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If the title of this post sounds super ambitious, then keep reading, because this is for you!
Have you ever wanted a place of your own on the internet? Somewhere you could share your family stories, life advice, or lists of your favorite makeup products? Do you love to write? Do you want an outlet that is totally 100% yours? Would you like to opportunity to grow and learn? Maybe even make an income writing from home? A blog could be the answer to your desires.
Momma’s Gonna Make It just hit it’s one year anniversary, and to celebrate, I thought I would share my keys to making a blog work in 15 minutes a day!
Now keep in mind, 15 minutes is NOT going to fill your website with a TON of content. 15 minutes a day WILL get you started and consistently building your site with a ‘quality over quantity’ mentality. I don’t know about you, but I’ve wasted too much time on Pinterest reading mediocre material or falling prey to click-bait articles. I’d rather provide a handful of excellent posts that can truly provide value than a bunch of half-baked or throwaway information.
Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Then let’s dive a little deeper.
Why ‘The 15-Minute Method?’
I created this for myself because I am naturally not very good at following through with my projects. Unfortunately, I am that person who starts 18 different projects and maybe only completes one. The rest collect dust. I want to do them, but I cannot find the time or the will to. I am not proud of that particular personality trait, but I have come to accept that it is my default behavior and that I need to actively work against it to be successful.
Enter the 15-minute method.
My days are built around several non-negotiable time blocks. As a stay at home mom, there are sporadic events that have to happen during my day at a certain time (school drops offs, pickups, naptimes, appointments, etc.) so my schedule needs to stay fluid to keep up with the needs of my family. The one non-negotiable time block I schedule for myself is time to work on this blog. The 15-minute time slot fits into one of two places in my day. If it doesn’t take place as planned in the first scheduled time block in the morning, then it gets shifted to the second in the afternoon. Sometimes I hit the lottery and get BOTH 15-minute blocks (or longer), but I don’t ever plan on that happening! By creating a short time schedule, I am able to fit it in without question every day.
What can you accomplish in 15 minutes?
Actually, more than you would think. The key to making this method work is to use your 15 minutes for ACTIONABLE steps. What do I mean by that? We’ll jump into that a little later in this article, but for now, let’s get started with some basics.
Don’t have a website yet? Check out this post ‘Yes You Can: Start a Personal Blog‘ to get you going.
Already have a website? Great! Let’s go…
Start with your schedule
Pull out your daily planner or use this daily calendar printable to help you map out your week. Determine which are non-negotiable events, note which are recurring from week to week and which are not, and try to find two common 15 minutes time slots each day. I suggest you not use the ‘first thing in the morning’ or ‘last thing before bed’ strategy. Those times don’t work out well, trust me. You are not operating at your peak during those times of the day, so you won’t be able to use your time efficiently. It may help to have a daily calendar hung someplace where you will see it. Either a printable, or DIY dry erase in a picture frame, so you can quickly jot in your priorities and non-negotiable time blocks.
Once you have determined your two time slots, then write them down on the calendar pages AND add two alarms to your phone recurring every day. Until this process becomes a habit, you will need as many tactics to remind yourself as you can come up with!
Get in the right frame of mind
Get in the habit of thinking ahead when blogging. What did you work on yesterday and where do you need to pick up today? If you struggle to remember details from day to day, consider creating a way to communicate this information to yourself. Make a checklist, get a notebook where you can ‘brain dump’ for status and research, or simply leave yourself a post-it note with where you left off on your computer. Any way you handle your reminder, make sure it is short and to the point so you can pick back up in a moments notice. Also, don’t be afraid to use your 15 minutes for planning. That is a great way to create a clear path for yourself for the next several time blocks!
What is an actionable step? It is a step that is ready to be accomplished. Your actionable step cannot be to publish a blog post when you haven’t even written it yet. You cannot write a product review for an item you haven’t used. You cannot photograph a recipe you haven’t made. See what I mean? Your actionable step needs to be something you are ready to accomplish. Here is an example of my actionable steps when writing:
Blog Post Process:
- Research the topic
- Create a blog post outline
- Write conclusion
- Write the remainder of the blog post
- Spelling/grammar check, add disclaimers, add hyperlinks
- Record and add media (photos, video, music, etc.)
- Complete all SEO metadata for posts and associated media
- Create Pinterest Pin and embed in Blog Post
- Publish and Pin
This process can be pretty fluid depending on the type of blog post I write but generally, it looks a lot like this. Each actionable step does not need to be completed in one single time block. There are times that I need several days to research topics or write a full post. That is totally okay. The point is that for each 15-minute time block, progress is made and you will continue to move forward.
To further illustrate this, here are a few more things that I consider to be actionable steps:
- Website appearance
- Site maintenance
- Responding to comments
- Social media
- Learning new software
- Classes and educational tools
Each one of these will help to move you forward in your blog. Even something like ‘learning new software’ can help you to grow to become more efficient and a better blogger. It is definitely a step in the right direction, even without hitting the ‘Publish’ button.
Optimize your time
Because you are allowing yourself such a small amount of time to work each day, you need to use it wisely. Turn off all distractions. Seriously, the TV and the phone can wait… it’s only 15 minutes! If you can, try to pool your necessities together before your time starts. Collect your notes, pens, beverage, and computer beforehand. It seems menial, but every second counts here.
Another little tip I have is to open a separate window when working on your computer. If you are anything like me, you have one browser window open with 30 tabs all doing different things. I am very distracted by my tabs. I remember to pay bills, buy Christmas gifts, re-order coconut milk on Amazon, and find that perfect pair of booties… but I do NOT focus on my actual work. By opening a new window I don’t see any of that stuff and it allows me to focus on what I am supposed to be doing. Again, it seems silly, but it makes a HUGE difference!
Patience, patience, patience
This sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Well, at first it may FEEL like a lot of work, but as you get into a habit of doing this every day, it will become a lot easier. You have to have patience with this process. It is easy to see these baby steps as frustrating, I know I still feel that way sometimes, but you are still making progress while learning how to fit this new piece into your life. It’s a lot less stressful and overwhelming to do it this way than it is to stay up all night churning out less than stellar content. Great job for those who can do that… but it’s just not doable for me.
Depending on where you are in your life, you may be able to add more time to work into your days once you are ready. If you have a house full of school-aged kids, then maybe you are able to work a little more during the school year. The point here really is to train yourself to touch your blog every day. Work it into your life until it becomes a natural part of your day. You will become more efficient with your time and actionable steps with practice… regardless whether you have 5 hours or only 15 minutes worth of time to work.
Does this sound like something you could do? Whether you are wanting to start a personal blog to share family memories or a public blog to share your brand, you CAN do it in only 15 minutes a day. I hope you see, Momma, that all your personal projects do not have to be sidelined when you are choosing the stay at home parent lifestyle. Yes, you may be short on time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prioritize your goals into your day. They just may need to be done one tiny bite at a time!
Pick up your calendar here and start planning!
Until next time,
P.S. If you are seriously interested in learning more about blogging (as a side or full-time income) I highly suggest you check out the Genius Blogger Toolkit Bundle. It is packed FULL of excellent resources to help you not only grow your blog but teach you some excellent skills along the way, including how to increase your traffic and monetize your website. I buy this bundle every year, and it pays for itself without question!