There are a crazy number of blogs worldwide.
The exact numbers vary depending on where you look, but the figures are almost certainly in the few hundreds of millions.
According to WordPress.com, their users produce around 70 million blog posts each month.1
That’s a ridiculously massive number, especially when you consider that WordPress-powered blogs account for only a third of the total market.2
And with more blogs appearing on a daily basis, the volume of content out there continues to rise as well.
So, when you consider that we’re all dealing with that volume of competition, getting any visitors to your blog at all is no mean feat.
Building a successful blog and getting it noticed is damn hard work and requires a lot of time, effort and attention.
It is a multi-disciplinary project blending a broad range of competencies and skill-sets – far more than can be fully appreciated unless you actually blog.
You have the practicalities of hosting, designing, customizing and maintaining your blogging platform, as well as the core activities of content creation, marketing, SEO, and, unless you’re simply a hobbyist blogger, you’re going to want to figure out a way to monetize your hard work too.
Monetizing may involve affiliate marketing or selling some type of digital product, course or service. And this kind of activity usually requires a whole other set of skills and knowledge above and beyond those already acquired to get your blog up and running.
And at that point, what you’re dealing with is actually more than just ‘blogging’ – you’re basically running a small online business.
So, to say that it is difficult to make a blog successful would be a serious understatement.
It’s little wonder then, that blogging about blogging has become a huge niche in itself with so many bloggers searching for an edge or a secret to success. And there are definitely things you should and shouldn’t be doing if you want to succeed.
But actually, I think I’ve discovered the real secret to making progress with your blog.
And that is: there is no real secret.
It’s simply about getting the right stuff done.
And to get stuff done, you have to be able to manage your time effectively and efficiently.
The thing is, many bloggers overlook this critical success factor.
Yes, it’s smart and, arguably, essential to spend time and money building your knowledge and skills, but no amount of knowledge and skills will help you to grow your blog if you can’t organize your time well to be able to take the action required to use them.
So how you manage your time and prioritize your work will have a huge impact on your output and will ultimately play a vital role in how successful you become as a blogger.
While blogging is a side-project for most people, it is often started with the hope and intention of creating an income stream that will eventually replace the more customary nine-to-five employment, such as office work, etc.
The ability to earn an income from your own home, on your own terms, working the hours you choose is an attractive proposition for a growing number of people. And technology has certainly made that prospect much more achievable than it has ever been in the past.
But many give up on blogging after a relatively short amount of time because they do not get the results they were expecting.
This can happen for a number of reasons, but one reason that is probably more common than we realize is down to the blogger’s inability to manage their time well and focus the correct amount of time on each of the many tasks required.
I know from experience that I have wasted stupid amounts of time on tasks that did absolutely nothing to draw attention to my blog.
For example, working out how to customize my hyperlinks or playing around with fonts and colours consumed many hours, I’m sure.
But was it a good use of my time? Did these activities move me closer to my goals?
Almost certainly not.
Such activities might make your blog more pretty (in your subjective opinion), but it doesn’t bring in visitors and it doesn’t help you grow your blog.
The reality is, nobody cares about whether your widgets are on the left sidebar or the right sidebar or if your hyperlinks glow pink when you hover over them.
These things will not make or break your readership.
But they will steal time from you that would have been better used writing another post or two.
And it is your content that attracts readers.
Whether it provides information, solves problems or simply entertains, your content is what brings people to your site.
And yet, it also the thing that many bloggers say they don’t have time to do.
Even if you feel that every moment of your day is currently occupied and that you’re unable to dedicate any real quality time to building your blog, I want to assure you that there is always a way and it starts with the fundamentals of time management.
For example, by managing my time well on a consistent and daily basis, I was able to write 80,000 words and publish 50 blog posts in my first two months of a new blog while still holding down a “regular, income-paying” job and tending to family responsibilities.
Of course, I still have days when I can’t quite get into the groove and seem to make no progress. But having a solid structure in place makes things significantly easier than they would be otherwise.
In blogging, it is so easy to have your attention diverted away from the important stuff that will grow your business and end up doing the stuff that really doesn’t matter, but will keep you busy for sure.
But it is crucial to focus on the stuff that makes a difference and to do that, you need to prioritize your time and your tasks.
Doing this is a fundamental part of good time management within the context of any business, but I think this it is particularly relevant to blogging.
Well, not only is a blog an on-going project with numerous moving parts that each require a degree of attention and fine-tuning on a regular basis but because also the majority of bloggers are not (yet) full-time, professional bloggers and don’t have the luxury of big chunks of time each day to dedicate to building their blog. So everything gets done in between work and family or personal commitments.
There’s also kind of an opposite problem that can occur, which is that your blog ends up taking over your life, leaving little time for anything else, like family and friends. So the problem then is not about finding time but finding a balance of time in your life.
Either way, the solution to both of these problems is the implementation of effective time management strategy.
So how to tackle time management as a blogger?
Managing your time is something that is relatively simple for all of us to understand, but not so easy to implement on a consistent basis.
And it’s the consistency of action where people will fail.
Broadly speaking, a disciplined and co-ordinated effort to structure and organize your life on many levels is needed to be successful in this regard.
It would be fair to say that good time management is not a skill that comes naturally to most of us. It requires both knowledge and intentional practice.
And it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing your time well. We all have slightly different issues when it comes to managing our time.
For some people, procrastination is the problem.
Some problems may overlap and only require a single strategy to solve them. Others may require specific and individual solutions.
I know many people try to squeeze in ten minutes here and ten minutes there. They write during their lunch hour, they do work while their kids are taking an afternoon nap. We all do what we can to create some traction for our blogs. But the time we spend blogging needs to be deliberate, organized and focused.
Finding the time to work on your blog is not just about allocating time directly to blog-related tasks. It is also about managing the rest of your time well in order to create that time.
You cannot, of course, actually “create” more time.
We all have the same 24 hours each day to do as much as we can. We can’t change that.
What we are able to do, however, is remove elements that are a waste of time, improve the efficiency with which we carry out tasks and re-allocate our time from one activity to another.
I like to visualize this in the same way as you may clean your cache, delete unwanted apps and transfer files and photos on your phone in order to create more available storage.
If you work in an office from 9-5, you’ll probably find there will be many inefficiencies you can address that have an indirect effect on your blogging time.
For example, if managing time well at work means that you can leave on time or don’t have to take work home with you, time has been freed up to work on your blog that would have otherwise been spent in the office or working in the evening.
So effective time management requires a co-ordinated effort to structure and organize your life on many levels.
Something I quickly learned about blogging is that a lot of stuff you assume will not take long, in actual fact does.
Unless you remain strict with how you allocate your time, tasks like finding images, tinkering with customizations, editing, sorting out back-end issues with your blog, etc, will eat away at your precious time without producing anything much in terms of actual progress.
As someone who runs a few blogs that I try to work on regularly and consistently, I completely understand the deal.
There are various time management and productivity techniques you can introduce to your work when it comes to blogging and I have put together a course especially for bloggers that will take you through some of the most effective time management techniques around. Check out the syllabus here.
Time Hack Hero Takeaway
Time is a limited resource, but with some good management strategies, you may be able to dedicate much more time to your blog than you ever thought was possible.
If you would like to get to grips with your time management, check out Time Management For Bloggers.
Featured image credit: Jess Bailey