Do you struggle with where and how to best use the limited time you have to blog? I know I do. I set aside at least 3 hours a day to work on this blog and other smaller niche blogs I have, but I do sometimes struggle with how to best spend those three hours. Blogging includes lots of activities and prioritizing where to spend your time can be difficult.
Even though I still struggle at times, I have developed a priority list that I often refer to when struggling with where to spend my time. Now, with that said, there are days when I sit down to spend my time, and I don’t feel like writing and I’m in the mood to say tweak my site’s design. Other days my brain is just full of article ideas, and writing is at the top of my mind. By all means, if you’re hyped about doing something or “in the zone”, just do it.
Unfortunately, these types of days aren’t as frequent as I would like them to be, and thus I use the following prioritization list when determining how to best spend my time blogging:
I’ve said it many times here on Side Income Blogging, and will say it again: Content is your main product and without content, people won’t come to your site. Creating great and valuable content is key to you blog’s success and should be your very first priority every single time.
A couple of years ago, I actually had a client ask me: Would you rather have a great looking site with okay content, or a okay looking site with great content.
I would rather have an okay looking site with great content every single time, assuming of course the site is readable.
Remember too that content is more than just blog posts, content includes:
- Images or info-graphics
- Presentations (Slideshare is a new and growing trend that has proven to provide SEO benefits)
Tip: Focus on the content you are more comfortable with, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. I’m far more comfortable writing content, but I have recently tried doing some video both by myself and with another blogger. I was surprised to find I actually enjoyed doing video.
Market your blog
Having great content isn’t enough. If you have this huge well of great content, but nobody knows about it, than you may as well not have any content at all. To be successful blogging, you must market and promote your blog. There are numerous ways to do this, but the most common ways are:
- Social Media – Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are a few of the big ones and new social media sites are emerging almost daily.
- Forums – Active participation in forums within your niche can be a great way to share your content, build relationships and market your site.
- Leverage relationships – This is tightly coupled with social media and forums, but make sure you are leveraging the relationships you are building and work with those friends and associates to find win/win situations that benefit both of you.
- The key to successful blog marketing is to not only share your blog and posts, but provide value to the community and people you are interacting with. Don’t just spam links to your posts and content, you will not be successful and you will do nothing but kill your brand.
- With all of the various social media sites, you can literally spend your whole day on them all. Find the one’s that work best for you, meaning the ones that provide the most engagement value, and traffic. Focus on those. For me, it’s Google+.
- Don’t get sucked into social media. Wasting time on social media is far too easy. Login, do what you need to do and get out. I might even suggest setting time limits for yourself.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your blog and articles
Traffic from search engines can be a very valuable traffic source for you, especially given that most income from ad clicks comes directly from search engine visitors. Many people focus solely on search engines as the primary source of traffic. As someone that has learned the hardway, this isn’t a good plan. Google changes their algorithms often, and relying on consistant search traffic is a huge risk.
I prefer to diversify my blogs and that includes diversifying my traffic as well. SEO should just be one portion of your overall traffic and time strategy. To get search engine traffic to your site, you need to spend time writing on topics that people are searching for and then optimize your articles for search engines.
Tip – Always write for your readers first, then circle back and tweak your articles for search engines. Nobody wants to read and article that is keyword stuffed and written 100% for search engines. Google is onto this strategy as well, and in the long term it will hurt you. Just say no.
This is something that I’ve personally never done, but have considered doing a number of times. Product creation involves creating something that other people are willing to pay for. This can include:
- eTraining Course
- Membership programs
- WordPress Plugins
- WordPress themes
Of course this is just a few ideas, there are thousands of product ideas out there.
Products can help your blog by:
- Receiving promotion and traffic from other websites that make their readers aware of your product. Traffic can be huge if you create a very successful project. Offering an affiliate program for your product will encourage others to promote it.
- Receiving links from other sites to yours, to help your search engine rankings
- Increasing your visibility
Products can take a very long time to develop, and are a bit risky. Spending a large amount of time on something that may not be successful hurts, especially when that time could have been spent elsewhere and generated more visibility. This is why I haven’t spent the time to create a product … yet.
Blog time management
New bloggers are often very surprised to find out how much time it really takes to create, run and grow a successful blog. While I don’t have any specific numbers on percentages of blogs that are started but abandoned, I can tell you that from personal experience the rate is pretty high. Just in the last 6-months, I’ve seen many blogs started. The bloggers write like crazy for a few weeks, then just stop and disappear. Sad really.
Blogs require a lot of work, and subsequently a lot of time. The more time you put in, the more you get out. Many of us, especially those of us blogging on the side, have very limited time. Prioritizing your time and focusing on the items that bring the most value for that time investment is critical.
The list above helps me determine where to focus, and hopefully will help you out as well. Bottom line though, if you are struggling with where to spend your time, you can never go wrong by creating great and valuable content.
Also, this list works for me and my blogs. But if you find other items or even realize that items lower on my list, provide more value for you, than by all means move them up. Spend your blogging time where it matters most for YOU!
Photo credit: Tax Credits