Amy, how do I make time to manage a blog when I’m employed full time?
I get this question all the time from people who are very excited to build an online presence around their passion. I feel for them because I know how long it takes daily/weekly/monthly to make a blog really sparkle with content. And I also know how long it actually takes for a blog to reach the potential we’d like to see.
The funny thing is though, someone who doesn’t have a job would have the same question. Another person who wants to blog for their own full-time business also can’t seem to figure out how to fit it in.
So first of all, you’re not at a disadvantage to effectively blog when you’re employed full-time outside of your passion. That’s roughly 40 hours a week of your life, right? Plus 56 for healthy sleep. That leaves you with 72 hours per week to work with. Go ahead and start to add all the other items of your life like family time, making dinner, grocery shopping, etc. If you can’t find 10 hours per week, I would be surprised but you can do it with less.
Taking that math into consideration, let’s start figuring out what you should be doing with that time:
Stop worrying about when is best for the Internet.
Don’t worry about what’s convenient for the Internet. If you can’t start creating because someone said the best day to post is Monday and you can’t seem to make that work, then you’ve got to move past that. Getting the content posted as often and consistently as possible is the most important thing for your brand. For instance, my weekly videos are posted Tuesday-Thursday. That’s what works for me. No one else.
Sit down on your weekend and plan your week ahead.
The best way to get a handle on your blogging time management is to write it all down and see visually where you can make it work. Calendars – both personal and editorial – will be necessary for this. Also, have your blog topic resource on hand. Take into consideration when you can focus to get your best writing/vlogging/photographing results. Schedule the time and stick to it. If you can wake up earlier, more power to ya. If you can write when the kids go to sleep, sounds perfect. You know your life, so plan accordingly and no excuses. But also keep in mind, if you over do it on your to do list it’s less likely to get done. Appreciate the small things and make it feasible.
Shut the door. Bust it out.
Don’t let the usual distractions take over during your newly delegated time slots. I’m a TV addict. I love to read for fun. I love to cuddle with my dog. I snack snack snack. My nails always need painted. And oddly, when blogging needs done I come up with a reason to love laundry and unloading the dishwasher. Evenings are tough for focusing on writing, but it’s my time. I need to do it then. So, I shut my door. I even set a timer. Bust it out and get it done and you can move on to something lovely.
It’s not just content creation. Can you fit in marketing, too?
The time you allocate for managing a blog presence is not just for creating content. You have to fit in all the other pieces that help make it a success. Here are some items to add to your to do list:
- Measurement: Make sure you’re tracking your progress with Google Analytics or another website tracking software. If you don’t measure you can’t get better. I usually do this the first week of the month so I can see how the previous month turned out overall. This shouldn’t take more than an hour per month depending on how much you decide to track.
- Social Marketing: Why blog if you’re not gonna share it on your social networks? Use platforms like Hootsuite and Bufferapp to schedule updates with your latest content for your audience as it rolls out. And don’t forget to see what everyone else is up to as well that you can retweet or join the conversation of. The more you engage here, the more likely you’ll get traffic back to your site. So don’t just post your headlines. No one cares until you show you do.
- Research: Managing your blog means staying on top of your industry and digital media. Make sure you’re incorporating time to read other news sources – like Savvy Sexy Social – so you can always progress and learn about new ways to effectively execute your presence online.
Make time to optimize.
Everytime you write a blog post you should be working with an SEO plugin on your blog to help you optimize the content for search. I like WordPress SEO by Yoast for WordPress, but make sure you find something similar if you’re on another blogging platform. This is important because you might be an expert in your field and write really well, but that doesn’t mean Google quite understands. So these programs really help you get found to supplement your traffic. Also, make time to go through old content (especially posts doing well in search and bringing in a lot of traffic) to link to newer content within the copy. This is a great way to make your content more sticky for a reader that is very into what you’re writing about and continuing to want to learn more.