You may have figured out by now that being a (successful) Christian blogger requires a bit more effort than simply writing a post and hitting publish. There are so many moving parts that each need different amounts of attention and effort.
Depending on how much time you actually have available to work on your blog, you may get to the point of thinking “I can't possibly do all of this!”.
The truth is that you DON'T have to do it all! The key to figuring out where you need to focus your efforts and time comes down to the blog goals you have set. If you don't have specific goals set for your blog, you'll be spinning your wheels without any productive outcome!
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BLOG GOALS: Better Time Management as a Christian Blogger
As a new Christian blogger, you most likely feel a bit overwhelmed with so many things that need to be done for your blog. If you aren't careful, you'll get sucked into rabbit holes from which you never return! It seems every (blogging) blogger is mentioning all the newest plugins or other tools to make your blog better. It is so easy to get sidetracked with all these “shiny” things that you neglect the foundation of your blog.
It is important that you have a plan and focus your time on things that actually matter. Every single task that you spend time working on should have an identifiable return on the time investment you've made.
Blog Goals: Productivity vs. Effectiveness
Before we go any further, I want to make sure you understand one very important concept. Being PRODUCTIVE and being EFFECTIVE are two completely different things.
- Being productive simply means that you got a lot of tasks accomplished.
- Being effective means that the tasks you accomplished actually produced results that get you closer to your goal.
Let's say you are trying to grow your Pinterest reach. You spend an entire day (or two) making new board covers for all of your Pinterest. At the end of the day, you are thinking “I was SO productive today! I got all of my board covers made and uploaded!”
But for all the hours you spend making those pretty, matching board covers, what is the ROI (return on investment) for the time you spent doing that? The truth is that having pretty, color-coordinated board covers has zero impact on your ability to get more followers to your account or to get more clicks to your pins.
If you want to truly grow your Christian blog ministry, it is important that you set clear blog goals and ensure that every task you spend time on has an ROI related to reaching those goals.
If you are having a hard time laying out a blueprint for your blog, this Blog Planning Toolkit is exactly what you need!
Planning for Productivity And Effectiveness
The best way to ensure you are using your time in a way that is both productive and effective is to have a solid plan for the year. Take the time to actually sit down and map out your blog goals for the year and how you plan to reach them.
Define Your Blogging Goals
The first step in time management as a Christian blogger is to sit down and really define your blogging goals. This includes goals with the actual blog, as well as goals associated with your social media, email, monetizing, etc.
With each goal, ask yourself why that goal is important. Don't set a goal just to set a goal. What is the benefit of that goal being reached (ROI)?
For example, if you have a social media goal of growing your Twitter followers to 10K, what is your reason for doing that? Is it because you are wanting to apply for sponsored opportunities and need a certain number of followers? (In this scenario, applying for the sponsored opportunity would be the goal. Reaching 10K on Twitter is a means of reaching that goal.)
What is the point of the goal that you've set?
Here are just a few examples of various goals you might set:
- Blog Goals
- Blog Subscriber Goals
- Pinterest Goals
- Social Media Goals
- Blog Financial Goals (monetizing)
For most Christian bloggers, your main goal should be to get organic traffic because that is the soil for all of those other fruits (subscribers, income, etc). If you just focus on building your blog traffic for a solid year, you will have the traffic to make those other things fruitful (effective).
DEFINE HOW YOU WILL ACHIEVE THOSE Blog GOALS
Once you have really defined the blogging goals you want to achieve this year, it is important that you create a strategy for accomplishing them. Don't just say that you want to get more traffic to your blog!
Since I do monetize my blog, my blog goals relate to earning more in 2020 than I did in 2019. But, instead of just saying I want to earn more money this year, I have a clear plan that is based around getting more traffic to my site because I use ad networks. The more organic traffic – the higher the ad impressions – the higher the ad revenue.
- Increase organic traffic by publishing 4 SEO-optimized posts each week (Mine is a contributor site so it isn't all written by me!)
- Creating 2-3 (free) tutorial workbooks that include links to blog content
- Create new pins for older posts (1 new pin each day uploaded manually to Pinterest)
- Create 2 new free courses that include links to blog content
Each of the things I listed results in more traffic to the blog. This is a PRODUCTIVE and EFFECTIVE return on the time investment I spend doing them because getting more traffic to my site is the manner in which I reach my goal.
For most newer Christian bloggers, the biggest goal is simply to start getting organic traffic and build an engaged subscriber list.
Side note: If you aren't currently getting decent ORGANIC traffic, you should not have a primary goal of earning money. You must lay the foundation first. If you focus on the money and not the foundation, you won't get very far!
To start getting organic traffic you need to work on these things:
- Refocus your Avatar
- Learn and Implement SEO
- Write SEO-optimized blog content that speaks to your Avatar
You should also begin creating a really great optin that speaks directly to your Avatar. Don't just ask readers to sign up for new posts. Create something your Avatar really needs an give it in exchange for their email.
As your organic traffic grows, you'll get more of your intended audience coming to your blog. The more of them that come (because they were looking for you) the more they will subscribe to your newsletter.
Speaking of an email list – if you don't yet have consistent organic traffic to your blog, you should not be trying to build an email list. Build your content for a good year and start getting REAL people to your blog. Then start working on building an email list.
Why? Because the data from that year (the search queries bringing traffic) will help you find the right type of optin to offer to get the right people on your list. Plus, if you don't have traffic, who is going to sign up? Also, nurturing that list takes a plan and TIME. If you are already struggling to manage your time with producing blog content, how will have the time to effectively nurture the list?
Focus Your Time
Once you've really laid out the goals you have for your blog for the year, it is important that you are intentional with your time. It is so easy to get caught up in rabbit holes that provide absolutely no ROI if you aren't careful!
Start by making a list of all the tasks you think you need to accomplish. This should include EVERYTHING such as writing blog posts, sharing content on social media, making pins for Pinterest, creating new graphics – LIST EVERYTHING that requires your time and energy.
Once you are finished writing them all down, go back over the list and for each task listed, ask yourself “How does this task impact my main goal?” If it doesn't directly impact reaching your main goal, move it to the bottom of the list (or make another list).
For all the things that do impact your main goal, prioritize them. Which ones are the most important for reaching your goal?
These are the ones you should be spending the most time on!
BLOG WITH INTENTION THIS YEAR!
I know it can be hard to stay focused when you see other bloggers boasting of how they accomplished this or that. Always keep your eyes on YOUR GOAL! While each of us has a primary goal of getting more Jesus on the Internet, we each have different secondary goals (different methods of achieving that primary goal). Stay focused on the goals you've set for your blog and don't let yourself get distracted by what everyone else is doing.
Figure out what YOU want to accomplish this year and focus your time and energy on doing tasks that help you get closer to that goal. Avoiding rabbit holes and “busy-work” can be challenging.
I have ADHD so staying focused is extremely challenging for me. I can easily get distracted by “shiny things” if I'm not careful. Last year, I started making coloring pages and scripture cards – just because I love to be creative. Once I realized how much time I was spending on making them, I had to make the decision to either give that up – or to figure out how to make them a method for reaching my goal (of more traffic). I ended up creating some resource pages on my site where I could put them all – then made Pinterest images for them. This has resulted in quite a bit of new traffic to my site!
I'd love to hear how you are reeling in your time this year and being more focused and intentional with your blogging tasks! Comment below and share your struggles and successes!
Be sure to also hop over and join us in the Kingdom Bloggers Facebook group where we have weekly live training and discussions on all things Christian Blogging!