Blogging can easily fall off your to do list when you’re faced with other pressing tasks in your business and life. Yet blogging only works if you do it consistently and you do it well. Since achieving both those things requires time you don’t think you have, here are 12 ways to set and protect that time.
1. Put it first
While it seems counterintuitive, try working on your blogging tasks before client work or business development. This may be the only way to keep blogging from getting pushed behind your other priorities. Then, let the accomplishment of making progress on your blog fuel your confidence (and grow your business!) all day long.
2. Schedule it as an appointment
Simply setting the intention to blog will not make it happen. You need to clarify when you will blog, and get it onto your calendar. Treat this the same as you would any other important commitment.
3. Say no to yourself
If you feel so overloaded with tasks that you can’t imagine taking even 20 minutes at the start of each work day, there is too much on your plate and something has to give. This is a life issue, not a blogging issue, and the rest of your life will be ever so grateful to your blog if you stop taking on too much – and start delegating some of what’s already there.
4. Say no to other people
Whether you’re at home or at work, chances are people are asking for your time. While blogging, close the door, turn off your phone, and stay away from email (see #6). (When you do need to book an early morning meeting or other commitment, reschedule – don’t cancel – your blogging appointment.)
5. Change your environment
Sometimes the easiest way to escape other people’s demands is to relocate. The hustle and bustle of a busy coffee shop can be a soothing form of white noise. Or bring your own white noise or background music.
6. Control your environment
7. Catch competing ideas
Have a notepad handy to write down unrelated thoughts so you know you can come back to them AFTER your blogging time. Some posts require research and gathering links, but while you’re writing, pledge to stay on the screen and just note the things you want to look up later. This practice has been hugely helpful to me.
8. Collect new ideas
If you’re feeling uncertain about the blog writing process, you’ll find any excuse to avoid it. In between blog writing sessions, be sure to make notes about possible blog post topics (e.g., customer questions, web research, magazine covers, current events). You’ll be more eager to sit down and stick with it if you already have something to work with.
9. Buddy up
Pair up with someone with similar blogging goals, join a mastermind group where you hold each other’s feet to the fire, or a try a “take action” day. You could have a friendly competition, or just lean on others for encouragement and acknowledgement.
10. Link your blogging goals with your business goals
If you know why you’re doing something, you’ll feel more inspired to do it. As you’re planning your blogging time, write down a few reminders about how blogging will bring customers to your business.
11. Stick with it
Set a timer and force yourself to sit through periods of writers’ block, discomfort, or even boredom. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits suggests you make each particular task – such as blogging – your entire universe. If you can get over the hump of starting and push past the first urge to flee, you’ll be surprised how prolific you can be.
12. Match the task to the time
Feel low in the middle of the afternoon? Perk up with some stock photo sites and batch the task of finding photos for a few blog posts. Feel most creative and focused in the wee hours? Plan to outline, brainstorm, and write then.
We all have the same 24 hours. If you’ve decided to tap into the power of blogging to attract new customers for your business, please give it the time it deserves.