Mommy bloggers, I salute you. When I started blogging, my oldest (who is about as active and passionate as little boys get) was two years old, and I was pregnant with my second.
In the few years since, and I can safely say that I've learned a couple of things in this crazy blogosphere. Namely, that blogging through these years requires pretty much military-grade effort. So, hats off to you if you're doing it.
That said, there are a few tips that might just be game-changing (and if nothing else, bring you some much needed FREEDOM!)
1. Don’t give up your life.
Make this the thing that’s most important. Snuggle your kids, watch movies, go on dates, plan vacations. You may be blogging so that you can do more of these things. So protect what you’ve got by not leaving them in the dust.
2. Change your mindset.
For #1 to be successful, you’ll have to come to terms with some stuff: You’ll grow slower. In a world where everyone seems to be growing really fast. And you want to grow fast...but you have life to live with your family. So live it. And ignore how fast everyone else is growing. Repeat after me: My pace is exactly what I need it to be for my life. I am not them. I do what works for me and my people.
3. Cut out the pressure people.
You’re not childless. Obvious in normal life, but as a blogger, not so much. SO MANY coaches and teachers and blogging authorities are single (my term for everyone who is childless). They are young and free. They have time aplenty, and the ability to choose what to do with it. And so these single people- their businesses grow fast. Very fast. Because there are no diaper changes and screaming fits and playdates and messes that they don't make...they get to work when they want. Even most successful mommy bloggers kids are out of diapers and onto some level of self-sufficiency.If you don’t have these things, you’ll need to shut out all the comparison voices that make you feel like crap. Because FACT: THERE IS NO COMPARISON. What you are trying to do here is climb Mount Everest- with a family on your back. Be kind to you, and shut it off- the Instagram scrolling, income report reading, best-new-ideas newsletters. Stay focused on your current tasks. One step at a time.
4. Use the time you have.
Here’s the thing about mommas: It’s really hard to catch a break. So when those kids are asleep it’s easy to run round like a crazy person doing all the scrubbing and emailing and appointment making and laundry and everything that’s not your blog. Or- you were doing all that stuff and then all of a sudden it’s naptime or bedtime and you’re ‘almost done’ so you put the kids down and hastily try to “finish up” that thing and then you’ll start working on your business. Which never happens, because finishing up takes all night and by then you seriously need to chill and watch some Netflix. Break this habit: The second you have some quiet, drop all the things, turn off the stove, forget the laundry, and go take that time for your business. Seriously. Many things can get done with babes awake. Blogging (for those without perfectly content children) is not one of them. So stop what you’re doing and take the moment you have to get the blogging work done.
5. Focus on what’s working.
No doubt you have blogging or business tasks you enjoy doing the most. You have a social platform that you like best. Forget all that. This is the only question: what is making the most progress? Whether your goal is building your audience, generating income, or all of the above: Ignore the things you love and do the stuff that will get you closer to that goal. Even if what you love is Instagram and redesigning your website and what’s working is Pinterest and SEO. Do the boring stuff. If you want any progress at all, you’ll need to get some serious bang for your time buck.
6. Batch. But do it your way.
Get all the ideas from everyone, and then figure out what type of batching system works for you, and don’t worry that you’re not doing it the way that you’ve been told. Batch the way that you’re fastest.
7. Keep it simple.
If it’s all you can do just to get a blog post up weekly- do that. And be proud. You’re building a foundation that will set you up for success whenever you have more time to expend. Remember this: More people are gaining access to the internet every day. The audience will be there, whenever you have time to get your stuff to the wider world, be it this year or in five years. Fret not. Everything in season.
8. Keep time.
Timing and recording your work can really help you stay focused and feel the effects of the time you’ve spent. And bonus: when you’re interrupted (100% chance of this happening pretty much every time) you can stop the timer and pick up right where you left off, which makes leaving the project and returning somehow a bit easier and leaves you feeling less like you didn’t get to finish the thing you were working on. I do the Busy Budgeters 10-hour time block strategy (I'm not an affiliate, it just really works and I want you to know about it). The other great thing about time blocking: You can snatch whatever time you’ve got, in small increments, to get the work done every day.
9. Seize the energy.
Listen, if you’re up at 4am, wide awake- my friend, take what you’re given. Because even if you plan to get a few hours in after babies are asleep at 7pm, you have no idea whether or not you’ll be useful by then, and your work will suffer dearly. If you’ve got energy and silence- these are gifts from the blogging gods. Use them up.
10. Now that I’ve just said that- Try to make it consistent. Your body and mind will get into a rhythm if you choose a regularly scheduled time to work. Still take those extra bursts of energy when you get them, but also make sure that you’ve got some regularly scheduled time planned out.
11. Use blockers.
Social media is actually the devil. Except when you’re trying to build a business. Especially when you’re trying to build a business, because you can’t just uninstall it because you need it but it sucks your life away. Blockers to the rescue! When you know you only have 20 minutes a day on Facebook, you get your stuff done and get off. Some of my favorite free blockers are Leechblock and Waste No Time, which both allow you to set time limits or a specific time within each day for any websites you want to have limited access to.
12. Invest wisely.
If you have the funds, invest where it counts most. Where does it count most? Invest in your time. If you’re not good at a task OR it’ll take you a long time to learn it- hire out, instead of thinking “It can’t be that hard” and doing it yourself. I spent 27 hours on my first business card. Twenty-seven hours. On a business card. Learn from me. Do not repeat. Hire out for projects that are the long haul for you- because for someone, it’s no thing. Let that guy do it.
When the pressure is way too much and you need all your hutspa just to keep the million balls rolling on the home front- press pause online. Because secret: pausing for a while isn't the end of the world. It will be ok. Really. Pick it up when you get back. Yes, the numbers will drop. BUT- YOU are important. Taking good care of yourself is not abandoning your dream. Your dream will be right where you left it, and you'll be able to give more, and better- when your cup is full.
How do you keep up with your business and find the time you need to live well?