Managing a work life balance is hard enough, but add in blogging and it can be even more difficult. Blogging is a great creative exercise – and there’s a great blogging community – but probably every blogger ever has asked the question, “How do you blog with limited time?” I have definitely asked this, many times, in fact. The first year I was blogging regularly, I taught high school and worked 40-60 hours a week. And now that I’m in graduate school, my free time is limited once again, especially given my health. So today I want to break down how you can blog in less than 5 hours a week.
Writing Blog Posts: 1.5 Hours – 2 Hours
This is easily the most important part of your blogging work. Even if you do everything else right, if your content sucks, no one will want to read it. So if you have limited time, focus on your content first. It might take a little bit for you to get the hang of writing good quality posts in a short period of time, but I believe that you can write 3 posts in less than 2 hours once you do. If you have 5 posts a week, it might take longer.
This is much easier if you plan things out with an editorial calendar, but I’ll discuss this more later. But straight writing and editing time (even if your editing is just a once-over to check for spelling errors) can definitely be done in less than 2 hours if you know already what you’re writing. If you don’t have much time at all to write posts, you probably won’t have the time to write longer posts. So, you might stick to list posts or quick jumble of thoughts with maybe 1 longer post a week.
Scheduling Social Media: 0.5 Hours – 1 Hour
How long this takes will depend on how much social media you schedule. For example, if you just schedule post promotions, it might take you 15 minutes for the entire week. But if you schedule pins on Pinterest, make a social media calendar, and schedule lots of social media posts from said social media calendar, it can take a lot longer. Kayla Hollatz has a great post about creating an effective social media calendar.
Promoting Posts and Blog – 0.5 Hours
This is different than scheduling social media because in this case I’m talking about sharing your post on Facebook groups, Google+ groups, etc. If you have 3 posts a week and spend 5-10 minutes each of those days sharing your posts and building your social media via these groups, it ads up. These things are also very helpful in building your reach.
Organizing Upcoming Content, Replying to Emails, etc. – 1 Hour – 1.5 Hours
I believe that the key to success in anything is organization, and this definitely includes blogging. If you spend 10-15 minutes a month to create an editorial calendar for the upcoming month, you’ll have plenty of time to think about upcoming blog posts before you sit down to write them. What I do is organize what categories my posts will be for each day – for example, this week is blogging, health, and lifestyle. The week or so before, I start thinking about what specific posts I’ll write. That way, when I sit down to write, I already know what I’m writing about.
This time is also good for replying to emails and comments. I’m trying to start replying to emails on my phone when I have the moment instead of designating a particular time to sit down and respond. It’s hard to find the time to sit down and deal with my inbox, let alone reply to comments, and when I do, it takes around an hour.