Blogging can be a headache, especially when you feel that all the things you need to do to run your blog take up so much of your time. Yes, some of the bigger tasks like writing a blog post or taking blog pictures can take up a good chunk of time, but there are many tasks that can be completed in (or heavily started) in just ten minutes. Who doesn't have a few minutes of time throughout the day to work for a little bit?
Before we Begin...
When you do a ten minute task, it should only be done for ten minutes. So, set a timer on your phone or computer once you are ready to work and work as hard as you can for those ten minutes. When I am feeling unproductive I work in these small spurts to really get excited about working on my blog or any other task. So, shut down all your other tabs and stay as focused as possible while you are doing these ten minute tasks.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #1: Brainstorm
Brainstorming is one of my favorite things to do if I only have a few minutes. It's so easy to grab a sheet of paper, set a timer, and just think of as many blog post ideas as you can think of in ten minutes. Don't think while you are brainstorming, don't erase, just write. If you repeat an idea or misspell a word your brainstorm will still be just fine. You are not brainstorming for the public, you are brainstorming for yourself so you don't have to be proper or perfect.
Once you have finished your brainstorm date it and go back to it when you need a little bit of inspiration. In fact, the inspiration for finally sharing this post today was that I went through my old notes and realized I had this post brainstormed and outlined...which leads us to number two.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #2: Outline A Post
The outline of your post can really be the backbone of your work as a blogger. Once you have a meaty outline, the rest of the writing process is simple because it just includes you filling in all the the spots that you have created. If you have just ten minutes expand on a post idea from one of your earlier brainstorms and turn that idea into a working outline. Creating an outline can be as simple as creating a list of the X things you want to discuss in the post or it can be more intricate and feature more exact language that you want to touch on or stories you want to tell in your post. Most of my outlines are extremely simple and just involve me writing down all the headings that I want to have in my post.
There are more intricate ways of outlining such as using one of my new favorite apps Lighten to make a mind map so that you are able to visualize your blog a little better. Outlining can take all forms and it really just depends on how much knowledge you have about a topic before you start the process.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #3: Rough Draft A Post
Obviously you cannot finish a blog post in ten minutes, but you can get a pretty great head start on one. Often before I finally get in bed I will be struck with a genius blogging idea, so much so that I can't go to bed without at least writing a portion of it. So I will open up a tab on a site like Google Drive and I will set a timer for 10 minutes and let myself write freely on that idea for just ten minutes before I force myself to close my laptop and go to bed. If you are writing with a deadline you can often get a lot done. I have done this task multiple times and often I will end the ten minute blog binge session with over 500 words of an article written.
This draft is called a rough draft for a reason, but when most of my content is around 1,000 words, 500+ words is a great start to a blog post. So the next time you get an idea for a blog post that you can't completely write in with the time you have consider taking some time to write a rough draft of the post you want to create fully when you have more time so you don't lose that idea.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #4: Answer Your Most Pressing Emails
If your inbox is anything like mine, it's a beast you don't always want to tame. Even if you can only go in to manage it for ten minutes, that can often be very beneficial for your future sanity. Have a system in place or an idea of the kind of emails you want to tackle. Do you want to respond to clients or to people asking you to participate in sponsored post opportunities? Have a goal in mind for what you need to answer before you step foot in your inbox and then set your timer and try to get through as many emails as you can during that time period.
Emails often get out of control because we don't take the time to manage our inbox throughout the day. Even giving your inbox ten minutes of attention can really transform your inbox from zero to hero. This task takes some serious dedication, but you have my utmost confidence.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #5: Schedule Content On Social Media
If you only have ten minutes I really encourage that you take sometime to schedule out things on your social media calendar. One of my favorite things to do if I have just ten minutes is to check out the new content in the Tailwind Tribes that I am a part of. If you are not in any Tailwind Tribes you could also go through Pinterest group boards as well.
Don't stop at Pinterest, but use sites like Tailwind and Pinterest to your advantage and cut down your social media scheduling time by scheduling those articles you see on Pinterest to other social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. As long as you mix up your schedule a little there is a huge chance that people who see your update on Facebook may never see your tweet or Pinterest pin. In fact, it's extremely likely that they won't because most of your followers won't see your social media updates and not all of your followers follow you on multiple platforms. I personally use SmarterQueue to manage my social media schedule, but there are so many social media schedulers out there.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #6: Respond To Blog or Social Media Comments
Do you just have ten minutes to do some blog tasks? Respond to blog or social media comments for ten minutes. People want to hear back from you if they take the time to leave a comment, so take a few minutes from your day to respond to the comments on your blog or the comments on your social media accounts. You don't have to respond as soon as you get them (people realize that you have a life outside of social media), instead utilize those few ten minute blocks of time where you are not sure what to do and write up some blog comment replies or reply to some of your followers on social media instead. This is a really simple task that can create great community with your readers.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #7: Comment On Blog Or Social Media Posts
In the same vein, if your blog or social media posts are looking a little dry take a few minutes each day to interact with other blogs or social media accounts. Comment on their posts and if you want to go really crazy respond to their CTAs (call-to-actions.) If they ask their readers to tell them about their favorite dessert, don't comment about how pretty the dessert they featured looks. Instead, use the prompt they give so it looks like you 1. Read the posts and 2. Want to form a relationship because of that.
It's so easy to look like a bot when you comment. Instead of commenting on 20 posts "great job" take the time to write 5 personalized comments on a few pictures. In the blogging world it is better to make 5 super personal connections than 20 superficial connections wherein many bloggers may decide to just block your account from interacting with their account afterward.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #8: Respond To Facebook Group Questions
You are filled with a ton of knowledge about things in your niche. If you have ten minutes take some time to scroll through a popular Facebook group that you are a part of and give some great answers to a few of the posts with zero or very few comments. In bigger groups people want to engage but sometimes it feels like their questions or comments get lost in a sea of a million questions. Take some time to make a user's day by answering their question and sharing your knowledge.
Be sure that your blog is easily accessible from your page just in case that person decides to head over to your blog after they get your amazing advice. Also, if you have a blog post that is pertinent to their struggles, don't forget to link your post so that they can easily check out your blog for more information. This is perfectly fine in most Facebook groups if the link is relevant to the person asking the question and not just spam.
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #9: Record A Instagram/Snapchat Story Or Do A Quick Livestream
Video is so important in 2017 as it really humanizes your brand and allows your followers to see you in a less scripted way. If you have a few minutes, hop on Instagram Stories or Snapchat to record a story for your followers. Ten minutes is plenty of time to record a decent story whether you are sharing a tip for your readers or just ranting about something that happened to you that day.
If you feel comfortable you could even take those ten minutes to hop on Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, or whatever floats your boat. Make sure your followers know you only have about ten minutes to chat, and then chat for those ten minutes. Once you are done you can even save your recording so you can repurpose that content for later. Double Yay!
Ten Minute tasks For Bloggers #10: Figure Out Your Goals For The Day
If all else fails, make a to-do list. A great to-do list in the morning or at night for the next day can really help you create a great routine and keep you accountable for the tasks you need to complete. Take some time to organize and write out ten tasks that you need to complete within the day or within the week even. Sitting down and writing these tasks will make you feel more secure and ready to tackle the rest of the day because you know that you have everything you need written down.
Ten minutes can seem like such a short period of time, but honestly there are so many things that you can do with just ten minutes. Don't be afraid of the thought of ten minutes. Understand that there are so many tasks that you can accomplish within that time frame. The biggest thing to understand is, don't spend so much time wallowing that you only have ten minutes that you completely run out of time. Ten minutes to work on a blogging task is better than no minutes so sit down, pick a task, and tackle it.