You’re growing your blog.
I get it.
Weeks are zooming by at the speed of light and you have no idea how to juggle writing blog posts, promoting it and being part of an online community. Added to which, you have a job and endless responsibilities at home.
Your sanity has packed its bags and is threatening to leave.
I’ve been there.
This is my 6th month blogging and I can honestly say that it’s been a rough couple of months. Aside from taking my dogs out 3 times a day, looking after my husband, practicing my piano, walking 10K steps a day, reading books, I have to juggle clients, my brand new blog and my online shop.
24 hours just isn’t enough.
But if you implement a few hacks, believe me… you’ll be sorted.
This post doesn’t just include tips to save time, but it also includes tips that will help you generate traffic. Because, the more traffic you generate quickly, the less time you need to spend promoting your blog. Time saved, is time gained!
Before we begin, download my free 12-page blog planner!
Here are 27 time management hacks that will help you become an ultra productive blogger.
This post includes affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I might make a small commission if you decide to buy something and this money will be used to feed my poor lil’ dogs. They are perennially hungry, my little ones.
I cannot tell you how much time I’ve wasted scrolling the Quora news feed.
Yep, social Media is a huge time-killer!
I’m a huge sucker for learning new things. You may think that this is a good thing, but it’s not if I’m delaying my work to find out what Penny said to her ex, 12 years after their divorce.
Keep your social media at bay.
I mean it.
As much as you enjoy browsing Pinterest for wedding cake toppers, don’t allow yourself to become a Social Media addict. It’s a very deep pit to get out of.
I’ve been there.
Turn off your phone notifications and your browser notifications on your computer so that it’s easy for you to focus on your work at hand.
Oh, it’s so much fun to check your email whenever you hear a Ping.
It’s a productivity killer.
Make it a habit to check and reply to your emails either once or twice a day.
Some people do this once in 3-5 days. This is okay too!
The emails that require long answers (I have a few pen pals I write to), you can leave for the weekend to reply to.
Every time I lose focus and feel like getting distracted, I remind myself why I’m doing what I do. When I realize the benefits I will attain my finishing the task, I am instantly motivated and feel like working double!
Ask yourself why you’re blogging!
Keeping positive reminders around you, will help you work faster and not lose focus. Not losing focus is a very good time-hack!
Sleeping late on the weekends are totally okay.
Too bad, Jenny.
But on weekdays, it is crucial to sleep early so you can wake up early and get to work.
Finish the most daunting tasks early in the morning because that’s when you are filled with a lot of energy!
By afternoon, we generally tend to work less effectively, so you can focus on the less-important tasks toward the end of day.
I pretty much use the same template in all my Blog Posts. I use Photoshop because I have to create a different illustration and background for each post. But a lot of people use Canva.
This is a huge time saver because you don’t need to create a different graphic each time you write a blog post. You can re-use the same template over and over again with minimal changes!
I seriously detest proof-reading my posts. It’s such a huge waste of time. And this post is all about saving time.
Save yourself from oodles of embarrassment (and dreaded hours proofreading) by using a nice editing software like Grammarly.
Following up with clients shouldn’t be a hassle.
Keeping track of who’s paid and then sending them a reminder via email is a precious waste of time that you could be using for more important things.
FreshBooks sends reminders to your clients to pay their invoices.
It allows you to track your expenses and earnings all in one place. You don’t need to maintain physical records or spreadsheets of your accounts with FreshBooks.
It’s a time saver and a very good investment for Business Owners and Freelancers who juggle loads of clients each month.
Writing weekly emails is a lot of fun, but it’s life and death if you skip one email.
I’m totally guilty for not doing this at the moment and I’m trying to get my act together.
Once you have a few blog posts scheduled, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and write those weekly newsletters!
I use Convertkit and I am uber happy that I made the switch from Mailchimp to Convertkit. All my forms are made with Convertkit and I’ve been able to double my email subscribers every month after making the switch.
It’s the best $29 a month I’m spending.
Okay, this is one method that will save your life.
I have different tabs in my Notes app. And each tab has information stored in it.
I have a Style Guide, Affiliate Links, Trip Wires/Sales Pages that I love and need to come back to, Blog post titles and so on.
It saves me so much time because my notes app is just one click away (on my system) and it syncs to my iPhone. This makes it easy for me to have all my ideas in one place!
Every night, write down your to-dos for the next day in your Planner. By having a plan in mind, your sub-conscious will mentally prepare you for the tasks you have to do the next day.
You will not wake up feeling scatter-brained. You don’t need to waste precious hours in the morning figuring out what to do, because you will have your plan right in front of you!
This will leave you organized and super-duper ready to take on your to-dos!
You will also love:
In point number 9, we learnt how to keep all our ideas in one place. This is awesome because you never will have to go fishing for ideas everywhere else again!
A lot of people use Trello or Google Docs to keep track of their content. I’m more of a pen and paper girl so I use the monthly planner spread in my planners to maintain my ideas.
Additionally, you can download my free 12 page blog planner!
I’ve been using Rifle Co Planners for the past 2 years.
You can see them here.
Decide what blog posts you’re going to write 3 months in advance. I even have a theme I work on every month.
For egs, in August, I worked on my Creative Email Course for Creatives. So, I focused my attention on Creativity and Productivity related posts.
Keep only what you use everyday on the table.
The rest of it can go into drawers and cabinets.
This encourages you to be more productive. The less stuff you have to work with, the more focused and mentally stimulated you become.
Yep, this is my desk. See what’s on my desk here.
I discuss this tip in detail in my post on overcoming creative blocks.
I sketch everyday, but my pencil and drawing book are in my drawer because I only spend 10-20 minutes sketching. The rest of my work is pretty much digital.
This little tip has changed the way I work from the past 3 years. I have 7 Different Folders for my email.
• My Email
• Payment and Bank Related
Every email in my inbox goes into a folder after it’s been read and dealt with. If I need to reply to the email, it stays in my inbox until I’ve replied to it. This really helps me stay on track.
Instead of writing a post, creating the images, marketing the post all in one day, work in batches.
This will make you feel less overwhelmed.
Write your posts on one day, create blog post images on another and market/promote your posts on yet another.
I picked up this tip from Gillian Perkins who films her videos at a stretch and writes her blog posts the same way too!
I guarantee that you will find yourself with a lot more extra time because you will get a lot of work done in shorter amounts of time.
Leave one day a week for the heavy-lifting thinking.
Researching can be very tiring especially because you have to get all your thoughts in order to come up with content ideas.
Dedicate an hour to mind-mapping.
All you need is a pen and paper.
In 15 minutes, write down anything that comes to mind. One idea might lead to many others. Write those down too!
After you’re done, go through everything and pick out the ideas that you want to use for your blog posts.
After that, you have to do keyword research and come up with 5-10 sassy combinations of blog post titles for each blog post. Instead of doing this each week, keep one day a week or a month to sit down and do all of this work, together!
You can either write three-four 500 word blog posts a week or one-two 2500+ blog post a week.
The choice is yours.
Ultimately it depends on the type of blog you own.
Lifestyle blogs can pump out more blog posts in a month than other niches because they cover a wide range of topics. The more specific your niche is, the less number blog posts you need to publish a month in order to gain traffic.
But whatever you decide, make sure you stick to your schedule. Because nothing is worse than inconsistent blogging.
This turns off readers very quickly.
Yep, they’ll be running out of there before you yell “Ay, caramba!”
So, once you decide on your blogging schedule, it’s time to write your posts.
Okay, so I’ve already discussed batch-scheduling similar blogging tasks to finish your work faster.
But it is just as important to create a writing routine. Break up writing your blog posts in chunks so you can do one thing at a time and not become over-whelmed.
By utilizing the batching technique I mentioned earlier, you should already have a nice database of content ideas and titles.
Start drafting the outline of the post in a Word Document which a brief introduction, a CTA (call-to-action), and all the points in between.
After which, you can flesh out each point.
You’ll find your writing flowing out more smoothly and quickly since all your points are already drafted down.
Seriously, give it a try.
Once you have all your blog posts written down, it’s time to edit those bad boys.
Take your time to edit each blog post by adding various internal and external links wherever necessary. The same applies to case-studies and examples you want to include in various points.
I use Google Analytics to keep track of my most popular posts. Now, double your traffic to these popular posts by creating similar content or adding an infographic to the post.
My most popular post this month was 20 Time Management Tasks that will make you Insanely Productive, so I decided I would expand on this subject by making a time management post just for bloggers.
That’s using the old noodle!
I’m not only increasing traffic to my older posts by adding infographics to them, but I’m also decreasing my bounce rate by adding internal links to similar posts my readers would love to read!
If you’re spending hours trying to grow your account on a particular social media and you see close to zero results, it’s time to move on.
Your business may just not be suited for that crowd.
Make your peace with that, and focus your energy and time on the one social media that is actually getting you traffic. You will need to use Google Analytics to find out which one that is.
P.S. My favorite Social Media is Pinterest because their customer support rocks. And they’ve never left me hanging. I describe 2 of my most effective Pinterest Strategies in this post.
Pinterest will never leave you hangin’
Aaaaaaand you can use a generic, free social media scheduling tool to publish standard posts to the other two social media that you prefer.
This is a huge, huge time saver and will make you more productive!
You are currently reading a list post.
List posts are quick and easy to consume. Which is why you will find at least 5 such posts on almost every blog.
Points are easy to come up with and they are fun and entertaining for the reader. Not to mention how quickly the reader can scroll through the points!
They are huge traffic magnets, and if you’re pressed for time, this is exactly what you should be aiming for.
This is a major traffic generating tip. I doubled my monthly subscribers by implementing this super easy tip.
Additionally, you could also use a pop-up and place the opt-in on your sidebar.
I’ve also heard good things about having a sign up form in the notification bar on the top.
These are all time savers, because they’re doing all the work for you. 😉
Make sure your blog posts have social media buttons. I use Social Warfare because it’s neat, pretty and displays the number of shares.
This encourages people to share your content and by motivating people to share your content, you are in fact decreasing your work and working smarter!
I seriously regret not doing this when I had my first blog.
Because I cannot even begin to describe how much time I’ve saved using Tailwind for my new blog.
I used to spend 2-3 hours everyday on Pinterest pinning my blog content. I also had to be active several hours during the night because my audience lives in the US and I do not.
I explain my 2 key traffic generating strategies here.
For Facebook and Twitter, I use Buffer. I schedule my content every 3 days. Once I complete a year of Blogging, I’m going to move to a paid scheduler.
As your online business develops, it is good to maintain lots of income streams.
These are huge time savers because once developed, these will generate an income on the side without you having to do anything except run a promotion once in a while.
This section covers the main passive income streams that will save you tons of time and make you more productive!
After you’ve analyzed your business and know whom you are writing for, you can start setting up sales funnels in your Blog.
This is an example to illustrate how a customer moves through a sales funnel.
I will make a more detailed post on sales funnels soon. I promise.
By implementing a few of these in your blog, your blog will constantly be making a passive income for you. These are time consuming to set up, but is totally worth the effort because it will help you focus on other blogging tasks and leave you more productive.
Remember, work smart, not hard.
Like sales funnels, you want to be looking for passive income streams that do all the work for you.
Setting up online courses is a brilliant way to make some extra cash on the side every month.
A lot of Bloggers (me included) have set up courses on Teachable. It’s the best platform to set up courses. You can insert text documents and/or videos in sequence for your students.
Everything is pretty straight forward and very user-friendly! So students have no difficulty moving through the course.
I love digital products. And I buy them all the time. I love eBooks, printables, fonts, graphics, stickers, the whole shebang. I’m such a digital goodie hoarder. Especially when it comes to downloading printables that will make me more productive!
And I’m not alone in my madness for digital products. *wink*
Yes, this means there is actually a very strong market for digital printables!
Exploit it, hon!
Don’t think twice.
You can either set up an Etsy store (like how I’ve done here) or set up an actual store with the WooCommerce plugin.
Phew! And that brings us to the end of this very exhausting list! Okay, your turn! What is your favorite time management hack from this list so far?
And here’s the blog post planner printable that you can download to help move things faster and become more productive!