I was chatting on Twitter with a fellow blogger and we got to talking about balancing the content part of blogging with the business management side of it. She wanted to know how other bloggers were managing them both with out burning out.
I don’t have the answers for everyone but I’m sure that what I share of my strategy will help someone put together a plan that can work for them. I am going to break this post up into several parts simply because there are so many components to managing a non hobby blog.
What do I mean by a non hobby blog?
A non hobby blog is one the is not just written for fun. It’s one that would include one or more of the following components.
- A business model or plan
- A set goal or loose schedule of when content will be published
- May or may not create a source of income
My blog began as a hobby. A place to share my journey to becoming a Proverbs 31 women. When I first began studying Proverbs 31, I didn’t give much thought to verse 31:24. I really did not know how God would manifest the entrepreneurial side of Proverbs 31 in my life. As time went on God began to send opportunities for content my way which allowed me to write about what interested me and my readers while earning an income.
So now it’s not just about writing content. It’s also about screening advertisers, tracking income, filing taxes, knowing the law, learning about new plugins that will make this site better.
Content Always Comes First.
My first priority is making sure that I have content for my blog which is why I dedicate 50% of my work efforts to this task. That consists of scheduled post, written drafts, pending reviews and notes. Without content, there is no blog, so the majority of my time will be dedicated to content production. I have several methods I that I use to create content, many of which do not involve me being online. Using a notebook, a Blackberry, PDA or other mobile device can allow any blogger to create consistent content even when they are away from their desk.
Managing Partners and Affiliates.
This category is important because it’s what pays the bills around here. It pays for the newsletter, the hosting, the domain name, the giveaways and the conferences among other things. From my chart above you can see that I spend 15% of my time researching new affiliates, talking to partners, planning ad campaigns and monitoring them. This is the second largest uses of my work time because I am particular about what ads show up on my site. I use this time to research advertisers, verify their offers, and then plan out a affiliate advertisement posting schedule. I also talk with potential partners and research new affiliates.
When it comes to email I like to touch it once and be done with it. I check my email about four times a day for about 5-8 minutes at a time. I do this so that I doesn’t become overwhelming. I get a lot of promotional emails, coupons and deals in my inbox. Those are super easy to go through because they create much of the daily content on my blog. As I look at each email I grab the info I want to use for a post along with any necessary links and paste them in a post draft. Then I hit ‘DELETE‘ in my inbox. As I look at each email, I decide on a concrete action and carry it out. With each email I either send to ‘needs attention’ to attend to it later, reply, unsubscribe, post it and or delete it. I also read my emails based on order of importance which is why I love using Gmail’s ‘Priority Inbox’.
Social Media on Cruise Control.
This next tip may not work for everyone but it works for me and my readers. It’s what I’ve done from the beginning so I’m not going to change something that’s not broken. All of my posts, except those that I manually exclude, are sent to both my Facebook wall and Twitter page. This works for my readers because some of them rarely visit my blog to check for updates. They go straight to their social media accounts…and that’s cool. So having my post auto publish to social media allows me to stay active on social media while dedicating less time to it. Most of my social media interaction in done in the morning and afternoon. The largest chunk of my social media activities are pre-scheduling specific tweets and facebook status updates that are not post related. I talk to you more in a future post about what I pre-schedule.
Read Other Blogs But Don’t Over-Do-It!
There is a such thing as over-doing-it when it comes to reading other blogs. You can read so much random information, that when it comes time for you to write, your brain is mush. I save my blog reading time to the evenings or after I’ve already posted my content. I publish content in the morning, again in the afternoon and then in the early evenings. After I’ve written my content for the morning, I may break and read a few blogs that interest me just before I log off. Limiting the amount of time I spend on other peoples blogs helps me get more work done on my own.
Tech Stuff….for those of us who can’t afford a professional.
I would love to hire someone to fix the problem when I can’t log into my blog. I’d love to be able to contact ‘my tech support team‘ when my I can’t get a post to publish. Unfortunately, I am ‘my tech support team‘. When something is broken, I fix it. When a new feature comes out that promises to make my blog load faster, engage my readers more or make Google notice lil’ ol’ me….I install it and figure out how to make it work. This is why according to my pie chart, the tech work is almost equivalent to my social media time and affiliate time. Understanding how my blog works is not so bad though. Once I am able to hire someone to take care of this part of blogging at least I won’t be completely clueless about the back end and coding part of blogging.
The other stuff.
The remaining part of my blogging time is dedicated to writing guest posts and working on projects not primarily hosted on my blog.
What are some ways that managing your home and other responsibilities are similar to managing your online time?