Let’s not beat around the bush. Building a blog is hard. Not everybody talks about it because everybody wants everyone else to think that their blog became an overnight success, because their content is just that fabulous and their blog is just that beautiful. Sadly for most of us, we need to put in the hours and the love to make our blogs a success and guess what? There is no shame in that. In fact, building your blog in the “slow and steady” way could even be a more successful strategy for you in the long run.
If you have been blogging for only a short time, and you create one “viral” content piece, you may not be able to fully capitalize on that traffic. If you don’t have a lot of content for your readers to browse or an easy to implement email capture strategy (to build your subscribers) all that traffic could be a complete loss to you- and we don’t want that.
Starting slow and steady with some small (but solid) wins for the first few months I have found to be a great strategy for me. After a few months of just focusing on building content I was happy with how my blog was looking and I really wanted to ramp up.
Well, I wanted to, but I didn’t have time to make it happen. Or so I thought.
I had a look at where I was spending my time.
I work full time at a job that demands my attention 24/7 if need be. I’m a social media manager for a big global brand, so if something “comes up” (which it inevitably does) I need to be there to manage it.
Outside of my full time work hours (8:30 to 5pm) I don’t need to jump online all that often, but would probably spend a couple of extra hours a month working from home.
OK so assuming you (mentally) include work from Monday to Friday and consider an extra 20/30 mins on the weekend, here is what my schedule looked like:
(Psst. If you want this planner plus a 2016 calendar, you can download it completely free here)
So here’s what I found:
- I spent a LOT of my spare time on YouTube/ Netflix (actually bordering on addiction…)
- I had a commute to work where I didn’t really do anything productive (just read a few articles and caught up on social media)
- I woke up at 7, had breakfast and then had to get ready and leave the house by 7:50 am
My goal was to dedicate 2 hours to my blog every day (without affecting any of my work) so I thought about where I could save time and what I could do to “create” an extra 2 hours every day, without completely giving up on my favourite thing (YouTube and Netflix) entirely!
Here are the changes I made:
- I wake up an hour earlier every morning now. Between 6:00 am and 7:15 am I make my breakfast and coffee and sit on my balcony with my laptop. I will do mostly blog admin, promote articles and comment on my favourite blog posts
- 7:15 am until 7:50 I watch/listen to YouTube or Netflix while doing my makeup and straightening my hair (I can’t completely say goodbye to it! I just wanted to find a more productive way to incorporate it into my schedule, and reduce the total time spent on it). #MultiTasking
- 7:50 am I enjoy my beautiful walk to the ferry and once on the ferry, get to writing a blog post on my phone (I wrote most of this post in the one 2 stop commute)!
- If I’m not working through lunch, I’ll check in with a few blog stats in my lunch break. Will reply to some comments. Post in some Facebook Groups.
- I usually keep writing on my commute home. I honestly find that I am so insanely productive while writing on the commute on my phone – and I worked out why. No distractions!
- When I arrive home at around 6ish, I put on YouTube or Netflix while cooking and eating. Then when I finish eating, I get right back to blogging or generally just being more productive (admin, outreach etc.).
I know it’s one thing to make the recommendation to find the time and quite another to see whether this restructure of priorities actually effected any change in my blog (after all the proof is in the pudding) so I wanted to share with you the results I have achieved since finding and committing to dedicate this extra time to my blogging activities.
After 1 month of dedicating at least 2 hours every day to my blog:
- I have increased my blog traffic from 30 visits per day to 220 visits per day (it’s still early days, but now I’m well on my way to my goal of cracking 10k per month and it’s so exciting to see such a huge increase in such a short amount of time)
- I tripled by email subscriber list (and increased the conversion rate of visitors to my website by 17.00%)
- I increased by blog comments (which I consider to be my primary metric for engagement) by 375%
- I increased my new visitors by 295% and my returning visitors by 80%
So far I am thrilled- and I was able to make time for my blog without making any hugely significant changes in my lifestyle (well, except making the decision to create content over consuming so much YouTube content).
So how can you find the time to make your blog a success? I recommend printing out my printable weekly planner, writing down where you spend your time and assessing whether there are a few small changes you can make that will allow you to free up some time.
[question]What are some areas of your life you might be able to “cut back” on to make room for the things you want to prioritise? Share your tips in the comments below![/question]