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.Stop working so hard on your blog and make your blog work for you, 24/7. Click To Tweet
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).
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.
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.
Right now, I’m learning more about Facebook ads because I know I want to run a big Facebook campaign later this year and I want to know what I’m doing before I sit down to create it. I’m also studying the Pindepth Advanced course, because I know Pinterest is a valuable traffic source but I’ve decided I don’t want to outsource any of my social media activity. It just doesn’t feel very authentic to me.
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. If you don’t enjoy something, but it still needs to get done, you simply outsource it, which has the same effect.
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.