Time Management Tips for Wedding Bloggers

Monday, October 05, 2009

There are three types of wedding bloggers: bride blogs, which are blogs written by brides (and to be fair, there are a handful of groom blogs now); professional wedding blogs where the blog is the full-time business (examples: Weddingbee, Style Me Pretty, Snippet and Ink); and wedding professionals who blog (examples: The Bride's Cafe, Ritzy Bee).  Many people look at professional wedding blogs and try to emulate them, but that will not work for your business because they are entirely different business models and have to take certain things into consideration that you do not.  Trying to copy what they do and the way they do it will only frustrate you if the blog is not your full-time job.

I often get asked by wedding pros for advice on how to balance the work of their wedding business with the work that social media requires.  Here are some quick tips for those of you who use your blog as a marketing vehicle:

1. Write in advance
Nearly every blogging platform (Wordpress, Typepad, Blogger, etc) has the capability to let you schedule your posts to go live on future dates. Set aside a block of time one day a week for blogging and write and schedule the next week's posts during that time.  This will help keep you sane, especially during the busy wedding season when you barely have time to eat lunch, much less write a thoughtful blog post for the day. 

2. Create an editorial calendar 
Since you're now writing in advance, you can create a system for content publication. Real weddings on Mondays, advice and tips on Tuesdays, etiquette on Wednesdays, and so on and so forth.  You also know when major holidays and engagement season is, so plan ahead for those posts.

3. Get help
No seriously, you will wonder why you didn't do this sooner. If you don't have someone on staff to help with some of the work, consider hiring a virtual assistant through Elance or another source for a few hours a week. Hand over tasks such as resizing photos (this can be done easily in Flickr or Picnik if you aren't into fancy software) or contacting vendors for information for the posts. Hire a tech person to help with your code or a designer to help make the site visually appealing. These can be project-based and not full-time. Whoever is writing the posts needs to be identified as the author of those posts (and not just the default "admin") but there is no rule that says you have to do everything blog related all by yourself.

4. Automate
Use Twitterfeed or Su.pr to automatically update Twitter every time your blog updates. Many people use Twitter as their RSS feed now and having to remember to manually update it at a time they will see it is not efficient when you're trying to juggle food tastings, dress fittings and render CAD drawings for a wedding's tent set-up. 

5. Lose the self-inflicted guilt trip
There are about five blogs, both wedding and business, that I read word for word. Everything else I skim, and if the headline doesn't grab me to read the content more in depth, I hit mark all as read in Google Reader. Most inspiration I find for weddings does not come from weddings at all. I used to feel guilty about this, but then I got over it when I came to terms with the fact that reading every blog on business or weddings was not helping me grow my business.* If your blog's model is predicated on being the first to report a trend or story, then you probably should read all the other blogs to make sure they're not talking about those things first. Most of you don't have to be first to report a trend however because you are the professionals who are creating them.

*Please note: I am not telling you that it's okay not to read for your business. To grow your business you have to be willing to put in the time (and money) for ongoing education, and reading is a critical part of that. 

What time management tips do you have for wedding professionals who blog?

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