Blogging on a busy schedule – the truth.
I love every part of having a blog.
I love writing blog posts, I love that I helped some people with my tips, I love meeting awesome bloggers.
I love that I got some decent early results. I lovee that it helped me to know myself better and that I’ve found something to do that I enjoy doing and it’s productive and good at the same time.
But, I haven’t published a single blog post in over 2 months. (Yeah, I’m surprised it’s been so long as well.)
How come, you ask?
Well, to answer that, let me give you my honest opinion, from my own experience, on what it is really like to maintain a quality blog, on a very busy schedule.
The truth about running a blog on a busy schedule.
I haven’t posted a blog post or a single social media update on my blog in over 2 months, even though I love doing it. It pains me to say it, I wish I did post more, but it is what it is.
It got me to thinking – how come I haven’t done it, even though I love doing it and I see a lot of benefits in it?
Quickly, I saw the correlation to working out – we all know it’s good for us, we all feel better after we do it, we know it’s good for our future … but we often don’t do it. I should know – I used to be OBSESSED with working out – I worked out on a daily basis, for a couple of hours, every single day. And I looked better, I felt better and healthier, all that good stuff.
But, as life happens, I started skipping my workouts, because you know – I got a new job that required a lot of time and energy, I was finishing my education degree, I got into a relationship, and so on and so forth. Forward a couple of years later, and it’s currently a great week for me if I find time to workout once, for like 15-minutes.
Something similar happened with my blog – I started the blog, loved it, worked on it daily, then … life happened again – I started my own company, which requires a lot more than 8-hours of work daily out of me, I am working on renovating a house with my girlfriend in the free time, so on and so forth – and guess what – weeks and weeks go by without looking at my blog.
Why did the same thing happen to me with two things that I love doing and I know are very good for me?
The answer to me is very obvious:
IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES!
Pretty much all adults have more things to do every day than they have time for, do you agree? I’m currently on the extreme-ish side of that, and I struggle to find time for a lot of things.
And while I know that blogging is good for me, that I will enjoy doing it – I simply didn’t put it on top of my priorities list lately. Intentionally or unintentionally, that’s the truth.
Having a new company and a couple of other important things in my life, I simply couldn’t find the time – or to put it more accurately, I didn’t decide to allocate time – to writing my blog. And I just wanted to talk about this – because I know that there are a lot of busy people out there that are running a blog or want to run a blog.
And quite frankly, it’s hard. With all of the “urgent” things that we have in life, it’s very easy to find a legit reason to put aside our hobbies, our side projects, our passion projects – like blogging and working out. It’s a challenge to take the time out of your day to put everything else aside and work on your passion when you have so many other things pressuring you.
We all have a limited amount of time on our hand and we decide to use it for the activities that we decide are the most important for us/are the most urgent.
- I have to finish this task until tomorrow or the client will be disappointed.
- I have to put all my energy into my company for the first year, or it will never be successful.
- If I don’t prepare this presentation this week, the potential client might choose to work with someone else.
- My boss wants this to be done today, I guess I will have to stay in the office for a couple of hours longer today.
- I’m tired, I’ll rather go watch a movie with my partner.
- I haven’t seen my family in weeks, I’ll go visit them today.
- It’s Sunday, I worked the entire week like crazy, I just want to relax today.
- **insert any of the other billion legitimate reasons to not choose to allocate time to your passion project**
These are all 100000 % fair and reasonable … reasons (oh wow, what a sentence) to skip your time for working on your blog/workout/whatever is your passion projects/hobby. And honestly, I’m not here to lecture you or to tell you that this is wrong. It’s okay to have other priorities. You prioritized them for a reason. But for me, I don’t want to just give up on blogging. At the very least, I want to post on a monthly basis on my blog and on a weekly basis on my social media.
So … what to do about it?
HOW TO RUN A BLOG ON A BUSY SCHEDULE!
I’ve obviously been thinking, reading, and researching about how I can maintain working on my blog while running my company and all the other things that I want to do. And I decided to do some things about this (that’s why I’m here, writing this blog post and just worked out an hour ago :))) ).
So, I think that there are a couple of obvious things that everyone can do to maintain their blog. Here are a couple of ideas that I will be practicing, and that might give you some ideas for yourself if you’re in the same boat.
1. Put blogging into your daily/weekly routine
You probably have some kind of a daily routine. If not, you probably should. And that’s the one thing I’ve been struggling about a lot – lately, I have been all over the place – every day was a bit different, in terms of where I was working, what I was working on, when was I working, etc.
And having a routine helps A TON for personal and professional success.
There have been a lot of studies regarding this. Here’s a fantastic video illustrating the power of routines/habits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxy8dDSHHaw
That’s why I will incorporate my blog into my daily/weekly routine.
How? Good question. My preferred time for having a specific routine is early in the morning. That’s why I will put it into my morning routine, which will look something like this:
- Wake up.
- Do some stretching, 5-10 minutes.
- Meditate for 5-10 minutes.
- Write down my goals for the day/week.
- Take a cold shower.
- Make some tea and work for 15-minutes on the blog.
This way, I will think about my blog every day, and I will probably have a lot of ideas for the blog during each day, so when the time will come for working on my blog, I will be ready to write/post, since I’ll be thinking about everything beforehand. Not only that, the first hours of the day are by far the most efficient, at least for me. So, even though it sounds like a tiny amount of time, I think that it will make a great difference in the long term.
It equals to about 7.5 hours of blogging per month, which is not a lot, that’s for sure, but it’s still enough to keep my social media updated and post at least once a month. And I do believe, that if I’ll be working on my blog every morning, I’ll squeeze in a couple of more minutes for blogging here and there – since I’ll be actively thinking about it every day.
2. Remember why you have a blog and set your priorities
Hopefully, your source of motivation for running a blog isn’t only to make money, but also something like … helping others, personal growth, improving your thinking and writing skills, etc.
Whatever your WHY is, that will be the biggest source of motivation for you to keep working on your blog. That’s why you need to take a step back, from time to time, and think about why you are doing this.
It’s great if you have these reasons written down so that you can read them from time to time. I specifically wrote my first blog post for that reason – 10 reasons for starting a blog – where I talk about what are the best benefits and the best reasons to have a blog – https://trytoblog.com/digital-marketing/blogging/why-you-should-start-a-blog-and-why-i-decided-to-launch-a-blog/
Just by going through this post, I remind myself of the bigger picture – that I started this to help the others and to grow personally and professionally. That alone already gives me a lot of motivation to continue working on it and put it higher on my priorities list.
3. Stay consistent
Similar to my first point – having a routine – it’s also very important and beneficial for you, to be consistent about your blogging – about when you will work on your blog, how often, etc.
The main reason for that is, that there will never be times like I just had – when you do nothing for a week or so – this can very quickly turn into months.
But if I decide that I work on it every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, this can’t happen, since I will have a reserved timeframe in my schedule for it and will hold myself accountable to stick to the plan.
So, again, it’s a really smart thing to put blogging on your schedule. There are even many amazing and free blogging schedules/calendars, which can help you with putting together an efficient blogging schedule. Here’s one that I suggest you to check out, from Cath from thecontentbug.com: thecontentbug.com/2017/03/14/how-to-blogging-editorial-calendar/
4. Set realistic goals
Continuing with the theme of holding yourself accountable to your plan and to your goals – you should also have your blogging goals.
They can come in any different form:
a) you can set your goal for how many monthly visitors you want to get to your blog,
b) you can set a goal for how many posts you want to publish,
c) you can set a goal for how many followers you want to get,
d) you can set a goal for how much money you want to make with your blog.
Me personally, I’m still deciding about what goals I want to set for myself, in terms of results.
But since my biggest problem is the content creation, my main goal will be to publish at least 20 new blog posts this year. I think it’s a decent goal, which will force me to stay consistent and post much more than lately and to always have some fresh content on my blog.
So, what’s your goal for 2018? Let me know in the comment section, I’d love to discuss it with you!
5. Outsource what you can
Since this is a blog post about blogging on a busy schedule, I’ll assume that your biggest challenge with running a blog, is time. Well, one way to fix this is to somehow allocate more time for blogging, which we discuss in the previous points.
But the other way of getting past that challenge is to stop trying to do everything by yourself and find some ways where other people can help you. Let me give you a couple of ideas:
- Instead of designing your own photos, find a designer (even on Fiverr or something like that, if you don’t know anyone else personally), and only focus on writing. Having a couple of cover photos designed for your blog, definitely won’t cost you that much, but can quickly save you precious minutes, that you can use for other things, that you can’t outsource.
- Accept guest posts – depending on your goals and the topic of your blog, you might want to consider accepting guest posts. That way, a part of the content creation will be put off your shoulders. This is a slippery slope, of course – you will still need to find a good writer, curate the content very carefully, post it on your blog, share and distribute it, etc. But as long as you find reliable writers, it can really help you out. I’m also thinking about this solution myself.
- You can also consider looking for help with social media – look for virtual assistants and social media managers. If you can afford it, you can simply tell them what you want to post about, give them a couple of pointers, and your social media accounts will always be updated and alive.An idea that helped me out – I paid about 15$ to a designer/social media manager, to put together 100 quotes, related to digital marketing, and put them on Instagram-ready pictures. That way, I can just choose a quote with the image, post it on Instagram, add a caption, and I’m done – a big time saver!
To recap – it’s not easy to keep working on a blog while being busy with others, “more urgent” things. It’s much harder than it seems.
That’s why you need to consciously work on prioritizing your blog, and setting aside a time for it, that you won’t reschedule, no matter (almost) anything.
Set your goals, and hold yourself accountable, to see them through.
Try to have a routine and stay consistent with your blogging schedule.
And remember that you don’t need to do everything by yourself. There might be some things that you can pay others to do, or maybe you even have some friends, that will help you out for free.
Do you have any tips that help you with maintaining your blogging schedule? Let me know because it could really help me right now!
So. Let’s do our best, take some of the things above into consideration, and do our best.
I’ll do the same. We’ll see.