12 Time Management Tips for Bloggers

It’s not easy to stay on task when you’re blogging. There are so many things to juggle and so many potential time-wasters online. Here are some of my top time management tips for bloggers.

Time management tips for blogging

1. Resist info overload.

It’s tempting, isn’t it, to buy every ebook, read every blog or listen to every podcast about making your blog better? Remember that your time is valuable (and limited!). Every minute you spend “researching” is another minute you don’t spend blogging. (<–click to tweet) It doesn’t matter how many great tips you glean if you never have the chance to apply them. You must implement.

2. Don’t listen to the shoulds.

Any of these sound familiar? I should work on my SEO. I should write an ebook. I should reach inbox zero. I should promote more. I should fix all my broken links. I should post more. I should write better. I should learn how to take better pictures. I should be on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google+ and LinkedIn and…

Give yourself permission to operate outside of the shoulds. It may look like everyone else is doing all those things, but I assure you, they aren’t (or they have hired help). It is physically impossible for one human being to do all the shoulds – there just isn’t enough time in the day. Be free. This should be fun!

3. You will miss things. Accept it.

You’ll miss lots of things. Lots and lots and lots of things. More things than you even realize you’re missing. No biggie. It’ll all happen again tomorrow. Pick a few things you can manage and do them well.

4. Run at the right pace.

I’ve said many times that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. A sprinter is extremely focused on every ounce they wear, every step they take and every breath they breathe because their race will be over in seconds. A marathoner looks at the big picture, settles into a good rhythm and thinks strategically because they’ve got a while to work it out.

A sprinter who runs like a marathoner won’t win and marathoner who runs like a sprinter won’t win either. Bloggers often realize they’re running a marathon but they act like they’re running a sprint. That makes it incredibly hard to win. Be realistic and pace yourself.

5. Don’t sit down at your computer without a plan.

If you don’t know exactly what you’re going to work on, the time will inevitably disappear into social media and internet neverland. What will you spend your time doing? Do you have a list of tasks you’ll tackle? What needs to be done? Plan it first, then get on the computer.

6. Flex to your season.

A new season of life can upset any well-planned schedule. Getting a new job, having a baby, participating in summer activities, starting school or countless other life changes often means huge adjustments to blogging time allotted. If you find yourself in a season that allows you less time to devote to blogging, do this:

  1. Ask yourself, “If nothing else, what is the ONE thing I want this blog to do for me (ex. make an income, help me connect, market a product or service, etc.)?”
  2. Write it down and keep it in front of you. Post it on the wall if you need to.
  3. Then, every time you sit down to blog, ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me get closer to my ONE thing?”
  4. If not, do something that does.

7. When you get off track, step away from the computer.

There are simply too many things vying for our attention on the computer. Like I said, if we don’t have a plan, time will inevitably slip away. If you find yourself wandering, take 15 minutes to do the following:

  1. Review your daily to-do list. Did you complete everything on there?
  2. Look ahead. What’s coming up? What can you get ahead on?
  3. Revist your ONE thing. There is always something good to do online. Always. It never ends. But just because it’s good, doesn’t mean it’s the best. Stay your course.

8. Plan your time backwards from your goal.

The best way to spend your time is to define your goal (blogging or otherwise) and work backwards from there. What tasks today “fit” with that goal? Concentrate on those things.

9. Shun perfectionism.

Perfectionism has crippled me. Plus it’s so completely pointless. I’m making a conscious effort to shed myself of the habit. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m writing a blog post not a Ph.D. dissertation.

10. Write first, edit (and flesh out) later.

I think any good writer does this, but hey, it’s hard to do this when you’ve got a post that’s supposed to be published in, like, an hour and you haven’t started it! Whenever you get a post idea, jot it down without editing. Come back to it later to make it great.

11. Don’t be afraid to change course.

Most bloggers I know have changed course at least once since they started blogging. It takes a while to find a good blogging rhythm and as time goes by, you might realize some topics are more enjoyable to write about or are more well-received by your readers. Embrace the refining process. Don’t be afraid to revamp. Blogging is very forgiving.

12. If necessary, declare blog bankruptcy.

If you’ve lost all interest in your blog, or you yearn to start with a clean slate, delete your blog or simply walk away. It’s a drastic step for sure, but sometimes it’s just nice to start fresh. Before you do this, though, make sure you back up your posts so you can access them later if you’d like. Also, if you want to bring your readers along to your new online home, make sure you tell them your plans.

Time management tips for bloggers.

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Comments

  1. says

    I am sure making a priority list plays a major part of any time management strategy and planning accordingly is the best bet. I had been making to-do lists every night for the next day and I try to complete all my tasks early in the day, so that i can have some quality time for tasks, occurring later.

    Moreover, I had been using some tools which will help me organize myself and help me keep up with my time and they are Replicon and Google Calender.

  2. says

    That post really hit the nail on the head. I find myself in this position quite often. Between working a full time 40 hour week job, trying to launch my business, designing my website, SEO, writing blog content on my site and other platforms, and deciding hhow to devote how much time to the different social platforms I feel like I’m 2 steps forward 3 steps back.

    You’re definitely right on one thing, it always seems likethe experts are able to do it all. I guess for many of us it’s llike trying to keep up with the Jones’s.

  3. says

    Amy, I love your blog and I just wanted to write a quick comment to say that this post spoke to me. I’m new to *intentional* blogging, and recently on some days I feel overwhelmed with all the things I have to do. It takes time to write, engage, and do all the other things associated with blogging. Your post reminded me that it’s OK, this is marathon, not a sprint, and i’m doing just fine! :)

    Thanks again and blessings!

    • says

      There’s a “Share” option at the bottom of the post where you can Like. (Is that what you were referring to?) :)

  4. says

    Thank you so much for this, Amy. I think I get overwhelmed thinking about all the “shoulds” I’m not doing. Thanks for making me feel ok about it.

  5. says

    Oooh, this is a really good list of shoulds! I need to pin this up on my desk as my blogging manifesto. So much of my blogging time is wasted trying to get to things that I just don’t have time for. Thanks for the reminder that, at it’s core, blogging is supposed to be FUN.

  6. says

    Be you. You’re better that way.

    Yes! All of my shoulds are making me crazy. I’ve found I need to slow down on blogging in this season of life, but it’s hard. I just keep learning more…and seeing more I *should* be doing.

    I need to go back and remember why I love blogging in the first place.

  7. says

    What a great post. Everyone should read it! When I first started blogging a few years ago I was getting a lot of ‘formulae to follow’ from folks who were telling me about the quick way to achieve overnight success but when you looked into their personal blogging history they’d all been blogging or doing something else internet/marketing related for at least 5 to 10 years prior to becoming ‘overnight successes’. We should challenge our shouldings, so we should.

  8. says

    Love it! I have always hated shoulds. Why should blogging be any different? Thanks for the great post and the great blog – I’m just getting started and I’m glad I came upon your site!

  9. says

    Thank you as a new blogger I forget that there are bloggers further into the journey who have help behind them. This one woman band is all over the place at times.

  10. says

    I struggle with all the shoulds too. I need to take a step back and figure out what I need to be working on and not trying to do everything. I like how you said blogging is like a marathon. So very true.

  11. Jen says

    Thanks for this great reminder, Amy! I have been working on the start-up of my new blog over the last month and have spent a lot of time trying to get everything “just right” before putting up my first post. I’ve learned, and am reminded by your post, that the most important part of running a marathon is just taking the first step. Your blog is a great resource of information and an inspiration to myself as a new blogger.

  12. says

    Such a good reminder! I am working with a business mentor right now who is teaching me to over-estimate my time for projects and under-fill my schedule. I’ve always had the tendency to do the opposite, and it’s mostly because like I feel like I *should* be doing more. But you are absolutely right…there is just not enough time in the day to do everything! Still working on accepting this :)

    • says

      Ohhhhhh, my problem too. I like that: over-estimate time, under-fill schedule. Good word. Thank you, Mindy!

  13. says

    This is SO where I’ve been lately…in the struggle with the “shoulds” and the “possible” and doing what God has called me to do, vs. my 3-mile long “Bloggy-Do” list! I’ve come a long way in lowering my own expectations and settling in for the marathon, but there are still days I fight the temptation to sprint! Thanks for sharing this…I think I need to print it out and post it above my desk so I can read it often!

  14. says

    Thanks Amy!
    This post is good timing for me. I just started a blog a few months ago. There are so many things I could use my time on. I just need to choose what is most important and what makes the biggest impact.
    I look forward to more posts on time management.

  15. says

    Every time I read your posts, I feel as if you are speaking directly to me. I’m sure you other readers feel the same way. I am one of those who try to do it all, but you have reassured me that I cannot. The one thing you mentioned is, “Work on your SEO”. This is the main area that holds me back. In fact, I wasted an hour yesterday doing this. A web site analysis said that my site does not contain any Microformat data, Dublin Core or Geo tags. This blew my mind, I am going to take your advice in this article. I am not going to try to do it all any more. I think this causes me to completely miss the purpose of what I am trying to accomplish.
    Thanks Amy. Great post.

    • says

      Ah yes, I pay only the very smallest amount of time on SEO myself. I’m fully convinced that if you’re writing great stuff that people are reading, it’s far better in the long run. After all, it’s much better to write for people, not bots. :)

  16. says

    Oh yes! All the shoulds can sometimes overwhelm us to the point of paralyzing our growth. I believe it’s important to start off small – post once a week, be active on just one social media channel… and then expand as the blog grows. Loving this series, Amy! Thank you!

  17. says

    What a great post. I love blogging but the guilt, worry and sel-imposed pressure can be overwhelming. When this happens it’s helpful to remember the reason I started blogging. It’s important to avoid mission creep.