Guest post from Timo Kiander. Your blogging is taking it’s toll: You are exhausted of publishing on your blog on a daily basis, being active on four social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest), doing guest posting and pumping out content for your e-mail list.
There is just too much to do and the blogging time is taken out of the time with your family. The sheer volume of work is putting stress on you and you feel like quitting. In fact, you come to the conclusion that blogging requires too much work and you don’t enough have time to do it.
Unfortunately the conclusion that you don’t have enough time is perhaps one of the most common blogging-related problems and you know this as well.
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However, if you just hold on a minute, I’ll tell you something which hopefully changes your situation for the better.
With this advice, I’m personally able to grow my blog and my e-mail list even if I have a day job, family and I exercise almost on a daily basis.
You just can’t have it all
I can relate to you very well. When I started blogging, I wanted it all: I wanted to be on every social media platform, I was building backlinks to my blog and I was publishing content (audio/video/text) on a frequent basis.
It wasn’t any wonder that I felt overwhelmed and stressed because of all of this activity.
I also felt that I was the only one who could do the blogging-related tasks the right way. In other words, I was unwilling to let go of work, even if someone else was capable of doing it better and faster than me.
Saying no is difficult
Sure, when someone says he/she doesn’t have time to blog, it might be true. On the other hand, there is always something deeper behind that explanation.
First, are you chasing too many shiny things at once? I was doing this some years ago as well and all it ever did for me was that I spent thousands of dollars for training which was eventually abandoned on my hard drive.
Second, are afraid to say no to an opportunity? If so, this causes you to be everywhere and doing everything – but rarely focusing on anything properly.
You might be doing this because you feel that otherwise the success will pass you by. And you can’t stand the feeling if it happens.
Finally, if you struggle with time, you have to understand the true nature of blogging: It’s never a 100 meter dash; it’s a 100K (or 1,000K) race instead.
You have to commit to it long term. Otherwise you’ll never see the results you hoped for.
Get stuff done – even if you are a part-time blogger
To fix the time issues, you need to change your mindset first.
Decide very carefully what you want out of your blog and in what situation you see yourself in next 5 years: Is it writing a book, doing coaching or giving speeches in seminars?
The next thing is to plan the concrete steps to get where you want to go. Remember that the fewer steps you have to take, the better. This prevents you from going off-track and getting distracted when trying to reach your goal.
Also, break down your goal-related steps into weekly and daily plans. This way you have a clear map to follow every day (and week) and you are always doing those things that you should be doing.
Finally, take time to gather a team around you. This team helps you to reach your blogging goals much faster than what you could do by yourself.
Here’s your blueprint for effective part-time blogging
Here are the steps I personally use to grow my blog, even as a part-time blogger:
1.Know your end goal. To get started with blogging as effectively as possible, sit down for a couple of hours (if needed) and decide what your end goal is going to be.
Write it down in a place where you can see it all the time. Better yet, make the goal as concrete as possible.
For instance, I own a blue bracelet that I ordered from Clay Collins which says: “My list > 10K by 12/31/13).
That way I can remember easily the goal I striving for. In fact, all I need is to touch the bracelet or even see the blue color of it and I’m instantly reminded of my goal.
2.Decide your three core areas to focus on. Once you have the goal, it’s time to get critical: If there is a task on your list, is it really something that supports your end goal?
One of the biggest problems that bloggers have is to have too much on their plate. In reality, only 20% of the stuff is bringing in the true results and the rest of the 80% is just distraction.
In my case, I’m focusing heavily on guest posting to grow my blog and my subscriber numbers. I’m also connecting with other people by interviewing them.
My third focus area is e-mail: I’m spending time on Aweber to create new content for my audience and I’m constantly figuring out new ways to engage with them.
Do the same thing yourself: pick your biggest rocks and put your focus on them. When you do this, you can cut down most of the noise and get the results you want.
3.Slow down your blogging pace. One of the most important things that helped me to improve my focus was to cut down on my blogging pace. So instead of publishing content on a weekly basis, I’m doing that now on bi-weekly basis instead.
This helps me to work on other important blogging projects, which in turn can grow my blog even bigger.
4.Have Sundays for resting and planning. Blogging requires a lot of work and that’s why you have to have off-days as well.
These off-days in my case are on Sundays. I spend more time with my family and less with my computer.
The exception to this rule is planning, as I decide how my blogging week is going to look like. This plan contains the big tasks I want to accomplish on a weekly level.
5. Have a daily task list. I also create a task list on a daily basis – just before going to bed. I make sure that daily lists include those big tasks that I planned in the previous step.
My daily list also contains other tasks, but the big ones get my attention first.
6.Prepare for your tasks in advance. Whatever you do, try to always prepare for your tasks in advance (like outlining a blog post before you write it).
This way you can get started with your task right away and you don’t have to figure out what to do next.
7.Wake up earlier if necessary. To prevent the time loss with my family, I do most of my blogging-related stuff before going to work.
Even if I have to wake up around 5.30 AM every morning, I’m fine with it as this habit helps me to reach my goals at some point.
8.Hire some help. There is no way I could do all the stuff myself. Therefore, I have a team of people I work with who help me to reach my goals easier and faster.
For instance, I have a coach who is giving me guidelines where to go next, a developer/designer for creating new components for my blog or tweaking the user interface, a person doing the proofreading for my written content and maintenance guys for keeping my blog up to date.
When I hand out some of my tasks for someone else, I can focus on just the core areas of my blog and I can make quicker progress this way.
Unfortunately, the lack of time is too often the reason why blogs get abandoned and why the blogging motivation fades away.
However, if you follow the advice I just explained, you could get your motivation and time back. You just have to give this strategy a test drive and see if it works for you.
Over to you: How do you make sure your blogging tasks get done – even if you are a part-time blogger?
Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to improve your blogging productivity, grab his free e-book, 61 Ways for Supercharging Blogging Productivity.
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