Blogging takes consistency and planning. You need to know how to manage your time so your posts show up on schedule. Today, Beth Bauer (@JourneyofBethB) offers some advice on time-management specifically for bloggers you’ll find tremendously useful—if you put that advice to use.
How long has it been since you published your last blog post? Did you ever respond to that guest post request that showed up in your email inbox? Where did you put the paperwork your affiliate partner sent you to sign? Did you return that call to your web hosting company?
If you often ask yourself these types of questions, you might be struggling with time management.
As you have probably figured out by now, there’s a lot more to being a blogger than just writing posts. We often forget about or put off doing the other business related tasks necessary to run a successful blog. That’s why bloggers, like you, need critical time-management skills.
Treat Your Blog Like a Business
You may have started your blog as a hobby, but if you’re reading this post, your blog is probably well on its way to becoming a real business. That means it’s time to treat it like one. Start keeping track of your expenses, report your earnings, and get a credit card specifically for your blogging business. These tasks, along with other business basics will save you time and energy in the long run (and short run), so you can focus on the things you enjoy doing the most, like writing.
Searching for a pen, notepad, or trying to find a lost receipt are all energy wasters that are easily prevented by spending a little time getting organized. It doesn’t matter if it’s your home office or your back-pack, finding a place for everything, and always putting it back where it belongs will save you time.
Establish a place for your pens, a notebook, receipts, business cards, bills to pay, essential contact information, passwords, and so on. Bookmark frequently used websites, and organize your saved emails into individual folders. File your photos into subcategories, and make sure you backup everything.
Set a Schedule
Here’s another great time-saving: find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it. Are you most productive in the morning, or are you a night owl? If you’re a morning person, get your work done first thing in the morning. If you are the kind of person that doesn’t come alive until the middle of the night, instead of tossing and turning trying to get to sleep, do your work then. We all have different biological clocks. Listen to yours.
Update and Follow Your Calendar Tasks
Aside from writing for my personal blog, I also have regular clients that expect me to submit assignments to them at certain times of the month. Some articles are due during the first week of the month, and some by the end of the month. I set a reminder on my digital calendar to write and submit the posts one week before they are required so that I don’t forget.
I also have a regular schedule for my own articles and set a reminder to write and post them. Do the same thing for paying your bills, responding to comments, sending out pitches, or anything else that you need to do on a regular basis.
It’s not enough to just enter the tasks into your calendar. You have to be disciplined enough to follow the reminders you set and not procrastinate. Remember, you’re your own boss, so you have to hold yourself accountable. If you find that difficult, find a good accountability partner. It might be a friend or another blogger. Set up regular calls and encourage each other to stay on task.
It’s way too easy to get distracted by scrolling through social media, binging on Netflix, or playing with your dog. All those things can wait until you finish your work. Work first, play second.
Zig Ziglar once said, “When you do the things you have to do, the day will come when you can do the things that you want to do.” If you want to be successful, stay focused, and work before you play.
It’s also a good idea to silence your cell phone, or better yet, turn it off until you have completed your list of daily tasks. Try not to multi-task either, because any other activity may pull your attention away from what you should be doing.
Some days the responsibilities of life and running a blog can feel overwhelming. Don’t let yourself get frustrated with a long to-do list. Tackle that list one task a time. Start with something easy. Once you complete it, you’ll feel more motivated to move onto the next one.
Time management is like anything else. It takes practice, and if you keep trying it will get easier.
Do you have time-management strategies specifically for blogging that work will for you? Tell me in a comment below.
About the Author
Beth Bauer is a freelance writer, travel blogger, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur currently working on her third novel. She has traveled to over 20 countries in just the last two years and enjoys life as a digital nomad. She is originally from the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., and when she’s home lives on the Long Beach Peninsula with her dog, Ozzie.