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I’ve had blogs in the past but this time I was determined to commit to my vision and go from blogger to small business owner
Starting my own business has been scary, in fact just this morning I was listening to talks about the fears of starting a business. Generally, I try to listen to three motivational talks or podcasts per week. They’re a great way to start the day.
I had to take a couple of months out for personal reasons, which has ultimately affected my productivity. Although I still tried to produce content during this time and started to work on old content, I wasn’t really nailing it. The promotion of my business came to a stop and as for my schedule? I might as well of just chucked it out of the window.
Which as you can imagine after seven months of hard work, was incredibly frustrating. However, the decision to stop and get myself together was a wise one, albeit it costly (not just for profit but for stats).
As difficult as the past few months have been, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Sometimes things happen in life that are out of our control and when you go self-employed this is, of course, one of those things to factor in, if you’re unable to work, you’re unable to earn.
Anyway, as I settle back into my routine and start-up my working routine again I find myself procrastinating from time to time, so I thought I’d do a post today on productivity and how to manage your working day as a blogger.
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.Paul J. Meyer
How to stay productive…
As a mother of two, I find this challenging as it is. Managing a small business and two children as a single parent is tough. I’ve also moved house twice and am currently looking for a new property, so that might even be a third time in one year. Ha!
What I do know however is that you cannot run a business without a schedule, nor should you try to. I’m going to share with you some tips that have really helped me to stay focused and productive. If I’m honest the routine is a welcome relief after such a long period of stagnation.
- Take one day at a Time
So this one is obvious but seriously, especially if you’re just starting your blog, take each day, one at a time. Set yourself three important tasks to do each day. Three things that need to be done that are going to help your blog.
It could be ‘concentrate on boosting stats’, or ‘get the paperwork done’ or even ‘refresh old content’. Whatever the aim is, set yourself small manageable tasks that are going to be easy to achieve and help with the overall boosting of your site.
2. Make a Content Schedule
If you’re fitting blogging around a full-time job, your schedule is not going to be as intense but if you’re a stay-at-home momma with a blog on the side or you’ve left full-time employment to pursue your ambitions, you’re going to need a schedule.
I like to break my day up into sections. For example:
A.M: I wake up early and do some writing. Then I have breakfast in the garden with my daughter and listen to an inspiring podcast. Once my two-year-old is settled, my morning usually focuses on the promotion of my content, whether that’s creating pins, posting on multiple social media sites, or commenting on others people’s content.
Side note: Don’t forget to promote other people’s content, they’re trying to succeed just like you, they’re also more likely to promote your content too. Also, the promotion of content that is helpful, (depending on your niche) is what is going to help you to gain a following.
P.M: I like to do photography in the afternoon. This breaks up my day. If I am photographing something outdoors I combine this with motherhood and bring my daughter with me, bonus! Sometimes I will focus on Instagram reels, or if I have paid writing I will focus on that instead.
Side note: When you become a blogger, you start to photograph everything. You never know what image might go viral on Pinterest or what is going to be useful later on.
In the evenings, when my daughter’s fast asleep, this is when I like to do the bulk of my writing for posts. I will then schedule it to be released the following day.
3. Make each day of the week Different
Set each day of the week for a different task. For example:
- Monday: Promotion on social media / Photography
- Tuesday: Blog post/ Promotion
- Wednesday: Photography/ Instagram Reel
- Thursday: Paper work, accounting and invoices/ Blog post
- Friday: Promotion/ Blog post
- Saturday: Scheduled Post/ Promotion and Instagram reel
- Sunday: Morning off/ Promotion
Of course, when I talk about the promotion I am talking about the promotion across multiple social media sites, as well as other people’s content and engaging with followers. I like this part because I am able to multitask and do it on the move. This is fantastic if I’m taking my daughter out for the day.
Side note: I was also lucky enough to join a cross-promotions group on Twitter where we share each other’s content.
These are a great way to meet other bloggers as well as joining a community of people who are likely to share your content that has a similar audience. It’s also a great place to ask if anyone is looking for guest posts.
4. Learn to switch off
So this is something I really struggled with, especially in the first few months. I would find myself checking my email over and over again to see if I’d received any work from clients or staring blankly at my Pinterest stats. While I was spending hours on my blog I wasn’t really doing much.
When my stats dropped, I started to realize that I wasn’t being productive at all. I was costing myself valuable time.
The first couple of months of blogging I was writing content (and I mean a lot of content) but I was also learning as much as I could I was taking courses, reading articles, or watching YouTube videos on everything I could find on the topic of blogging, from website SEO to content production to domain authority.
By the time I got to month four, I’d run out of steam and although I was still working round the clock and pouring time into what I was doing, I’d lost a lot of productivity.
When you start a business it can be tempting to work as much as you can, I mean it’s your business, after all, you want it to succeed but sometimes you need to recognise your productivity is dipping. Take some time out to recharge and regain your focus.
5. Make a Video Diary
I like to make a 15-minute video diary every week where I talk about my productivity, things that I’ve learned, and things that haven’t worked for me. I also talk about how I’m feeling, like if I’m burnt out or feel full of energy.
I’ve been doing this since I started my blog, just about every week and I think they’re great when you’re having days where you’ve lost inspiration or you’re feeling a lack of motivation, to watch them.
Often after watching what I have talked about I am suddenly inspired to write something about my journey so far.
They also help me to keep track of what I have been doing from week to week.
6. Set a SMART Goal every Monday
Set one SMART business goal every Monday morning. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Setting a target for yourself to smash every week will give you focus. For example, I like to set myself stats goals. I like to try and beat the week’s previous stats, or sometimes my best ever week of stats.
Side note: If you don’t reach your goal, spend time on Sunday working out why and what strategies you will try the following week to try again.
7. Get up early in the morning and Exercise
Waking up early is so important. The days when I have a lie in my productivity is awful. I’m also at my most creative and productive in the mornings. I work a lot faster and am generally super focused so this is a prime working time for me.
If you take the time to listen to other people’s success stories, or motivational podcasts, or an entrepreneur’s ‘a day in the life video’, they all do the same thing. Early mornings and exercise are so important.
8. Get organised
Confession time, when I first started this blog I used to sit on the couch and write or snuggle up in bed late at night with a cup of cocoa. Like those pictures, you see on Pinterest. Other than the back pain I started to get after countless hours of writing I also wasn’t organised at all.
It wasn’t until February that I purchased a desk for myself as a birthday present, a whopping five months in. You need to be organised. If you want your business to take off, create a space where it can.
Those are my top eight tips for productivity, share my post if you liked my content and hit that like button.
Comment below with your productivity tips. What keeps you motivated?