In this post, I am showing you how I schedule my time in order to run a successful blog WHILE being a full-time college student. Plus, I'm telling you how many times I think you need to be posting on your blog every week in order to make money.
I'm a girl that thrives on a schedule and I remember in the beginning of starting my blog I wasn't really sure what that schedule should be.
On top of the other million questions I had floating around in my brain, I was thinking things like "how many times a week should I be posting?" and "what schedule would make me the most productive?" and "what the heck do I even need to be doing on my blog to make money?".
I'm going over my schedule and how I managed my time blogging. Obviously, this schedule has changed over the years as my blogging business has grown but I'm showing you the key fundamentals that I have relied on to schedule out my time successfully with my website.
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How I Manage My Time Blogging As A Full-Time College Student
The second I started my blog, I treated it as a job...
When I first started my blog back in 2017, I was a sophomore in college. I actually started it one week before my sophomore year.
(okay, side note- I technically started my blog as a junior in high school...would post on it once a month maybe...and then basically stopped it when I went to college and completely deleted and restarted it as a sophomore. HAH! So for all of you that have started a blog once before and failed, your girl has been through the same thing and made a comeback just like you can ).
While many people my age were figuring out the next party they were going to go to, I was figuring out how I was going to juggle taking 18 credits in college, nannying 10 hours a week, and starting a successful blog that would make me money.
I was basically in survival mode trying to figure out how the heck I was going to afford paying for college on my own.
From the very beginning of my blog, I had one mindset and to this day I owe my entire career to this mindset...
My blog was a business. I was going to treat it and plan for it as a business which meant that I had to be VERY strategic with how I was scheduling my time.
I was so headstrong about getting this blog to be successful because I knew it was one of the only careers that could make me money around my quickly changing college schedule and other jobs.
I'm the type of person that loves a strict schedule. Before every single semester, I would spend hours analyzing my calendar trying to figure out the best schedule for me in order to manage school and blogging in the most productive way possible.
Obviously, in the beginning of starting my blog I had NO IDEA what was the most important things to be focusing on in order to grow my blog and what things were a waste of time. That first year was a total year of trial and error.
By my senior year (2019-2020), I finally had figured it out (mostly, I'm not perfect hahaha).
Whether you're a college student or someone with a full-time job looking to start a blog, these were some scheduling game-changers that really helped me figure out what I needed to be doing.
Why Time-Blocking Is Game-Changing
When I started my blog my sophomore year, I began researching the best way to put together a schedule. I ended up stumbling on The Skinny Confidential podcast where she preaches about time-blocking.
After really looking into it, I decided to buy a planner that had time-blocking and ever since then I have sworn by it.
So what is time-blocking? Time-blocking is when you go through your day and have a plan for every single minute.
Don't let that scare you...it's actually really easy.
I continue to use my Day Designer (my favorite planner for time-blocking) but also use other time-management systems on top of that to really keep me organized.
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These are by far my favorite paper planners. The planners are really expensive on their website but Target has a line of Day Designer planners that I always reach for. Amazon often carries them too!
In my Day Designer, I plan a detailed schedule of my actual day.
For example, at the end of the day today I am going to go through and plan hour by hour what I have to get done tomorrow.
If you do not want to invest in a time-blocking planner yet (I get it! They can be expensive), here is a free printable I made that allows you to test this system out!
As much as I love my paper planner, I needed an online calendar system that I could see my overall schedule and plan for appointments and meetings.
This is where I do my overall time-blocking at the beginning of each semester. I spend at least a few hours looking at my schedule in detail. When do I want to wake up in the morning? When do I want to workout? How long is it going to take me to drive to class? Where is the biggest chunks of time that can be dedicated just to the blog?
I try to think of EVERYTHING I need time for but put each thing in general categories.
This has been amazing because if someone asks me if I can have a meeting with them or even a hair appointment I can pull out my phone and see instantly, "okay, Tuesday at 3:00pm I have time-blocked for appointments so I can schedule my haircut there".
Before I just used my Day Designer for everything and if someone asked me for something and I didn't have my paper planner I wouldn't be able to say yes or no.
Someday I'll film my own video on how I organize my schedule but until then check out this video...it helped me learn how to use Google Calendars:
ClickUp is a paid system and something that I didn't start using until I had an established blog and some employees under me.
I would definitely stick with the two above if you are just starting out! ClickUp allows me to manage everyone's schedule and makes it really easy to share documents, plan workflows, and just make sure we're staying on top of everything.
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How Many Times A Week You Need To Be Posting On Your Blog
First thing, this is 100% from my experience and what's worked for me.
I have found you need to AT LEAST be posting one piece of new content on your website a week. Any less than that and Google and/or Pinterest won't take you seriously.
Same thing goes for Youtube. Instagram (which i'm just getting into as of March 6th, 2020) needs daily interaction but I am still testing this one so I'll report back my stats in a year :).
For me personally, I content plan for two new posts a week and one updated post.
I have a strict weekly schedule but not a strict "this post needs to go up on Monday the 21st" schedule. It's more like this post has to go up sometime the week of Monday the 21st.
This is how it has always been for me^. But I DO content plan and know exactly what posts are going up every week.
For my sanity, I hope at some point soon I do get a strict schedule in place but that probably won't be for a few years until I have some more people working for me :).
I am a strict believer that less is more for quality posts. If you're just throwing a post up that's 250 words everyday, I can almost guarantee that that is not going to be as successful as if you made one really good post with 1,250 words that week (really all your blog posts should be over 1,500 words!).
...but again, that's just what has worked for me!
This is what I recommend focusing your time on when you first start your blog:
- Making your website look professional. HIGHLY recommend you save hours of your time (and frustration) and invest in a WordPress theme. You can see where I got my website design and other themes I love here - How To Make Your Blog Look Professional (without having a degree in graphic design)
- Blog posts. Duh! This is your biggest priority. The more (quality) blog posts you can get out that first year, the more you can figure out what works for your website and what doesn't
- Pins for Pinterest. I honestly wouldn't mess around with any other social media until you figure out how to work Pinterest for your business.
- Courses. I have said it from the beginning, I owe everything to online courses I've taken. It has sped up my process SO MUCH because I can learn from an expert and avoid the mistakes they made when they started out. You can find the courses I recommend here.
- Email...but I'm hesitant to say that. Towards the end of the first year blogging when you have it more figured out is when I recommend starting an email list. In the beginning, I do NOT recommend it. Focus on making content so you can figure out what to even talk about in your emails first.
My Favorite Tips + Resources For Staying On Schedule With Your Blog:
- Knowing your highest ROI's of your business can be HUGE. The first year of your blog you should really analyze what is working to make you money and what isn't. Majorly focus the second year on the things that were making you money and don't put as much time towards the things that weren't (this is an easy concept but it can often be forgotten...I even forget this a lot!).
- Tailwind saves me HOURS with Pinterest and allows me to focus my time on other important blogging tasks. My business would literally not survive if it wasn't for Tailwind.
- Know what times of the day you are most productive. I am an early riser and I know my most productive hours are from 6:00am-12:00pm. After that, my productivity decreases majorly (by 4 I'm at like a zero for productivity haha). Because I know this, I try to schedule all my important stuff in the morning. If you are a night time person, schedule your blogging work for night.
- Once again, treat your blog like a business. Even when I was making zero dollars on my blog that first year, if I was scheduled to work on my blog and my friends asked me to do something, I would say "I can't, I'm working". It will never be successful if it isn't a priority.
My Favorite Scheduling Tools:
That's how I manage my time blogging! I have used these systems to help me manage being a student and (basically) working full-time on my blog.
My biggest piece of advice is to NEVER give up. There will be times when you feel so busy that you think you can't handle it any longer.
It's those bloggers who never give up even in the craziness of life that end up with the successful websites and flexibility to create whatever schedule they want!