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Feeling frazzled? Not enough hours in the day? I know the feeling. But hopefully, I can help with these 24 time-saving tips for bloggers…
You see, blogging isn’t easy.
Running two blogs alongside another part-time career, that DEFINITELY isn’t easy. I have had to learn plenty of time-saving blogging tips to keep myself sane over the past few years.
When I announced my plans to start this website to friends, I was mostly met with “Are you crazy?! You never stop working as it is!”
And it’s true. Running a blog by yourself is hard. There is SO much to do.
There are keywords to find, topics to research, articles to write, photos to edit, affiliate products to promote, websites to design, Pinterest strategies to manage, social media platforms to nurture, links to find, email lists to build, newsletters to write, pitches to make, networking to do…
People who say ‘blogging is easy, it’s not a real job’ INFURIATE me. I mean how many of the skills above would they be able to master and juggle effectively?
The truth is that no one goes into blogging to make easy money. We do it because we are passionate and love what we do. We would quickly burn out if we didn’t.
And yes, blogging done well can be very lucrative. But that 6 figure salary isn’t going to happen overnight or without a LOT of hard work.
And let’s face it, most of us do ALL of this work, alongside another job, at least initially.
I make a decent full time living from my blog (you can see how much here) but I still do a few shifts as a GP every week. I trained to be a doctor for 15 years. I’m not ready to give that up quite yet. If I don’t keep my hand in, I’ll lose my hard-earned medical license and so for now, I will continue to juggle my 3 businesses as best I can.
But it is hard and it is time-consuming.
I’m sure you know the feeling right?!
Luckily, over the years, the juggling act has gotten easier. I’ve picked up time-saving tips and blogging hacks along the way. I’ve invested in tools which save me hours every week and I’ve found ways to cling on to my sanity.
So I decided to write this article with all of my best time-saving tips for bloggers in the hope that it will save someone else from totally burning out or giving up on their passion.
No time to read? Trust me, I get that!! No worries, pin it for later!
My best time-saving tips for bloggers to help you go from frazzled to fantastic
Organisational time-saving tips for bloggers
Part of the battle is staying organised.
This is something which doesn’t come naturally to me. I’ve had to work hard at it.
I’m the sort of ‘ideas person’ who is constantly having brainwaves that I cannot wait to put into action. Problem is, I run from project to project leaving a trail of chaos in my wake.
One of the best tools I found to keep myself organised is Trello. It’s like an online pinboard where I can organise my idea into lists. It also has an app version so I can access my lists on the go.
The sorts of lists I make include
- Good keywords I find
- Blog post topics
- Freebie ideas for email marketing purposes
- Facebook groups where I can share my posts freely
- Posts which I need to update
- Companies I want to pitch to at some point
- Names of fonts or colour codes I use for my branding
- Guest posts and collaborations I have agreed to
The list goes on…
New to getting organised using trello? Then I’d highly recommend taking this free Trello organisation course and by the end of it, you’ll be more organised than you every imagined possible!
Invest in a blog planner
Blog planners help to keep me focussed. The best blogging planners can help you to document your best ideas, focus on your plans, create a content plan, document your stats and earnings and see your progression over time.
You can either buy a regular planner or get a downloadable printable one. The advantage of the later is that you can re-use it every year by just printing another copy (as long as it’s not year specific!)
I noticed, however, that most blog planners available for download focus on blog stats and social stats and don’t focus enough on affiliate marketing and tracking sources of passive income.
Therefore I decided to rectify that issue and developed my own printable affiliate marketing planner which I Include inside my Affiliate Superstar Toolkit where you’ll find plenty of pages designed to really focus on maximising affiliate sales and tracking them efficiently so you can adjust your strategy along the way.
There are still the monthly planning pages and blog and social stats but it’s also packed with tools to help you earn more money – which is the goal right?! You’ll also find affiliate article templates, email templates and checklists to keep you on track
Think about your why
Another really important time-saving tip for bloggers is to consider your WHY every time you write a post.
All of the posts I write are for one of the following 4 reasons. If it doesn’t fit into one of these categories, I won’t be wasting my time writing it.
- A post which genuinely adds a lot of value to my readers. Perhaps it’s something that hasn’t been written about much or the guides out there just aren’t reader-friendly. This is about building trust and providing value.
- A post which increases my authority on a subject that is highly relevant to my niche.
- A post which is highly likely to convert affiliate sales for a product I genuinely believe in. It’s a waste of your time to write about a product you don’t truly love. It’ll come across to your readers and it won’t convert. It’s a waste of your time and theirs!
- A post which is highly likely to drive a lot of traffic to my blog to make me either ad sales or whom I can convert into email subscribers to help me reach them again.
Allocate time to social media
This is something I still struggle with, especially since starting my Passive Income Superstars Facebook group.
I want to be present all the time, answering people’s queries and supporting my tribe. But this does distract me from writing my own blog and other important blog tasks.
I’m trying to get better at allocating specific time slots for managing my social media profiles and groups.
How to write a blog article quickly
Many of my articles, especially on the travel site, are over 3000 words. One of my articles is a humongous 8500 words.
In a world where Google favours detailed, long-form content over quick answers, we have to learn to be efficient when writing our articles.
Set yourself the right conditions to be productive
The first most important thing is to give yourself the right conditions and minimise distractions to write efficiently.
I personally prefer to leave the house and go to my local cafe/bar. I like the background noise and don’t find it distracting. Because I only go to this cafe for work, I’m instantly in the work zone as soon as I get there and I can’t get distracted by house chores or the TV.
If you write a lot of the same types of articles then consider creating templates which you can use when you are lacking focus.
For example, I write a lot of itinerary posts on my travel blog. They all follow the same format with a summary/ map / detailed day-by-day itinerary / FAQ section. Having a template for this speeds up the process of writing it dramatically.
If you enjoy using templates, you might want to check out my Affiliate Superstar Toolkit which is packed full of them!
Read next | 10 different blogging templates to save you time
Use Grammarly to edit your articles faster.
I type way too fast and make a million spelling errors as I go. Luckily, I have Grammarly installed which corrects all my mistakes as I go. I would be lost without it. There is a pro version but I’ve never felt the need to upgrade.
Save your article frequently and create backups.
There is nothing more frustrating than writing a whole blog post only to realise it didn’t save properly and losing it all. Save frequently and install a backup plugin. I use Updraft Plus for this.
The more productive you are, the more time you save. Time for fun stuff like hanging out with friends and family or taking a much-deserved spa day! I recommend checking out this Ultimate Productivity Bundle!
Organising your affiliate links
Recently I upgraded to get the Pro Version of Thirsty affiliates. I am now totally obsessed and can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier now.
The free version allows you to cloak links (which protects them from commission poachers) and stores them so that you can find them from within your post with the click of a button.
However, the pro version does it all for you! You simply store your affiliate link and add some keywords. As soon as you write that phrase in your post, it will be turned into an affiliate link. Think about how much time that could save you?!
It also allows you to geotag links for different products in different countries, automatically adds an affiliate disclosure (hands up, who has forgotten this at some point in the past?) and hooks up with Amazon API.
Save yourself some time searching for affiliate programmes! I created this guide for 99 affiliate programmes across 8 niches including travel, blogging, lifestyle, parenting, health, food, finance and crafts. Get your copy for FREE here.
Trying to rank on Google without doing the appropriate keyword research is like stabbing in the dark and is likely to be a huge waste of your time. Time that busy bloggers do not have.
If you haven’t already invested in a keyword research tool like Keysearch then I would urge you to do so. That way you know you are writing a post that;
A) You have a good chance of ranking for
B) People are actually searching for the term.
Don’t waste your time writing a post that no one will ever see. Have a plan in advance. Can you get views from Pinterest? Can you get it ranking on Google? Do you have an email list or Facebook group who would be interested in reading it?
Pinterest time-saving tips for bloggers
Schedule in advance with Tailwind
Pinterest is a brilliant tool for driving huge volumes of traffic to your website. BUT, it can be a huge time suck if you are pinning manually!
If you choose a manual approach, in order to maintain a constant presence on Pinterest, you are going to have to log in constantly throughout the day. It may only take a few minutes to pin something but it’s going to interrupt your other blog tasks and distract you.
One of my best time-saving tips for bloggers is to invest in Tailwind.
You can schedule hundreds of pins in just 30 minutes or so and Tailwind will help you to plan when to distribute them throughout the day when your audience is most active.
I spend an hour or two on Pinterest every month and then I use a set-and-forget approach, only logging in when I have a brand new pin I want to add and schedule. Without Tailwind, I would be a LOT less productive!
Use Canva to create pins worth clicking on in just a few minutes
Designing pins that people feel compelled to click on, won’t come naturally to everyone. You could spend hours designing pins and still not get it right.
Canva is a great tool which is free to use. There are pre-designed templates you can choose from. Just change the colours and pictures to your own and voila, you have a pin. It may take as little as a couple of minutes to create.
There are some really cool pro features too if you decide to upgrade. For example one of my favourite time saving tools is the resize facility so I can make a pin then resize it for Instagram posts, stories and Facebook in just 1 click.
You can get a 30 day free trial of Canva’s Pro features here.
However, it’s still possible to go wrong with your colours and pictures. Unless you are an excellent photographer, I’d suggest you use stock photos and get some feedback from your friends and family about the pictures, text style and photos which you use.
Also, don’t forget to add keyword-rich descriptions to your pins and pin them to relevant boards. You can read more about acing Pinterest SEO here.
If you are able to design your own pins in Canva even better as it helps you stand out and people will quickly start to recognise them as yours. I love the pro version of Canva as it allows me to upload my own fonts, brand colours and organise my own pin templates.
If you want to save even more time and get some Pinterest designs made specifically to convert clicks for bloggers, you can purchase pre-made pin designs which you can customise. Check out these templates.
Invest in a virtual assistant
If designing pins isn’t your thing or you are just too busy to handle Pinterest as well as your blog, then it is very easy to find Pinterest virtual assistants who will manage your Pinterest accounts for you.
Expect to pay more for experienced Pinterest strategists who will be planning to grow your account as well as help to save you valuable time.
Time saving tips for your Email list
The beauty of email marketing is that you can automate most of it!
When someone joins my email list, they enter a funnel which is designed to give them tips and skills in the topic they’ve shown interest in. The same funnel also promotes affiliate products which may help them too.
Sometimes when someone enters my email list, they will receive 3 months of emails before they enter my general newsletter and until this point, everything is automated and designed in such a way to boost engagement, be genuinely useful and help build that relationship between me, my brand and my community.
The easiest way to set up multiple automations is to use a tool such as Convertkit.
Prior to using Convertkit I was with Mailerlite. Mailerlite is fine for a very basic newsletter but Convertkit is much easier to use when you start to set up multiple sequences and automations and their tagging sytstem makes it so easy to stay organised! Read more about the differences between Mailerlite and Convertkit here
Check it out for yourself with a 14 day free trial of Convertkit.
Need some help getting started? Here is my email marketing guide for bloggers.
I also recommend List By Numbers – an email marketing course which will help you utilise both Convertkit and Mailerlite to make the most of these automations (which done well can be super lucrative!)
Time-saving tips for Instagrammers
Decide if you need to master Instagram at all?
Instagram can be really powerful for some niches and brands love seeing great engagement on Instagram. But if you are focussing on making passive income rather than working on a string of sponsored posts, then do you really need it?
Yes, you might be able to make some affiliate sales using the swipe up function in Instagram stories or by updating the link in your bio. But realistically, you are going to have to put a LOT of time and energy into growing your follower numbers and engagement to see much traction here.
Is your time better focussed elsewhere?
Whilst I have an Instagram account for my travel blog to help with occasional sponsored trips, I decided not to start a Passive Income Superstars profile.
This might be against regular advice but I decided that my precious limited time would be better spent focussing on Pinterest and growing my facebook group and email list.
Decide where your priorities lie and do not spread your time too thinly.
Schedule your posts
If you do decide that Instagram is worth your time (as it may well be) then use a scheduling tool. Again, I recommend Tailwind for this and you can try it out for free for your first 30 posts (without having to register credit card details.)
Not only can you schedule in advance, but you can also save lists of your favourite hashtags, get suggested hashtags ordered by the popularity and find the best times for the highest engagement with Tailwinds smart schedule.
Save lists of hashtags
Even if you decide not to get Tailwind for Instagram, then you can still save lists of hashtags. When I find hashtags which work, I will create lists in my notes app on my phone. I just copy and paste these over and save myself heaps of time.
Saving time on Facebook
Facebook can be a total time suck for me. Every time I log in to do something with my page, I get distracted by what that girl I vaguely knew in school 20 years ago is up to on her holidays.
Therefore, finding ways to be more efficient when I am on Facebook and ways to manage it remotely has been very useful for me and saved me lots of time.
Use Crowdfire to schedule posts in advance
I use Crowdfire for both my Facebook pages and Twitter account and it allows me to simultaneously plan posts to go to both platforms. I can choose a specific time or allow Crowdfire to find the best time for me.
It also suggests articles that my followers might be interested in, helping me to boost engagement.
Schedule in advance from within Facebook
You can also schedule in advance right from within Facebook and this is how I tend to manage my Facebook group as I like to be on the group whilst scheduling posts so I can see what sort of posts have gone down well with my group in the last few days and plan my content accordingly.
I simply write the post as I would normally but choose to schedule a later time to post. I can still see my scheduled posts when I log in and edit and shuffle them as required.
Use recur post
The 3rd way I schedule posts to my Facebook group is using Recur post. This is used for recurring posts for example monthly or weekly threads. Once you set up a schedule, it’ll keep posting on your behalf until you tell it to stop.
You could also use this for your most popular or lucrative posts or for seasonal posts and schedule them to go out much less frequently eg every 6 months or every year.
Prioritise your content
Facebook groups tend to perform better than pages. Therefore if you have limited time, consider prioritising your group over your page.
My reach is 5-6 times higher in my group so I encourage everyone who likes my page to also sign up to my group. I’m active every day in my group but tend to just post to my page when I have a new article to share.
It’s important to know, that is not best practice. To grow your pages reach, you need to be active, posting frequently a mixture of your own and others content.
BUT, since Facebook’s algorithm clearly favours groups, I personally find my limited time is better invested there.
Speaking of Facebook groups, have you joined mine yet?! It’s a community of bloggers motivated to improve their affiliate marketing strategies and learn to make more passive income with their blogs . We’d love to see you there! You can join HERE.
Swap links quickly
To build your authority on a subject with Google, you will need to obtain links to your articles.
Unfortunately, this is a very time-consuming activity.
Here are a few time-saving tips for link swaps;
Join an Indirect Link Swap group on Facebook
I came up with this idea because I was concerned that too many direct link swaps with other bloggers were making my link profile look too unnatural. I didn’t want to risk angering the Google gods!
On the other hand, 3-way swaps take forever to organise and I just don’t have the time for that.
I set up an indirect link swap group for travel bloggers whereby everyone who lists one of their posts they want links to, automatically links to something else in the newsfeed. This way, the links are totally random and look way more natural.
It is a risk that you may not get any links for one post but you may get 10 for another. It’s also possible, that someone with a low domain authority might link to you but remember their DA will grow and you may equally score lucky with a website with a huge DA linking to you.
This style of link swap group might not be available in your niche but if that’s the case, why not start one yourself?
Again, consider a VA for this
This is another task that you could set for a virtual assistant to help you with. Get them to approach brands or companies who you mention in your articles to get them to organise some 3-way link swaps with other bloggers in your niche via Link-swap Facebook groups.
Using templates to save time
I’ve already mentioned how I love a template for my pins and my articles. However, there are a few other templates I love using;
Use pitch templates
I keep several pitch templates on my laptop which I can edit and use to send out quick pitches. I have about 5 or 6 and organise them by cold vs warm pitch and the type of things I’m pitching for. For example, with my travel blog, I have warm and cold pitches for adventure travel companies, hotels and tourist boards.
Use presets for your photos
I love editing my photos and in a perfect world, I would do them all manually. But sometimes, time just does not allow for this, especially if I have thousands of photos after a long trip.
For editing photos at speed, I use Lightroom presets. You can either create and store your own presets to use either on the desktop or via a phone app or you can download someone else’s presets to use. You may want to check out these beautiful presets by Chic Pursuits.
Please note that you will need to have a subscription for Lightroom to use presets on a desktop though you can use the free app version on your phone. However, Lightroom and Photoshop via Adobe cloud are my favourite tools for editing photos and well worth the money in my opinion.
You could also consider using done-for-you stock photos. You can often gets some good premium stock photo Appsumo deals and I also recommend checking out the Styled Stock Society. You can also read my review here.
Hopefully, amongst this list of my favourite 24 time-saving tips for bloggers, you’ve picked up some ideas which may save you some precious hours and help you be more productive going forward!
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Don’t forget to do your fellow blogger a favour and pin this to your Pinterest boards! Thanks, you are a star!