Blogging is not only an end in itself. It can also help you generate more referrals for your design and development business. And for some, the revenue generated from a monetized blog can become their main source of income.
However, one of the hardest things about blogging is finding the time to put virtual pen to paper. Therefore, in this article, we’ll be covering time management for bloggers to help you find the time to blog even when working full-time. Whether you’re still in gainful employment or you’ve already started out on your own and want to use blogging to improve your current situation, this article is for you.
Why Time Management for Bloggers is Important
Between keyword research, writing, search engine optimization, social media, email marketing, and editorial strategy, bloggers wear many hats. If you’re working full-time on top of all of that, the pressure is on, because you have just as much work to do on your blog, in way less time. This all makes mastering time management for bloggers essential if you want to enjoy the benefits of content marketing and blogging in general.
Your blog has to start somewhere, and in many cases, that somewhere is those odds and ends of time before and after your “real job.” Keep reading to learn more about time management for bloggers – and the mindset – you need to make your blog a success, even when you work full-time.
Consider Your Priorities
Like it or not, we as humans are limited in how many things we can pay close attention to at once. You can’t have ten priorities; if you did, the word “priority” would lose its meaning. Some people say even having more than one priority is too many.
For most, three priorities is more of a realistic amount. It gives room to dedicate time to multiple important pursuits but still helps put tough decisions about what can stay and what has to go on the back burner – for now.
Think about your top three priorities. What are they? If your blog can’t make it into your top three priorities, seriously consider whether you have the time or desire to dedicate to running a successful blog right now. A blog can help you grow your freelance business or agency, but it shouldn’t at the expense of the time you need to devote to your clients.
Find Usable Pockets of Time
Once you’ve found a place for your blog within your top three priorities, it’s time to put a magnifying glass to your schedule and find all of the usable pockets of time. This is a key tenet of time management for bloggers and in general.
So you have to work your eight hours. Do you have to take a lunch break? Could it be put to use on your blog, perhaps processing emails or scheduling social media posts?
You have a few hours between when you finish your workday and when you go to bed. How could you squeeze extra blogging time out of these hours?
Maybe you don’t have enough energy in the evening. If that’s the case, could you go to bed an hour earlier, and wake up an hour earlier to work on your blog bright and early?
Could you be using your commute more effectively? Perhaps you could listen to a motivational blogging podcast to get your gears spinning?
What about your weekends? For many, weekends are prime blogging time. Schedule errands or appointments for one day. Then devote the other day entirely to blogging and content marketing activities.
The first step in mastering time management for bloggers is finding that time in the first place. And sometimes, it’s not really a matter of finding the time. Instead, it’s a matter of making it by pulling time away from activities that do not serve your top three priorities.
The book Deep Work by Cal Newport can radically change the way you approach low impact activities like email. Why spend time writing a 400 word reply to an email when you could be channeling that energy into writing a blog post?
If you haven’t had the opportunity to read the book, here are some of the biggest takeaways, from a blogging and content marketing perspective:
- Your writing time is sacred. Don’t let frivolous activities steal that time and focus away from you, like checking email or responding to Facebook activity.
- We live so much of our lives in a state of shallowness. Force yourself into a focused mindset by changing your scenery to somewhere distraction-free. Set a timer for an hour and do nothing but focus on the blog post you are writing within that time, with the countdown just within your field of vision to really put the pressure on.
- Get off the internet. You probably use it often while writing to look something up, but each pause to retrieve information is slowing you down. Write the post in full and come back to fill in the gaps later.
Batch processing is a popular productivity technique. When you batch process, you are using your energy more efficiently by grouping similar tasks.
As a blogger, you can batch process more activities than you probably realize. Here are just a few of the things that can be done in bulk:
- Keyword research. Instead of discovering the best keywords at the time of writing, do it in advance for ten or more posts’ worth of keywords at a time.
- Scheduling social media posts. This activity was made for batch processing. Just make sure you’ve written all the updates in advance so you don’t need to stop the scheduling to dredge up some creativity. First, you should bulk the writing of the updates, then the scheduling.
- Writing blog posts. Yes, you read that right! If you find yourself in a writing mood, take advantage of that. Knock out three or four posts in one sitting and you will feel like you’ve really accomplished something.
- Creating images for blog posts. If you already have to process one post’s worth of images, why not do three or four?
- Responding to reader comments and emails. It must be done, so make the most of the time you spend responding to messages by flying through as many as you can in one sitting.
It would be easy to write a whole post on goal setting for bloggers. But, put simply, goals can be a huge motivation for most bloggers.
The key with goals is to make them challenging but attainable, and as soon as you reach one, to set a new goal. Try experimenting with the scope of your goals. You might find that a smaller scope keeps a goal at the forefront of your mind. Rather than being some distant objective in the far flung future. Setting a goal for the next week or month rather than an overarching goal for the year often works best.
It can also help to make your goals public, in order to help put some pressure on. Whether that means making a promise to your readers or creating a pact with a friend who understands the importance of your blog, nothing quite puts the pressure on like building up others’ expectations of us.
Finally, in our guide to time management for bloggers, it doesn’t matter how much you toil away working on your blog if you can only muster up that energy once every two or three months. Blogging is a long game, and to make it work you need to be consistent.
For some, that means doing something for their blog every single day, no matter how small. Even if you can’t manage to do something impactful on a given day, don’t let it derail you. The next night, get right back to focusing on your priories.
For others, staying consistent could mean being as strict as writing and publishing posts on certain days of the week or even daily blogging. Reaching this level of consistency can be difficult, but there are those who swear by it.
As difficult as it sounds (and it definitely is difficult), it is absolutely possible to run a blog and work full-time, whether that’s in a regular job or on your own business.
Here are some of the time management tips for bloggers discussed in this article to help you make time to blog:
- Determine your top three priorities; make sure blogging is one of them.
- Find all the pockets of time you could be devoting to blogging and use them more effectively.
- Give yourself time and room to work deeply.
- Batch process related tasks.
- Set short-term, challenging but achievable goals.
- Be consistent. Make blogging a daily habit rather than an occasional binge.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to mastering time management for bloggers? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Article thumbnail image by Photoroyalty / shutterstock.com
Great tips and ideas as my biggest problem, is finding the time to actually start a blog! In between working 9-5, creating a design business, looking after my family and children, I don’t know where people are able to run a successful blog? Eventually, I will put finger to keyboard and this post has helped me navigate the potential issues that I’ll encounter along the way!