Does this sound familiar? You started your blog like you were on fire. Everything was new and exciting. Your passion for your topic was driving you, so the ideas and blog posts were just pouring out. Writing seemed effortless.
But life always has a way of catching up. Your 9-to-5 job got busier, it was exam season at college, or your friends and family just needed more attention. Suddenly, your blog got put aside, and it became harder and harder to find time to write posts and promote your site.
Should you just abandon your blog because it does not seem to fit into your already busy life? Or can you find a way to make it work with the help of best practices that have supported successful bloggers all over the world? We’d suggest the latter. This fourth installment of our ‘Better Blogging’ series is focused on helping you find time to blog.
(If you’ve missed our last post about finding fresh ideas for blog topics, check it out here.)
7 practical tips for busy bloggers
The truth is, you can fit anything into your life if you make it a big enough priority. The first thing to do when you are struggling with finding time to blog is to consciously decide that blogging is important to you. Remember why you started your blog in the first place. Only when you are certain that you want blogging to be a part of your life can the following tips really help you.
1. Be realistic about your time
Many bloggers set very high expectations for themselves. They ideally want to post five times a week, but then beat themselves up when they can’t reach this target. Our recommendation is to take a hard look at how much time you can realistically spend on blogging each week. Find a schedule that you’re comfortable with. It’s absolutely OK to post once a week or even once every two weeks if that’s a frequency that you can maintain without straining yourself. This will make a huge difference to your frame of mind.
2. Plan ahead
If you have to decide what exactly you’ll do every time you sit down to work on your blog, then you likely won’t be very productive. Proper planning is key when you have limited time. As a start, make a list of all the tasks that are involved in growing your blog. For example:
- Coming up with ideas for blog posts
- Writing the content
- Finding pictures to accompany your posts
- Publishing posts
- Promoting your blog posts on social media
- Responding to comments
Then, schedule these tasks into your calendar. You might plan some jobs for the same time each week or each month. Other tasks might be more ad hoc. The important thing is that you know what you will work on when. Additionally, you can implement an editorial calendar to keep track of your ideas and to lay out the next couple of weeks of blog topics.
3. Break up tasks into small chunks
Have you ever wanted to tackle an ambitious project, but the sheer size of the task made it seem insurmountable? Thinking of everything that needs to get done can be paralyzing. Our tip is to break up big jobs into bite-sized chunks that you can manage easily. Checking off each step as you move forward will give you a feeling of accomplishment and keep you motivated. You will be surprised how much you can get done by working through many small tasks consistently.
4. Find time everywhere
If you are waiting until you have a solid couple of hours of free time to write an entire blog post from start to finish, then you might never get it done. But, you can find small chunks of time here and there to move your blogging tasks forward. Sitting in traffic? Brainstorm some new topic ideas. Waiting at the doctor’s office? Write a quick outline for an article on your phone. There are more opportunities than you think in your daily life that you can turn into productive moments.
5. Don’t multitask – Focus!
You’ve finally found the time to sit down and get words on the page. But then your phone buzzes, a little icon announces that you have 12 unread emails, and the dirty dishes in the sink are calling your name. Sometimes it seems impossible to focus. However, switching between tasks constantly only makes you feel like you are being productive. In reality, you aren’t getting as much done as you think. The solution: Force yourself to work on one task at a time!
Here are some extra tips for sustaining focus while working:
- Get chores and other distracting tasks out of the way.
- Close all browser tabs and programs besides the one you need to write.
- Turn off all notifications or go completely offline.
- Write in fullscreen mode.
- If you can’t focus at home, find a cafe or library where you can work in peace.
6. Automate or delegate tasks
If you are struggling to keep up with blogging tasks, then it’s time to assess what you could automate or delegate. There is an abundance of automation tools out there to make your life easier. For example, with social media management tools like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule your social posts all at once in advance. Delegation is great for any tasks that you want off your plate or can’t wrap your head around, like the technical aspects of your blog. Engaging a virtual assistant could free up a lot of time.
7. Invite guest bloggers
Who said that you could only publish your own writing on your blog? Get a helping hand from other bloggers now and then. It has advantages for both of you when they contribute their work to your blog. The guest blogger will receive exposure to your audience and raise their profile. At the same time, you can keep up your content schedule when you are too busy to write.
The world needs you
With everything going on in your life, it can be so hard to find the time to write and grow a blog. But it pays off! Remember that you can make a real difference to people’s lives by sharing your unique experience and expertise. Your blog has the potential to help others and have a positive impact on the world. That’s why we believe it’s well worth dedicating time to blogging.