So, we’ve already talked about what might be on your blogging schedule – it’s more than just publishing posts. To recap, some things you might schedule are:
- Writing posts
- Publishing/scheduling posts
- Promotion on social media
- And lots more.
Two parts go into creating your schedule: figuring out how long tasks will take, and then scheduling time to do them.
Laying the Groundwork
In order to create a schedule, you need to first know how long certain tasks will take. Otherwise, you may schedule 6 hours worth of blogging stuff for a night where you only have 4 available hours after work (I do this all the time!).
First, you need to know yourself pretty well. My friend Jess is a huge advocate of energy management, and I’m trying to get more into it. Honestly, I think my problem is that my tendency is towards nocturnal, and you can’t blog at 3 am when you work an 8-5 job. But I’m searching for that other sweet spot. I think it’s times like now, with an episode of Parks and Rec, that I’ve seen at least 10 times, on in the background.
Basically, look at the times that you’re available to work on your blog, and figure out your ebbs and flows during that time. When you’re feeling really awake and inspired, that’s when you need to make sure you’re writing new posts. When you’re free, but maybe a little tired, that’s when you tackle things like email and blog maintenance.
For example, I usually go through my blog email’s inbox on my phone while I eat breakfast. I read through any blog post emails and author newsletters, add any new tour info emails to my editorial calendar and move them into the right folder, etc. It’s not always quick, but it’s easy. So it makes sense to do it while I’m multitasking and tired.
I’m usually pretty energized on my lunch break, when I use my laptop from the employee lounge at the office. In one hour, I can usually write one blogging tip or two reviews while watching a TV show I’ve seen a hundred times on Netflix. Or I’ll write one review, hop on social, and work on improving the blog. Most of the email marketing updates I did last month, I did on my lunch break.
Timing Your Tasks
You also need to pay attention to how long each task takes. You can do this as strictly or as loosely as you’d like. I try to use my Toggl timer whenever possible to get a really good idea of how long things tend to take.
It varies a lot, but by viewing the reports it generates, I know that most Bumblings Blog Tips take around 45 minutes to write (they’re already outlined in a notebook). Reviews take about 10 minutes to write the review, and 15 minutes to grab all the book info, cover, and fill out all the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin stuff.
However, I also know that those tasks will take longer if I attempt them before noon (on weekends or days off work). Because I have zero energy before at least two cans of Diet Coke and one mug of hot chocolate.
Setting Up Your Schedule
So let’s say you’ve figured out that you need to spend an hour per week on email (I know, that’s super optimistic). Then you need to break up that time. You could chunk it all together and check email for one hour, one day a week. For email, that’s probably not a great idea, but you get the gist.
I know some of us spend an hour a day writing posts, while other sit down for the day every Sunday and write all their posts for the week. It’s up to you how often you want to do things.
But try to make it as consistent as possible. This way, things will be regular and routine, so it’s easier to stick to your schedule. I like to either do something once a day, once a week, or once a month. Even if doing something once per day means it only takes 2 minutes, which seems kind of a waste. But doing something every day for two minutes becomes a habit easily, where doing something every three days feels weird for me.
To keep track of it all, I set up recurring tasks in Todoist. I’ll go into this more in the post on sticking to your schedule, but it’s really easy and helpful. I’m the kind of person that gets deeply unsettled when I go to bed with unchecked items on my to-do list for the day.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve figured out how long each task takes, and when you’ll be at your best doing it, it’s time to start distributing your schedule throughout the week/day/etc.
If you’re participating in the blogging schedule challenge, have you done the research to create a schedule?
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