Many people are drawn to blogging because it is a great way to make money from home while sharing your gifts with the world. But the problem with blogging is the need for it the time. And time is something many of us are in short supply of. Especially when you’re getting a guaranteed hourly wage or regular paycheck for your work.
Whether it’s meal preparation, kids, family responsibilities, your health, your job, your spouse or any combination of these things, there are many demands on your time and attention. If you want to stay on top of it all, you’ll need some time and a few systems to get going.
These are some of my best tips for how to blog when your time is limited. If you’re always feeling the time crunch, give each of these recommendations a shot and see what gets you the most mileage.
It’s a priority
Like any other important thing, turning blogging into a source of income requires time. If you treat blogging like a hobby — something you do in your spare time — you’ll have a hard time getting into the field.
If you are serious about blogging, you need to devote serious time to it. Take stock of how you spend your “off” hours. Are you doing the dishes and laundry? Did you ring happy hour before going home? Are you zoning out in front of TV watching shows you don’t even care about? Close committees that aren’t related to your heart-causes and stop agreeing to events and commitments you don’t want to make. In other words, find your time-related obstacles and then work to eliminate them.
Clearing your schedule of junk will help you make time for blogging. But even if you don’t have a lot of fat to trim, you can still do a lot of blogging. You don’t need to dedicate hours every day to blogging (although that would be nice!) Instead, make it a priority and find ways to shoehorn blogging tasks into your daily life.
If you plan to wing it every day, your blogging won’t get done. It doesn’t take long to make a good plan, and it will save you a fortune ton There is a time. The single-best tool you have on hand for this is a notebook that you can always carry with you. Use this notebook for planning, brainstorming, outlining, note-taking, and your to-do list, and keep it with you at all times so you can be productive even when you have unexpected downtime. You can also use a cloud-based app like Evernote.
I also plan in advance when it comes to writing. If a great idea comes to mind, I open a document and write the topic with directions for the post I’m considering If I have a few moments, I can make a quick outline and grab some supporting links or web pages so I’m ready to write. This saves me a lot of time. And I find myself staring blankly at my screen, “What was I going to say?”
Choose a day to be your planning day. (I do this on Sundays.) Take stock of where you are and what you want to do in the coming week. Make a list of the 5 most important things you do and then set your to-do list. Make sure these are 5 things you can reasonably expect to accomplish in a week and write them down. It’s also a good idea to keep your top-three must-do items for Monday.
Then, when you’re packing up for the end of the day, pause for a moment and write down the three things you need to do tomorrow. This should support your 5 goals for the week. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you know exactly what you should be working on!
You should also be aware of large or small “time gaps” in your day. If you have an hour lunch break, spend that time outlining new content or sourcing new images. If you’re stuck in traffic, use a digital recorder or even a voice recording app on your phone and write a new blog post. You can transcribe your dictation later, and then clean it up and send it on its way. While you’re waiting in line, brainstorm new ideas for posts or hop on your smartphone and reply to a few comments.
Batch similar work
When you don’t have the luxury of large chunks to do all your blogging tasks, work more efficiently by batching. Instead of doing one post all the way from the idea stage to publishing — images, affiliate links, and social media promotion all roll in — handle multiple posts at once.
source images for several blog posts during a time segment; Create pins for several posts during other chunks; Respond to all your readers’ emails within an hour that you set aside just for that task.
By batching, you get into a groove and stay in it instead of stopping and starting over and over again. You can move more easily and therefore get more done. You are also eliminating all “shiny objects” and things that would otherwise distract you. (Don’t forget to write down what you need to remember to do later!)
Offload what you can
There are many useful apps and platforms that support your blogging and many of these platforms can be automated There are plugins like Tweetily that will auto-tweet your old content; Platforms like Buffer to quickly source and schedule social media content; Tailwind to manage your PINs; email services such as ConvertKit to send automated series of emails; Canned responses in Gmail that slow down your email time; and countless others.
It’s also easier to outsource these days than some bloggers realize. You can get really nicely done Pinnable images for not much money on Fiverr, potentially saving you hours of time. There are freelancers available on sites like Time Etc and Upwork who can take care of some of the hassle (like uploading and formatting your content to WordPress) for you at surprisingly affordable prices.
There is also the idea of outsourcing your non-blogging work to make time for blogging. Food delivery services, online grocery ordering, and housekeeping are some obvious choices, but you can find service providers for just about anything you need done. Think about what you can offload and make it happen! Your blog will thank you.
Get passive traffic
One of the reasons many new bloggers feel so stressed is that they are seeing results while they are active. If you don’t post and promote, no one is bothering your blog.
The sooner you learn passive ways to get traffic the better. Search engine optimization, or SEO, can drive traffic to your blog day and night, and old posts and new posts alike. May your blog post live forever.
i use KWFinder For keyword research. Two of my favorite places to learn SEO as a new blogger are Kelly Holmes’ Sticky SEO and Elite Blog Academy. Both only happen once or twice a year, so get on the waiting list now.
Social media can be a great way to get passive traffic as long as you don’t spend more time on your blog than you actually do. Schedule your update and forget about it.
You also need to make sure that getting your visitors’ email addresses is a top priority from day one. If you do it right, these people can stay with you for years to come. They can bring their friends along. Set up a newsletter service with Mailchimp or AWeber and start sending your new blog posts to those on your list.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of how to be productive blogging when you don’t have a lot of time, but if you can master the basics of prioritizing, planning, batching, and offloading, you’ll be miles ahead of where you are right now.
What are your biggest challenges in finding time to blog? Sound off in the comments and we’ll brainstorm some ideas together!