how to blog, blogging, blogger, blogging tips

How to Blog When Life is Busy

Deciding how to blog is different for everyone. Unlike a 9-5 job, there are no hard and fast rules attached. In blogging:

  • There is no official start time.
  • There is no one to tell you to go home and relax at the end of the day.
  • There is no definitive end to the work.

Some bloggers spend a few hours in front of the computer, one or two times a week. Others write and promote all day long. Blogging can be a hobby, a passion, a career, and an obsession. For many bloggers, it is a combination of all four.

How Not to Blog When Life Gets Busy

It was bound to happen eventually. This week, life caught up with me. I felt like a plate spinner who pushed himself to the limit. Everything was perfectly balanced, and it looked beautiful. I also knew that if I so much as sneezed, everything would come crashing down.

Balancing family, work, and blogging is tricky–especially the blogging part. For me personally, when things are going well, I get excited and to want to do more. The Barna, Strength’s Finder Assessment, calls this being a Maximizer. Maximizers get fired up when things are going good. Our passion is to take everything to the next level.

The dark side of this strength is two-fold:

  1. First, maximizers get so focused on refining their work that they don’t want to publish it. When I began writing, this was the biggest obstacle I had to overcome.
  2. Second, maximizers get so caught up in the excitement of things going well, that they don’t know when to slow down–This would be my current challenge.

For maximizers, blogging can become an addiction.

  • There is always one more place to promote our work.
  • Because there is no limit to the number of posts that can be published, there is always one more post to be written.

If we are not careful, blogging becomes a black-hole that sucks away our time. The tricky thing for maximizers is not allowing this to happen.

How to Blog with Balance

On most days, I listen to a podcast or audiobook on my drive to work. Usually, I choose one by a favorite blogger or author. This week I smiled as I listened to three of my favorite writers recall how they wore themselves our physically and emotionally by trying to keep up with everything–It reminded me a lot of myself. I’m willing to bet that if these writers took the Strength’s Finder Assessment, they would rate high for the quality of maximizer too.

This week, I wrote down my mental to-do list. Not my blogging to-do list, but my list of stuff that needed to get done, but I had been putting off. The first things I noticed is that my list had doubled in size. I had become so focused on keeping all of my blogging plates spinning, that I began putting off important life tasks.

A circus plate-spinner has two options. He can keep adding plates, and spinning them until he is no longer able to keep up. Or, he can take his bow and delicately begin to downsize. I bet you can easily pick out which option is best, and this week I opted for the latter.

How to Blog by Pivoting

A pivot is a slight shift or change in direction. It’s a skill used in basketball players when the ball-handler isn’t able to move forward without receiving a penalty. Though unable to progress, these players can still pivot. This ability to make small changes in direction makes all the difference. In sports, knowing how to pivot well, is a must.

This week, I took a number of blogging pivots:

  • I let my normal Wednesday post go, and slept-in instead.
  • I took a break from many of the linkey parties I had faithfully participated in.
  • I slowed down with the Facebook groups.
  • I took a deep breath, sipped my coffee slowly, and smiled.

I had fallen into the trap of treating blogging as a hundred-yard dash, and not a marathon, and it was time to slow down. I’ll be the first to admit that pivoting isn’t easy. These small changes have already resulted in less engagement and decreased blogging stats–so I’ve been forcing myself to quit looking at them, for now.

How to Blog During Life’s Seasons

Some seasons of life provide plenty of room for blogging and social media connection. As you have probably guessed, I love these times!

Others are more rushed. Currently, our family is in a season of preparation. We are getting ready for the arrival of Baby Emma. Of course, this is one of the best seasons of all. Jenny and I can’t wait for her to get here! For me, the trick is remembering that I don’t need to keep everything going. This week’s post on how to blog when life gets busy is written specifically for me. It’s the result of my own, private brainstorming session. Yet, I thought that you might benefit from it too.

How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Busy Bloggers

  1. Write Shorter Posts: There is much to be said for posts that are short and to the point. There are two reasons for this:
    1. People are busier than ever before.
    2. There is more content to consume than ever before.

      Danny Iny, from Mirasee, recently sent an e-mail suggesting that the greatest challenge facing companies in 2016 is that readers are drowning in content. [Tweet “Shorter blog posts can be a breath of fresh air to busy readers.”] As you can see by the length of this post, short and sweet is not where I excel. It is a pivot I’m working on.

  2. Post Less Frequently: Friday’s posts are a personal favorite. I plan to keep this link-up going even when I’m in a time-crunch. Everything else is optional. This week I pivoted by letting my normal, Wednesday post go. While I don’t plan on doing this every week, I’m learning that taking a break is perfectly acceptable.
  3. Tell More Stories: Stories are fun, and flow easily. This is a simple, fun, and time-saving pivot I’m striving to use more often.
  4. Use Quotes: Last year, I chose three topics I was interested in:
    1. Teamwork
    2. Leadership, and
    3. Blended families

      I listed five to ten quotes on each topic and wrote about why I thought each quote mattered. It was a way of adding my personal touch to other people’s inspiring thoughts. For some reason, Google loved these posts. While many of my posts follow a predictable pattern of initial traffic that dies down over time, these posts receive consistent visitors week after week. This is another strategy that I plan to use more frequently.

  5. Revive Old Posts: A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a retro link-party. Bloggers were asked to contribute posts that were a minimum of six months old. For fun, I joined in. Looking back at my old posts, I was surprised at how much my style has changed. Post that had been favorites now looked bland. The maximizer side of me kicked in. I wanted to brighten up the language and graphics, add in bonus content, and tell new stories that illustrated the key points. Reviving old posts is an idea that I haven’t tested out yet, but it’s on my list of blogging pivots that I can’t wait to try!
  6. Start a Series: Instead of cramming every idea into one post, I’m trying to convince myself that list-posts,–like this one–can be broken up into a series. It’s another pivot that I’m excited about testing in the future.

[Tweet “The key to blogging when life gets busy is to get creative!”]

When I look back on my blogging journey I realize that posts that I worked hard on, sometimes fell flat. Others, where I quickly shared from my heart, and then reluctantly published, lead to awesome engagement, new friendships, and a whole lot of fun! From these experiences, I’ve learned that simple pivots often work better than I expect.

[Tweet “When life gets busy, the key is to pivot and keep going.”] Make small changes that free up your time. Don’t stress. Don’t panic. Don’t force yourself to try to keep up with everything. Instead of spinning ten plates, keep the one or two most important things going. This is my blogging advice for myself this week, and I hope you find it helpful as well.

Have you found yourself spinning too many blogging plates at once, and if so, how did you fix this? What essential blogging pivots have you made in the past year? What additional advice would you give me for blogging when life gets busy?–With a new baby on the way, I can use all of the blogging wisdom that I can get. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below!

For more writing ideas, be sure to visit our writing resources page. I pull back the curtain and show you all of my favorite writing resources. You can also check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!  

Bonus Blogging Hacks: My mini-ebook, 101 Highly Caffeinated Blogging Prompts: Creative ideas for sharing your story and engaging your tribe, is on it’s way. Get your free copy the moment it’s released. Simply click here, and let me know where to send it.

Writing tips, blogging, authentic story

I’d love your help choosing a cover. Your can leave your vote as well as any additional cover suggestions in the comments below! Thanks for the awesome feedback last week. Please keep the ideas coming!

Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up

This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith-related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!

Coffee Shop Conversations

[Tweet “I’m Teaming-up at the #Family #Friendship and #Faith link-up. Join the Party! “]


Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

39 thoughts on “How to Blog When Life is Busy”

  1. Thank you for hosting! The biggest mental help I have learned for blogging is that it is OK to take time off from posting. For instance, during Christmas when I am extra busy and numbers are down, I don’t post for a week or two or do linkups. It lets me have a break and gives me time to get ahead on my posts. I announce it on my Facebook page so my followers know ahead of time.

    1. Thanks Debbie, that’s excellent advice and something I need to get better at. One I start something I’ve always had difficulty slowing down–or even pushing the pause button for a week or two. I like the idea of announcing I’m a way for a while on FB. I’ll be borrowing this!

  2. Well that explains where youv’ve been. So true everything you shared here Jed. I too find myself running a marathon on some blogging weeks. A few tips of yours I enjoyed and wholeheartedly agree and try myself to do – shorter posts, trying to not ramble and keep to the point. I like too the idea of bringing older posts to a new light. This week on my Thursday Party at My Place it is Oldies but Goodies week and doing exactly that. Do try and link if you can. I love to see you here. Anyways, great tips, great content and glad to see things are still going strong in the arrival of baby daughter. Happy Friday!

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Thanks for the tips, and for the awesome link-up. I love these opportunities to revive old posts. I just linked-up a favorite from September 🙂 It’s funny, although September was only six months ago, I can’t believe how much life–and my own writing style and posting format–has changed since then. It’s fun looking back. Wishing you an incredible weekend!

  3. Good words here to encourage the hearts of your fellow bloggers. It can seem like a long slow slog, this blogging business — so much writing and promoting. It’s best to keep our eyes on the reason why we do all that we do and to let our focus be the glory of God!
    Thanks for persevering!

  4. This post hit home with me in so many ways. These always give me something to think about. I have had to cut posts short and blog less often. Someday, I may be able to change that course. For now it is what I need. Thanks for hosting. Looking forward to hearing about baby Emma.

    1. Thanks Jamie. You may be cutting your posts short, and blogging less often than you would like, but I would never have known this. I love your site, and have learned a ton from you and the many other connections I have met through these link-ups. I think us bloggers and writers tend to be their own biggest critics–at least, I’m pretty sure this is true for me 🙂 Thanks for showing that it’s possible to have a great site, and set good blogging boundaries in place too. And yes, I can wait to share more about baby Emma!

  5. Hey Jed, Happy Friday!

    Great post! “Short and sweet” blog posts is a pivot I’m working on as well. Really, I mean to be brief(er), but the words keep-a-comin’! Glad you skipped Wednesday and slept in and sipped coffee and smiled. We all need to find that balance.

    Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend!
    Tififney

  6. This post is really helpful for me! I’m a work-from-home dad with a 13 month old and another one on the way! Things are already busy for me…and I can only imagine things are going to get even crazier around here soon! So finding time to write is going to take some creativity! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Congrats! You are going to be busy, but it can be done. I finished my first book between 3-6 am, while holding my newborn daughter in one hand, and typing away with my other. It was a time filled with a lot of happy memories, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your writing and family adventures, so please keep in touch 🙂

  7. Firs off, I really enjoyed reading this. I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year and I’ve struggled with some of these issues. At first I wanted to post 3 times a week but quickly realized that that would not be possible. If I can get 1 post a week done (and maybe a second really short post) I’m doing good! Congratulations on the new baby. As for the cover…I like #2. It’s easily readable upon first glance whereas #1 is a little harder to read (in the brown area). Either one you choose will be great I’m sure.

  8. Thank you for sharing this, it’s a great resource! Life it’s really busy for us and about to get busier (I’m going to have a baby any day now!). I’ve done as much as I can to prepare, but I know things are gonig to come up.

  9. Hello, this intrigued me because I have been extremely busy and worried about getting blogging things done. I must remind myself to stay balanced. I did skip linking last week, and I will survive. You are right, it is a marathon, not a sprint!
    Incidentally, I often spend several hours writing a post but my only post to go viral I wrote off the top of my head in fifteen minutes.

  10. This post really spoke to me. I’ve been focusing so much on the blog lately that it feels like other things have been slipping, which just stresses me out. I need to take a bit of a step back and just enjoy it more.

    Thanks so much for sharing at #FridayFrivolity! x

  11. I totally agree about shorter posts! When I get to a blog that has a post pages and pages and pages long it’s just too much!

    I so wish I was more organized with my blogging, but I am not at all. I know it would help me so much in the long run!

  12. Hi Jed, I’m glad you decided to keep your Friday post cause it’s one of my favourite! I really appreciate all your blogging tips and this post is no exception. I might be a bit like you in that I like to go in all the way, so finding balance is really a challenge.
    Over the Christmas holidays I took a nice long break to be fully present with my family and scheduled everything in advance. After the new year I decided to do only 1 post per week (instead of 2) so that I can put extra time into reader engagement (through my newsletter, etc.). Now I’m looking at cutting back on the number of weekly linkups so that I can manage my time better on a weekly basis. The idea of thinking of my blog as a marathon instead of a sprint is a big game-changer. Thank you for that!
    Wishing you well as you prepare to welcome baby Emma.

  13. I’m so relieved to see “post less often” as a suggestion! I have been worrying about not posting often enough, but when I get home from work and get the little one to bed I’m just knackered! #fridayfrivolity

  14. When I first started blogging I was overwhelmed thinking I had to create stellar content eveyday to be successful. I got burned out quickly. Now I take a more strategic yet relaxed work ethic and I find my content is better than when I was just trying to put something out there daily. I picked up a few other great tips from this post I will use in the future. Thanks!

  15. Happy Weekend! I used to post five days a week on my blog until I became pregnant with my last child who’s now two. I had lost all interest and didn’t know if I would ever blog again. Then I began to miss it and started posting once or twice a week. I’d really love to do more, but it’s just not in me yet.

    I’m happy for you and your family that you have a sweet little baby on the way!!

  16. I really needed this! So many Facebook groups and linkups and blogs to comment on, there’s not much time for actually writing. I’m going to work on writing shorter posts. Love your ideas. It’s nice to know I can slow down some weeks and that’s okay.

  17. These are all great tips! I have fallen into the obsession as well, and then when I take a step back have seen engagement drop, and yes, that is always a bummer. But you are right, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. I will have to keep that in mind. Thanks so much for the reminder!

  18. I love the ideas of starting a series, writing shorter posts, and reviving old posts. I’ve been thinking about re-writting some posts and starting some new series. My posts have certainly gotten shorter on some days. It’s a great idea to take a quote and run with it. Or even to tell stories. Jed, love this link up too! Keep up the good work!

  19. I’m sorry that blogging has become something of a burden recently for you, Jed. It can be quite overwhelming at times and I appreciate your tips on keeping it in balance. Thanks for the linkup as well. Enjoy the arrival of that sweet little baby, my friend! That’s where the real blessings of life come!

  20. I have come to realise that blogging can take over our life if you let it and thus Pivotal Blogging is essential for one’s well being…Yes stats do drop…but so what…the one’s that mater do come and visit…and with utter faith, you will get a boost in traffic to a post you least expected. Weekends are natural downers on the blogsphere as well…so Why not. Indeed sip your coffee and smile. Loved these “How to blog” tips and thanks for the link party 🙂

  21. Great post. Amazing to find someone who has put a name to my condition – maximizer. It wears me out sometimes. Pivoting is what I need to do too. Thanks for the great advice. I love to blog but I need to be more balanced. 🙂

  22. What an excellent article! I sure needed the reminder and ideas. I tend to let it consume me. And when your career is full time writer, it’s so easy to work 24/7 with a computer on my lap!

  23. These are great tips. I am trying to figure out the best balance. Blogging can be like a black hole! My cover from the 2 is the one on the left. Though I really like the top of the one on the left and the bottom of the one on the right.

  24. I’m learning so much from you, Jed! Thanks for this post, especially. I’ve been wringing my hands about how to consistently create valuable content for my readers. I want to be a resource and not a regret when they see my emails or another post.

  25. When I first started blogging over five years ago, I posted every single day. Each post takes 3 – 4 hours to write. You can see the problem that arose. I love writing and getting to contribute to the betterment of others. But I was losing myself. Moving to blogging once a week turned out to be not only a great move for me, however, but for my readers. I had many people say to me some form of, “I love your blog posts! I hate missing them, but I just find I can’t keep up daily; and then I get behind, and I want to go back and read them all, but then I’m even further behind …” I write to help and empower people to realize the power of choice – not to feel trapped trying to “keep up.” That’s, ironically, the opposite of my core theme!

    Having just come off of five full weeks without a single post was hard. But I knew it was flat-out necessary. And being upset about it or feeling I was letting people down (both by not posting and not being able to engage in the blogging community at large) would be no help with the circumstances that necessitated the break in the first place (several overlapping and huge family crises and health issues). So I stepped away until I could step back and still breathe. Blogging really is hard work. Most often it’s also free hard work (though only other writers, I think, really understand the full meaning of those statements). Sometimes, that energy just needs to be directed elsewhere for a time.

    My theme so far this year does seem to be revolving around prioritizing, protecting times of silence and refilling, and being OK with doing less sometimes, for the sake of the greater good.

    —————

    One last thought. This time last year, I did decide to break what would have been my longest post ever into a four-part mini-series. And it was a huge hit. Easily digestible for readers. It drew them back. I interlinked for continuity … and it allowed me four weeks of content instead of just one. If anyone’s interested in seeing it, it starts here:

    http://www.thebestadvicesofar.com/2015/03/05/big-kids-1

  26. I definitely needed to read this, Jed. I’ve been feeling that circus plate spinner effect too, and like you, I’m finding ways to slow down a bit and prioritize what’s really important (I have a feeling that, like you, I’m a maximizer too). Thank you, thank you so much for sharing these. I’ve read the post twice already and I’m slowly starting to realize what things I need to let go of and how to best approach blogging so it doesn’t take over the rest of my life. As always, it’s such a pleasure to read your piece on #SHINEbloghop. Thanks for joining us.

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