Starting a blog can be incredibly daunting. If you are anything like me, you are not a writer or a coder. So starting a blog is like trying to study medicine in Japanese.
On top of that, you must organize your time for maximum efficiency, especially if you have a full-time job as well (or kiddies!).
There are so many tasks and elements that go into a blog, some more important than others, but when the H are you supposed to do them and in what order?
The biggest things I struggled with when starting this blog was knowing what to do, how to do it and when it should be done.
Just a heads up, this post may contain affiliate links. It won’t cost you any extra but I may receive a small commission. I don’t have ads on the site (as I hate them) so this is how I help with the blog running costs. I only recommend things I use or that would be useful to you.
I got the ‘WHAT’ and ‘HOW’ sorted as I took a course from Create and Go called Build and Launch Your Blog. This course takes you through setting up your blog with WordPress and getting your first 10 posts written so that your blog is ‘launched’.
Just a note: C&G recommend Bluehost as the hosting platform for your blog but I decided to go with Siteground after doing my own research. (They’re both similar in terms of pricing and what they offer, I just preferred Siteground).
To be honest, no one really needs a blogging course, I genuinely believe that where there is a will there is a way. If you want something bad enough you will find a way to do it.
On the other hand, if you have some money to invest in your business, buying a course can save a lot of time and frustration. It gives you a great roadmap to follow, so you don’t get completely overwhelmed.
Without trying to sound like a spammy salesperson, (and I’ll shut up about the course in a sec!), I looked at a lot of courses and I chose Create and Go for 2 reasons.
- Most other blogging courses are the complete package and are priced north of $500. I liked that the Create and Go Launch Your Blog Course was for complete beginners and around $100. That meant that if I didn’t get on with blogging, I had lost some money, but not $500 kind of money.
- They had built a successful blog themselves that wasn’t about blogging or how to make money. Their first successful blog was Avocadu which is about yoga and weightloss.
I am now working my way through their Make Money Blogging course, they also have courses named Pinterest Avalanche and Six-Figure Blogger depending on your needs, you can check them out here if you are interested.
Anyway, enough of that. On to the point of this post!
So, WHEN should you be working on your blog, and what tasks should you be doing?
Should you write blog posts in the morning or the evening? Should you get up at stupid o’clock to work on your site?
When you have a full-time job, how you plan your day is largely dictated by your contracted hours, meetings you have to attend and deadlines that have been set by someone other than you.
But when you are starting or running a blog, the lines can be very blurry.
Questions swirl around your head like:
- What should I work on first?
- How do I make time for everything?
- How much time should I spend on each thing?
- What time should I wake up?
- What should my routine look like?
- How much time should I spend writing?
- How many hours should I spend promoting social media?
- Do I really have to work an 80 hours week to be successful?
Aargh, can someone please just tell me what to do?!
So what do the successful bloggers do? There are all different types of bloggers, ones who still have day jobs, those who blog full-time, and those who have one or many children.
They can’t all be following the same schedule yet they are all successful in their own right. So, how do they plan their days?
How six-figure bloggers plan their day
BLOGGER WHO ALSO WORKS FULL-TIME
Natalie Bacon up until recently, had a full-time job as a financial planner, made upwards of $6,000 a month from her blog, and still managed to find time to see her friends, and family without totally losing her sh*t.
Natalie has since quit her full-time job to blog full-time as she has been so successful with it. (She also took the Create and Go courses)
This lady is the absolute Queen of Planning and Productivity. It’s insane how much she gets done!
She has some great content on youtube and her blog on how to be productive, below was a typical day while Natalie was working full-time.
Warning: her wake-up time will make your eyes water.
Between 4:30 and 5am – wake up (ouch!)
4:45am Showers and gets ready for the day. Listens to podcasts while getting ready. Does 5-minute journal.
5am – 6:45am Works on her blog (she plans what to focus on the night before).
6:45am – leaves the house for work. Arrives at work at 7 am, works until 4 pm with an hour for lunch.
Lunch hour either walks or reads or blogs.
Home at 5pm, starts evening routine. Gets changed, takes off makeup, packs lunch and picks out what to wear for next day. Prepares dinner, something quick (pasta or rice).
Blogs again for 1-2 hours, Natalie has designated tasks in each time slot so less thinking needed when tired after a day at work.
Gets ready for bed at 8:45pm, in bed by 9pm. Does 5-minute journal, plans the next day.
Natalie also works on her business on Sunday as she records and edits her Youtube videos.
You can watch her talk through her schedule on Youtube here
I am pleased to say that Natalie will be getting up at 5:30 am as a full-time blogger so will get a bit more sleep!
Melyssa runs an insanely successful business (think over $1 million a year) selling online courses. She actually hit a million within 3 years of launching her blog which is quite frankly, nuts.
What is surprising about her day, is that she doesn’t get up at ‘shoot me o’clock’ but actually wakes up at a normal human time. Whether this has always been the case, I don’t know, but still good to see.
You can read the full article about her typical day here
Wakes up between 8am and 8:45am, eats breakfast
8:45am to 9:30am – answers emails and makes to do list
9:30am-12:30am – works on to do list, such as writing blog posts, responding to blog comments, working on the newsletter, taking photos for the blog, doing blog coaching.
12:30pm-1: 15am – lunch
1:15pm to 1:45pm – check emails and social media
1:45pm to 6pm works on to do list such as creating blog posts, social media editing, creating e-books
6pm – watches Netflix, cooks dinner, works on the fun bits for the business which she likes doing
Believe in a Budget is run by Kristin Larsen. She launched the blog in 2015 as a side hustle while working as a designer. Less than a year later she quit work to run her blog full-time.
You can read the full article of her daily routine here
5:30am – wake up
6:30am-12:30am – go to coffee shop and work on to do list
1-3pm – workout and do stuff around the house
3-5pm – Kristin says her brain power is waning at this point so she uses the time to brainstorm a list of blog post ideas, newsletter ideas and things to research.
The Happiest Home
This blog is run by Meagan, a writer, and mum to 5 kids!
Here is the full article if you want to have a read
7am-8am – gets up and get kids up, makes breakfast
8am-9:30am – works on to do list – writing, working with Managing editor to coordinate images for posts, checking the Facebook page, answering emails from sponsors, and making sure commitments are met on ongoing projects.
9:30am-11am gets the youngest child up and wraps up loose ends from morning
11am-1pm goes to the gym
1pm-4pm records podcasts and does video projects,
4pm-8pm kids come home from school, make dinner
“Well that’s all well and good, but how does that help me plan my day?”
Spoiler alert: what I came to realise is that there is no right answer to ‘when should I work on my blog’.
All of the bloggers featured above have been doing this for a few years at least, so they will have tried and tested many routines before finding one that works best for them.
It’s all down to personal preference and circumstance, however it is helpful and reassuring to see the actual schedules of people who are doing what you want to do.
The key points to consider how much time do you have and how productive are you being?
Side note: it’s important to be honest with yourself, I know I could be more productive by canceling Netflix, even if I am tired I could still be pinning on Pinterest rather than watching Jessica Jones drink some more whiskey.
Once you know how much time you have, are there ways you can free up more time?
How can I make more time?
- Decide what is more important, your blog, or the other thing you are about to do
- Get up earlier – only do this if you are a morning person and will actually use the time productively
- Save time by cooking simple meals or cook them in advance. $5 meal plan is a great resource to save even more time as they send recipes and grocery lists to you each week
- Stop reading other people’s blog posts (apart from this one!). If all you do is consume other’s content, you are wasting time when you could be writing your own
- Stop watching TV
- Listen to audiobooks while you exercise
- Delete your social media apps (I have actually done this if I need social media for the blog I will log on to my laptop)
- Say no to dinners out, brunches etc
- Stop checking your emails (turn off the alerts on your phone)
- Use your lunch hour if you work full-time
- Set a time limit for tasks
Here are some other blog posts that you may find useful:
How can I be more productive?
Once you know how much time you, you need to maximise your productivity within that time.
Here are some ideas to try:
- Do the hardest tasks when you are at your peak work time. For me, it is the morning before I start anything else
- Listen to podcasts while getting ready for work
- Use your commute to listen to podcasts, read books, write blog post drafts (I sometimes write posts in the notes section on my phone)
- Write blog posts in your head (this always happens in the shower for some reason, ha!)
- Create an editorial calendar so you know which posts you will publish and when
- Set yourself a routine, it doesn’t matter if you tweak it, just see what works best for you.
- Don’t multitask
- Listen to focus music while you work – this has really helped me concentrate when writing posts. Just type in ‘focus music’ in youtube and pick one.
- Use a planner. Natalie uses a Productivity Planner from Intelligent Change. I don’t think you need to actually buy one, you can get a free sample page from the website that you can print out for each day and use.
Learning about WordPress, affiliate marketing, Pinterest, Youtube, the list is endless! The only way to do this is to eat the elephant one bite at a time.
There is no one size fits all solution to planning your blogging day. It is going to depend on your personal circumstance and how much time you have.
As your blog progresses, it will become clearer what you need to do and when, now, I’ve got myself into a good routine, and use my google calendar to drag and drop tasks as and when I need to do them.
At the beginning though, I found it best to see what others did and then try it for myself.
Apart from getting up at 4:30 am like Natalie Bacon did, that would kill me 😉
Here are some more posts that might help!
Have you started your blog? How do you plan your day?