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As a new blogger, the information overload can be a little scary. There is just so much to learn, it can all become a quite overwhelming. Then, as you start to navigate your way through the basics, and the jargon starts to formulate part of your own vocabulary you start reading articles that tell you all of the things you should be doing to make your blog successful. There’s literally not enough hours in the day to do it all.
So how do you work out when you need to stop reading and start doing? How do you balance between research and implementation?
Over the last few months I have read A LOT. When I first started toying with the idea of creating a blog, 4 hours disappeared while I read my way through a (small) portion of the Problogger site. Since then I have spent anywhere from 20 – 40 hours a week reading and researching. I’m kind of obsessed with learning everything I can about blogging.
Then I realised that I had two issues… I was reading more than I was doing and I was starting to read a lot of conflicting stories and I became concerned I was doing things wrong.
There’s only so many posts about ‘How to Write Killer Content’ you can read before you actually have to bite the bullet and write some killer content. And what makes killer content for one person may be different to killer content for another. It changes across niches, it changes between blog styles and ultimately you get to decide what you do. You just have to do it.
So to ensure I was being productive I started monitoring where I was spending my time. It was a little scary and it needed to change. Rather than spending 4 hours reading, imagine what I could achieve if I spent 1 hour reading then 3 hours implementing ideas I had read.
I came up with a new plan. I didn’t want to stop reading, it’s how I learn and grow. There’s also other things that need to be taken into account when planning my time too, such as time on Social Media, website maintenance and networking (responding to emails, commenting and talking to other bloggers).
Here’s how I aim to break up my time now…
- 50% Content Creation (Brainstorming, Writing, Editing, Creating Images, etc.)
- 20% Social Media – This drives my traffic and therefore needs a fair chunk of time.
- 15% Reading and Researching – A significantly lower number than before but has proven to be more than enough.
- 10% Networking, Commenting and Responding to Emails
- 5% Website Maintenance
To make the most of my reading and researching time, I keep a notebook with me the whole time and take notes. I sort out tasks into the above categories and use it to keep track of what I am actually achieving.
Since implementing this little plan I’ve noticed an increase in my productivity, I’ve been able to write more posts, complete my first eBook and I’m just about to release my second. I’ve also been able to take on additional writing jobs because I’m more organised. I don’t always stick to this 100% (especially when I’m researching a particular topic) but it’s what I aim for and it works.
How do you keep yourself on track and organised? Do you get caught up in researching and reading too? How do you balance between research and implementation? I’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.