How to Blog When You Honestly Have No Time

As we grow as bloggers, our commitments grow with us.

Juggling between meeting responsibilities in our lives and virtual worlds can stretch us to the seams.

It becomes only too easy for us to get overwhelmed and allow undergrowth to take over our blogs.

How can we ensure that despite our increasingly busy schedule our blogs do not come worse off? How can we ensure we give needed priority to creating awesome content for our readers? Without consistent quality content, we quickly lose the loyalty of our readers.

Indeed, what is a blog without the readers?

Having said that, here are ten techniques I have used to carve out time for blogging of late – and I must say, these techniques played a huge role in the success that my guest post campaign has met.

1. Early to rise

When do you start your day?

Starting your day with writing is one of the best decisions you can ever make as a blogger. Make a commitment to do the writings you need to do before you go into your mail box and instant messengers.

Why is it so important for you to start writing early?

For one, you would be writing when you are at your most creative and most productive, before the demands of the day break your focus. Secondly, especially for those who do not have the luxury of living alone, you would be blogging before the demands of your family present you with the usual distractions.

2. Plan your day

I usually use the first 30 minutes of my day to plan the day.  That way as I plunge into the activities of the day, I have an overview of what needs to be done. Do not start the day before you make this plan.  In fact, I consider the time segment you use to plan your day as the most important time segment you’ve got.

The difference in outcomes between time you invest in planning your day and time you spend reacting to distractions makes planning your day worth it every time.

How do you plan your day for higher productivity?

Segmenting your day based on priority is bound to give you great results.

3. Go offline

I am sure you have heard this one before.

If you have limited time you would have wanted to use productively writing, then the last thing you need is the distraction of the internet.

There is nothing as distracting as having an email alert from Gtalk or a ping from Skype when you are trying to get your thoughts out. Twitter alerts, Facebook messages, phone calls, emails – you just need to put them in their place while you put your thoughts down.

Often, an intended brief trip into Twitter can quickly become an hour lost.

Instead of abandoning writing your post to make a quick tweet, save tasks that needs to be done online into batches and do them at once.

4. Use automation to get repetitive tasks done.

I was recently introduced to IFTTT by a comment left by Carol Lynn on a post by Adrienne Smith. The service has really turned out to be a huge timesaver for me.

It works by allowing you create or use ready-made ‘recipes’ of what should happen when certain repetitive events occur in social media.

For instance, you may want to send a thank you tweet to a new follower. IFTTT can handle that for you.  Or per harps you would want to post a tweet with an image link whenever there is a new image upload to your Facebook page?

The possibilities are endless.

5. Allow the crowd to sift great stuff for you on Twitter

We can easily get into overwhelm when our Twitter streams updates faster than even the most motivated Twitter user can care to follow.

In some days I have had so much as 2000 tweets in my stream within an hour, and I am not following that many persons.

How do you check out really cool tweets without having to become a ‘twitter-in-residence’ at Twitter?

Twitter sends daily recommendations emails to your inbox reflecting what is by users you already follow. I have found the links in the recommendations email so useful that I click on most of them with no regrets.

6. Turn off the TV

According to Entertainment Industry Market Statistics (2007), the average American spent 1,962 hours watching TV in 2010. That adds up to 37 hours per week!

How much time do you lose to the television? The full national average?

Is television that important to you? I mean, if all you ever wanted to accomplish is to watch all popular TV series from start to finish, by all means, please yourself.

But if you want to write blog posts also, I would have to ask you to use a little imagination here.

I write most of my blog posts within one hour so how many blog posts are you losing to the television screen?

7. Hire some help

Sometimes even all these may not help reclaim the time you need to create great content – especially if you run multiple blogs. If guest posts may not be your thing, could you consider hiring a freelance blogger to help you with your content? A great tip would be to ask for a resume that includes links to related portfolio.

That way you know in advance what quality of post to expect from a particular writer so you do not end up with surprises.

You may not think it yet, but you may be surprised to at how easily you can find a freelance writer who writes as well as you do. :)

About Yeremi Akpan

Yeremi Akpan is the founder of Pro Blogger Tips. Connect with him on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook. You can also hire him to provide content marketing services for your business.

Comments

  1. Sapna says:

    Hi Yeremi

    Great post for effective time management and be a successful multi-tasker.

    1. Early morning is the best time for planning, but I prefer to plan a night before, as it relieves me of the pressure of getting up early and also give me an idea to prioritize my work.

    2. I beg to differ on idea of creativity being highest in the morning, in my case it is not. You are being spot on for max productivity which can be realized early morning.

    3. Going offline and switching surely helps.

    4. How successful point 7 can be, won’t be able to comment. I truly believe in one of your post where you stressed more on YOUR VOICE.

    Thanks once again for sharing your experience and knowledge

    Sapna
    Sapna recently posted..A Day In Naive Bloggers Life – Part 3(Infographics)My Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hey Sapna,
      Thanks for your comment.

      True, we are wired differently. While I may be at my most creative in the morning, the same may not be true for you. The key is to find your optimal time and then make sure that nothing comes between you and the task at hand.

      On 7, true, I asked for finding your own voice as a writer, but that has nothing to do with admitting you need the assistance of freelance writers.

      Some bloggers are so busy with running the businesses their platforms have become that it may not be practical for them to write all the blog posts that go up on their blog.

      That does not mean they have lost their voice, rather it is a time issue. If time were a commodity, 7 would hardly be an option.

      Instances when a skilful blogger would have to admit he needs help would include when he goes on an extensive guest posting campaign or runs multiple blogs that require simultaneous attention.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..How to Blog When You Honestly Have No TimeMy Profile

  2. Felicia says:

    This post is right up my alley and something I sincerely needed to read, Yeremi! I, at times, can have an extremely busy life with juggling graduate school, work, family, and more all at the same time. Life can get pretty hectic and I think that your tips will give me a hand with taking more control over my schedule—especially considering what my next semester holds for me.
    1. This is something that I completely agree with. I’ve, pretty much, always been one to wake up early and I have always found that I write my best in the morning. I’m honestly not sure why that is, but it holds true for me. I am also always the first one up in my family, so I feel like I’m most productive and least distracted in the morning. This is also when I get a lot of my school work done I’ve noticed.
    3. I really have to give this one a try because I notice then when I do start writing, no matter what it may be, I often get distracted by what’s going on online. Maybe going offline will help me stay focused on the task at hand.
    6. I think that this is something else that I need to do considering I do have tendency to watch a lot of television and it can be a huge distraction. I’m sure there’s some time slot somewhere when nothing is on that I can have it off and put all of my energy into my post. Come to think of it, this probably happens in the morning, just giving me better reason to write when I wake up.
    From taking a closer look at my blogging habits and my habits in general, it seems that my biggest issue is getting distracted. I hope to be able to utilize your tips so that I can become a more productive blogger and have an easier time juggling everything. Thank you for the tips! They’ve surely helped me!
    Felicia recently posted..Merry Christmas from Familial Ramblings!My Profile

  3. Lisa says:

    I agree about a.m.’s but not everyone is a morning person. I love early mornings when all is quiet and I can write and get my online work done. My major problem is always checking on social streams, trying to do that less often going forward. I rarely watch TV anymore except right before bedtime to unwind. Hire help? I’d love a virtual assistant but must make a little money first. Good tips!
    Lisa recently posted..Social Websites to Ditch in 2013 to Save TimeMy Profile

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Hi Lisa,
      You problem reads like a copy of mine. I have mastered most sources of distractions except that which which comes from online.

      Now as I suggest in the post, my prayer is: ‘lead me not into temptation’! I just block out the internet completely until when I am done writing.

      If during the writing process I discover I need to recheck a fact online, I leave that off for last and only go back to confirm the information when I have completed other areas of my post.

      Sure, if you must have a virtual assistant you will need money to pay the bills… :)

      PS. I enjoyed your perspective on Ben’s post @ Quick Blog Tips…
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Blog Traffic Guide: How to improve search engine optimizationMy Profile

  4. Hi Yeremi!

    Great post — Useful points raised as usual!

    I personally love planning my month or week ahead. For me, having a routine makes for increased productivity. Think about it: You had to go to school at a given time as a kid (and even a young adult). You did it for so long that it became part of you. Obviously, having a solid plan of what I want to achieve the night before helps me achieve a higher level of productivity. Here are other suggestions I have…

    1. If you love writing early in the morning, try to make it a habit. Don’t just wait until you have a post to write (Set aside writing time and just write). There’s NO harm in having unused posts or scheduled posts — I think I have about 50 or more unused posts at the moment.

    2. One thing that I’ve found very helpful is pretending you are answering an individual’s question: Have an imaginary friend or student and take your time to answer his or her question (There, a post is born).

    3. Take the “fast and furious” approach. If you can write faster, you can do a lot more in less time. To achieve this, don’t make the mistake of disrupting the flow by attempting to censor or edit your thoughts. Leave those for later. Just write.

    In fact, using a technique that keeps me focused on maintaining the thought flow, I am able to turn out as many as 20 articles (first-drafts) before 8am. That is, when I start writing by 4:15am.

    • Yeremi Akpan says:

      Wow!
      20 Drafts in 4 hours! You must be a writing machine gun. With your tips I can see clearly how that can be done.

      I have found that separating research from writing can greatly improve turnover time and your example shows that to be true.

      I have unused posts that can last this blog the next three months if I were to go by my current schedule. That comes from writing when I am in the mood and maximizing the mood to the limit. Some bloggers think in one post instalments, and that is why the get overwhelmed with deadlines so often.
      Yeremi Akpan recently posted..Blog Traffic Guide: How to improve search engine optimizationMy Profile

  5. Hey Yeremi,

    Nice post mate!

    Getting up early will really make my day, as I practice it. It saves much time. When I getup late that day will be no blogging.

    With TV social networking should be off, and as we plan to write I think we need to allocate time for social networking.

    Thanks for letting us know about IFTTT site. Will try this.

    ~@Khajamoin1
    Khaja moin@Blogging Tips recently posted..Dofollow Forums List to Increase Blog TrafficMy Profile

  6. Greg says:

    Very appropriate for the new year Yeremi. What are your resolutions?
    Greg recently posted..The Shot Glass Technique: How to Upsell for More ConversionsMy Profile

  7. Anis Ahmed says:

    A proper planing may be a half done of any work. I believe it strongly.
    Anis Ahmed recently posted..How to improve your writing skills-Exclusive Article Writing TipsMy Profile

  8. Glendiz Rota says:

    Great blog Yeremi! I agree about hiring help whenever I get my hands full. A year ago, I lost some of my important clients all because I didn’t have enough time to accomplish everything at once. I was too complacent that I can handle everything on my own. Well too bad I had to learn the hard way.
    A fellow blogger that I had known from a forum some months back encouraged me to outsource other tasks to equally competent and reliable (even new) bloggers. Good thing I found them on Staff.com. But mind you, searching wasn’t that easy. I’m just glad that I know how important it is to delegate. Thanks!

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