«Return to Blog List Blogging for Business: Where DO You Find the Time?
A friend asked me the other day where I find the time to post. Part of my job (I’m an independent business owner, so I get to define my job description) is selling other business people on the benefits of blogging, and concern about finding the time to do it is clearly the number one thing I hear that keeps people from going ahead. I completely understand. Blogging takes time, and time is a finite resource.
The short answer is, I don’t find the time. I take the time. That sounds trite and almost dismissive of the question, but it’s a very important distinction for those of us who don’t get paid (directly) to blog. So, let me expand on that and give the question the attention it deserves.
- Make blogging a priority. At this moment, my to-do list has 14 things on it, not including blogging (which is always on there, BTW), many of which I get paid for when I finish. No one pays me when I write a post. If I didn’t understand that blogging is part of my long-term business strategy, I would put it off until everything else was cleared off my list. Which means I would never post, because things keep getting added to the list.
- Make blogging part of your identity. I used to tell people I was a web developer. Now I tell them I’m a blogger-slash-web developer. This comes from an internal shift in my thinking about who I am, what I do, and where I see my business going. This didn’t happen the first week or the first month after I started blogging. Every week, however, posting becomes more fundamental to my business identity. “I blog, therefore I am” kind of thing.
- Write down post ideas immediately when you have one. If you’re busy, you probably can’t drop what you’re doing and write a post. Neither can I, even though I spend a good part of my day at my Macbook. If I get an idea while I’m at the keyboard, I can quickly login and start a post, usually just a title and a key thought. If I’m away from my desk when an idea presents itself, I jot it down on a pad I’ve learned to carry AT ALL TIMES (yes, into the bathroom). Later, when I’m ready to post, instead of having to come up with an idea, a few are waiting for completion. There are some ideas that just don’t seem that interesting a day or two later, and even less so after a month, but they’re still sitting among my unpublished posts in case I’m re-inspired by them. Or desperate.
- Make decisions about what you’ll give up to make time for posting. At our house, we got rid of our TV about 4 years ago (my wife is sort of a radical), so I didn’t have the option of carving out time to blog from that obvious time-waster. When I’m pressed for time, what I give up is all other forms of social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter (especially Twitter). After that, I give up reading. In the last month I’ve been particularly busy, so I probably haven’t spent more than an hour on social media. I understand how important networking is, but in order to continue blogging when I’m really busy, that’s what I have to give up. I rarely have to give up reading, because I’m clear about it being more important to me personally than LinkedIn.
- Learn to use and value blogging as a way of clarifying and strengthening your ideas. All of us have ideas and assumptions rolling around in our heads, many of them unorganized, undeveloped, and untested. The process of developing those ideas while posting helps to organize thoughts, making them more explicit, more clear, and more real. If you’re lucky, maybe even more useful.
Those are my tips for blogging while busy. No question, blogging takes time, and if you don’t have a really firm vision of where it is taking you and your business, you won’t do it. I hope this post is helpful for those who have trouble finding the time, and that your business will benefit as a result.