrastinate on writing. Thanks!

  21. Thanks for these great tips and content ideas Jennifer.

    I have recently started a list of content ideas and I must agree, it helps. I am going to try implementing the personal deadlines, as I need to be far more structured! :)

  22. Love your ideas for easy posts. I’ve used a couple of those, but you gave me a lot of new ideas.

  23. I have a terrible habit of being “too busy” to do things that would make my life a lot easier, like meal planning and making a list of blog post ideas. Thanks for these suggestions, which I intend to implement right after a nutritious dinner of string cheese and a canned good.

  24. Thanks a lot for sharing this. :)

    Actually a very timely post, as I’m beginning to increase the number of blogs that I’m managing. Mostly blogs based on my personal interests.

  25. Oooooh, I learned some great new post ideas, thanks Jen! I have a tip to share, too: I LOVE Windows Live Writer for post-writing. My two favorite things about it are…

    1. I keep all my post idea in my drafts folder where I can easily search for them and tweak whenever I have a chance.
    2. As I’m writing, certain words automatically become a link to a related post, this saves SO much time! For example, I write about things like cod liver oil or raw milk all the time, and whenever I write “cod liver oil” or “raw milk”, instantly the phrase is linked to my post covering that topic.


  26. Thanks for the tips. Any advice on time management as far as engaging with readers? Thanks.

  27. These tips are absolutely fantastic. I really need to put these into practice when it comes to starting my newest blog project to do with WordPress.

    For those people who are saying that anything less than perfect isn’t worth posting, I would probably agree to a point, at least getting something publically available will generate some traffic for your blog, you can then use a second post to clarify details of that first post, and make sure that it is more perfect than the first one. You then seem to get two blog posts for the one post topic.

    As well as posting non-perfect posts, the more you post, the more perfect your posts will become the more often you blog, and you will get closer to perfection in the same amount of time as your first posts.

    I’m going to adopt a blog something quality, and if I’m not happy, write a new post to clarify details and bring it closer to perfection with the second post.

  28. I have enough trouble running one blog, I couldn’t even imagine two! Good tips though, and they’re relative if you run one blog, or two, or ten.

  29. My tip is to be focused on your task for that day. I have set off before to research ideas for a post and before I know it, I have read six others blogs, added comments but not researched my topic. It is so easy to get lost in time when using the internet.

  30. nancyo says: 03/15/2011 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve got three blogs going now, and it is definitely a challenge, so thanks for your tips. One thing that I’d add is that it really helps to keep a clear picture of each blog’s unique personality and intent in mind, and maybe written down. That way you can easily sort which ideas belong in which blog vehicle. I keep my post ideas in my blogs’ drafts folders – each idea as a separate draft. I add to the various drafts from time to time, and when I’m lucky I have several posts nearly written and ready to publish. I hope to try out evernote soon and see if that helps.

  31. I absolutely loved this article! Great tips for someone who is very busy but can still manage a very successful blog. I am fortunate enough to have some down time right now so blogging is easy for me but once I am back to becoming busy, I will definitely use this as a reference.

  32. Great tips and advice, especially point 3. Organization is key to running a good blog and having a set schedule goes a long way to making sure you get things done.

    Good luck with the two blogs.

  33. Great post Jennifer. The first plan I had when I started sharing Entrepreneurship Concepts on my blog is to embrace deadlines. I work very hard to make sure I meet my Monday’s and Thursday’s posting by 8AM GMT prompt. Now, its already part of me. Thanks for sharing

  34. Tip number one, why didn’t I think of it myself?

    Without deadline I push things forward, tomorow is another day I can do some more work on this task, and so the tasks gets never finished, only pushed forward to the next day.

    Deadlines really push things to be finished, one has to deliver. Even if you are not 100% pleased with the end result you must hit the ‘Publish’ button because you must get that deadline.

    Hmmmmm, by writing this down I just discovered I am to much a perfectionist.

    Time to set deadlines!

  35. Really good tips, creating a list is a simple idea but one that works well. I carry a note book at all times, its great for just jotting random thoughts that can then be worked into something a little more creative later on.

    I tend to post at random, about 3 – 4 posts per week and do not stick to a strict routine, I find this works best for me – enabling me to post when time allows rather than having the ‘pressure’ of posting to a strict timetable.

    All good tips but the best tip for me is “asking questions” this is not something I have tried yet but after reading this will certainly give it a go.

    Thank you for a great post and for sharing your thoughts.

  36. Is it not also a question of mindset? Jennifer has decided this is what she wants to do and she has adapted her life to suit it. I’m always reminded of the quote, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person.’ when hearing about others like Jennifer who fit so much into their life because it’s true – a busy person gets stuff done!

  37. You are right about perfectionism. It is really necessary to not to be perfectionist. One should understand that “Good is better than Perfect”. This will definitely help achieve success.

  38. Great tips Jennifer! I also have tons of blog and recently became a mother. I sometimes wonder if I could continue blogging whilst taking care of my baby….with the tips you have given I think I might continue blogging after all.

  39. LOVE this post. Spot on. I get asked the same question a lot and this echoes my experience too. (Plus I’m kinda mad — that helps). What I’m struggling with is the perfection thing. I love to throw so much into my posts…and then I end up researching…and getting more and more into it. I’m learning (learning being the operative word here) to let go of perfection and just blog a bit more… Thanks for the great post Jennifer.

  40. These are very useful tips that I plan to start using immediately. I blog on the side, and have a fulltime
    60 hr a week job, and 2 boys under the age of 7 that magically make my time disappear!! I know this situation is true for a lot of bloggers, and it really helps to have tools listed to actually use.

    I can admit that between working and the kids, and trying to find down time…(Is there such a thing?)
    that I will get frustrated when I find time to actually sit down and take a look at what I want to write next.

    I am also pleased that you listed your sources for less commentary type posts which I can now make for those times when my brain is simply telling me no!! But I know I need to keep up on my blogging!!

    Thanks again Jennifer!!

  41. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m just starting my second blog and the list idea has been working well for the first so far. I will definately use some of the other “top 10….” ideas for quickies though.
    I also think letting go a little of the perfectionism will ease the pressure when the Kids are demanding.

    Great post. Thanks. I’ve even taken notes not just saved the post!

  42. Of Course Blogging is a cooperative thing… the world is a community, as a good blogger, one mustn’t be shallow and be ready to spread useful content to the people… the readers whether it is theirs or somebody else’s.

    I wrote an article recently regarding this topic… somewhat similar topic, so i think my blog post would be interesting, the last segment gives useful information related to this topic.

    Guaranteed Blogging Success — Myth”

  43. Another idea is to recognize when a post should really be 2, 3, 4, or even more posts! A good topic can yield multiple quality posts, and it’s often beneficial to create a series of related posts for readers. Plus, it helps alleviate some of the pressure!

  44. What a great post full of fantastic ideas to help me on my new journey. I often come to a complete halt with things to write about, really need to be more organised.
    Point number two will be of a particular benefit I think. Also I think I need to set some deadlines . all in all great tips, thanks.

  45. I must say that I think that this post speaks worlds to me – I’m working on developing my second blog just nine months after starting my first (all on my own spare time). I work a full time job and try to maintain somewhat of a social life outside of both blogging and work. It’s become extremely difficult to find time to write posts.

    Staring at that blank wordpress “new post” screen is so intimidating too. I think the next time I have a minute to sit down I’m just going to brain storm a list of 15-20 post ideas without getting too into the posts themselves and see if this helps me out. Then I’ll try and set some dead lines and hopefully get my blogs back on track!

  46. Great article. Especially liked the “getting to know you” idea. Thinking of using that one. I also need to back off on my perfectionism to some degree. I find I become counterproductive when I start nit picking details. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Great Ideas. I just recently started my third blog, so these tips help. Thanks.

  48. Hi Jennifer,

    Great list of tips to follow! I keep a moleskine notebook handy and I jot post ideas in there daily (in the morning, at lunch, after work, etc.). When it’s time to sit at the computer and write, I skim through my notes to see what I can publish that fits into my theme for the week. it’s a process that I recently picked up and it totally works!

    As for Point #2: thanks! You’ve given me a few ideas to run with :-)

  49. I have been having trouble juggling my social life, my girlfriend and my three blogs for a while now. I think these tips here will help me balance them much better. Thank you Jennifer! :)

  50. I have just started a new blog so this is a wonderful article to read. I am also a mother and busy with working casually so I often feel overwhelmed by the tasks that I need to do in relation to my blogs and life.
    These are great tips. I have just started scheduling deadlines which I am finding so helpful. I also accept guest blogging and interviews which reduces my load a bit.
    Thank you so much for the new ideas.

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