This guest post was written by Timo Kiander who is a part-time blogger who blogs at http://www.timokiander.com
If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines here.
Many people build their blogs while having a 9-5 job. Blogging requires work and in order to make the most out of one’s free time, the blogger has to adopt certain productive habits.
I have made a list of the 7 habits I have used to maintain and develop my blog, while working 9-5, having a family life and certain time-consuming hobbies (marathons and triathlons) at the same time.
1. Remember your purpose
This is the most important point of all. In order to motivate yourself to keep on writing and building your blog, you need to understand why you are doing this.
Knowing, why you started your blog in the first place and what is your end goal are the things that push you forward – even in those times when you feel you don’t like working at all.
For example, you could be thinking, that the reason you started out was to become an authority in your niche and that you want to have a successful online business, working at home.
Or, maybe you want to escape the 9-5 and start doing what your passion is – full-time. That is another way of defining your purpose and why you started your blog in the first place.
Whatever the purpose is, remembering it motivates you and all of a sudden, you will find time for your blogging activities.
2. Know your priorities
When I work, I want to focus on my blog first and on other stuff later. For example, I have cut down the amount of TV time to minimum, because watching TV won’t unfortunately build my blog.
When you are a part-time blogger, you have to set the priorities right. You have to remember, that it takes work to grow your blog and make it successful. Because of that, you may have to give up on certain things (at least temporarily), that you used to do before.
3. Wake up early
I used to despise early wake ups some years ago. However, at some point I realized that in order to get all the important stuff done in a day (like creating content for my blog) I have to wake up early.
If you are a late sleeper, start waking up a bit earlier every morning. Eventually your early wake up is not a problem at all and it becomes your second nature.
Also, early wake ups mean that you have to get into bed earlier, so tweaking your going to bed times may be necessary too.
4. Prepare in advance
You should create a schedule to follow each day, so that you know what tasks you are doing on a certain day.
For example, on Mondays and Tuesdays, you could be publishing a blog post to your blog, on Wednesdays you could be promoting your post on social media, on Thursdays and Fridays, you could be writing a guest post to another blog in your niche and on weekends you could be working on other projects.
Not only is it important to create a schedule to follow, it is also important to have brainstorming and preparation sessions as well.
In my case, I tend to brainstorm new blog post topics and outline the coming posts on Sundays, so that when I eventually start crafting my posts, I’m able to get started and complete them as quickly as possible.
5. Sleep enough
It is crucial to have enough sleep for your well-being. If you are not getting enough sleep, your productivity will take a hit and producing quality content becomes harder.
We all have our personal requirements for how much sleep we need. However, in most cases it is between 7-8 hours a night. That recharges your brain enough to keep you creative and you are able to come up with quality content much easier.
6. Apply the 80/20 Rule to your content and promotions
When you are working 9-5, it is crucial, that you only focus on the essential parts of your blog. That’s why it’s important to apply the 80/20 rule to your content creation and promotion.
80/20 rule states, that focusing on 20% of something will bring you 80% of results back (for instance, 20% of your customers bring you 80% of sales).
When you apply this principle to blogging, you could decide to blog by producing text-based content only.
The same goes with content promotion. Although there are many ways to promote your content, you should focus on only the essential ones – not all of them.
How do you know which type of content to focus on or which promotion strategy to employ? You survey your audience, test different types of content and track the results.
For example, if you focused on podcasts, but they are not taking off, you have to figure out if there is a reason to continue producing those or is there anything else that could be done to improve the situation.
It is the same situation with content promotion too. You should focus on those places where your potential customers hang out (depending on your niche). It is useless to spread yourself too thin by promoting on every possible social media platform out there.
You can also see the raw figures of your traffic by looking at your statistics program (like Google Analytics), which tells where you get the most traffic from and maybe focus on those sources, which are sending you most of the traffic.
Finally, you can always figure out what your audience wants by asking them. For example, you could create a free survey at SurveyMonkey.com and then post a message to your e-mail list, asking your subscribers to fill-in the survey about your content.
You can also include a survey on your blog too and ask your readers opinions on your content and for instance the topics you should write about.
7. Cut down the training to minimum
Internet is a wonderful place, because there are so many experts easily available – offering their expertise.
I’m a big fan of education, but there has to be a limit.
If the training fits well to your online business goals, then it’s OK to acquire new skills. However, if the training is eating your valuable time from content creation, relationship building or product/service creation, then something has to be changed.
Having one training course at a time, mastering it, applying it to your business and then perhaps going after other training is a much more productive way to proceed. This way, you are not overwhelming yourself and you can really take full advantage of your training investment.
There are other ways to improve your productivity when you are blogging part-time, but I wanted to cover the things I have experienced myself.
If you apply these 7 habits, you will see your productivity increase and you can focus on more essential things on your blog or in your online business.
Timo Kiander is a part-time blogger who blogs at http://www.timokiander.com. If you want to improve your
online business productivity, visit his blog and grab the free e-book: “101 Tips For Becoming a Productivity Superstar”