We have had several people request our blog schedules. So, this week we are going to talk about how we manage to get it all done. Kelli and Crystal both run full-time blogs, homeschool, help their active husbands, and cook & clean. This is done without the help of housekeepers or nannies. Find out how we manage!
Speakers in Hangout Are:
Crystal Van Tassel of Crystalandcomp.com
Kelli Miller of 3Boysandadog.com
When should I work?
Where should I setup my desk?
What needs to get done each day?
How to Get Your Most Important Tasks Done First
We can get so much done when there are no distractions. Biggest tip – Decide if you’re going to get up early or stay up late. Crystal may get up at 5:30 to start her day. You get 4 hours worth of work done in 2 hours. She used to check email first, schedule to Facebook, start working on a blog post, and then plan the rest of the tasks for the day.
Where should I setup my desk?
Crystal has an open layout in her main living area. The kids are working nearby her desk. Consider your personality, your kids’ personalities, and where you are in your life to setup your blogging office successfully. Maybe you setup a desk in the main area alongside littles or maybe you need a room with a door to get away from loud teens. Do what works best for you.
What Things Must Get Done Every Day?
A quality post needs to go out every day, or every day Monday – Friday, or whatever your posting commitment is. If something else is taking up too much of your time, figure out how to outsource that or barter with someone, an automated way to make it happen. Remove time sucks from your day. If you can pay someone $10 to do something and your time is worth $50, why wouldn’t you outsource?
There is a cycle: content –> pageviews –> revenue –> money to invest back into your business. What if I don’t have $10 to reinvest? Get your blog posts done. You have to have a supportive spouse Kelli can have her “must do” work done by 9:30/10 am each day.
What are the must do’s?
- one blog post
- one Amazon deal blog post
- tribe work (pinning, sharing on Facebook)
- check email
- checking the forum throughout the day
- at night, links up to Facebook share days in kids activities group
1. quick scan through of email (several times a day)’; any deadlines approaching?
2. substantive blog post
3. Viral Tag (prefers to do 6 each hour, but at a minimum schedules her most recent post and anything she’s currently promoting)
Should I Outsource Some Tasks?
Sometimes it’s best to hire out things that need to be done. For example, Crystal knows that StumbleUpon can bring her traffic but she doesn’t understand it. She’d rather pay someone $20 to spend a certain amount of time promoting her content there. She doesn’t have the time to commit to learning about the community to utilize it well.
She needs to spend her time creating content.
Example: Linky parties can get you sidetracked. Worth it pay someone else $16/week to do. She checks her traffic on a monthly or quarterly basis to see the results. If a certain party isn’t bringing her traffic, she doesn’t continue linking there.
Kelli needed another source of traffic to give her a boost because her traffic plateaued. She chose StumbleUpon. She takes money she’s making from her blog and invests it back into her blog by having someone use StumbleUpon to promote her content.
How to Balance Your Home Life & Work Life
Keep the main living areas clean: kitchen, living room, and a load of laundry done. This will give you a sense of calm, especially working from home.
What are your basics that you must have done to make your home function?
At the same time, your blog can’t dictate your life. If the house has been a total wreck for three weeks, you’ve eaten out every night, and the kids aren’t learning anything in homeschool, something is out of balance.
Success brings success. Failure brings failure.
When you’ve done everything that needs to be done, you check email, there’s nothing new, you check Facebook and there’s nothing new, you keep checking, and there’s nothing new…that’s your cue to walk away. You don’t always have to be busy.
Consider keeping email off your phone. See the email mobile, but don’t remember to respond when you get home.
Get More Done By Setting Limits
Set a timer, check email only for that allotted time.
How would you schedule commenting?
Commenting on other blogs – Set your timer for 15-20 minutes. Then, move on. Aim to comment on 5 each day ( a total of 25 each week). Kelli’s method. Go to Bloglin, open 5 tabs in internet browser with the post, works on them.
How to Control Email
Set a timer: weeds out spam, deletes any she can, responds to ones she sees. If she doesn’t get them all done, it’s ok, she stops. She’ll spend another day going through emails.
Work in bulk
Each day, she has a different focus. After she finishes her must do’s for the day, she works on a project. Examples:
-does research and may create 20 blog drafts
-collecting links (searching Pinterest, Google, custom search)
-one day just on email
-printables (based on her post template)
Remember Your Why
Turning your hobby blog into a business. You have to be writing about your passion. Ask yourself why you’re home.
How are you helping your family if you’re in front of the computer all day? Stick with it. When it’s your time, you will be rewarded.
Get Creative to Find Time to Work
Find a schedule that will work for you. If that means that you get up 30 minutes before or one hour before everyone else in your house on Mon Wed Fri, so you can publish a post on those days, do it. If that means you have to train your children to listen to a book on tape for 30-45 minutes a day, so you can get your work done, do it. Get an educational video from the library to keep them busy.
Can you earn an income from your blog while working full time outside the home? Mom Advice does all of her work on the weekend. Prepares blog posts, edits photos, and then schedules everything.
Make Time for Family
If you’ve run up against a wall where the kids are arguing, acting out, etc., leave the house to go run errands, go to the park, or go outside and play on the trampoline together. It will rejuvenate everyone.
Be sure to spend time with your spouse and children. We cannot spend more time on our blog than we do with our family.
When you get away from the computer and spend time with your family you will be inspired and recharged. You will have more ideas for things to write about.
When people say how do you do it all?
Being busy is not always a good thing.
What are your goals? What are the daily basics that must get done?
Make a list. Pick 3-5 that are the most important. Get those done everyday. (home and work)
Getting done is all about planning. Plan your meals, use your crockpot if it helps.
Use a timer to limit the time you spend on tasks. Spend 15 minutes and move on.
A service like ViralTag allows her to promote her content without being sucked in to reading content during her promotional time.
You can’t start out by researching apple crafts for kids on Pinterest and end up spending 30 minutes. Add in extra tasks like the forum, class, and hangouts.
No matter what, you have to be able to bend.
Get up before your family. Have a list of priorities for the day.
Should I Spend My Time Applying for Sponsored Posts?
Do you spend a lot of time applying for and working on sponsored posts? Kelli’s approach: she completes a profile for a network or PR firm, will not spend 30 minutes filling out a form to work with a particular brand. She spends her time creating content.
Crystal’s approach: feels the same way. There was a time when she would spend 45 minutes completing an application for Social Fabric to work on a particular campaign, then only receive less than 25% of them. The pay was not great. It’s a place to start. If you don’t want to apply, then don’t. They both like to work with IZEA and TapInfluence because you accept or decline and choose a date.
No matter how much money you’re offered, be authentic.
Whatever you earn, reinvest some back into your site. If you make $200, put $20 into a service (Facebook, StumbleUpon, linky parties, etc.) to grow your blog.
You don’t have to say yes to every opportunity, every dollar, every brand.
How to get organized and schedule ahead for the summer or the holidays
Kelli made a plan and scheduled out Tuesday and Thursday for the summer. Did the same for Wednesday. Then Monday and Friday. Worked really hard leading up to the holidays.
Example: start in September for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Work on today’s blog post. Start working on another blog post. Tomorrow, work on tomorrow’s blog post. Finish the second one from yesterday and get it scheduled for December.
If December has 31 days, you will need 62 days to get ahead on those posts (starting October 1 at the latest).
Find a way to work smarter so that you don’t have to work 10 hours a day to get the results you want.
Look at how you’re managing your day and figure out ways to make it better.
- Decide how much time you’re going to spend and what your must do’s are for every day.
- Make a short list of 3-4 items.
- Figure out when you’ll get them done. Maybe you do it all at once. Maybe you split it up into 3 parts throughout the day.
- Do what works for you. Don’t be afraid to try different things.