How should I manage my blogging time? It's one of the most common questions I get.
My answer? Well, when I'm not busy getting sucked into rabbit holes on the internet (which is more often than I'd like to admit), the following is how it makes sense to me. I wrote about it previously, but I've amended it slightly since.
My approach to managing blogging time is very similar to the general time management system I describe in Tell Your Time.
Step 1: Determine your blogging roles
If you've been blogging for any length of time, you know there is a lot more to blogging than just writing. These roles will vary from person to person and blog to blog, but here are the ones I've created:
- Creator – The biggest part of blogging is creating things, like content.
- Engager – Another big part of blogging is getting involved in the community and building relationships with others.
- Promoter – This is all about spreading good information, whether it's your own or others'.
- Administrator - There are plenty of administrative-y things that have to be done behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.
- Reader – I read a lot to keep up on what's happening in the blogging world and for inspiration.
- Project-Tackler - This is a role that I threw in to cover those bigger projects that don't get done on a routine basis but I don't want to fall through the cracks either. (You might think of this as the "Dreamer" role I talked about in Tell Your Time.)
Step 2: Specify 3-5 goals for each of your roles
As you'll see, a lot of these overlap some, but here's the basic idea.
- Creator - This might include writing posts, recording podcasts, making videos, taking/editing photos, or creating any other kind of content. If you're a DIY blogger, food blogger or something similar, it might also include completing the projects you'll eventually post about, like decorating or crafting projects, cooking recipes, etc.
- Engager - For me, this is answering emails, commenting on other blogs, posting on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
- Administrator - These tasks would be tweaking your site, checking your calendar or to do lists, backing up your site, dealing with advertisers, keeping track of your finances, etc.
- Promoter - This is promoting your new content, recycling your older, evergreen content, promoting the content of others, etc.
- Reader - There are a few main places I keep things to read–my Kindle, Google Reader and Pocket.
- Project-Tackler - This might be a writing an ebook, starting another blog, preparing for speaking engagements, 15 minutes of something, putting together a webinar or just learning something new.
Step 3: Set a block of time for each of those roles & goals
First, decide when and how long each day you will devote to blogging. You might decide on an amount each day or an amount for the week.
Next, break down the goals you created in Step 2 in to smaller chunks of time. You'll have to decide what percentage of time you'll devote to each task you need to complete. I'd recommend you spend the bulk of your time creating and then fill the rest in around that. After all, you won't have a blog if you don't have anything to put out there.
To start, I'd say, spend 50% of your allotted blogging time creating and then split the rest of the time among the rest. Some trial and error and experimentation will be necessary here. Tweak the numbers as you go along and as you figure out what works. But the main point is to deliberately spend time on each of your roles so nothing falls through the cracks.
A few tips:
- Group like tasks together for greatest efficiency. For example, set a time and plow through your email inbox at once instead of checking it multiple times a day.
- Take into account what times of the day you are most likely to get the most done in each role. For example, I'm more productive if I write in the morning and read at night than if I do it the other way around.
- Schedule frequent breaks.
- Think outside the box. As soon as I said writing is better for me to do in the morning, I wondered if that's really true. One thing I have noticed about myself is that I'm a lot less perfectionistic in the evenings when I'm a bit tired, so I wonder if writing in the evenings would work better. Hmmm. Interesting thought.
Step 4: Execute
This is pretty self-explanatory. You just gotta do it.
If you're like me and you find it hard to stay on task, you might be interested in some of the other posts I've written in an effort to help myself. I came up with 20 hard questions designed to help me figure out if I have blogging balance (read those at your own risk). I seem to be a master at sabotaging my blog (and my life). I've noted what I avoid and how I avoid it and as my husband pointed out a while back, I constantly underestimate how long something is going to take me.
Further reading and some handy tools:
- Pocket - I love this app. Love it.
- 30/30 - This is a free app I downloaded the other day that I think will work beautifully. The interface is beautiful and it allows you set a task list and assign a time to each of the items on the list. So, I'm thinking it would be perfect for social media. Let's say you want to limit yourself to 15 minutes per day on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. you'd create a task list with those three items on it, set each to 15 minutes and you'll be alerted when time is up.
- 12 Blog Organization Tips
- How to schedule a post in WordPress
- How to Create a Weekly Schedule Using Google Calendar - Of course you could use the same technique I described in that video to schedule your blogging time too.
- All my posts about Productivity & Organization
- Tell Your Time - My ebook about time management for all of life in which you can read more about my approach.
Other posts in this series
- 7 Principles to Live By in 2013
- How I Deal with New Year's Resolutions
- How to Create a Weekly Schedule Using Google Calendar
- 4 Steps to Better Blogging Time Management