Block Schedule Your Time
How I went from an always late procrastinator to an on-time organized planner!
How do you schedule out your days? Do you wing it and go off of memory or do you have a calendar or planner? I have a planner that I use to keep track of my life. I used to be in the wing it category but since switching and organizing my time it has really helped me! Especially using the block schedule method. I went from always being late and behind to always being ahead of schedule and prepared!
There are a hundred different planners and different ways to manage your time but I think most everyone can agree that blocking out your schedule is one of the best ways.
When I first went back to work after having my daughter I was a young wife and mother trying to fit everything in. I worked as an independent insurance agent so I was able to manage my own time. My boss was very organized and he walked me through how to organize my days by blocking time frames for certain tasks.
As I have gotten older and wiser, I have learned how to really plan things out and leave room for travel, traffic, breaks, etc. For example, I know that if I block off time for me the clean the house I need to follow that with time for me to get cleaned up before our dinner date and allow time to travel through rush hour traffic.
I am originally from Kansas and we didn’t have traffic to worry about so those are things I had to adjust to when we moved to Georgia. So you will always be adapting and learning new tricks as you go.
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Always Late Procrastinator
Block scheduling is for you if you find that you are always running out of time or always putting things off. If you feel like you are behind, running late, rushing out the door forgetting things, and stressed with your time management, then I truly think block scheduling is perfect for you.
I used to be that way. I think it is a hard habit to break being a procrastinator because sometimes you can pull some awesome things off last minute. But I can tell you that it isn’t worth the stress and the anger you have at yourself of waiting until the last minute.
Because truth be told, I believe you (like myself) procrastinate, to begin with, because you aren’t sure what the next step is to do. So you end up stalling until you can’t anymore and you are forced to figure it out.
If you were to stop and map everything out then it all comes so much easier! No more procrastinating or stressing!
What is Block Scheduling?
Block scheduling is when you map out your day or week into time frames (blocks). Or as I read once it is combining your to-do list with your calendar. Which I really like that description because it is exactly like that.
How to Get Started with Block Scheduling?
If you want you can have your calendar go horizontal or vertical. I prefer vertical. I like to see Monday through Sunday from 6am to 10pm. Then I can map out my week. I have seen other layouts that are horizontal and it has each day laid out horizontally for you to add your tasks to each block. See the examples below.
Write down all your unavoidable tasks
Start with a blank calendar of the week or day and write down all the unavoidable tasks first like getting the kids to and from school.
Write out a list of things that have to get done no matter what and the time frames
Next, on a separate piece of paper write out a list of things that have to get done no matter what and the time frames it takes to do those things. Let’s say you have to write a blog post and it takes you 2 hours to do it and you need to do the laundry and it takes two 15 minute blocks to do that. 15 minutes to load and 15 to unload.
Once you have a list of all of the tasks that need to be done and time frames now you can start entering them into your calendar. Of course, if you have appointments then block of not just the appointment time but include the time it takes to travel there and back.
I work from home and we live outside of town so if I have an appointment and I will be away from the house I block out that whole time that appointment is going to cost me.
I can’t work or do anything while driving so I need to include that time as used up for that appointment. Of course, you can use that driving time to catch up on phones calls but let’s be real you should be focusing on driving and not messing with your phone. It can wait.
Fill empty spots
Now that you have the must-dos in your planner or calendar you can see where the wholes are that you can fill with other blocks(tasks). I like to color coordinate mine so I know which tasks are unavoidables that I can not miss or move, which ones are for me, which are for the family, which are for my daughter’s school, etc.
This helps me have a bird’s eye view of my week and see where I have open time to do certain tasks.
Just start filling in your empty spots based off of the time frames you set for each task and fill up your calendar!
Stick to the time frame
Make sure you stick to that time frame you set for that task so you don’t get behind on all the other tasks you have planned out. Now you will obviously use your own judgment on which is more important to get done but my point is don’t let yourself get too caught up in one task that you don’t get anything else done.
I will sometimes set a timer for my tasks to keep me motivated to get done. It is even better when you get done ahead of time and you get to move on to the next task sooner!
Once you finish all your tasks for the day it takes the pressure off because you have already allotted time for the other tasks tomorrow so you can relax guilt-free!
Batch Work vs Daily Tasks
Some people will batch their work and do everything all at once so they don’t have to worry about it the rest of the month. Others, like myself, prefer to do daily tasks. To learn more about which one is right for you, check out this post on batch work vs daily tasks!
Pro of Block Scheduling
- Blocks help keep you on task for that time frame and to push you to finish that task within that time frame.
- You can even set a time to tell you when to move on to the next task.
- Mapping out your day helps you find the time…instead of always thinking “where did the time go?”
- It is flexible and easy to move tasks around or to the next day.
- It helps you find more time in your day.
- Gives you peace of mind when you see a plan of action.
- It helps you stay on task and moving productively forward.
- It helps break up the day so it doesn’t get boring or overwhelming.
- You will be less stressed by seeing your day laid out with realistic goals.
- It gives you a bird’s eye view of your day and week.
- By seeing your day mapped out it is motivating because you know you need to finish each task in that time frame.
- You can organize each task with color coordination.
- Your block schedule can be horizontal or vertical depending on your preference.
There are so many benefits to block scheduling and it has truly helped me make my days and goals attainable in ensuring I get all of my tasks done throughout the week!
Ready to get started?
If you are ready to try the block schedule method then here is a template to get you started! You can choose which one works best for you! Bonus! You can even use these as digital planners!
Created by Consistently Procrastinating.
Send them to me!
Batch Work vs Daily Tasks
Is it better to batch all of your work or have daily tasks? Personally I believe it depends on the person. Batching work is like doing a months worth of work in one day. For example, some bloggers will write a months worth of blog post all in one day. Then they don’t have to worry about doing one each week. It sounds great in theory but I feel like it depends on who you are and how you work if this method is right for you.
Batch Work Pros
Here are the pros of going batch work.
- It is all done at once and you can checked it off the list for the whole month.
- It only takes one or two days to complete a months worth of content which is a major time saver.
- You are able to brain dump and get all of those ideas out and things flow into the next easily.
- You can get more done in the month if each day you batched everything.
As you can see there are great pros to this method. You are able to check big things off your list. A months work of work can be done in one week. If you batched all of your blog posts one day, your images the next, your social media posts next, your emails the next, and so on!
The first week of each month you could have all your major work done and would still have three more weeks to work on everything else!
However, to me as great as it sounds it also has some cons that come along with it such as these.
Batch Work Cons
- It can be overwhelming.
- What if you have a foggy brain day that day.
- What if something comes up that day and you can’t reschedule so now your behind.
- If you go too long in between working you may feel disconnected.
- If you dedicate one whole day to one thing then other things may not get done.
To me the process seems overwhelming. I love the idea of it all getting done in one day and to schedule one day a month to finish a month’s worth of work sounds great! But at the same time there are so many daily tasks that I do each day that it kind of feels overwhelming because I would get backed up on those.
Then if I were to write 4 blog posts in one day and then not write anymore until the next month I worry I would be disconnected and lost. I would have to go back through what I wrote before to get myself back into the flow.
Also, a lot of bloggers are growing their blogs on the side with only 30 mintues a day to spare. They don’t have this option to batch all of their work. Or maybe this method is perfect so they only have to work a few full days out of the whole month.
This is where I again feel like it depends on the person as to which method fits into their lives. Let’s look at the pros of doing daily tasks.
Daily Task Pros
- You are able to check things off daily.
- Smaller “bit sized tasks” are less overwhelming.
- You stay involved daily and fresh in your business.
- You have the option to move things around or change things.
- More things get done each day.
I love checking things off of my list and even if I only put three major things on there a day that makes me feel like I made progress. Then if I have to roll something over to the next day I can do that. With batch work I don’t feel like that would work. Then you would have pushed a large project over onto another day full of another large project.
Life is too unpredictible and I feel like with daily tasks I can knock out a few small projects and feel like I have gotten something done.
Also, this helps me be able to choose which small project I can put into each time frame I have blocked off!
Of course there are also cons that come with doing daily tasks.
Daily Task Cons
- May take up more time than batching per each project.
- With a bunch of little tasks, you may feel overwhelmed.
- Things could get lost or forgotten on the to-do list.
- The list feels like it gets longer and longer everyday.
Daily tasks may feel overwhelming to some. Once more it just depends on the person. Seeing a long list full of little projects may be too much for someone. As another person may see small attainable goals.
It is all about your perspective and how you personally handles projects and to-do lists!
What should you do?
The best way to find out which one is right for you is to give each one of them a try! If you have a Saturday that is free then you could try dedicating that whole day to only batching one month’s worth of work. Then you will see if that worked for you or if it was a struggle.
Go through the list of pros and cons of each and get a feel for what you think you can handle.
Then (and this is actually what I think I am going to do) you could even try doing both! Pick the project that seems to be the hardest for you to get done and put that at the top of your list at the beginning of the month.
Batch that work and then you don’t have to procrastinate on getting that project done each week. It will already be done for the whole month!
Now you can focus the rest of the month to getting your daily tasks done!
Which method works best for you?
Need a calendar to keep track of all your tasks? Here is a free download of blank monthly calendars by Consistently Procrastinating!
Send them to me!
The Perfect Bullet Journal for Bloggers
Have you heard of the bullet journal? I thought surely everyone had but I met someone the other day that had no idea what a bullet journal was. Maybe it is just popular for us mom bloggers and the crafty Pinterest moms? Isn’t it funny how something you see all the time seems like everyone else does too?
I recently wrote a blog post about an alternative to the bullet journal. It was one of those posts that I just decided to write because I had learned something new and I wanted to share it!
Well, I pinned my post on Pinterest and it took off! Traffic started rolling in!
It was wonderful, however, it was not my target audience. I am used to my audience being mom bloggers. I knew it wasn’t mom bloggers though because no one was signing up for my freebie that always gets sign-ups. That freebie is geared toward moms looking to start a blog.
So, I created another freebie and tailored it to bullet journal lovers and it was a hit! I was receiving 30-50 new signs ups a day with that freebie!
However, I was also receiving some comments on my pin (again from loyal bullet journal folk) that nothing is better than the original bullet journal.
Again, I am used to talking to bloggers. And I, a blogger, love my new alternative to the bullet journal! But I can see why maybe the loyal fans would not.
So I decided to write a different blog post (this one) that is tailored to my peeps specifically – Bloggers!
I will cut right to the chase. The new alternative bullet journal that is perfect for bloggers that I am talking about is a digital version. Now before you get all worked up, let me explain my reasoning.
Digital Bullet Journal Benefits:
1. Easy to erase and edit
I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing things out. I end up erasing and rewriting 100 times because I hate my handwriting. Yes, I know I could use a pencil but it still shows. Yes, there are erasable pens but they show too. Digital is 100% erasable, clean, and it is much faster too.
One of my favorite options with a digital version is that I can move my text around easily. The apps I use let’s you circle your text you just wrote or typed and then drag and drop it somewhere else.
This is perfect for a to-do list! If something needs to be moved to the next day I just circle it and move it over!
2.) You only need one pencil (or finger)
The point of the bullet journal is to create your own pages and customize every detail. Therefore you have to have a bunch of different colored pens, markers, pencils, and tapes. So that means you have to store all those and lug them around when you go anywhere.
It’s summer right now and we go to the pool, the park, or the library and I like to take my work with me. Well, I have to carry that all around with me to still be able to use my bullet journal. With the digital version, you can do all of that and more with just your iPhone or iPad.
And let’s face it you aren’t going to forget your phone so it is always accessible!
Note: You do not need to have Apple products to utilize a digital bullet journal. I am an Apple user so that is just what I refer to.
3.) No need to replace supplies
With the physical bullet journal, you are going to run out of pages and you will have to buy another bullet journal. Your pens and tape are going to run out and you will have to buy more of those as well. Our puppy chewed up half of my supplies that I never even got to use! With the digital version, you will never have to buy more supplies. You can purchase designs already made for you but you can also create your own for free.
Again, with the app that I use, there is an option to add more pages and to bookmark pages. This means I can add more pages to my bullet journal and bookmark where I have important pages to not get overwhelmed.
(The app I use is Goodnotes)
We are bloggers. We like digital things. Turning anything digital is much more efficient so making your bullet journal digital makes it more efficient too!
You could track all of your blog posts, images, social media posts, pins and more! That is why I feel like it is the perfect bullet journal for bloggers.
5.) Endless customization
There are many different options. A physical bullet journal has endless options as well but with a digital bullet journal you can get free fonts, borders, premade layouts, stickers, designs, and images!
Adding images is perfect for tracking your blog posts, ebook progress, pins, and so much more!
You could even turn one section (or the whole journal) into a baby book or scrapbook and upload pictures and memories!
Grab a free digital bullet journal by Consistently Procrastinating and give it a try for yourself!
Send me a copy of the Free Digital Bullet Journal!
Perfect Bullet Journal for Bloggers
If digital bullet journals are not your thing and you would rather have a physical version I completely understand! I myself have a physical version but it wasn’t working for me.
After I did some research and came across digital planning that’s when I realized the possibilities of a digital version of the bullet journal!
I would much rather have all of my work and notes be digital. It just makes more sense for me. Now again, I had some backlash from loyal bullet journal fans who did not like this option.
That is fine too! No big deal!
However, if you are like me then you may find this to be a wonderful idea! I hope you try out the free digital bullet journal and see how it works for you!
Here is a glimpse at how you can use this digital bullet journal for blogging!
Sorry about my horrible handwriting!
Yours will be much prettier I am sure! But as you can see you can still customize each page with the added benefits I talked about above.
This would be a great way to look back through your daily/weekly schedule and quickly at a glance see what posts you published, what images you created, which freebies you created, and what you posted to social media.
It would also be a great way to track your pins visually!
This is why I feel like the digital bullet journal is the perfect bullet journal for bloggers!
How will you use your digital bullet journal?
I would love to see how you could use this digital bullet journal for your blogging business! Send me a screenshot of your layouts on how you use it to track the process of your blogging business!
I can’t wait to see them!
Bye Bye Bullet Journal, I Found Something Better!
I love journals, planners, pens, pencils, stickers, anything office supply related. And I know I am not alone! There is a whole community out there of people who are obsessed with office supplies too! I don’t even know why I want all these things but I do! One year for Valentine’s Day my husband got me office supplies and I was so excited! That’s why I can’t wait to share with you what I found that is even better than the bullet journal!
The bullet journal has taken over by storm. Every blogger I see is talking about this bullet journal and how awesome it is. I finally decided to get one for myself after seeing all the fun everyone was having with them! I mean just look at how fun that looks!
This isn’t the exact one I got, I ended up getting this journal, this washi tape bundle, and these pens. But this bundle right here comes with that and much more so looking back I should have just got this bundle instead.
My sister told me about these gel pens that erase so I got those too and they are much more my style because I like to erase (I’m a perfectionist some times).
The big craze with the bullet journal is that each page is customizable. Every page just has dots to use as a guide to be able to create all kinds of beautiful pages. One page could be your grocery list, another your calendar, and the next your cleaning schedule. There is no limit to what you can do with each page and I do really enjoy that flexibility.
I just had one issue, I would always forget it. I don’t think to always have my journal with me. So even though I like to write things out and use the fun pretty colors and all that, I would never bring it with me. It was just one more thing I had to remember to lug around. (However, if you do love to carry that thing around and you are looking for more ideas on how to use your bullet journal, Suzi has an amazing post that you can check out!)
I tried to use apps and a Google Calendar instead to make it more digital and less inconvenient but it didn’t work. I like the fun bright colors and I did find one app that worked well enough to keep me on schedule however, I didn’t have the flexibility of each page being something different.
So I needed something that was a digital version of the bullet journal. The only thing I could find was the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it quite often to keep all of my important information all in one spot. I started that about a year or so again and that has been great! There is an option where you can write things out with my finger but then you couldn’t read any of it. So I was missing the fun artistic appeal the bullet journal has.
That is until I got my new iPad! I have been wanting to get a new iPad to be able to make my business more mobile. School is out and I don’t want to lose work time and I don’t want to lose precious time with my daughter either. I thought if I could be more mobile then I could work on things while we are at the pool or the park. That’s when I decided to invest and get the new iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and keyboard.
Here is a digital bullet journal that you can download for free!
Grab your Free Download of the Digital Bullet Journal by Consistently Procrastinating
Or here is why I love the Notes App on my iPhone and how it can be used to replace your bullet journal!
Notes App Features
- It’s FREE
- You can add tabs and organize thoughts
- There are options to Bold or Underline Text
- You can have clickable links in it
- It automatically saves new changes on any device
- You can scan documents
- Take Photo or Video
- Add Sketch
- Photo Library
- Mark Checklists that actually checkmark off for you
I like the option to add documents or photos to the note. I have actually taken pictures of notes and stored it in a note in the app instead of retyping it all in there just so I could throw the paper note away! As you can see I really do use this app a lot. All along the side are major categories in life and then there are folders under them to organize further down.
Then lastly within each of those is the second column of notes you see. This helps me break things down and everything is easy to find! Now with the new iPad Pro, I can use my Apple Pencil and write on the screen just like you see (sorry I have horrible handwriting).
I can change the color, the style of pen or pencil, and even the thickness of the stroke I am using. With a bullet journal, you can’t break down into categories and sections as easily as you can with this notes app. You would have to bookmark every new section in a bullet journal.
But wait it gets better!
You can add lines and grids to your note! Just like the bullet journal you now have guides to help you design your page. Also, you only need one pencil and you can change it to any color!
Before if I would remember my bullet journal I would want to bring all the pens so I had all the colors I wanted to use for each page! This way you only need one pencil and one device.
Now you don’t have to take your iPad with you everywhere you go (but let’s face it there is a better chance you bring that than your journal). Because if you need to refer to that note you created such as this one below… Then you can still do that from your iPhone and no one’s going to forget their phone! You can make all these changes from your iPhone too it just isn’t as easy using your finger but you can still access the same note.
So if you are at the grocery store you can still cross off your list as you get each item. The Add Sketch feature is pretty cool because it gives you a ruler to use as a guide that you can move around!
All This For Free
A lot of people are Apple users so if that is you then you have all this for free! If you have been on the fence about switching to Apple then here is a little insight into some of the features! I’m sure there is something similar on the Andriod phones too though.
It is just nice to know some of the ways you can utilize what you already have access too. If you have an iPhone then odds are you have an iPad and might have been in the market to upgrade to the new iPad Pro. So far it is amazing!
Not just because of this example but so many other reasons! But if you are like me and you want to be able to have all the fun colors and designs but are not good at using a bullet journal then I hope you learned something fun and new with this post! I know I was so excited when I realized it!
Here is more information on the iPad and Accessories that I bought.
This is the exact iPad that I bought. I did go with the lower storage because I need to get a hard drive anyways so this way I can just get one of those and save money on buying the extra storage.
We looked into purchasing the iPad through our phone carrier to add data to it but that costs more also. Plus we found out that our T.V. provider has hotspots I can use when I am away from home. Just some things to think about!
I wanted the bigger screen so that was my main priority. I wasn’t as worried about storage because I have a bigger icloud storage plan and then again I plan to get an external hard drive to save all pictures and important documents on it.
Now I don’t pretend to be all tech savvy, I know just enough to get by. I know that I am a busy mom and this all makes my life easier and more portable. I do want to say that it comes with a completely new charger.
Supposedly it is to be able to connect to your computer better or other techy stuff I don’t understand but my point is no more USB on one end and no more of the other normal end that all apple products have.
The cord has the same end on each end. So either way, it connects to your converter to plug into the wall and then into the iPad to charge. Just a heads up.
Then since I got the bigger screen I had to get this keyboard that fits it. They are both 12.9 inches so that gives plenty of room for using your screen and typing on a good-sized keyboard, not a tiny one.
The iPad connects magnetically to the keyboard and there are three dots on the back of the iPad that connects it to the keyboard.
Then you can have it in different positions to adjust it to your liking while typing. Then when you aren’t using the keyboard you can fold it over to close and you will hear the iPad lock. Also, you can flip it around and under the iPad to quickly use the iPad only.
Then, of course, I got the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation that is compatible with the iPad Pro. It is very sleek and easy to use.
There are no buttons, it looks and feels just like a regular pencil. It doesn’t erase like one although I think it should. I keep wanting to flip it around and erase with the pencil eraser like you normally would.
But just a heads up it doesn’t work like that. Another fun feature of the Apple pencil is that it connects to the side of your iPad magnetically to charge.
This is great to keep track of the pencil and know that it is always charged up. No plugging it in or cords involved! Once you connect it to the iPad it will tell you what charge the pencil is at as well.
Because I will be on the go I did get myself a case and as I said I also have the keyboard too. I have seen some creators have these cool pencil gripper sleeves.
I don’t know if I will do that or not because with the new pencil it senses when you double tap to erase when using the Notes App. Also, I don’t know how the gripper affects it charging magnetically or staying safely on the side of the iPad. I worry that it might come off and I would lose it.
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4 Super Simple Steps to Turn Your Hobby Blog into a Business Blog
So you have a blog but it is more of a hobby than a business right? Or maybe you have a business blog but you treat it like a hobby? (Raising hand)
I know exactly what you are talking about. In the summer of 2017, I started a blog and my goal was to just have it ready to launch in the fall.
On September 1, 2017, I reached my goal and launched my blog. I was so excited! I finally reached one of my long-time goals to have a blog.
Well then, the holidays came in like a whirlwind and the next thing I knew it was the end of December!
Between all the holidays and all of our family’s birthdays that fall in October, November, and December, it just flew by!
So, here I was with my new blog that was now four months old and hadn’t changed much in those four months.
Over the summer I had poured my heart into it but I let it go over the fall. I jumped back in at the beginning of the year in January 2018. I added a new opt-in and implemented Tailwind and Pinterest.
The traffic came ROLLING in! I couldn’t believe it! It almost felt too easy! I later learned I was right. It was too easy. I couldn’t replicate it again… because I wasn’t treating my blog like a business.
I was offered a job at the Church Preschool and they badly needed help so I decided to take it and I worked from February to May as a Lead Teacher. It was a wonderful time, but I bet you can guess what happened to my blog.
Yep, it was pushed off and the traffic went with it.
I told myself “Okay, I am going to work on it all summer and get it back up and going”.
Well, being home with my daughter over the summer was great but trying to entertain an 8-year-old who doesn’t play pretend by herself anymore was a struggle.
It was either let her sit in front of a device all day or let friends come over and then it was loud and crazy.
We would go to the pool, go out on the boat, do all kinds of summer fun things, but once more my blog got pushed back.
I felt like I had to focus on her and since I was home I tried hard to keep all the housework taken care of so my husband who works long hard hours didn’t have to worry about anything when he got home.
At the end of the summer, my husband and I decided that I would stay home once she started school back up and I could work full time on my blog. (I know isn’t he the best!)
I do help out some of the neighborhood parents and get their kids on and off the bus to make a little extra money. I also watch one little girl twice a week.
Plus, I have all my house chores. Which since my husband is being so sweet to let me chase my dreams, I do make those a priority, so he doesn’t have to stress about a messy house after a stressful day at work.
BUT I now have technically all the time I need to work on my blog!
So how can I turn my clear hobby blog into a business? And how can you? With these 4 Super Simple Steps!
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Make it more of a priority. Make time for your blog.
If you want to turn your hobby blog into a business, then you need to treat it like a business. Like it is your job (because it is).
You may not need to work on it 8 hours a day like a real job and thank goodness for that! But you do need to make progress on it daily!
Here is a post I wrote on how to easily find time to blog!
And here is a post on how to stay focused and create more content.
This post walks you through how to not waste time on your blog but actually make progress on your blog (aka writing blog posts not just post on social media).
I love to learn so I could spend all day every day watching videos on how to blog but then when it comes down to actually putting those steps into action I seem to always struggle to finish.
I have shiny objective syndrome or bunny hole syndrome. Maybe it’s a fear of rejection. “What if someone doesn’t like it? I know! I just won’t put it out there and then no one can hate it!” But that’s obviously a bad idea.
So, whether you want to or not, whether you feel like it or not. Make it a priority that you work on it every day. If it is only 30 minutes a day then that’s fine! At least you are working on it!
The more you put into it the more you will get out!
Maybe you aren’t like me and you don’t struggle with that part. Maybe you have a successful blog, but it just doesn’t make any money yet.
So, you want to turn your successful hobby blog into a successful business blog. Well, I can still help!
See I am knowledgeable about this all (remember I love to learn and take courses on all this) so I can help walk you through what you need to do to monetize your blog.
I think that’s the frustrating part for me. I know all this stuff I just need to do it! (me kicking myself)
That is why I am drawing a line in the sand and I am saying no more. From now on I am going to treat it like a business!
I am going to work on writing blog posts and helping my readers reach their goals!
Get out of your comfort zone
I think that’s a major part of this too. We are still in our comfort zones and we like it that way.
But staying in our comfort zones isn’t going to get us very far though is it?
We need to push ourselves and get out of our comfort zones!
For me, I don’t like making videos.
It is easy for me to think all these things to say but the second I push record my mind goes blank!
I know videos are an important part of blogging, so it is something I have to push past!
I have seen other very successful bloggers do not so great videos and it just shows that they are human just like all of us but for some reason, it is a major hurdle for me.
What are your weaknesses?
Do you struggle with…
- time management?
- content creation?
- Creating images?
- Promoting your posts?
- Creating videos?
Find your weakness and do that one first. Focus solely on your weakness and work on it. Or maybe you have the funds and are able to outsource your weakness.
If you struggle with balancing housework and your blog, then hire someone to help you clean your house.
I am not to that point yet, but I want to be!
2. SOLVE A PROBLEM
To turn your hobby blog into a business you need to be helpful for your readers. They are looking for an answer to their problem.
Help them find a solution to their problem.
Whether that be a course you created to solve it, an affiliate product that will solve it, or maybe you just provide the answer and that traffic to your blog brings in ad revenue.
Solving their problem will also create trust between you and your readers. They will come back for more. Knowing you helped them last time they will trust you can help them again.
Also, they are more likely to share your blog with their friends that have the same problem you solved.
There are several ways you can monetize your blog. If your blog is a hobby blog and you aren’t monetizing your blog yet, but you have consistent traffic then all you have to do is add the following to capitalize off of your traffic:
- Affiliate links
- Sponsored Posts
Ads or advertisements can be placed on your blog and the advertiser will pay you for it. You get paid based off of the amount of traffic that sees the ad and by how many people click on that ad.
For more information on ads on your blog, I suggest this eBook by Victoria Pruett called Make Money Blogging at any level.
She has successfully grown her blog about life on her homestead to making over $8,000 a month!
She has updated her income several times so I have noticed that it says a different number depending on where you look on her blog but the last email she sent me she told me $8,000 and that was months ago! So it is most likely more now.
A large portion of her income comes from ads! She goes into detail in her ebook.
Adding affiliate links are links that take your reader to a product by someone else and if they purchase that product you receive compensation for that sale.
So, for example, the eBook above that I mentioned is an affiliate link. I read that book and really found it helpful, so I signed up for Victoria’s affiliate program.
Now if anyone clicks on that link and purchases her eBook through my link, she will pay me for that sale.
I have heard of other affiliate programs that pay out differently and not only on purchases but that is definitely the main way to earn an affiliate commission.
Amazon is a great affiliate example. They were able to grow so big off of affiliate sales. Bloggers put links on their blogs to products off of Amazon and when a reader clicks on that link and makes a purchase then that blogger gets a cut of that sale.
Here is a great resource to learn some awesome tips for making money with Amazon! I had the pleasure of being a test reader for Dale for this ebook and I am so glad I had that opportunity! It seriously is packed with awesome tips and tricks to making the most of Amazon’s affiliate program.
She has some amazing insight and it is definitely worth the small investment for all of the time you will save and shortcuts she gives you to get right into making money with affiliate marketing.
I thought I knew it all and I have even purchased and taken Michelle Gardner’s Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing which is also a great course but it does come with a price tag.
Although since Michelle makes over $100,000 PER MONTH on her blog she does know what she is talking about!
But even after reading everything I have read over the years and taking many courses (course junkie remember) Dale’s ebook Amazon Affiliate Affluence was packed with new and helpful information!
A sponsored blog post is when you receive payment for posting a blog post on your blog. Either you or the sponsor can write the post that you will then put on your blog. I personally haven’t dabbled much in the sponsored posts area so I suggest checking out McKinzie’s post on How to Make Money Blogging with Sponsored Posts.
Adding your own products to your blog is another way to earn money off of your blog.
If your blog is all about baking cakes, then you could create a course or write an eBook that combines all your knowledge into one convenient place. People will pay to get the quickest answer.
Just like the affiliate ebooks I previously mentioned. I would rather pay $20-$50 bucks and get the answers right now that I know will work than search through all of their blog posts trying to piece it together myself.
Your readers could read all of your blog posts and try and put the pieces of the puzzles together on their own but if you offered an easy and convenient course or eBook that will walk them directly through it, most people would just pay the $10-$100 to get the answer now.
It depends on how in-depth you make your course or eBook as to the price you want to sell it for.
I have seen courses go for hundreds of dollars. If it is your first one, then I would suggest to not make it too big and not have it cost too much.
Just to test out your audience and see how they respond. You could even ask them what they think about some different course ideas and also how much they would be willing to pay for it.
Get some feedback and maybe offer them a discount or a free copy for their feedback!
Once you have gotten your feet wet with adding one or all of those options then you can focus on using your email list to your advantage and selling to them.
You can make sales sequences for them to go through to warm them up before trying to sell to them.
You can also create a sales funnel for them to go to. Those are all things you can focus on later once you have gotten the first step done.
Focus on adding ads, affiliate links, sponsored posts and/or products to your blog and start treating it like a job and before you know it, it will be a business bringing in an income for you!
Here is what will set your blog apart from Hobby Blog to Business Blog. Just like I have said before you have to make it a priority. Part of that is staying consistent.
It is important to not only stay consistent to show Google that you are a serious blogger but it is good for you to stay in a routine with your blog.
If you take a long break in between working on your blog you will come back to it and be completely lost where you left off. You will end up spending all of your time catching back up on where you left off.
Then if you go another long break again you are once more in the same boat of trying to remember what you were going to do next.
Stay consistent. Make a schedule and stick to it! This will improve your productivity and efficiency.
Those are the 4 super simple ways to turn your hobby blog into a business blog!
What kind of blog do you have?
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How to Stay Focused on Your Blog and Create Content
Do you find yourself struggling to get blog posts written? I know that I do! I have a ton of content ideas to write about but yet it seems to be where I struggle the most! Sometimes it is hard to stay focused on your blog.
I know some bloggers excel in writing blog post but then struggle with the rest of blogging. Me, I can get lost in the busy work. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing more.
If I spend all day writing blog posts I feel like I didn’t get as much done as I could have if I would have done other less time-consuming things.
I know that is dead wrong. Writing blog posts is the most important part! You could have a dull and ugly blog but have amazing content and that is going to do much better than a beautiful blog with no blog posts!
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So if you are like me and this is a struggle for you then I am here to help. I am challenging you (like I am challenging myself) to put writing first!
I will think about these amazing things to write about and how I can help my readers but for some reason once I think it then I check it off my mental to-do list.
Or if I don’t have the perfect writing environment then I find excuses to not write. When in reality I know that if I have a spare moment I need to write a blog post. I need to be getting all these ideas and information down on paper and put to use.
Even if I have to write it on a blank piece of paper or in my journal at the park. I need to just do it!
I will tell myself that it is a waste of time to write it all down and then have to retype it later. But doing that would still be better than not doing anything at all!
I find myself sitting down and logging into my blog, checking my emails, my blog stats, my social media accounts and then I think okay I’m done.
When did I really accomplish anything? Nope!
The most important factors of blogging are to write amazing helpful content and to promote it!
If you need some motivation just go check out some other amazing blogs. What really helps is to check out the same one a couple months later. You will see all the new amazing content they have added and realize wow I am slacking!
I love to check out A Modern Homestead. I came across her ebook Blogging at Any Level. This was a great read for me.
Victoria is a blogger who doesn’t have a blog about “how to blog” but yet she wrote an ebook to help her readers see how she started and grew her blog.
This gave me a different perspective from the same group of people teaching you how to blog that I usually follow.
She has a blog that teaches you how to homestead. She started a blog sharing what she does to live a homestead life and, after making money and having a successful blog, she wrote an ebook teaching others who want to do the same!
I hadn’t been on her blog in a while and when I went back it was full of all kinds of new videos and information! It was very inspiring to show how important it is to keep adding content!
If you have a business and all you have is one item in your store then the odds of you making a sale aren’t very good. But if you have a store like let’s say WalMart or Target that is full of all kinds of different products then people can’t help but buy something!
We all do it, we go in for one thing and come out with 10 things! And usually, we forget the one item we went there for to being with!
It is important to make time to write blog posts for your blog. To me, it seems like the longest part of blogging. You can commit to making little changes, posting things on social media, watching tutorials, but again none of those help you if you don’t have a “product”(blog post) in your store(blog).
So to think about sitting down and writing for 30 minutes, to an hour, or even 3 hours, it all seems like a big chunk of time to give up.
It is a must and the most important, so make time!
If you map out your day then you can find time to make that time commitment. Maybe you work all day so it is easier for you to write in the evenings. Maybe you are an early bird and you need to wake up before work and write.
Maybe you have downtime at work or maybe you are stuck in traffic and you can record a video while sitting in traffic!
No matter how you find the time it needs to happen. Set a schedule for yourself once you have found your ideal writing time. If you have found the mornings work better for you then set your schedule that you are going to set 30-45 minutes every morning to write.
If it takes you longer than that to write one post then that’s okay you are not alone. That is why you now have scheduled that time for writing. You have the next day to finish it up.
No one expects you to finish one blog post a day at first but if you get into the rhythm of writing every day at that time then you can for sure have one done a week!
Once you are done with writing your post for that week you can use that time to write emails or start on the next blog post and be ahead of the game! Because you never know when life is going to get in the way and you don’t have the time to write for a few days.
Here is another big one for me. I am easily distracted! If my Apple Watch goes off and shows I have a notification I catch myself checking it right then. I will be in the middle of writing and I will stop and check it.
I am horrible about having the T.V. being a distraction. Usually, I don’t have it on at all or it will distract me.
I do better work in complete silence.
So, if you are like me and get distracted. Shut off your notifications and turn off your T.V. and get to writing!
Commit to yourself and your readers.
There are a million excuses we can come up with. There are so many other things that need to be done all the time.
There is a pile of dishes that magically reappear every time I do them, there is always a load of laundry going, the dogs constantly want in and out, and when you do stop to take a break you walk past a hundred other things that need to be done.
Unfortunately, those things are going to just reappear the second you finish them.
I have a hard time focusing when there are chores to be done. So I had told myself that I will do my chores first so I could focus on work.
Well, it was a good theory but it didn’t work. As a mother, you may have guessed why…because as a mother, our chores are never done!
As soon as I thought I was at a good stopping point I would come across something else. Finally, I would just say okay that is enough I need to work.
I would sit down and try and write for just a little bit before the bus would come. I felt like I was just getting a good rhythm going and I would have to stop to go pick up my daughter off the bus.
Then it was time to cook supper and everyone knows what happens after supper. More chores!
After just getting the kitchen all cleaned it lasted only a few hours and I only got a little bit of work done.
So, now I have decided that the chores are just going to have to wait. I may throw a load of laundry in or start the dishwasher but that’s all. Then they can be running and be done when I am done working.
I have decided that I will work in the morning and then do chores in the afternoon.
This way work is for sure done and if I don’t get my chores done then it won’t even be noticeable to anyone because as soon as everyone comes home the house gets all messed up right away anyways!
Clear your mind
When you do find your time to work and you are ready to write. Clear your mind. Focus only on that post you are writing.
Again, it is easy to get distracted and your mind will start to wonder. The next thing you know you are thinking about what you need to buy at the grocery store or that you need to schedule the kids’ dentists appointments.
Try and clear your mind and think about your reader. Think about how this post will help them. How it can make life easier for them.
One thing at a time!
You got this!
Okay now that you have decided on when you are going to work on writing blog posts and you aren’t going to let anything get in your way it is time to get to work!
You will either find a way or find an excuse.
It is much easier to find an excuse (TRUST ME!) but that is not going to get you anywhere!
I am speaking from experience!
For me, it is easier to say well I have all these chores that need to be done. But this blog is also important to me and I want it to be a success!
So those chores will be there later!
Whatever your excuse is don’t let it hold you back!
You can do this!
I believe in you!
Here is a blog post outline printable to help you write your posts easier!
Grab your free copy!