Last week I asked everyone about the biggest blogging battles that they face. It turns out that time management is a huge issue – many people want to blog but just can’t find the time.
This is a pretty big problem.
If you want to run a successful blog but can’t find the time to do any work you’re setting yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun.
Today I’m going to share some strategies that have worked for me over the years in the hope that they give you something to work with.
My own quest to make time for blogging
This is an issue that I’ve faced a lot in my career.
When I first started blogging seriously I was in University studying a business degree and spending most of my time in the computer labs working on blogs instead of assignments. Eventually I sold a blog for $20,000 and dropped out in order to do more blogging.
But then the bills started to pile up and I realised that I needed something to supplement the income that I was making. I then set up a web design agency and used the money I made to fund blogging projects. When that was first gearing up I even worked as a cleaner in the morning just so I had time in the afternoon for my own work.
Over time I started to spend all of my energy working on clients’ projects instead of my own. By the end of the day I didn’t have anything left and as such my own businesses really started to fade.
Something had to change.
It wasn’t until I made the terrifying decision to get rid of all of my clients that my blogging business really started to flourish. It freed up 100% of my time to work on the things that I was passionate about, growing a business that was my own and that I genuinely cared about.
Throughout all of that I’ve picked up a few tips that I think might be useful to some bloggers struggling with similar issues.
Let’s take a look.
How to find more time for blogging
As always, these tips are based on my own experience and so might not work equally as well for you.
It’s very important to weigh up the pros and cons of these types of things to ensure that whatever decision you do make it right for your particular circumstances.
1. Make it a priority
One of the main themes of my little story above was that it didn’t really start to happen for me in a sustainable, well-earning way until I made it a priority.
Yes, it’s going to be scary.
No, you’re not always going to have the support of people who favor traditional jobs.
But if you really want to do it and you are sure it’s a sensible decision (like, don’t quit a job if you have a huge debt and kids to support…) then you need to make a decision about where you want to focus your time.
One of the best examples of this attitude that I’ve seen during my time as a blogger is Joan and Courtney from Man vs Debt. This was not so much a commitment to being a blogger as it was to an ideal that they believed in – being debt free to live a happier life.
By focusing on that purely, they helped a lot of people while getting the attention of some really big names. Man vs Debt is a blog that almost everyone has heard of and even though Joan is retired the website continues to do well.
It all happened by making their goal a priority.
2. Set some concrete timelines
Goals and ambitions are nice but it’s not until you actually put them to a timeframe that you start to see results.
This also helps to relieve some of the anxiety that pops up when you feel guilty about not blogging as much as you “should” be. If it falls within your timeline you can relax and not worry about it too much.
Try setting certain targets that are definitive in nature. For example: I want to reach 1,000 email subscribers by the 30th of June using weekly guest posts and forum promotion.
If you have something measurable you can start to work backwards from where you want to be at the end.
3. Get help for the cheap and time consuming stuff
When I talk to new bloggers one of the things that I notice is that they try to do everything themselves.
The problem with this approach is that 95% of the things they spend time on really don’t add any value to their blog at all. It’s sweating the small stuff.
Try to remember that you aren’t getting into blogging so that you can learn coding, graphic design, web design and so on. Yes, these things are really important but it might be more important to spend your time on strategy, content creation and networking.
So what do you do?
Head over to a website like Freelancer and spend some time learning how to use the site to find workers.
Instead of spending 15 hours tweaking your WordPress theme and changing your fonts just write it all out in a big list, post it as a job and get it done for a few bucks.
Your time is worth a lot more than that.
4. Figure out where and how you work best
Something that has taken me a long time to figure out is that way in which I work most efficiently.
For example, some people love being in a noisy cafe with lots of hustle and bustle around them.
Others prefer to be locked away from the world for hours at a time.
Some people are able to be efficient working in block of 4+ hours while others need to use a Pomodoro-style setup where you work only for short bursts at a time.
That is a really big question to ask, and it’s very important to find the answer. It really can only be solved by observing your routine and seeing where you can make improvements in terms of allocating time or making better use of what you already have.
Close the Reddit tab.
5. Use intensive bursts and then automated schedules
I remember once hearing Darren Rowse say that he was preparing for a holiday and as such had written several weeks worth of material so that the site could work on “autopilot” while he was away.
This is a highly disciplined act, but also a very good idea for people who are short on time and need to figure out how to produce more material with limit hours in the day.
For example, let’s say you are blogging while trying to raise kids – perhaps organize for some family members to look after them for a weekend and just spent the whole time writing and prparing content that you can use over the next coming weeks.
You can easily schedule posts in platforms like WordPress or AWeber and only need to logon to make sure it’s gone out successfully.
This might be a little bit unrealistic (and maybe even insulting coming from someone with no kids…) but the idea is just to find blocks of time to create and then automate as much of the process as possible.
What works for you?
Are you someone who struggles to find time to blog? I’d be really interested to know what holds you back and whether or not you’ve come up with any temporary or permanent solutions. Please leave a comment below and let us know, it might really help someone out!