The Real Answer to ‘How Do You Find Time to Blog?’
One of the most commonly-asked questions heard when you assemble a group of bloggers is how bloggers can find time to blog.
When people learn I’ve been blogging now for more than 13 years, some tend to be amazed that anyone has been at it that long, even though blogging existed well before 2004 when I started.
At the same time, the incredulity isn’t all that surprising when you think about basic statistics.
Orbit Media Studios recently said the average website’s lifespan is two years and seven months. In that post, however, it goes on to list multiple factors that can shape the lifespan of a website.
But that data is for the wide variety of websites out there. For blogging specifically, it gets much worse: last year, I wrote about research stating the average blog’s lifespan is a mere 100 days. That’s slightly more than three months. This site sought to explain some possible reasons some bloggers are so quick to reach the point where they say, “Okay, I’m outta here.”
At 13+ years, this blog well out-lasted the average blog’s lifespan and the average website’s lifespan, too.
When people learn I’ve been blogging daily for more than three years or so now, they ask the obvious question:
How do you find time to blog?
I wish I could tell you I’d found some secret formula that produces more hours in a day or that I’d concocted just the perfect caffeine drink that allows you to be more productive without losing quality sleep.
It’s nothing like that.
And I wish I could tell you that I’m so driven to reach my various blogging goals that I just magically always have something to talk about.
That’d be a lie as well.
Yes, there are times when I sit down in front of the computer knowing I have a post to write and the deadline is creeping up on me, but I find I have absolutely nothing in my head to say at that moment.
If there’s a perfect answer to the question of how one can find time to blog, it may be this:
You don’t find time to blog: you make time to blog.
Sure, it sounds like a cliché, but it happens to be the truth. An inconvenient truth, perhaps, but a truth nonetheless.
Darren Rowse, the man behind ProBlogger.com, says it begins with life priorities. He described a time management exercise he completed when he was a young adult that would probably yield surprising results to any of us: you make a list of the things you define as life priorities, then you keep a journal of how you spend each 15-minute block of time over the course of the week.
If you’re spending your time wisely, of course, the various activities to which you devote your time over the course of a day or a week should match the activities you believe are priorities for your life.
If you’re like me, you’d dread doing such a test, and that in itself should tell you something.
Laura Collisen came up with a list of strategies that perhaps even the busiest people on planet Earth, single moms, can find time to blog. As she pointed out in her 2015 post, you don’t have to be at your laptop or desktop computer to blog: you can use your smartphone on the go to at least get some of the blogging process started by making notes about blogging ideas.
Nowadays, you can even dictate blog posts into your smartphone while you’re doing other activities.
Michael Hyatt says it succinctly: “I own my schedule.”
That means I have to take responsibility for my time. If I don’t prioritize my life, as Greg McKeown says in Essentialism, “someone else will.”
Some people insist that you should set a time to write and make it the same time every day. For some people, that’s early in the morning, when research shows we may be at our creative best. For others, lunchtime might be the best sliver of time they can devote regularly to blogging. And for others, particularly parents, it may be the hour or so they’re awake after the kids go to bed that they’re experiencing their greatest passions about whichever topics they’re writing about.
But no matter which time works best for you, have you to first make the time.
Set an alarm on your smartphone for your writing time. Maybe, over the course of a month, you need to try different times, each for a week at a time, until you figure out which time works best for you.
But at the very least, try making a set time that you sit in front of the computer and write something that’s on your mind. If you can’t come up with anything to write, read or research. Find something that you might blog about the next day and write your post then.
It’s a simple idea, I’ll admit, but it does go back to the basic point:
You don’t find time to blog. You make time to blog.
If you go about your life thinking that sooner or later, you’ll find extra time in your day the same way you might find a $10 bill as you go through pockets when dropping clothes in the washing machine, you’re certainly going to be disappointed.
If you want to be blogging and you want to be serious about your committment to blogging, you’ll have to make an effort out of it. You have to have some kind of plan.
Time management is always going to be a big part of that picture.