Your blog is the face you show the world. You might live in the middle of the country, with a higher population of cows than people, but with a sharp wit and a fast internet connection you can educate, entertain, enlighten or interact with millions of people on a daily basis. That’s the power of the internet, and it’s right there at your fingertips. But none of that is possible if you don’t cultivate an audience that follows your work. There’s nothing sadder than an unread blog, and if you want yours to make an impact you’re going to have to work on it consistently, and probably daily. Most of us don’t have the financial flexibility to blog full time, but even if that is the case you’ve got to be productive with the time you do have to put into it. And that productivity will grow or shrink in large part based on the proper organization of your home office. Here are some tips to help you along.
First off, you must choose the right room. If at all possible make it a separate space from the rest of your home, a true office with a door you can close. You’ve got to be able to set aside all distractions and blog away for hours at a time. That means avoid working in your living room next to the TV, or at the kitchen table with the cupboard full of snacks staring you in the face. Natural light and a fresh breeze will make it easier to sit still for long periods, so ideally your office should have windows. The other benefit to having a separate room as your home office is that you can claim a portion of your rent or mortgage payment as a living expense. That may not increase your productivity in the short term, but it will help make it possible to continue working on your blog even if it doesn’t generate revenue.
Next, you’ll need the essential furniture. Luckily when it comes to blogging this is a pretty short list. Get yourself a desk that can handle your computer and other necessities, and make sure it is set up so your hands will be in an easy, comfortable position on the keyboard. Your chair should be the best, most ergonomic option you can afford. It’s all too easy to skimp here, but keep in mind you are going to spend hours and hours each day planted right there. If you ignore the needs of your back, neck and rear end they will make their presence known with pain and discomfort. Finally, get a quality desk lamp or overhead lamp, so you can work into the evening hours without straining your eyes.
Now as for the hardware, here the list is a little more extensive. The computer you use will be a pretty personal choice. You don’t need to buy the fastest machine on the planet, as blogging doesn’t take heavy computing power. The only caveat is if your blog is video heavy, as video editing and rendering effects sequences can take a really long time without a slick system. Outside of those requirements, just make sure your computer is two years old or less, so you can work on all types of internet browsers without issues. The money that you save on your computer you should invest in your internet capabilities. You will want fast internet speeds, so work with your cable provider to determine the right package. You won’t need the absolute top of the line, as that is usually only necessary if you are setting up a network of several computers. Go with the middle of the road package, and buy a quality modem and wireless router to set yourself up right.
Anything else in the home office will be up to you. Most people forgo printers and fax machines, especially after taking the time to compare fax services at OnlineFaxService.com or any of the other cheap and easy options. A scanner could come in handy, so consider a three-in-one machine if you have the money to spend. Otherwise all you really need is a good calendar program, so you can organize a posting schedule and to-do lists for your blog. Any other bits of personality or visual aids that you feel are motivational are solid additions to the home office, but let it happen organically over time. The blog will grow with your increased productivity, and your home office will evolve along with it.