It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. The series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like. What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
Finding time to blog is always a struggle, especially when blogging is a hobby as opposed to your full-time job. We all know that when life gets busy, hobbies are often the first casualties.
And when blogging is your profession, finding time becomes a whole different type of struggle as you juggle all the aspects of running a full-time business and all the administration and marketing that goes along with that.
1. Schedule It
One of the easiest ways to find time, whether you blog for a living or as a hobby, is to schedule it.
If you’re a hobby blogger and blogging is your creative outlet then it is important that you make time. We all need time for ourselves. Whether it’s an hour or eight or 20 hours, put it in your calendar just like you would a dentist appointment or a workout.
If you blog for your living then it’s important to be organized; plan days for writing, recipe development and testing, and photography. Get an editorial calendar sorted out. Batching your activities and working in blocks of times (even short blocks of time!) can help you be more productive.
2. Keep a List of Small Tasks On Hand
Keeping a running list of small tasks on hand is a great way to get a lot done in very short increments. Things like updating plug-ins, replying to emails, editing your about page, scheduling social media, and filing receipts are all tasks that can be done in five- and 10-minute increments while you're waiting for the oven to heat up or waiting for cookies to cool. Never underestimate how much you can get done in 10 minutes.
3. Scale Back
Nobody says you have to blog seven or five days a week. You can still blog well and be successful with a less frequent posting schedule. This is especially true once you’ve built up a good base of evergreen content that will work hard for you even if you scale back.
Remember that quality is far more important that quantity. Don’t drive yourself to distraction by trying to churn out content — especially if it means you’re dialing it in and producing mediocre or generic content. Your audience will notice and you'll feel stressed, uninspired and creatively burnt out. And, you’ll fall out of love with your blog. High quality content, posted once a week, will do just as well, if not better, than five days of low quality content.
4. Hire Somebody
There comes a time when you work for yourself where you hit a point where you can’t grow without more hours in the day. So how do you get more hours? You need to hire somebody!
Consider hiring a VA (virtual assistant), an intern, or even one of your kids! They can all help you by taking smaller, administrative tasks off your plate, like social media scheduling, editing, photography, design, bookkeeping and even managing your email (in other words, that list of stuff you hate that you made back on Day 1).
There's a wide spectrum of VAs available. Some generalize and can help you with everything. Others only do specific tasks like social media or content editing. And they’re usually not looking for full-time work, so you can hire them for an hour or two a month or four or five hours a week, which can make them work even for those of you who don’t blog for a living.
5. Find Tools That Can Help
There are so many tools out there than can help you streamline your workflow: social media schedulers, cataloguing tools for your photos, editorial calendar plug-ins for your blog, photo editing software on your phone and so much more. Find ones that work for you and implement them.
6. Evaluate What’s Important in Your Life
“Nobody has time. They make time.”
I don’t know who that quote belongs to but it’s true. Everyone is busy. And we make time for what’s important for us: family, friends, activities we love. Be critical of how you spend your time. Is surfing Facebook for an hour important? Netflix?
We all need downtime but we also all waste a lot of time on unproductive activities. Channel that energy you waste on unproductive activities into creative time for your blog!
Finding time is always a struggle but thinking about it in chunks, big and small, will help you squeeze in more of the things you love!