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One of the biggest things that I learned in my first month of blogging is that blogging can be all consuming. From writing a new post, to promoting that post, to building your social media accounts, to building traffic, to finding sponsored posts…the list goes on and on. It can sometimes feel like you’re spending every waking moment on your blog.
Now, spending time working on your passion is not, in itself, a problem. But many bloggers have families, jobs and other commitments. It can be a challenge to make sure that you get everything done (and keep your sanity in tact). Which is why it’s so important to learn how to find balance as a blogger.
Through my own trial and error, I know that balance is a tricky thing to accomplish. However, at this point, here are the three things that I am finding to be the most helpful.
Create Small, Manageable Goals
When you really start digging into blogging – especially into monetizing your blog – there is so much possibility. It can be easy to get swept away with all the potential – and the big income reports featured on other blogs. And why not? Why shouldn’t you profit off of your passion?
You should. But it’s important to be realistic and accept that a 6-figure blog does not magically appear overnight. It takes hard work and time (and anyone who tells you anything else is lying to you or trying to sell you something).
To help you reach your big goals, it’s important to find all the small, manageable goals along the way. For instance – I currently have a goal to make more money off of sponsored posts (you can learn more about that here). The reality of the situation is that to get accepted to sponsored post networks (and, once accepted, to get chosen for assignments), you have to have a certain level of social media followers.
When I started my blog, I immediately created the four big social media profiles: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. “All are important!” I was told. And all are. But growing each account requires time. And growth in each platform requires different strategies. Trying to actively grow all of them at the same time was causing me to lose sleep. Literally.
So I took a look at the requirements for each sponsored network I was trying to join or trying to get more assignments. Which social media account was asked for the most? And then I looked at my accounts. Where was I already having the best success? After taking all that information, I put my focus on growing one account (which, for me, was Twitter). And that growth has led to an increase in my overall goal of securing sponsored posts. Once I am satisfied with my Twitter growth, it will be time to pick a new account.
In short? To find more balance, take one of your big goals and break it down into 1, 2, or 3 smaller goals. And then focus on accomplishing one small goal at a time, letting the rest of it fall to the side. This way, instead of feeling like you’re throwing a mass of darts at the wall and hoping something will stick, you will start to (quickly!) see real, positive growth.
Which, let’s be honest, provides an amazing amount of encouragement to keep going with the knowledge that you can, indeed, succeed.
Automate What You Can
There’s a lot of things in the blogging world that you need to do yourself. There are also lots of things in the blogging world that you can pay other people or companies to do for you.
Personally, I look forward to the day when my blog makes enough that it makes financial sense to hire a virtual assistant who can do all my social media and sharing threads. Hopefully that will be soon. Until that day, however, I try to take things off my plate by delegating them to software.
Now, there are lots of options when it comes to blogging software. Some of it is helpful. Some of it is not. It’s important that you invest in your blog to make it successful. It’s also important to make sure that you aren’t paying for things that you don’t need.
There are two automations that I find super helpful. The first is Tailwind, which I use for Pinterest. Now, I admit, I was skeptical at first. Why would I need a software to schedule my pins when I can manually pin for free?
Because I didn’t. Frankly, I don’t want to spend lots of time on Pinterest. And so my “spend time on Pinterest” goal usually fell to the bottom of my to do list. Which meant I would sometimes go for long spurts without any activity. Since Pinterest is one of the biggest generators of traffic for bloggers, this was not helping me.
So I tried the free trial at Tailwind. Mostly to see if all the claims I was reading were true. (And, being free, I figured I had nothing to lose!) This is what happened in the first few days.
Needless to say, I quickly became a believer.
The thing I like most about Tailwind is that I can block out a short amount of time (30 minutes to an hour) and have my pins lined up for the next week (or two or three). Then I don’t have to think about it anymore. My Pinterest remains active, my pins become more popular, and traffic to my blog improves. It’s a win, win, win.
But don’t take my word for it. Try the free trial for yourself (which gives you 100 free pins) and see if it’s worth it.
The second automation I find super helpful is Revive Old Post by Revive Social. Now, while I use Tailwind to help drive traffic, as I said above, my focus has been on increasing my Twitter so that I can qualify for more sponsored posts.
Which is why Revive Old Post is so helpful. Revive Old Post is a WordPress plugin that automatically shares your posts to your social media accounts on a set schedule. And, the best thing about it, is that it goes through your post archives (the posts you spent so much time on months or years ago) and shares those as well! This can breathe so much life into your blog, and keeps your social media accounts active even when you’re off doing other things.
Give Yourself a Break
Speaking of being off doing other things, it’s so important to give yourself a break.
A break from huge, potentially unattainable goals (such as going from $0 profit to $10,000 profit in a month or two – hey, I dream big!). Remind yourself that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and that with each moment you spend on your blog, you are building the business you have been dreaming about.
And a break from your blog (and your social media). Between your smaller goals and your automation, find the time to turn off your computer and focus on the other pleasure and passions in your life. Taking time to read a book or play with your children or add to your travel bucket list will rejuvenate you and help you remember why you’re doing all this hard work in the first place.
Do you have any special tips or tricks to finding balance as a blogger? Share your insights in the comments below!