I often get asked what a typical workday looks like for me. So I thought I would give you a look at my normal day of blogging. What you need to keep in mind is the fact my business is blogging. So unlike some or most of you, I spend my entire day online doing what I do. I believe it is important that people know that creating an online business does not just happen over night, and there’s a lot of hard work involved, but yes the rewards can be fantastic.
Running an online business is not easy. There are a million things you need to be doing that require your attention on an on-going basis in order for things to run smoothly. As a Personal Development Coach I am well aware that it is critical for both your success and your health to live your life by design not by default. You have to be in control. It is critical, in order to achieve this, and to ensure you make the best use of your skills, to plan everything you do.
I feel every blogger needs to plan what they need to do. Develop your strategy and schedule gives you the best chance to succeed. Without this, it is easy to let tasks fall to the wayside, get behind in our work because we are focusing on the wrong areas.
My blogging goals are simple:
1. To provide valuable information and to help people live their dreams.
2. To create a viable, sustainable online business.
3. To implement an independent location lifestyle
To achieve these goals it is so important that I work to a written plan committing my time in the best way possible to ensure I stay on track.
I often write about time management particularly concerning bloggers. In the forums and social networking groups people often say their biggest problem lies with time management. It is an area that causes many bloggers to stress. So as a blogger and personal development coach, I see it as one of my responsibilities to try and shine a light in to this area, and show how you can best manage both your time and blogging tasks.
I stick to a very strict daily blogging to-do list. It provides me with a set routine, that I use to make sure I give priority to the most important tasks and don’t get derailed while working online. There are so many possible distractions. Facebook and Twitter, both which are crucial to a bloggers success, also offer to many temptations to steal away our time. I personally love nothing more than to interact with my friends in blogging groups. This is one of my favourite things to do, but I have to make sure I keep this limited. Otherwise I would see hours and hours go by with nothing else getting done.
Here is my typical day’s schedule:
1. Check Email
The first thing I do when I get to my desk is check my email. I deal with my inbox by firstly going through and marking up which are starred (urgent), important, routine, and spam. Then I respond to the most urgent and important. If I have time later in the day I will go back to dealing with the rest, but this is not a priority to me.
2. Checking Statistics
I do check my stats. I first visit Alexa and Technorati to check my rating, then into Google Analytical to see my Total visitors; Number of unique visits; Page Views; Referring Sites Entry Pages etc; It is vitally important to not get too addicted to checking your stats. It’s easy to get into the habit of every hour of so going back to see how the numbers are growing. But this is a massive waste of time. Checking them once the morning to see how you did the previous day is more than enough. Anymore time spent doing this sucks away vital time that you could be spending far more constructively.
3. Creating Content and Posting to my Blogs.
I post to both Healthy Lifestyles Living and Larry Lewis Professional Coaching daily, Monday to Friday. I feel it is important to create new content for my blog to engage my readers, provide them new information, as well as of course to drive traffic to my sites. If I have not already set up my blog post to automatically publish, I will set up an article and post it. More often I write one or two blogs posts for a week ahead. I also have a couple of other blogs that I need to write posts for, and of course there are guest posts that I have to write for friends and other blogs. I like to write articles when I’m fresh, and my mind is alert and active. So I find mornings the best time for me to write. I also spend time producing and recording podcasts and videos to provide a little variety in my content, and I look for photographs suitable for my article.
4. Check Comments and Reply
While Akismet catches the majority of spam comment and all I have to do is delete them, I still need to spend a few minutes double checking them, and then deleting any non legitimate ones. Then I read my true comments and reply to as many comments as I can. As I ask for interaction from my readers, it is common courtesy to respond. After all we all know how depressing it is in those early days when we never got any to respond to. So I appreciate people taking the time to comment and feel it important to reply as quickly as I can.
5. Facebook Groups
I will post a Link of today’s blog posts in my Facebook groups. I post these manually, and then I will respond to any comments and interact with my friends in these groups, reading what they say, and responding. This is the one area that I have had to cut back on since becoming a pro-blogger, much to my sorrow, but one has to be very regimented in what they do with their time. I think my friends do understand this.
6. Reading Blog Posts from within my Facebook Groups
This is a must do for me. Many of these bloggers have been a great source of inspiration and support to me from the beginning. I also have a great time visiting everyone’s blogs. It is important to me to catch up on reading their post and I don’t want to miss out on them. While I’m their I like to leave a comment to show I’ve been and where I can to add to their message, and show appreciation to what they’ve written.
7. Reading other Blogs in my Niche
This is a great use of time, and useful to keep abreast of what others are talking about in my field. I try to get to 10 each day, and obviously with the fact that my niches include Healthy Lifestyles, Personal Development, Coaching and Blogging, I could spend all day doing this. I do have my 10 favourites for each niche, and I will get over to each of them once or twice a week. When I’m their of course I leave a comment. It is vitally important to check out what’s happening in my niches, commenting on posts, and adding to discussions as I can.
8. Research keyword phrases
It is important to optimize my blog for search engines. It’s worth spending some time doing SEO work. I do some keyword research, competitive analysis and keyword prioritization which allows me to add good keywords to my posts.
9. Twitter Activity
I Spend 30 Minutes on Twitter networking and building my community. I view any @ messages and Direct Messages I may have received. I reply to any messages that need a reply. I also check if there were any retweets of my posts and will send a thank you. All day long if I read something that I feel should be promoted I will tweet and retweet things as I am reading them, which I feel my followers will benefit from.
I am fortunate having a blogging partner in Neil, being the techie behind our team, it means I can concentrate on the content and marketing our site’s, and leave all the techie bits to him. Blog design is important so as to create the right first impression but this can drain much of your time. There is a lot of other work involved in maintaining multiple blogs and ecommerce shops, such as links have to be checked to see if they are valid, WordPress and many of our Plugins will change and improve all the time so he has to update them and…well, the list goes on and on. I’ll leave him to write on this area.
Bringing traffic to your blog is absolutely crucial. You can write the best blog content in the world, but it’s a waste of time if nobody is going to find it. So every day I need to actively work to increase the number of visitors my site receives. I will spend a good couple of hours doing the tasks that will help get our blogs noticed by more people.
On certain days I need to fit in other responsibilities. I do online coaching and that takes up about 2 hours on a daily basis. I’m also a speaker at various Blogging and Internet Marketing Conferences and this can take up about 3 hours on a weekly basis. On my Weekends I tend not to blog and even try, not always successfully, to keep away from my laptop and the internet. If I find myself with an hour or two to spare on the weekend I like to do some of my own personal development. The truth is I like on the weekend to further my knowledge, so I will use some of the time to catch up on new areas in personal development coaching and try and read some good articles on blogging. There is always something new we can learn.
I know perfectly well my daily routine is not possible for many of you. If you are at all serious about taking your blog to the next level, you simply have to schedule blogging into your day in a way that suits you. Working out what are the key activities you need to be doing in the time that you have.
Remember a lot of things that we need to do as bloggers can be pretty much automated as long as you have the right plugins. This enables you to get a lot of really important things done, yet take up very little of your time.
So ask yourself, if you could only accomplish five things today, what would you want them to be? Great, so now go do them. That should be how you approach every day. The Internet can way lay you because it offers you so many tempting distractions. It can easily keep you from getting any real work done today. Plan so to make sure you make the best use of your time, today and every day.
Once you have laid the foundation for your blog business, the day to day operations, are crucial for your success. Get them right!
Tell us in the comment area what you do on your blog on a typical day. Maybe you’re doing something that I’m not but should be![signoff]