Falling Behind on Your Blogging Schedule?/ July 4, 2016
We’ve all been there.
With a ton of ideas and the best of intentions, we finally choose our blogging schedule and get to work.
But we’ve got a business to run.
There are orders to fulfill, emails to answer, and products to develop.
Plus, most bloggers start their online businesses while working full-time for someone else, or they’re already running a business and adding blogging as a marketing strategy, so there’s lots of other work to be done.
So we start out, excited, posting twice every week.
After life starts to get in the way, we slow down and post once per week sometimes.
Then our blog drops even lower on the priority list, and soon we’re posting sporadically every month or so.
Sticking to a Blogging Schedule Isn’t Easy
Even the most passionate bloggers have a tendency to slip after a while.
Writing new content becomes tedious.
It’s a chore.
We’d rather be doing the other new and exciting things that also need to be completed within our businesses.
Eventually, we all have to learn this:
Entrepreneurship isn’t glamorous.
Of course, some would-be business owners never quite learn – instead, they start business after business and quit each one as soon as it turns into real work.
There’s a segment of the blogging world that behaves that same way.
They start a blog.
They write a few posts while the inspiration is at its highest.
Then, they dwindle away into obscurity…
Only to start another website later on another topic to do it all again.
Those “entrepreneurs” and almost-bloggers get nowhere fast.
In general, they end up frustrated (and generally broke) because they’re trying to find the easy route.
Blogging for profit is work, so sometimes it’s going to feel like work.
Luckily, there are some strategies to keep you on track even when blogging is the absolute last thing you want to deal with today.
But before we discuss those strategies, there’s something you need to know about yourself and your business:
What Do You Have To Do?
Get a piece of paper, open a Google Doc, or use the note feature on your phone. We’re going to make a list.
Seriously, do it now.
You’re here looking for answers, aren’t you?
Take a few minutes now and write down every single task you have to do regularly in your blogging business.
Your list might include writing new content, creating graphics, booking public speaking engagements, attending networking events, answering email, or recording podcasts.
Don’t forget the behind-the-scenes things like filing taxes, billing clients, and website maintenance.
When you’re done with that, move on to the next step:
Take a look at your list and make a mental note of things that are only done once in awhile, and things that are done daily or weekly.
We’re going to focus right now on your regular tasks, the things that you have to do at least once each week to keep your business running smoothly.
Organize your common tasks into 2 groups:
I have to do this.
I should do this, but it’s not crucial to my business’s survival.
We’ll do more with these lists a little later, but for now, keep your “I have to do this” list nearby for reference.
**Note: if your business is a blog…blogging schedule is crucial to your business’s survival. If your blog is a new marketing tool, it might be on the “should do” list.
Reasons People Fall Behind on Their Blogs
Nobody has problems managing time.
You can’t manage time.
We all have 24 hours in a day.
Time is the great equalizer – the difference between successful business owners and wantrepreneurs is how they use their 24 hours.
If you’re finding that you’re running out of hours before you run out of tasks, you don’t have a time problem:
You have a priority problem.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as that.
Figure out your priorities and act accordingly, and your blog scheduling problem could sort itself out.
But what if you’re procrastinating for some other reason?
There are 4 main reasons bloggers procrastinate fall behind on their blogging schedule:
- Unclear priorities
- Lack of blogging skill
- Lack of desire
- Lack of knowledge about your blog topic
We’re not going to go much deeper into these pitfalls, because discussing the problem doesn’t help.
We’re solution-oriented people, aren’t we?
So let’s talk solutions.
Smart Strategies to Keep Up
If your problem is as simple as a lack of clearly defined priorities…define them.
Use your must-do list from earlier (which you totally did, right?) and add in the other activities in your life that are absolute necessities, like time with your family or visiting the gym to keep up your good health.
Organize that list from most important to least important.
Starting out, give yourself a priority audit once per week – same day, same time each week.
How have you been spending your time?
Are you devoting the most time to your highest priorities?
What needs to be adjusted?
Once your priority activities become routine, you can start auditing every 2 weeks or monthly.
Sometimes, this is enough to sort out procrastination…
But sometimes, it’s not.
Schedule Writing Time:
Perhaps you don’t have an overall priority problem.
Perhaps you’re just not motivated to get your blog posts written, so you’re procrastinating.
Blogger Block has nothing to do with a lack of inspiration and everything to do with a lack of motivation – and you’re not going to like the cure.
Beating Blogger Block means writing posts even though you don’t feel like it.
Schedule a specific time every day for writing.
Seriously, every day.
It can be 15 minutes, or it can be an hour, but it needs to be something you can reliably do every day at approximately the same time.
Write anything during that time, blog post or not.
The point isn’t getting your blog posts written during this time – the point is that you’re building your creative skill to be there on demand.
After a few weeks, it will get much easier, and you can devote that time more towards completing your actual blog posts.
For more on strategies to beat Blogger Block and make writing easier, check out this post.
Delegate part of your blogging responsibility:
You don’t actually have to write your own posts all the time.
In some cases, you might want to write your own content, but it’s up to you to determine how much delegation is smart for your business.
Curating other great content from around the web can take almost as much time as writing…
But if the motivation to write eludes you and you can’t power through that mood, you might consider browsing other blogs to curate great content your audience will love.
In addition to that:
Guest posts from other bloggers can help take some of the strain off of your writing responsibility.
Getting guest posters is simple, too:
Invite the people behind some of your favorite blogs to write a post or two on your website that links back to their own brand.
In most cases, active bloggers are eager for the chance to get in front of a new audience, so ask a lot of people and you’re likely to get a lot of “yes”s.
Freelancers might also be a smart option for you.
Purchasing articles from freelancers can cost anything from $15 to $500 or more, depending on the length, type of content, and quality.
When hiring freelancers, be sure you ask for samples first and give very clear instructions regarding what you want…
Even the best freelancers will turn in sub-par content if you don’t give them enough information.
If you’re using these methods and you’re still falling behind…
Delegate most of your blogging responsibility:
It might be time to consider hiring a full-time blogger.
This is very different from hiring freelancers.
Your designated blogger can handle a boatload of blogging-related tasks, like:
- Posting according to your schedule
- Curating content on your behalf
- Contacting people for guest posts and joint projects
- Tweaking your blog’s website design
- Editing and copyediting your existing posts and webpages
- Overseeing and managing any freelancers you decide to hire
- Improving the SEO on your entire website
- Writing landing page copy
- Helping you with your branding and marketing strategies
- Overseeing your social media pages
And since bloggers are generally free agents with unique and individual specialties, you can almost always find someone who has the right skills to compliment your business.
Professional bloggers are, in their simplest form, marketers.
That means that you’re paying for them to market your business, so budget accordingly.
Discuss what kind of results you’re looking for ahead of time, and be prepared to spend a few weeks helping your blogger get to know your brand and your products.
Once you’re both comfortable, you can focus on other areas in your business and let your blogger do what they do best – blog.
When Should You Delegate?
Some business owners delegate nearly every tedious task and focus primarily on overseeing and managing the whole of their operation.
Others remain a 1-man operation for the lifespan of their business, preferring only to bring in help occasionally as needed.
As a general rule, automation and delegation are smart ways to free up your valuable time…
But there are a couple of rules you should follow.
For example: real human contact cannot be automated.
If you’re going to host a “live” webinar or “live” chat, and you air something prerecorded, you’ve just lied to your audience and proven that your brand lacks integrity.
When determining what you should automate or delegate, ask these 3 questions:
- Does this actually have to be done, and what will happen if it doesn’t get completed?
- Am I good at doing this?
- Do I enjoy doing this?
First, eliminate any tasks that don’t really have to be completed.
Things like answering emails, returning calls, and taking courses to learn more skills can very often be cut completely…or at least mostly.
With whatever is left, identify tasks that are particularly well suited to your strengths AND that you like doing.
If you’re not good at it, or if you hate doing it, delegate it.
Consider hiring a virtual assistant, using freelancers to complete some work, or even hiring a full-time employee if it’s practical and likely to be profitable.
Once you’ve cleared out all the pointless, tedious, and loathsome bulk on your to-do list, it becomes much easier to finish the things that matter.
Scheduling time to write might seem like a silly ritual, but it truly is vital to your success.
It all starts with a decision.
Think about your schedule for the next few days.
Could you write for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning before work?
Would you prefer your writing time to coincide with lunch?
Are you a write-before-bed kind of person?
Figure out when you think your scheduled time would fit best and be easiest to do regularly, and write a note to yourself so that you’ll see it tomorrow.
When you see the note at the appointed time, you’ll be a lot more likely to follow through.