How to Manage Your Time Like A Professional Blogger
Blogging can be tough, especially when you have a million things to do on your priority list before you finally sit down and start typing.
We all have outside obligations that demand our time, but how do you make time to actually blog?
You’re not like a professional blogger that has 12 hours a day to work on their blog, you have duties and obligations, right?
If you're a part-time blogger, today I want to tell you the exact formula I use to manage my time and how you can implement it also.
So let’s get started...
1) Set Specific Goals
As a blogger, it's really hard to predict things like income and expenses, and especially scheduled time to blog. I like to call this educated guessing (heck, you could turn it into a game….)
Setting goals will be very important in making sure that you’re using your time to the best of your abilities.
This will do many things for you including:
- Provide Direction
- Provide Motivation
- Greater Clarity For Decision Making
- A path to follow so you don't feel guilty
When setting goals, I love to use the SMART Goals system. It's a acronym which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based.
Let me explain:
Specific: When you set goals for your blog, make them as specific as possible.
For example… This month I want to have 15 blog articles posted. This goal is specific and I know exactly what I want to have done.
Some more examples could be:
- I will increase blog traffic by 100 visitors a month by July 2018. I will do this by adding more posts to my website and advertising each post on 5 different websites. (this is difficult though, you want goals you can control)
- I will make sure that my blog has a product to sell by March 30th.
All these examples tell you exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.
Measurable: Set your goals where they can be easily measured.
There is a great saying: "What is measured, is managed".
Here is an example of my measurable goal: I will be able to see my traffic increase by 100 sessions using Google Analytics and checking on which content is getting the most traffic.
More examples of Measurable Goals:
- I’m going to write 1000 words each day.
- I’m going to create 5 separate images for social media.
When setting Measurable goals make sure that it tells you exactly how much you will be doing it.
Attainable: Set goals that are attainable.
It is true that most people want to aim for the stars (because if you miss, you'll hit the moon, right?). Well this doesn’t work with goals. If you really want to keep progressing, make sure that your goals are actually attainable, to keep grounded in reality.
Some examples of Attainable Goals:
- I'm going to write two posts every week by choosing topics I feel comfortable about writing
- I'll create an opt-in for every post by the end of the month.
Relevant: Make sure that your goal is relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.
The worst thing that can happen is for you to achieve a goal and it not be in the direction you’re wanting. Try to keep your goals relevant and on-point with your long-term vision.
Examples of Relevant Goals:
- I will make $1000 per month from blogging this year.
- I will categorize all of my blog posts as soon as I post them.
Time Based: The final criteria for SMART Goals is to make them time based.
When setting goals, you want to make sure that they will be done within a short amount of time. If not, you'll have no reason to get them done soon... and it'll be easy to procrastinate.
Examples of Time Based Goals:
- I'm going to outline my first article this Wednesday.
- I'm going to finish my free course in February.
Now that you know how to create a great goal, we need to prioritize our day correctly.
Given that you only have a certain amount of time each day to work on your blog, you’ll need to make sure that each thing you do is worth it.
For example… I would want to make sure that I wrote my post before I started working on the aesthetics of my blog. Over 80% of blogs have less than one blog post simply because so many people get caught up designing their blogs and never actually spend time writing and creating content.
When you go to prioritize your to-do list, I suggest opening a Google document and list everything you want to get done for the day or week.
Now number each item 1-5, these numbers will represent the urgency that each tasks need. Studies show that if we focus on more than 3-5 things per day, we start to lose focus and eventually even procrastinate.
This will take some practice at first but after a while you’ll start to understand what is important and what isn’t. Honestly, if you've had the opportunity to actually blog in the past week, but haven't... it's because you haven't PRIORITIZED blogging in your life. You need to make a decision and actually commit to blogging.
3) Start Delegating
As a beginner blogger, you probably want to do everything yourself. And that’s awesome and all, but one of the most important factors of success when it comes to blogging is your efficiency in getting work done.
Sometimes we won’t have the amount of time needed to learn a certain skill or complete a certain task. Other times, it won't be worth the amount of time to learn the skill, or the amount of startup cost to get started. This is where you’ll delegate and pay others to do the task at hand.
This can be great for getting a jump start on your blog and getting ahead.
Here are a few outsourcing website I love to use:
- Fiverr: This is what I would consider the cheaper side of outsourcing. Most of everything is listed at $5 but you can find greater work if you look deeper.
- Upwork: Upwork is great for finding professionals in a certain field, this company requires that every person has a resume. When hiring, you can easily view a freelancers past work.
Delegating is great for making sure that your tasks are being done by a professional. If you need someone who knows what they're doing, or just don't want to do it at all, hiring a freelancer is a great way to save time when blogging.
Though I do recommend that you try and complete what you’re doing at least once before you start delegating. It's very difficult to tell someone how to do something... if you haven't done it before.
Once you start delegating it can increase the growth of your business exponentially, plus all the costs are deductions and reduce your tax bill!
4) Learn to Say No
Like I said before, it can become easy to try and take on everything in your day (or business). Especially in the beginning and intermediate phase, before you learn to outsource, and you're really excited about earning your first dollars!
This is why it’s so crucial that you learn to say no to certain things in your day. This isn’t so much about your blog but your day to day task. One of the best lessons you can learn to manage your time as a blogger better is to simply say "NO" to things that aren't important to you or your vision.
If you find yourself also saying no, you can redirect that to the part of delegating.
Just a couple days ago, I had a request to write for a high domain-authority blog as a guest poster. Yeah, I could certainly get a backlink and it would help the rankings of this website. However, the minimum word count was 3000 words, and the long-term value of that content on my own website was way more. So I had to politely say "No" to that offer.
This will free up more time for your blog and other important tasks.
5) Keep A Notebook Around
As a part time blogger, so many things can happen throughout your day. So many things, in fact... that I recommend keeping a notebook on you.
You’re probably wondering how this will help you free up time? How in the world is holding a notebook going to help you manage your time better? Well, if you're spending valuable time trying to think of what idea popped in your head earlier, you’re distracting yourself and wasting time that could be used elsewhere.
You can get a really cheap notebook from Walmart or your local store. Keep it in your back pocket, and when you get an idea... jot it down for later!
You never know when ideas are going to pop into your head. I keep a notebook on me, and 80% of the time, my blogging post ideas come from that super awesome notebook!
6) Take Breaks
I understand the feeling of wanting to conquer the world and work 24/7. With the rise of philosophies like GaryVee, we want to strive until we're "blue in the face".
Heck, most motivational speeches tell us that if you don’t work hard and constantly, you won’t succeed.
Well, this isn't exactly true. High achievement doesn't mean high success. Though you do want to work hard... you also need to work smart, and working smart means that you need to take breaks.
As a blogger your mind can become really exhausted from the constant stress of writing and running a blog. Writing is a mentally exhausting activity because it requires creativity.
This is why I recommend that you take a break every 45 minutes. This break can be for 15 minutes or 25, just a time where you can give your brain a rest and rejuvenate creativity and work ethic.
If you've never heard of the Pomodoro technique, it's a great time-saving writing technique that could help every blogger!
Breaks also help you:
- Decrease Burnout
- Sends more oxygen to the brain (if you exercise)
- Increases energy
- Improves focus
- And so much more!
All these benefits will help you be more productive and get more out of your day as a blogger.
7) Automate Certain Tasks
The last way you can manage your time as a blogger is to automate tasks that you’re doing manually.
These tasks could include: advertising promotion, article posting, email responses.
When you start automating your tasks you free up time for other parts of your blog.
I started using Tailwind about 2 months ago (since writing this post)... and it's LITERALLY saved me hours of time. I went from posting at 6 in the morning and 10 at night to automating everything with only a couple hours of work each week.
Before I started automating I would spend 3-4 hours a day trying to post at different times of the day for my blog posts. Automating your blog posts using the built-in WordPress dashboard is a great tool to help schedule and organize your posts too!
Automation really saves you time... and is a valuable tool for any blogger.
Running a blog is hard, especially when you have a life outside of it. Maybe you're a parent. Maybe you have a 40+ hour job.
However, it doesn't need to be. I hope the tips I gave you today were able to help you start making more time for your blog. If you have any questions or better tips, leave them in the comment section below!
Before we go let’s recap on everything you’ve learned today.
- Know Your Goals: When you know your goals, you’re able to figure out what needs to be done and when.
- Prioritize: If you want to get the most out of your time, you’ll need to make sure that everything you’re doing is important. This is called prioritization.
- Start Delegating: You’re just one person. If you want to start growing and getting things done for your blog, you’ll need to delegate your small and tedious tasks.
- Learn to Say No: Not everything needs done by you, and not everything deserves your attention. Make sure that you’re saying no to the tasks that are not needed.
- Keep A Notebook Around: It’s easy to come up with ideas when you’re daydreaming. Keep a notebook around so you can record all your ideas.
- Take A Break: Break your work up into 45 minute segments, then rest.
- Automate Tasks: Free up time and use automation as your friend! There are plenty of ways to use automation to build your blog up.
If you found value in today’s article please share it with a friend!