Ah, time. There never does seem to be quite enough hours in the day to get everything you want to be done. This is even more apparent when if you are a working parent, especially when you also run (or are thinking about starting) a blog.
This apparent lack of time puts a lot of people off blogging entirely and I can understand why.
However, there are a LOT of things that you can do to save time when blogging and make things that little bit easier for yourself.
That’s why I thought I’d put together a quick list of some time-saving tips that you can use yourself, I know these tips certainly help me.
1. Make A Writing Schedule
At the end of the day, blogging is all about writing.
There is a lot more that goes into blogging as a whole, (i.e. social media, email marketing, etc.) but you always need to spend some quality time writing content in order to get people to visit and read your blog on a regular basis.
In order to make the most of your time you really need to think about making a writing schedule for yourself.
If you can find half an hour every weekday after the kids have gone to bed, or an hour on Tuesday/Thursday morning before anyone wakes up, or instead of watching that awful TV show (or whatever time you can fit into your already busy schedule) then you can spend some dedicated time writing.
I find that I am much more productive when I know that I have an hour’s slot on X day at X time, instead of trying to get a post written in 5-10 minute chunks throughout the week when I can find a bit of time.
However busy you are during the week, you can always find an hour or two that you can dedicate to simply just writing.
The important part, of course, is to stick to that schedule when you have made it, which brings me nicely to my next point.
2. Get Rid Of Distractions
Let’s be honest, distractions can be a nightmare when you need to get something done. Something as simple as just uploading and publishing your post that you wrote the night before can take forever when the dog is barking, the TV is on, the phone is ringing and the kids are “playing” whilst managing to make a huge mess in the process.
A 5-minute task can take an hour or more, or worse, be put off until later, which let’s be honest could end up being tomorrow, next week, or next month.
There are people out there that can work perfectly well with everything going on around them.
Me? I just cannot do that and find that I work much better when I can remove myself from as many distractions as I can.
This is one of the reasons I like to get writing just after my daughter has gone to bed. I am much more productive in that hour, to an hour and a half, than I am during the day with everything going on around me.
Distractions can come in the form of many things, however. As easy as it is to get distracted by life itself going on around you during the day, we can be our own worst nightmare by choosing to divide our attention between too many things at once.
Social media is a prime example of this. Too often I used to sit down for a “dedicated writing session” for an hour or so, only to find that I had wasted that time on Twitter or Facebook.
Yes, this may have been “blogging” related to social media that I was doing, but still, I had failed to get any proper writing done. Now, I always make sure that I turn off my social media, email, skype, and my phone before I start writing, otherwise, I’ll never get anything done.
3. The “Social Media Coffee Break”
As much as I hate social media for distracting me when I need to get something important done, it is important for helping to spread the word and market your blog to new people.
The great thing about social media is that you can just drop in and out of it when you can and do it a little bit often.
This is when I like to do the “social media coffee break” when I can just sit down with a coffee (or a cup of green tea in my case) and just spend 5-10 minutes on Twitter or Google+.
This allows me to retweet a link to my latest post(s), catch up on any messages I may have gotten, and perhaps share a few links that I think my followers may like.
As soon as I finish my drink, the phone/laptop gets turned off and goes back to doing whatever I was doing.
Now, whilst I have called this section the “social media coffee break”, it can really apply to any 5-10 minute break you can get (I should probably have come up with a better name). For example;
- Sat in the car waiting for the kids to come out of school,
- When in the car (not whilst driving though!),
- Waiting for an appointment with the Doctor/Dentist/Optician, etc.
- An ad break during your favorite show,
- …and so on.
When you think about it there are plenty of opportunities during the day to go on social media that won’t actually eat into any schedule you have.
4. Note Down Your Blog Post Ideas
I don’t know about you but I find that one of the hardest, and probably most time-consuming parts of blog writing is coming up with a good topic to write about in the first place.
Time can seem to fly by when you are staring at that blinking cursor on your open, completely empty, white word document.
The easiest way to solve this and save yourself a heap of time in the process is to simply make a note of any ideas when you get them.
I often find that I get my best ideas at the weirdest times. I can be wandering around the fruit and veg section of the supermarket, pick up cauliflower and think “Hmm, Pinterest would be a good topic for a post”, or be halfway through watching an episode of Masterchef when “Oh, I should write a tutorial on SEO” will pop into my head.
Why I get these ideas at bizarre (strangely food orientated?!?!) times I do not know, but that is how I seem to work.
Getting into the habit of making a note of these ideas on my phone when I get them has literally saved me countless hours. Before, I could lose a whole night’s work just trying to come up with a decent idea.
So, there you go, four very simple yet effective time-saving tips that have helped me with my blogging. Absolutely anyone can get into blogging if they put their mind to it.
As hectic as our lives seem to be, there is always a way to find time for things if you are a bit more “time savvy” and organized.
Now pass me that pineapple, I feel an idea coming on.
What time-saving tips do you use? Do you use any of the tips that I have mentioned?
Please leave a comment below.