This is a guest post by Timo Kiander.
When you started blogging, it used to be fun and exciting: You were writing posts, connecting with other bloggers and finding new and exciting blogs to comment on.
Even today if blogging is still fun, there is one doubt that has crossed your mind many times: You donâ€™t have time to do anything else except to just write blog posts.
Although you love writing posts, you have also realized that youâ€™ll need to do something else in order to grow your blog.
This â€œsomething elseâ€ could be the Amazon Kindle book that youâ€™d like to write, the new e-mail newsletter that you have been thinking of creating for your list or a new lead magnet and a landing page, that would increase the conversions and the number of subscribers.
Letâ€™s face it: Your hands are tied and until you make some drastic changes to your blogging routines, things are going to be the same.
However, if you are just willing to stick around for a moment, Iâ€™ll have some good news for you!
Did the workload come to you as a surprise?
When you started your blogging, you were excited. Heck, I even remember the time when I started writing blog posts and it sure was fun.
However, what you have probably realized by now is that blogging takes a lot of time and effort in order to do it properly. In fact, you could even consider writing a blog post as a â€œmini-projectâ€ itself, as it has many steps until a post is transformed from an idea to a published piece of content.
Especially if you keep publishing posts many times per week, you will be writing a lot for your own blog. Itâ€™s no wonder that you might feel stressed, since you just donâ€™t have time to do anything else except to focus on your blog posts.
At the same time, the number of exciting projects is increasing all the time and you have lots of great ideas for growing your blog.
The question is, how do you find time to do that if your focus is on the blog posts?
Focusing on the wrong end of blogging.
You are a blogger and you write blog posts. The more stuff you write for your blog, the more successful your blog will become, right?
I canâ€™t remember how many times I have heard this statement myself and I used to believe in it too. In fact, at some point I started to think: â€œThis advice doesnâ€™t make any sense. Sure, it could work for those who are full-time bloggers already, but what about the rest of us? We, who have day jobs and families – how are we going to find time for the other blogging stuff?â€
Another thing that might surprise you is the true nature of blogging: Itâ€™s a long-term thing – especially if you want to turn your blog into something successful. This means that youâ€™ll have to work on stuff that goes beyond just writing blog posts.
Unfortunately, if you didnâ€™t expect this, so at some point youâ€™ll start struggling as you donâ€™t have any balance between the projects and writing posts.
However, what Iâ€™m telling you next could potentially transform your blogging. It could also guarantee you more time with other stuff as well – like those blogging projects that grow your blog bigger and improve the likelihood of your success later on.
The solution that you didnâ€™t expect.
What Iâ€™m going to present here might be a bit unconventional, but Iâ€™ll have to tell you that this stuff works as I have been experiencing it myself.
First of all, slow down your blogging pace. If you are writing many posts per week, then decide to slow it down considerably.
The fact is that the more you write for your own blog, the less you have time to focus on the important projects you have – the ones you need to do in order grow your blog even bigger.
Second, use a task management software to mark down all of your tasks and projects. This helps you to see the amount of work you are currently doing with your blog.
Third, go through the list in your task management software and figure out exactly what the tasks are that you can outsource or otherwise automate. This will reduce your workload quite a bit.
Finally, change your working methods. Especially, you need to take advantage of working in bursts and work during the quiet times in your home.
So how does this plan sound? Do you think itâ€™s impossible to implement it or are you very excited about it?
Finding time for blogging projects – step-by-step.
The following steps lay out the details of the process I just discussed.
1. Define your new pace. As I mentioned, you should slow down your blogging pace. For instance, I dropped my pace from writing two posts per week (8 posts per month) to writing only two posts on a biweekly basis (4 posts per month).
This gave me more breathing room and ability to focus on other stuff than just blogging on my own blog. It also gave me the opportunity to define my blogging weeks and project weeks.
When I started to write all the posts for the month at once (the first week of every month), I had a solid 3 weeks of time to focus on other stuff instead.
2. Get a task management software. There are a lot of task management tools out there and the one Iâ€™m currently using is Nozbe. There are also free tools like Wunderlist, which can take care of the same role as Nozbe: manage your tasks.
The reason why having a task list manager is so eye opening is that it helps you to see all the tasks that you are currently doing. It also helps you to see those redundant and repeating tasks that eat up your time.
3. Find out the tasks you could outsource. Go through the tasks in your task management software and mark down the ones that could be automated by software or outsourced by someone else.
For instance, Iâ€™m automating my Twitter following process by using TweetAdder or enhancing my Twitter experience with HootSuite.
At the same time, I use a service called Efficise, which enables me to outsource my repeating (and boring) blogging tasks easily.
For instance, my plugins are all kept up-to-date by a Efficise-based Virtual Assistant and Iâ€™m planning to have other tasks outsourced through them as well (blog research, social media updates, blog posts installations â€¦).
Finally, you can always ask your family members or your friends if they are willing to help you out. For instance, my wife used to proofread my blog posts and she has been holding the video camera for a couple of my videos that I have published on my blog.
4. Improve your working methods. I have found out that working in bursts is a great way to get work done.
What this means, for example, is that in in 1.5 hoursâ€™ time, Iâ€™m able to cross as many tasks off my list as possible. These tasks could be related to your blogging projects and when you work like this, youâ€™ll most likely make big progress in a short period of time.
When you decide to work in bursts, youâ€™ll just have to plan the stuff you are about to do in advance. Also, itâ€™s worth noting that the tasks should be somewhat easy to do within that time block and you should have at least some kind of idea on how to execute them.
However, if you are focused too much on the thinking part, then the amount of progress might be less than what you hoped for (like, what would be a great product for my audience or any other huge thing like that).
Also, make sure that you have a distraction-free environment. This maximizes your working time during the bursts.
I work during the early morning hours (I wake up between 05.00 – 05.30 AM). This ensures that I have some quiet time to work before my family wakes up.
At some point, youâ€™ll realize that you want to focus more on other stuff than just writing the posts and thatâ€™s when youâ€™ll start to experience the lack of time.
With these tips, I hope that I was able to give you some ideas for turning that next project of yours into reality – by shifting your focus a bit.
Over to you: How do you make sure you find time for your blogging projects?