OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Authors are being encouraged to do their own marketing, blog, podcast, network online and in real life, have a speaking career… oh, and write books and have a personal life!
I have been asked several times now how authors are meant to get all of this done, and also how I personally do it (Thanks, Andy Shackcloth!). I have a consulting business which pays the bills so this site is not my ‘job' as yet.
Here are 5 key tips for getting it all done:
- Batch and schedule your work. I do most of my blog posts at the weekend and will write the full week in advance because I don't know how busy I am in the week. I read blogs on my iPhone on the commute (45 mins on train each way). I send interesting ones to my email for scheduling as tweets. I check email and Twitter at breakfast time, and also after work and also on the iPhone (VERY useful gadget!) It looks like I am on Twitter all the time because I tweet over a 24/7 period and have done for months. People comment that I never sleep! But my secret weapon is TweetLater. I schedule several days, even weeks in advance using blog posts I read as above. I also add my own posts as they are scheduled. I also book my podcast interviews weeks or months in advance so I know what is coming.
- Turn off everything else when writing. If I need to write blog posts, or articles or the new fiction novel, I turn off everything else, set my alarm and just write for an hour. Then I might take a break, check Twitter and email, and then turn it off again.
- Get rid of the TV. I have not had a TV for nearly 3 years now and it is fantastic! I download shows I want to watch on the computer and so make conscious choices. That leaves a lot of time for writing, blogging, tweeting… and the rest of life!
- Know your goal and love the process! I have a goal for my online business and it will not happen without consistent work. I also love my blog, love networking with authors, love writing – so it becomes what I want to do with every minute of spare time as well as what I am driven to do. If you don't have clear goals and you don't enjoy all this stuff, then stop doing that and outsource it. This is the key message of Tim Ferriss' “The Four Hour Work Week” (excellent book). Work is defined as something you want to do less of, and the rest of your time is productive, happy fun!
- Learn what you need to know in order to do it efficiently. I spent 6 months blogging (before this site) without having a clue what I was doing. I also wasted a lot of time in publishing before I learnt how to be effective. Then I spent some money learning how to achieve my goals effectively and efficiently. If you don't invest in your own education, you will end up wasting time and money, so learn and then do.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons KrazyDad