As bloggers we are often looking for shortcuts and areas in our work that we can save time. We are busy with jobs, families, and trying to grow our business. Luckily I can help you with some time saving tips.
Before we dive into the good stuff I want you to know that all of this comes from first hand knowledge. Over the past 3 years of running two successful blogs I have wasted my time on a lot of different things. This post is to help you identify time wasters that you can cut back on.
As with anything, there are zero absolutions in blogging tasks. Not everything everyone recommends or says will work. When I say something is a time waster, it may not be for your niche. I will let you know where there may be exceptions.
Manually Posting On Social Media
Social media is the biggest necessary time suck for bloggers. We need social media to market our blog posts, products, and unique content. However, once we log in we can waste hours managing our social media profiles, posting, and responding to comments.
This is why I highly recommend using automation to post to social media. For Pinterest and Instagram I recommend using Tailwind. Facebook and YouTube both have their own scheduling capabilities within their programming. Finally, for Twitter I recommend using IFTTT.
The biggest game changer to making the most of my limited time was using Tailwind to schedule out my pins on Pinterest.
Don’t waste your day posting to social media and interrupting your regular working pattern in order to keep with posting times. Schedule your posts to avoid that interruption.
The Wrong Social Media For Your Niche
Go where your audience hangs out and put all of your effort into that social media platform. If your audience is on Pinterest, focus your attention on learning everything you can about using Pinterest as a content creator.
Do not waste your time on a social media platform chasing 20 views here or there and ignoring the platform that can give you thousands and hundreds of thousands of views. Always consider where your niche performs the best when choosing the social media platform you want to focus on.
Test for a short period of time on any platform you want but review the effort you put in with the results you saw from the things you posted. Did you see engagement on your posts? Did people click through to your website? Did they sign up for your list?
These are the things you will want to watch out for. If the engagement is great on posts but your not seeing that translate through to your website or list you may want to experiment elsewhere to get that click through.
Find the social media platform that gives you the most for the time you commit to it. Then focus on learning, testing, and trying different things on that platform until you master it. Then you can find the next platform to work with.
Using Programs That Don’t Work For You
I love Tailwind, it’s been a life changer and a time saver in my blogging and marketing schedule. However, I find Tailwind Tribes to be a time waster. For the amount of time spent submitting pins and finding pins to schedule I wasn’t seeing results worth that time.
It’s because of the smaller amounts of traffic I get from Tribes that I decided to stop using and paying for Tribes. However, other people find Tribes to be worth the time and effort put into it, so they use it.
I absolutely hate Divi as a page builder, and love using Gutenberg. I do not find Divi to be user friendly, easy to use, or anything that a lot of other bloggers say it is. So, I don’t use it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Yes, Divi may slow down your site a tad, it adds extra vulnerabilities to your site, but honestly if it works for you and you take precautions Divi is ok.
Using the programs that make your life easier, that work well for your needs, is an important time saver. Don’t waste your time trying to make a program work for you that just won’t. Test, choose, and use what you are comfortable with.
Check out my post detailing how I get 250,000 pageviews a month by using Tailwind.
Throwing Spaghetti At The Wall With Your Email List
Your email list is going to cost you money, so it’s important to find a way to make a significant amount of money with that list. Unfortunately, spending a year or more creating random freebies and not focusing your email list to what you will eventually sell is a huge waste of money and time.
I recommend not starting an email list until you know where you are going with your online business. Instead take time with your email list and figure out exactly what your end goal is for your blog.
Are you going to offer services or products that you want to sell? Are you going to focus on affiliate marketing? What is the one thing your list will focus down on that will help your audience?
Take time to figure out what your end goal is. Then cater your freebies to attract the exact audience you want to help. From there you can focus your list so that you are helping people in the same niche as the products or services you will eventually sell.
Make the most of your list without paying the most and wasting valuable time growing your list in the wrong directions and then pruning any time you go to switch it up. Don’t make this mistake.
Trying To Game Algorithms
Algorithms change all the time and if you are spending your time trying to game an algorithm chances are once you figure it out it will change again. Algorithms cannot be gamed and probably shouldn’t be gamed. I could probably write a full post on this topic so I’ll try to keep this one short.
Algorithms exist because the vast majority of users on a platform want it to function in a certain way. Algorithms typically help a platform to become more popular or become more user friendly. Your specific opinions on the way a platform works may or may not line up with what the majority thinks.
Google is not going to lie to you about how to do SEO, they want you to follow their instructions and guidance because it helps them. Google is in the business of providing the most relevant results in search queries. Lying to content creators about what they want from you for SEO does not in any way shape or form help them provide the most relevant results.
Likewise, every social media platform is not going to lie to you about what they want to see from you. This is actually harmful to how they can best help their users. Platforms and content creators have an amazing working relationship.
It’s incredibly ballsy to believe that a platform doesn’t have a method to their madness or that they are lying to content creators to make it difficult on them. This type of belief will have you consistently chasing your tail looking for hacks or ways to go around the algorithm instead of focusing on the things that just work.
Do not waste your time gaming algorithms.
Creating Freebies For Every Post
For most bloggers creating freebies for every post is a waste of time. There are a couple of exceptions to this such as a crafting or DIY niche where you can offer instructions as a free download. Think about your niche and how this could apply as a time waster or worth the time spent.
Email list growth alone is not a good goal for your business, because what really matters is what you plan to do with that list. Your freebies should help you accomplish the main goal of your list.
I run a lifestyle blog, having my list focused on lifestyle as a whole doesn’t work. It’s too broad and people don’t get engaged. There honestly isn’t really a reason for me to have a list with an expensive program when all I really want to do is drive traffic back to my blog by informing my audience of new posts.
Now if I wanted to say sell products regarding running an online business would it make sense for me to have freebies on cleaning schedules? No, it doesn’t. The majority of people interested in a cleaning schedule are not also interested in blogging and running an online business.
You need to focus your freebies to cater to the exact audience you want on your list. Only spend time creating useful freebies in the niche your list is focused on, instead of freebies for every single post.
Creating A Product Without Market Research
In blogging especially, there is a lot of throwing spaghetti to see what sticks and this approach costs a lot of money and time. When you finally go to create a product or a service package you need to make sure that you do some market research first.
Market research is the act of finding out what a consumer needs or prefers so that you can create a product or service that fills those needs or preferences. Throwing spaghetti at the wall is not market research, it’s putting time and effort into a product or service and seeing if it sticks with your audience.
Here’s where the throwing spaghetti method fails. If you are always throwing things your audience isn’t interested in how quickly are you going to lose that audience. You go to Nike for shoes, if they started throwing Nike steaks around you are most likely not going to be interested in those steaks.
It’s also going to really mess with the Nike brand. Nike will end up closing up the steak portion of their business and need to go into damage control over the brands place as a shoe provider.
Market research gauges the exact needs your audience has and helps you to fulfil those needs. Do not waste your time throwing together a product that the majority of your audience isn’t actually interested in.
Your Time Is Precious
There are a lot of tasks that bloggers need to accomplish, and your focus often gets split between several tasks at once. This is why I firmly believe in doing only the things that produce the best results in the least amount of time.
Take a good hard look at all of your tasks and figure out where it is best to spend your time. Some easy ways to figure out your best returns on time invested are:
- Look at your analytics to find the types of posts you have that are most popular.
- Look into your ad revenue and find out which posts have the highest CPMs and RPMs to increase ad revenue.
- Find affiliates that work best for those most popular posts you have.
- Do market research to figure out what your audience is most interested in and cater to those needs.
Your time is precious and spending it on things that don’t produce great results prevents you from spending your time on things that do.
What is your biggest time waster in blogging tasks? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite blogging boards.
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