Become a Top Blogger By Janice Wald Overwhelming, isn’t it? You love blogging, but the amount of time it takes to do it efficiently is daunting. Successful blogging does require a great deal of time. Researching, writing, editing, publishing, promoting, and responding to commenters are all necessary blogging tasks. However, you pay the price in order to accomplish them efficiently. Time with your family, time for your job if blogging is a hobby, time for your hobbies if blogging is a job, or simply time to stop and smell the proverbial roses or coffee, often take a back seat to the all-too-necessary blogging tasks. A feeling of suffocation is common among bloggers who simply have too much to do without enough time to do the activities they want to do and need to do. Just deciding which Emails to keep, archive, delete and respond to can take hours each day. Writing those responses can take even longer. The time it takes to decide which websites to read, pass on, or bookmark can be an additional drain on your time. A famous expression states, “Don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” I have tweaked it to Don’t be so busy building a blog, that you forget to build a life. Considering the superabundant amount of choices available to you in this Digital Age that we now live, it is easy to do just that. Are you so invested in blogging that your personal life or professional life is coming up short when it comes to receiving your full attention? There is a way to find balance. Balance, the tenet Everything in Moderation, is an eastern philosophy, yet anyone can find balance, even bloggers. Picture your life like a scale with blogging on one side and life on the other. You want the time spent on each to be evenly weighted, or as close to evenly weighted as possible. This article will explain how to find balance even while you attempt to navigate life within the blogosphere. 17 Crucial Tips for Bloggers on How to Get Your Life Back Know your goals. You need to know your goals before you can focus on achieving them. For example, if blogging is your hobby, try to boost your page views by receiving organic traffic. On the other hand, if blogging is the means to an income, focus on growing your subscriber list, so you have permanent eyes on your blog, your advertisements, your Email marketing distributions, and so forth. You will achieve your goals quicker if you focus on achieving them. The end result–you will have more time for activities besides blogging. Cut yourself some slack. Everyone learns by doing, even bloggers! Allow yourself to learn as you go. If life is a learning curve, then blogging certainly is. Give yourself permission to fail, so you can learn going forward. Blogger burnout is easy. Actually, many burnout and abandon their blogs within nine months. Realize blogging is a learning curve will help you avoid guilt and eventual burnout. Find groups of supporters. They do exist. For example, Tiberr exist just so you can have tribes of bloggers to help promote your links for you on Twitter. Also, if you put a Click to Tweet in your welcome Email, your own subscribers can help spread the word for you that you have a blog worth subscribing to. The end result– you will have more time on the “life” side of the scale. You will spend less time promoting your blog posts since you will have help with this time-consuming task. Ask for help from non-bloggers. Many people believe in troubleshooting. If they just click around long enough, or Google their questions long enough, or wait for their computers to refresh or restart long enough, their frustrations will be behind them. Keeping your ego in the game and believing you can solve problems that might be quicker for other people to solve is a time drain. com is a site that is rapidly gaining in popularity to answer questions. Use it to ease your frustrations and end your confusion. It is often quicker to ask someone else for help than aggravate yourself unsuccessfully trying to trouble-shoot. Quora’s users are knowledgeable, and they don’t make you wait long for an answer. Delegate when you can. Asking for help includes asking family members, neighbors when needed, and friends to help you. For all you know, they will appreciate your including them in your blogging life this way. Too many non-bloggers feel shut out of people’s lives that also have a life within the blogosphere. Take your ego out of blogging. If your blog statistics consistently fall short, consider making a change. Don’t take such ownership of what you are doing that you aren’t open-minded to letting go of what is not working. Don’t squander your time repeatedly making the same mistakes with disappointing results. You need that time for the other areas of your life that lack your attention. Have a “no thank you” list. Letting go of what’s not working includes your personal life as well as the blog. In order to have balance (as well as have time to sleep) you have to say “no” and be able to say it without guilt. No one would want you to commit to an activity if your mind was elsewhere. Take time responding. If you make going through all your Emails a priority, you won’t get done what you need to accomplish in the course of your day. Only go through your Emails once a day in the morning. You can see what came in during the night. If it is just not possible to check Emails once a day, then devote the time you can to going through them, but don’t make it a priority. What is a priority for you may not be a priority for other people. When time allows, do a mass delete. Go through your Emails on your computer or laptop. Don’t go through your Emails on your phone. It is much faster to delete many Emails on a laptop or desktop where you can click many boxes in front of unwanted Emails at once than a mobile device. Restricting the time you go through your Emails to the times you are in front of a computer has several advantages. You won’t be spending as much time working on your blog since most of the day bloggers use a mobile device. Also, you will respond to Emails slower (tip #8) since you will be in front of your laptop or computer less often. The result will be a more balanced life since you will have more time to devote to the your life outside of the blogosphere. Streamline your blog promotion. Sites like ViralContentBuzz exist which allow you to promote your blog post on five sites at once. On Twitter, you are now able to focus your promotion on interested parties using Twitter lists. Preschedule your blog post promotion. Sites like Hootsuite and Buffer enable you to preschedule your posts to appear on social media weeks ahead of time. Hootsuite allows for three social media accounts. Use the site to preschedule when time allows. Use an editorial calendar. Schedule both your personal and blogging commitments on a calendar. Both the WordPress editorial calendar and Co-Schedule’s calendar allow you to do this electronically. Use guest authors. A second “voice” on your blog can only empower your readers that much more. Think of what you can do in the time you picked up– network to further your blog contacts? Date night so you remember to still have a personal life? Use bookmarking sites. Content curation sites Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Flipbook save you time researching when it’s time to write your post. Save the research you find before you write at these sites. Take electronic notes. Digital notetaking apps can to help you remember both personal and blogging tasks. Evernote and Google Keep are ideal for this. You can even use them as places to store ideas you find on the web which make them also helpful as content curation sites. Minimize the blogging tasks. Tools are available to help us like apps, programs and websites. Use them to help blog faster. When new tools get invented that could help you effectively cut corners, be open-minded to using them. Have tech-free time. Many bloggers are busier but less productive due to all the lures the Internet provides. Read a blog post? Respond to a commenter? Play a game? Check your stats? These are just four of the temptations that the Internet offers while you are trying to focus on productively living your life outside of the blogosphere. Try putting your phone out of site to minimize the lure of the Internet. Medical conditions exist today where people are unable to turn off and tune out. Practice tuning out in order to focus on being productive and not just busy, and then you won’t see the day when that medical condition is listed on your chart at the doctor. Are You Ready to Get Your Day Back? In closing, you can find balance in your busy life. By staying focused and having a “no thank you list,” you will be able to minimize your priorities, so you can stop trying to do so much ineffectively and do more efficiently. Think of your life like a tree. It is desirable to trim the tree. People with attractive-looking front yards have their trees trimmed and pruned. Your life should be trimmed of unnecessary activities. Then, you will have a blog you can focus on being proud of and time for a quality life. About the Author Janice Wald is on a mission to empower site creators with tips for engaging readers, improving content, technology, blogging, social media, photography, SEO, and increasing traffic. Follow her over to MostlyBlogging.com. 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