Banish Blogging Overwhelm: How to work less and accomplish more

Blogging overwhelm affects most bloggers at some point. It often sets in shortly after the excitement of starting a brand new blog wears off, and it’s worse when you feel you have few readers or very little purpose. Sometimes you feel like you’re always working on your blog, when ideally, your blog should be working for you, constantly, even while you sleep.

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Banish blogging Overwhelm: How to work less and accomplish more with your blog

Disclosure: Links in this post (and anywhere on The Savvy Solopreneur) may be affiliate links. Find out what that means here.

Use the following tricks to banish blogging overwhelm and keep your blog working for you throughout 2017.

Get your plan on

Where’s the money coming from, and how will your blog support this? Your blog posts should promote and compliment the products and services you offer, whether that’s your own offerings, or those you’re an affiliate for. So plan each post in advance AND plan how you’ll monetize it at the same time. Set goals for your blog and business, and make sure every post you write supports one or more of those goals.

Why it helps: You see the big picture and never lose sight of your purpose. You don’t fall into the trap of ‘blogging for no reason’.

Develop a content calendar

How often will you post, what will you post about and why? This ties into the above point. I look at the new ebooks, success kits and courses that I’ll be launching, the affiliate products I’ll be promoting, and the services I want to sell. Then I put together a content calendar full of blog posts that will help promote what I’m selling each month. I show you how I put my content calendar together in this post.

Why it helps: You know in advance what you’re doing. You’re never caught short, without ideas. Again, you don’t feel like you have to write posts for the hell of it. You approach everything with a sense of purpose.

Break down your blogging tasks

I fit blogging round a LOT of client work, so I do one tiny task each day of the week to produce my weekly blog post. Often this will look something like this:

  • Sunday: Research (including keywords for SEO purposes)
  • Monday: Outline
  • Tuesday: Draft
  • Wednesday: Edit
  • Thursday: Add links and images
  • Friday: Proofread, publish and promote

I break down other blogging tasks, such as guest posting, commenting, social media promotion and product development into small, easily achievable tasks too.

Why it helps: Each individual task is small and manageable, and on your schedule. You finish that task and go onto something else, like client work, knowing your weekly blogging tasks are under control.

Triple D your tasks

I talk about this a lot here on The Savvy Solopreneur (in this post on productivity, for example). You want to look at each blogging task and either do it, delete it or delegate it, each week. Don’t keep tasks on your to-do list for months.

Why it helps: Everything is scheduled, handed over to someone else or eliminated. Nothing is still floating around in your head contributing to overwhelm. If you’re not sure about delegating, check out The Savvy Solopreneur’s Guide to Outsourcing, or consider the excellent Outsource Weekly course.

Which blogging tasks can you automate?

I’m not a fan of over-automization, but a little can help you stay out of overwhelm. You should definitely automate your sales funnels, your email autoresponder welcome sequence (duh!) and some social media (I spend my downtime surfing other cool blogs in my niche and load their posts into free scheduling tools – I use Buffer and Hootsuite – to go out at regular intervals).

The lovely Emily over at My Adaptable Career wrote a great post on automating blog tasks that you might like to bookmark or pin for later.

Why it helps: At least some of your blogging tasks are on a ‘set it and forget it’ loop that you don’t have to worry about on a daily basis.

Get your systems in place

Systems, templates, and checklists are your friend. If there’s a multi-step task you have to do regularly, make a checklist for it. Make a basic template (or a few alternatives) for your blog posts, newsletters and social media images.

If you use an email system like Mailchimp (I do – love it) you can click ‘save as a template’ when you’re happy with the look of a newsletter, and just go in and change the text (and images if you want) next time.

If you use an online editor like Canva to make images, all your images are saved in your account (even if you only use the free version) so you can adapt them in the future. You can even buy in checklists and templates for some tasks (like these and these).

There are a ton of blogging checklists, cheat sheets and templates inside The Busy Blogger’s Success Kit. Check out the details here, and don’t forget you get the chance to grab the kit half-price when you subscribe.

Busy Blogger's Success Kit

Why it helps: You save time, but more importantly, you save mental and creative energy. You don’t feel overwhelmed by having to start things from scratch every time.

Have your go-to sites to hand

Once you’ve found something that works it’s easier to stick with it rather than try and reinvent the wheel.

For example, I need a lot of images in my content creation work, but I’m not going to hunt around a hundred stock sites for them. My favorite stock site is Creative Market. It has lovely, modern, styled stock photos that match my brand and don’t look too ‘stocky’. If I need free photos I’ll check out Pixabay and Morguefile. That’s it. There are hundreds of other stock sites. I’m not going through all of them.

Why it helps: Less decision making equals less overwhelm. It’s that simple.

Learn how to do stuff, or delegate it                

It takes a huge amount of time and energy to figure out how to do something new, or struggle with doing something that you’re very inexperienced at. Do yourself a favor. Learn how to do it, or let someone else to do it. If you’re going to do it yourself, learn how BEFORE you attempt it under the pressure of a deadline. Plan out your education just as you plan your blogging tasks.

The next six months of my biz related education is covered because I just grabbed my New Year, New You, New Business Bundle. That’s a bundle of online courses, info products and even coaching sessions that will take me six months to access and learn from properly. When I’ve been through the bundle I’ll know a lot more about design and coding (a weak spot for me) and sales funnels (a particular interest of mine as I want more passive income in 2017). I’ll also be healthier, and so will my blog! Yes, I’m an affiliate for the bundle (and my Freelance Writer’s Success Kit is part of it), but it really is the exact product I’ll be using to improve my blog and business this year.

Why it helps: When you sit down to do a task you’ve already learned how to do it. This reduces stress and overwhelm, and saves a ton of time.

Keeping blogging overwhelm under control is a really important step if you want to build or grow your blog and make consistent income from it this year. Make sure you pin or save this post for later (if you’re a Pinterest fan, connect with me over there).

Brand new blogger struggling to find your writing style? Or perhaps an experienced blogger who is finding it difficult to consistently generate high-quality new content for your blog(s)? You might like the Blog Writing Bootcamp from blogging superstar Mary Jaksch. I’ve done several online trainings with her. She’s amazing.


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Comments

  1. Hi Karen,

    Super tips 😉

    Delegating and deleting are my fave tips to reduce blogging overwhelm. Powerful 1-2 punch, a double d devastation that overwhelm cannot resist. Example; I published my weekly free eBook giveaway 5 minutes ago. Instead of spending 30 minutes promoting the post on free Amazon Kindle groups thru FB and G Plus I deleted these actions – felt heavy, or low energy, to me – and freed up those 30 minutes on Friday to either enjoy my travels or to devote to something more fun online.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…7 Smart Monetizing Tips for Hungry Travel Bloggers (Amazon eBook)My Profile

    1. Karen says:

      Great example, Ryan. And you raise another great point. It’s fine to delete things one week, because you’re low on energy or time, or just have something better to do. If your energy is high again next week, or you have more time, you can move it to the ‘do’ list. Overwhelm sets in when we’re too rigid. Some things have just enough impact that it’s fine to do them when there’s time and energy to spare and ditch them when there isn’t.
      Karen recently posted…Ten Tips for Setting Business Goals as a SolopreneurMy Profile

  2. Great post! I know I need to focus more on planning and automation for my blog in the new year. I am also not a fan in too much automation, but it does help reduce stress. A blog post checklist really helped me make sure I hit all my points before I hit publish. In 2017, I definitely want to figure out how to use scheduling tools to help me more.

    1. Karen says:

      Hi Shaina. Thanks for stopping by. It’s definitely a difficult balance between automization and being present and real in your business dealings. One thing I always advise is that bloggers should check any ‘set it and forget it’ systems regularly. It’s obvious when you sign up for an ecourse and the information is outdated or the links are broken, that someone has automated that (maybe years ago!) and never updated or even gone back to check it’s all still relevant and functioning. There is no true ‘set it and forget it’ system. Just some ‘set it and monitor it sporadically’ systems! 🙂
      Karen recently posted…Five Free Tools I’ve Used To Improve My BlogMy Profile

  3. Some excellent points you’ve raised here, Karen. I also use an editorial calendar to plan my blog content. I find organisation is key to reaching targets and goals, and just generally allowing my brain to switch off and sleep at night! #weekendblogshare x
    Steph at Mental Parentals recently posted…Blogging Goals for 2017My Profile

  4. Karen says:

    Thanks for stopping by Steph. I’ve had so much response to the idea of an editorial calendar, my next post will be all about setting one up. Love the name of your blog, by the way. My family life is pretty mental! Will take a closer look at it later. 🙂
    Karen recently posted…15 Quick Tips to Increase ProductivityMy Profile

  5. You are so right about the delegating /deleting concept! Fabulous post. For sure I will use some of your ideas! You are so organised. I love the way you break down the week. It makes sense, especially when you work outside your blog like me! #weekendblogshare

    1. Karen says:

      I’ve been deleting today actually. Feels so good to just put a line through something on your to do list and accept that it doesn’t need doing! My mantra for this year is ‘do less, but better’.
      Karen recently posted…Three Essential Things To Do Before You OutsourceMy Profile

  6. I love these tips – thank you. I’ve book marked it for the future as well. My biggest problem is building social media – you need to be present to do so and then I get sucked in! Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare
    Hannah Spannah recently posted…Weekend Blog Share – 20th – 22nd January 2017My Profile

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Hannah. As a fellow Brit, I’ve switched to doing most social media promotion in the evenings. My audience in the USA are all online as it’s daytime there, my audience in the UK & Europe are still up, and if I get sucked in at least I haven’t wasted prime time during the day when I’m at my most productive!
    Karen recently posted…Creating A Content Calendar For Your Blog And BusinessMy Profile

  8. I have learned a way of getting the most out of what I do, but I need to automate more. Most automations cost money though. I have found a good process with nearly all aspects that I am doing right now, sometimes things get in the way like life or health issues, but otherwise things flow a lot better with a system in place!

    1. Karen says:

      Some automation systems do cost money but there’s often a free version or a free trial. I’ll always use those first when available to see if it’s really worth it. You don’t want to add something useless (or perhaps even more complicated) to your process!
      Karen recently posted…Ten Steps To Creating An Epic Blog PostMy Profile

  9. Amanda says:

    I have not worked with a proper editorial calendar and now I know why I have not progressed as a blogger – I did not have a plan and set goals. What you have said is very true and from your intro, I also figured why I have not made money yet – action time!

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda. It’s so good to hear this post helped you figure out what you need to change and where you need to go. Getting an editorial calendar in place (that ties in with all your monetisation plans) is a great first step.
    Karen recently posted…How to Systemize Your Online BusinessMy Profile

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