A few months ago I asked this question on Twitter, “What is the hardest thing about blogging?” The answer was almost unanimous. TIME. Blogging takes a lot of time. Understandably so, there is a lot to do: write posts, create a pin-able image for that post, take and edit pictures for the post, promote, socialize, answer emails and comments… etc.
They say that the best learner is the teacher, and I am hoping that is true with this post, because even I struggle with managing my blog time.
Hopefully this post will help all of us manage our blogging time.
Use a blog calendar
Using a calendar is a great way to help keep your days, weeks, and months organized. There are a lot of great blogging calendars out there (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them) or you can use any planner/calendar you like. I am currently using one I picked up at Target. It is a monthly and daily calendar. On the month calendar, I write my plan for that months posts. On the daily calendars I write my to-do lists for the day. I rarely stick to my blog post calendar, but having a plan helps me stay on track. The daily calendar helps me prioritize my list, and feel accomplished when I get to cross something off the list.
Calendaring is different for everyone, so find a method that works for you and stick with it!
Set a timer
Using a time can help you moderate your activities. There are so many different tasks bloggers need to complete in a day, it can be helpful to hold yourself accountable for your time by setting an alarm. Choose an amount of time you will dedicate to each activity and try to follow that set schedule. Remember to leave yourself adequate time to write quality content.
The #1 activity I use a timer for is social media.
Limit social media
Don’t let social media suck the life out of you.
Promoting your blog and networking through social media is important. But, it can quickly waste all of your time.
Here comes the Harry Potter nerdy side of me.
A dementor is a creature that has the power to “kiss” a person and take their soul. The person will be alive,
“But you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no . . . anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Spending too much time on social media can leave you an empty shell with hardly any work done. Don’t let social medai suck the life out of you! I can crank out more and better content when I limit my social time. It’s hard, but I think we can do it.
In order to manage your social media time, I recommend scheduling your social posts and setting a time limit.
How to schedule your social updates:
Twitter: I use Hootsuite to schedule my twitter status updates. It lets me write the post and then select a time I would like the status to go live.
Facebook: I am using Facebook to schedule my facebook posts. Here’s how:
Write your post and then click the arrow next to post, select schedule post.
A box will pop up for you to select a date and time for when you want your post to go live. You will see the post on your timeline, but your fans will not see it until it is published.
There is some debate online about whether or not using a 3rd party service to schedule posts hurts your visibility in fans’ news feeds. Earlier this year, Facebook announced:
people will see fewer implicit stories from third-party apps in the future. However, people will continue to see interesting and relevant content from third-party apps that their friends have explicitly chosen to share”
To me, that sounds like you will be fine if you choose to use Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your Facebook posts.
Pinterest: Here are my 2 favorite options for scheduling: Viralwoot or Tailwind. (This is an affiliate link. If you purchase a plan through Tailwind, I’ll receive a small commission. No extra cost to you and it helps me fund this blog!)
Viralwoot allows 100 free scheduled pins a month or you can purchase a plan for more pins.
I’ve used the free version of Tailwind for a while to track my Pinterest analytics, but just started my trial for scheduling pins. I really like their pinning calendar. The trial includes $100 free pins. After that you’ll have to upgrade to $9.99/month to continue scheduling pins.
Your turn, how do you manage your blog time?