Do you constantly feel like you are so behind on your blog that you don’t know how to get back on track? Are you staying up well past midnight writing, editing, and promoting your blog posts? Perhaps you are so busy you can’t seem to find the time to write, so your blog hasn’t had a new post in weeks.
If you answered a resounding ‘Yes!’ to any of the questions above, rest assured that you are not alone. A lot of bloggers feel the exact same way.
The key to getting ahead in the blogging world is learning to manage your time effectively. After all, we are all allotted the same amount of hours in a day, but it’s what we do with those hours that makes all the difference.
A bloggers goal is to spend less time blogging, and more time enjoying their life, while bringing in some income at the same time.
So how does one simply enjoy their life when they have to blog, promote their blog, collaborate with other bloggers, be up to date on all their social media feeds, come up with fun, cool blog posts that their readers will enjoy, all while keeping up with their social life, working at another full time job, raising kids, and being a good spouse?
The answer is to learn to manage your time effectively. As a blogger myself, I have come up with a time management routine that helps me to maximize my blogging time.
1. Set priorities & goals
The first step to creating an effective time management routine, is to determine what your priorities are. This is not just about your blog, but your entire life. What comes first? Religion, children, spouse, career, blogging, fitness, friends, etc. etc.
By setting your priorities straight, you will be able to better determine how much time you can afford to give blogging.
The second half to creating an effective time management routine, is to set goals for your blog.
What is it that you want to achieve with your blog? Do you need to generate more content? Perhaps you do a great job at creating content, but you want to increase your followers on social media.
Setting goals is nothing new, but when you’re trying to get anything productive done, goals help you to prioritize your time more effectively.
Plan to revisit and revise your goals often, as they will change periodically.
2. Plan your day
To effectively manage your time as a blogger, you must plan for your entire day.
What things do you have going on throughout your day...
A dentist appointment? A soccer game for your kiddo? A meeting with your boss?
All of your daily ‘must-dos’ need to be planned and accounted for. This will allow you to decide how much time you have to spare for blogging.
Tips for planning your day:
- Jot down your ‘must-dos’ for the day.
- With your time that is still available throughout the day list 3-5 things you want to accomplish.
- Rank your 3-5 items from greatest to least importance.
- Tackle your ‘must-do’s’ first, and then start with your items you want to accomplish, beginning with greatest importance.
- Even if you aren’t able to accomplish everything on your daily schedule, you will still have taken care of your most important items.
3. Create a content calendar
A content calendar is the framework of your blog. It allows you to plan out your entire week, month, or years worth of blog posts. It’s helpful to have a calendar to keep you on track while creating content.
Use your content calendar to ensure that you are covering the major categories of your blog on a consistent basis.
Refer to your content calendar before you begin writing/creating a post to help keep you focused and managing your time effectively.
4. Prioritize time
There are so many things in our day to day lives that beg for our attention. The kiddos, the spouse, the job, the blog, my social media feeds, the news, etc. etc.
When prioritizing my time for my blog I always schedule separate chunks of time for the following five categories:
- Creating/taking photos
- Social media promotion
- Reading other blogs and collaborations
- Checking emails
TIP: We all think that multi-tasking is a great way to get more done in a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately, multi-tasking has proven to be ineffective. When you give your focus to multiple tasks it takes time for your brain to switch between each task, thus making your time ill spent. Instead of multi-tasking, focus on one given task at a time for an allotted amount of time. When your time is up on that certain task, more onto your next task..
Additional tips for prioritizing your time:
- Give your tasks a set amount of time.
- Use a timer to stay on task.
- Turn off distractions
- Tackle hard tasks first
5. Plan for breaks and interruptions
Schedule time for needed breaks and interruptions throughout your day. If you do, you will be more flexible and decrease unwanted stress.
I have never had a day that has gone exactly according to plan. To ensure that your entire day doesn’t become derailed when an interruption occurs, plan for them.
Schedule regular breaks throughout your day to avoid wasting time perusing the internet or responding to phone calls/texts.
6. Automate your blog promotion
Automating your blog promotion will save you loads of time! Think about how much time you are spending posting to your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and other social media accounts. Now envision how much time you’ll be able to spend on other areas of your blog if your blog promotion is automated. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
By automating your blog promotion you can focus more on creating quality blog content rather than promoting each blog post.
A couple of great automated software options, include:
7. Create a writing routine
I have found that by creating a writing routine I use my time much more effectively, and I create higher quality content.
How to create a writing routine:
- Find a time of day that works best for you to write for 30 minutes or more uninterrupted. I have found that the best time of day for me is to write early in the morning.
- Refer to your content calendar to help keep your posts on track.
- Plan out a rough outline before beginning to write.
- Write your first draft without hitting delete. This sounds a little crazy, but I promise, it helps to just get the words out onto paper.
- Organize your first draft into a second draft with headings and sub-headings. Headings and sub-headings allow your readers to follow your post easily.
- Allow your second draft to marinate for a day, at the very least. I always save my draft and read through it the following day. This allows me to more thoroughly comb through my post before I publish it.
- Write with your ideal reader in mind. No need to try and appease everyone.
- Don’t try and fill a quota of a certain amount of posts per week, month, etc. Write what inspires and makes you happy. This will help you to create quality content that your readers will enjoy.
- Instead of setting aside a designated time to ‘brainstorm’ ideas for your blog, keep a notebook or smart phone on hand at all times to jot down ideas that come into your head throughout the day. My best ideas come to me as I’m going about my day.
- Choose a key word or phrase to focus your posts around, for increased search optimization.
- Take time to develop your headline with keywords from your post.
- Incorporate a call-to-action in each post.
Sometimes we think we are superheros that can accomplish an umpteenth amount of things in a single day.
Let’s all come back down to earth for a moment and remember that even though we can accomplish great things, we can’t accomplish all of them in one day.
So my advice is to simplify. Simplify your to-do list. Simplify your writing. Simplify your day. Simplify your life.
By keeping your day simple, you will accomplish so much more in the grand scheme of things, rather than always trying to play catch-up.
9. Get disciplined
Creating a time management routine is going to take some discipline on your part. If you don’t stick to your routine, you will end up in the same rut, with time ruling your life, instead of making time work for you.
They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, so create a time management routine and follow it for 21 days.
At the end of your 21 days revisit and revise your time management routine to make it work more effectively for you.
10. Be consistent
Be consistent. Be consistent. Be consistent.
As a blogger, keeping a consistent time management routine gives you routine and structure which allows you to generate quality posts on a consistent basis.
Readers want consistency. Consistent, regular posts will help to enhance your readership.
Learning to manage our time effectively takes time and commitment. As a blogger it is crucial to create a time management routine to maximize time.
Follow my time management guide above to maximize your precious time.
Comment down below with tips and tricks you use to manage your time effectively as a blogger.
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