Thursday 25 April 2013

Push-Up Bra blogging [11]: the Dr. Who Approach


Well ... this feels strange. It's over a year since I had the initial idea, and a few months in the planning, drafting, making the visuals, promoting and fund raising ...  and now today is the final 'approach' to blogging I'll be offering up as part of my Push-Up Bra Blogging series!

And - unlike previous posts, where I left the fund raising appeal until after the content ... today I'm putting it front and centre .

Last week, purely by chance, I saw an advertisement for a 6 week 'better blogging' on line course ... with a fee just short of £100.

Push-Up Bra Blogging was a 6 week better blogging on line course ...

I knew it already ... but this confirmed it to me, that I may well have been stupid to offer up Push-Up Bra Blogging for FREE! But, there it is, I can't take it back now!

But I do ask that - if you haven't already donated to Save the Children via my my Just Giving page -you consider ONE MORE TIME whether your budget will allow to drop £1 to the pot. All the proceeds go to the charity.

Rather than think of it like giving away £1 ... if you've been reading the posts and using them to help change the way you blog - you can tell yourself you bagged a bargain!

In the UK? You can donate £1 on my page OR by texting: PUBB88 £1 to 70070.

Generous international folk can just hop over to my page where you can donate any amount you choose.

**Please don't feel strange about adding just £1 to the pot. £1 is plenty. You're my hero for even thinking about it. Thank you. x

This, the final chapter of new content is the second of our 'HOW?' approaches and it very much builds upon the first: The Freezer Meals approach from last week.

If that approach had the desired effect ... you might now be thinking about how you can begin to streamline all the activities which go on behind the final blog post by creating new content and photographing and editing your images in bulk.

Then ... once have all those images and ideas ready to go ... today's approach steps in and offers you some simple and practical ways to pull it all together into a workable, regular, blogging schedule.

So please welcome ...

As I say, once you begin to take on some of the ideas from The Freezer Meals approach:
  • you're gradually going to build up a nice, well-padded, layer of fresh content all photographed, edited and ready;
  • then, at the drop of a hat, it can step-up to the blogging plate for you;
  • and your blog will be more regularly maintained while your readers will enjoy more frequent glimpses into your world.
But, now you've got it all, how are you going to schedule it all? In what order? What goes first?

Or maybe you're not at all interested in The Freezer Meals approach [that's fine. I'm tougher than I look. I'll get over it]:
  • instead maybe the series has got you thinking about all those things that you've made previously;
  • all that potential blog-fodder you've let slide by you in the past ...
  • those things that you now see you could have blogged about but haven't.
Whichever it is, the best piece of advice I can give you is to ask yourself ... what would the Doctor do?

And then follow his lead ...

Don't allow yourself to be bound by chronology ... your blog is your TARDIS ... 

... go travelling around in time in it! 

Come closer ... I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

While I generally introduce a craft project on my blog as 'today's project' ... it doesn't mean I made it that day. Often it doesn't even mean I made it that month, and I dare say that there are probably a few projects from last year waiting in the wings to make an appearance here.

And I'm guessing that ... you don't care one jot.

Why would you? And why would your blog readers?

One of the simplest and pain-free ways you can increase your blogging productivity is to stop thinking you have to blog things in the order they happened or the order you made them. That you have to do something 'new' for your next post.

If you haven't already blogged it, if it's never seen the light of day, if no one outside your house has seen it ... then it is NEW!!

You may have made it 3 years ago and be sick of the sight of it cluttering up in your workroom, but to your readers ... it's sparklingly fresh content!

And ... if you followed all the tips about BULK making, photographing and editing blog images ... then you're going to have to let go of any attachment to chronology because, quite simply:
  • you're going to have so much new content you're going to be blogging it for months to come;
  • it won't necessarily make sense to blog it all in the 'right' order;
  • and it probably won't always feels 'new' to you ...
But your readers don't need to know. And even if they did ... it wouldn't matter!

Several of the projects I've shared recently have been made weeks, even months ago. You didn't know. And you didn't need to. It's all viable content no less interesting, or well presented, or useful for being a little long in the tooth!

Exceptions: Of course there'll be times when you will want to share something brand spanking new ... a time-sensitive offer, a current issue, a Design Team commitment, a new arrival.

For example, I'm currently preparing to launch a new product [one I'm really excited about] here on Monday [29th] and that needs to be introduced as something brand new and the post will be freshly written this weekend. In this instance working in the 'present' is necessary ... however ...
  • Having a collection of pre-prepared - non-time-dependent projects waiting in the wings allows you to maintain a regular, [dare I say 'calm'] blogging schedule.
  • These pre-prepared posts can be slotted in between other more date-specific posts [like My Month in Numbers or any of those blog memes you might join in with].
  • They can become your comfort blanket ... reassuring you that on those days, weeks, when you simply can't make anything new to share ... there's still something new, unseen, just waiting to be published.
  • If you take the Freezer Meals advice and blog your projects / activities / stories etc   individually you'll begin to appreciate just how much creativity you do achieve throughout the year and then it will reward you by providing you with blogging material throughout any dry spells!
So, whether you've got an awesome story to tell about something that happened last year, or there's a craft project you've had on a shelf for so long you've forgotten how interesting it may be to someone else, or you've found a few photos you took of a gift you made and gave someone months ago ... take a look at them with fresh eyes, drag them into your TARDIS and whizz them right up to the present day on your blog ... or schedule them for a future post!

Or failing that, start planning a spot of time-travel for a future date.

Starting now, re-read The Freezer Meals Approach - and begin setting into place the processes which, 6 months down the line will see you blogging something you made fresh yesterday. Or even tomorrow.

Blogging time-travel is the way forward!

[And back!]

OK, now that we're nicely loosened up and no doubt happily picturing ourselves travelling through history with our Time Lord of choice, let's get to work.

Let's take a look at a method we can use to stretch time ... so that we get chance to actually do something with all this raw material we've found!

Try harnessing your 'interstitial time'  

I took the title here from this brilliant blog post by Merlin Mann which I originally read years ago when I was reading up on Interstitial Time for fun. [Hey, what can I say ... that's just how I roll.]

While interstitial time may well sound like something from Dr.Who or Star Trek [well, you do have a Kirk in charge here after all] it's actually got nothing to do with warp speed ... or not quite.

Interstitial time is:
  • those little pockets of time we have in between other 'stuff' [it's definitely worth reading the Merlin Mann post for more ideas]
  • it's the time you have on the bus/train or while you wait for tea to cook or work to start [etc etc]
  • it's when you suddenly find yourself with a smidgen of time to spare
.. it's the times when ... if you had something ready prepared ... which just needed a few words, a spot of tweaking,  a quick 10 minutes work ... you could easily, painlessly, have a blog post started, developed or even published.

This is definitely what I try to do when I find myself without large blocks of free time to take a shower in ... let alone to blog in! And it's a habit I developed while on campus during my part-time job.

My working hours can be very hit and miss with big gaps in between ... and for the first few years it used to drive me insane ... until I decided to harness my interstitial time! Now, whenever I arrive on campus early, or find myself at a loose end in between sessions, I find myself a computer and work on blog posts, magazine articles, or answering emails. Or I sit with a cuppa and scribble ideas in a notebook. And, by increments ... I get things done.

And here's the thing which helps me most in my quest to blog consistently month in, month out  ...

My top 3 tips for streamlining your blogging-time? Draft Posts, draft posts and draft posts.

Draft posts rock my blogging world.

  • They're not merely superb buffer-zones for when you're tempted to blog upset, angry ... or drunk [as we discussed in Chapter 9 The Kenny Rogers Approach]
  • Nor do they simply allow you to cool-off when you get a bee in your bonnet and think whatever it is occupying your mind will make for the basis of an amazing post. [You may be right, who am I to judge? It may well be an amazing discussion which connects with your readers on a deep level. Equally ... it may come across as the frustrated ramblings of a bitter misanthrope. Personally I don't like to take the chance.]
No, draft posts are more than all of that ... they're an organised-blogger's essential companion [if it's good enough for The Doctor to rope in a companion to assist him in his time-travelling escapades  ... it's good enough for us!] :
How many drafts do you have on the go at any one time?

As you can see from the screen shot ... I like to keep my options open for the next time I grab some interstitial blogging time! Not all of those drafts contain fully formed posts plans, some just contain general ideas and thoughts for future things which need more work.

However ... there are quite a few strong, 'proper', posts being housed in there, complete with a title and pre-prepared photos.

Oh and  while we're speaking of photos ... [apologies first to bloggers on other platforms ... but bear  with me ..]

You know you can upload images any time you like- in bulk - directly into your Blogger blog's online album ... don't you?

You may know this already - but I know for a fact some people don't - so here goes ...
  • All of the images you've ever added to a Blogger blog go into a 'Picasa Web Album' online, which is linked to your blog.
  • To view your albums visit 
  • And if you're using Google+ you can also view them through your Google+ homepage under 'Photos' on the left hand side >> then click the 'Albums' tab.
But, as well as being able to view images you've already uploaded ... you can open up an album and upload as many as you like for future blog posts ... saving so much time and fuss later on!
Sorry for being Blogger-centric but, as I said at the very start of the series, all advice is really based on experience ... and Blogger's what I know best. 

But in the interests of cross-platform fairness ...
So ... after you've taken all those photos, in bulk, and edited them, in bulk, you can now upload them to these online albums in bulk and then add them into individual blog posts whenever you feel like it. Whenever you have a few minutes here and there.

Here's how to add those images into a specific post:
  • Go to the little photo icon in the blog post dashboard - the same one you've been using to add images already;
  • then ... when this pop-up screen appears:
  •  ... select 'From Picasa Web Albums' rather than 'Upload'
  • thumbnails of your albums will then appear >> select the album you uploaded the images to
  • when the album opens, scroll down to find the specific images you want for your post
  • click on each image - selected images are highlighted in blue >> click 'Add Selected'
  • Top tip: your images will appear in your post in the order you clicked them when you selected them. So, click them in the order you want them in to avoid having to drag and shuffle them around later! [I felt so clever - and yet stupid for not realising this earlier - when I noticed this!]
Sometimes, after editing a batch of photos on my laptop, I'll take an extra 5 minutes [or less] to go online, open up my Picasa Web Albums and drop the fresh images in there straight away.

This way I know that, the next time I get a minute or two - maybe while I'm hanging around at work - I can open up Blogger, create a new draft and insert the images without any fuss. And suddenly... I'm on my way to another post without ever having to break into a sweat!

And you can be too!!

If this is the first time you've heard any this ... and it's the first time you've considered another way of blogging ... I fully accept that this might all sound like a lot of hassle but ...

I promise you I'm really not one of those Dr.Who villains trying to lock you all into the internet so I can control your minds!
  • If you're already finding some time to blog ... then today's approach, and everything in the series, is really there to help you make the most of the time you do have;
  • I just want to convince you that, to be in a position to publish fresh content on a regular basis, you really don't need to spend hours on end blogging;
  • Once again: this is a pick + mix series. Only pick out what you need / want / can manage;
  • When you follow a few of the tips I've offered, regular blogging can start to happen incrementally. 
Slowly, slowly.

A few minutes here, a few minutes there.

Little and often [or even little and sporadic].

At the very start of the series I said I'd go all out to show you a way that blogging can become a familiar part of your daily life ... without ever taking it over. And, for now, that's all I've got ...

I've put it all out there: now you can pick it up as you will, in your own time, in your own style.

Now ... go hook yourself up, pad yourself out and put your best blogging bits forward!

Drop back tomorrow for a final round-up .... and if you've got any last-minute questions ... hurl them my way.

And until then ... please don't forget to donate to Save the Children in recognition of how much money it's saved you by not having to buy an online better-blogging course.  

I now only need £63.19 £50.09 £0.00 to reach my £500 target ... some amazingly generous folk helped me reach it shortly after publishing this post.

However ... please don't let that deter you from making a donation. My page is still open! Save the Children will now benefit from my target amount ... plus anything you can chip-in! Thank you so much.

Julie x


  1. So helpful Julie I'm off to check out the picasa thingy.This the part I'm hopeless at.

    So glad that you reached/exceeded your target it's been a really fabulous series well done.

  2. Thank you Julie - I have been using Blogger quite a long time without knowing about the Picasa thing - somehow it has never registered before! [But then that's no surprise - getting OLD has NOTHING going for it!!] I am so glad I followed that link from Alexa's at Trimming the Sails.

  3. Julie, the Picasa web albums also come in handy when, for instance, Blogger has a hissy fit and won't show the browse dialogue box where you regularly upload photos ... this has happened to me a couple of times and it is reassuring to know that there is an alternative way to get visual content onto my blog.

    Thanks for a great series and congratulations on reaching your fundraising target!

  4. Delighted your target as been reached and well done! A super series and I m going to be reading and retreading this weekend Also for the sheer enjoyment of your writing:).

  5. I just got wildly excited about the Picasa revelation (after I stopped humming the Dr Who theme tune throughout the my fav. prog....but anyway..!!). This has been so informative and I will be re-reading everything to get it to work for me.
    Thanks so much....and congrats on reaching/exceeding your target x

  6. Congrats on reaching your goal. Instead of making drafts, I tend to schedule things, even unfinished things, on a future date. Not sure why drafts scare me, but they always have! LOL!

  7. Julie, I have SO enjoyed this course. Not only has it been highly entertaining but I have got so many new ideas to get me thinking and started. I've been wanting to develop my blog and this is the motivation I needed. I do use Picasa and your tips will help me get the best from it.
    I am still prining your pages as I like paper copies to read (yes, in bed!) and also to file for easy reference.
    You are right - you could have asked for a subscription to this course and it would have been worth it. I would not have paid £100 though. Next time you might want to consider asking a reasonable charge - personally I am happy to pay for courses when I know I am going to benefit and it is not over priced. On this occasion your generosity is valued and appreciated and I am so glad your fund raising reached it's target. Congratulations!
    This has been a really worthwhile course and a big THANK YOU for all you put into it!!

  8. Oh that fun time on twitter last week was well worth the completed chapter Julie. It even made it's debut on my blog cos I thought it was so funny. Thanx for the Picassa info, I'd never really looked at those buttons on the list. I have begun doing loads of drafted and in advance posts since starting this course and while I was away for several days recently it meant there was a post everyday while I was away.
    Jo xxx
    PS I will donate this week when I get paid xxx

  9. Well. I did not know that about the web album. That's going to help me thin out my photo folder on the PC!

    This has been such a great series Julie - time to put it to practice now! Thank you again :-)

  10. Wow 1 year on from you writing this post and it has made total sense to me. I need to use drafts more and maybe change how I do my pictures. Bestpost of the series, really learnt things here. Thank you


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