If you’ve been blogging for more than, say, a month, you’d likely have noticed that it takes way, way more time than you thought it would. I’m the same. I thought you just read a book, you write a review, you publish it, and voila! Blogging’s done for the week.
And I mean, sure — that is what blogging is for some people (and more power to them, because that likely means that they have more time to read or do more productive stuff), but I personally need a bit more variety than that. I like the extraneous stuff that comes with blogging: the blog-hopping, the graphic-designing, the ideas-brainstorming, the post-planning, the interacting-with-other-bloggers…
In a week, outside of writing and actually reading, I probably devote three to six hours to the other tasks. This number used to be way bigger, especially when I was starting out and had big dreams. I wanted to talk to all the people! Read all the books! Write all the reviews! Plan out a whole year’s worth of posts! I’ve got a bit of an obsessive personality in which once I latch onto a hobby or interest, I very often make it my whole life.
Thankfully, though, I’ve learned from my past experiences. Doing too much too soon has backfired on me multiple times before, and even if I love blogging, I’d still likely burn out very, very quickly. Enter — time management! The below tips are what has worked for me. 💕
1) Plan ahead.
I’m quite a bit of a planner when it comes to this blog (although my real life is a mess, oops), and I’ve found that one of the most effective ways to make time is to simply know when you won’t have the time.
Obviously, there are things that you can’t really plan for (such as how many comments you’ll be getting), but once you figure out a system, it’s quite easy to see what the next few weeks look like for you and your blog. If you know a busy week at school or work is coming up, you can start writing your posts from now, so that when the time comes you can just click ‘Publish’ and voila, everything’s done for you. 🎉
I personally use a Post Schedule where I keep track of all the posts on my blog. When I have to publish something on a certain date, I make note of it on my calendar and immediately know how long I have until I need to finish drafting the post.
→ Here’s where I plug my trusty Post Schedule template, now with an introduction, 2017 dates, and TWO new colours for ‘Scheduled’ and ‘Reading’! 😎
2) Learn to say no.
Learning to say no is I think a good skill for things outside of blogging (RE: all of life, really). When I first started out, I basically said yes to everything. I joined all the book clubs. I accepted all the review requests. I was instantly on all the social media platforms. I used to think that saying yes to everything is great because then you’ll be involved in many things at once, but now I don’t really think so.
The thing is, when you say yes to everything, you just don’t have enough time or energy to give your 100% commitment to all those things. I’ve joined many — many — book clubs that I’m ashamed to say I’ve never read a book with, just because there are just too many of them and my personal TBR is already crazy long. Now I think: say yes to only the things you’re actually interested in, and learn to say no to things you’re not. 💪
3) Get into a routine.
I am horrendous at my bedtime routine because I never sleep when I should, but I like to think that I’ve got my blogging routine down to an art. I mostly only blog two times a day: once in the morning, and once at night, just before bed. In this time, I read and reply to comments, I write new posts, I blog-hop, I visit social media… and outside this time, I rarely do.
Having a routine might sound like the worst thing you can do for your blog, but instead of diminishing my passion for mine, I’ve found that it actually helps me not get overwhelmed. However many comments I need to reply to, however many posts I need to read… I have dedicated time pockets in a day to do these things, and outside of these times, I just don’t stress at all. 😉
4) Know your priorities.
The cynics are right, you guys: you can’t have it all. I’d personally love to be a blogger who’s always there, who never makes mistakes or typos on their posts, who has the best graphics, the most original content and ideas, the most succinct reviews… but the truth is, I just don’t freakin’ have the time, and that’s okay.
Blogging is certainly a part of my life, but it is not its entirety. I have friends, family, work, and a whole host of other hobbies that I pursue in my spare time. I love watching TV, for example, and just recently discovered a new obsession in Ron Swanson and Parks and Recreation. I read things that never get mentioned here. I play the piano and sometimes think about getting my teaching licence. I write. I bake (and currently have egg tarts in my oven, whee!). I have other goals that I want to pursue. These things are also important to me, and they’re also things I like to invest my time in. 🙏
So the key here, I’ve discovered, is to prioritise. What’s the most important aspect of blogging for you? Some bloggers, for example, have the best and most original photos or graphics, but maybe they don’t post that often. Others focus on coming up with the smartest content, but they use stock pictures instead.
For me, social media is the sacrifice. I’m not as active on Twitter or Instagram as I’d have liked, but I make sure I have enough time to comment on other people’s blogs and reply to whatever comment is left on mine. Everyone’s priorities are different, but at the end of the day, it’s all about balancing between what you want and what you are capable of doing. 🙆
Now that that’s over, let’s talk! 💗
- How many hours a week do you spend blogging? Does this figure include reading?
- What are your time management strategies?
This post is a part of Bloggers’ Corner, a section on my blog dedicated to talking about all things blogging.