by Edie Melson
You can look at this digital age we live in as a blessing or a curse—and there are merits to each viewpoint. Since I’m a glass half-full type girl, I happen to take the positive approach. I like the connectedness of this time and place. I like connecting in person and online—especially through Facebook and Twitter.
I've learned to work with the tools available and spend no more than 30 minutes a day on social networking. I also spend a different block of time writing my blog posts. I've separated the two because blogging, for me, is practicing my craft. It teaches me to write better and gives me a place to grow my skills as a writer. In addition, it also helps me connect on a deeper level with my audience than just social networking.
A word of warning here, it’s possible to let these tools (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) eat into your writing time. For myself, the way I combat that temptation is to schedule my networking time. I prioritize the things I have to accomplish.
One of the things I have to do as an author is connect with my audience online. But I don't have to devote my life to it—especially at the expense of practicing my craft.
Many of you have asked how I schedule my day so now is as good a time as any to share it with you. Now, please know that I am NOT an organized person, but this loose arrangement of my day helps me to stay sane in the insane world of publishing.
My Daily Schedule
- 8 – 8:30: I answer email and find interesting online articles and blogs to share with my social media audience.
- 8:30 – 9: I use Hootsuite to schedule my main social media for the entire day.
- 9 – 11:30: I use this time as my creative writing time, because it’s the time when I’m most creative.
- 11:30 – 12: I answer any emails, check my voice mail and return any calls I need to. I also check in on FB, Twitter and my blog.
- 12 – 1: lunch.
- 1 – 3: I work on things that have a deadline and once a week write all my blog posts during this time.
- 3:30 – 4: I again check email, phone messages, FB, Twitter and my blog. Then, before I go to bed I'll usually do a final check for email, FB, Twitter and my blog, but not always.
Also, about once an hour I get up and walk around to relieve my back and when I sit back down, I check Hootsuite. That way, if anyone has mentioned me or retweeted something I can reply. It’s important to keep the conversation going throughout the day and this is how I do it. BUT, I only allow myself 5 – 10 minutes each hour or two.
I keep this schedule 5 days a week. I've learned that everyone needs a day or two of rest, and taking the weekends off has not hurt my online growth. I think it's actually helped because I'm fresher and more enthusiastic because I've had some time to myself.
|I give myself weekends off.|
Now, some days the times do vary, especially if I have a big deadline. But this is my basic schedule. I try not to be subject to emails or even the telephone. Funny thing, I discovered that people are fine about having to leave messages, IF they know I’ll actually call them back.
I've found that this schedule allows me to accomplish what I need most days and still stay sane.
I’d love to know how you schedule your social media time. Share your tips, and your struggles in the comments section below. Remember, we’re all better together!
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Is it possible to grow a #socialmedia presence in 30 minutes a day or less? @EdieMelson shares how. (Click to Tweet)
Social Media in 30 minutes a day or less? @EdieMelson can show you how to make it work (Click to Tweet)