Caroline's Corner:

How to make time for your blog when you have no time

“I’ve decided I wanted to start a travel blog”. I received this text from a friend who was in Croatia and wanted to just inform me about this. What I heard: “Caroline, spring into action. Throw ALL your tips at her. Buy your favorite blog book and get it delivered to her through same day shipping. And ask her if her blog is live every day. And make sure she installs the right plugins and did she know how important page speed is?” I get carried away sometimes. Especially when people talk to me about blogging.

Getting excited about blogging

I spoke to her again today and asked her how her blog was coming along. It’s been two weeks since she notified me of the idea and I thought I’d been fairly good about it. Turned out she’s still at the same spot as she was two weeks ago. The only progress she’s made is that she made a list of some ideas, that she decided she wanted to have some blog posts in advance and she’s done research.

If she continues like that, she hasn’t even gone live by the time I reach 100k visitors a month.

I’m known to get enthusiastic way too fast, jump into things without thinking through all the possibilities, and just go with it. Some call it impulsive. I call it excitement. The blogging world excites me, and when people show interest in it, I always think they are as eager as I am to jump in. I definitely do not understand why my friend is chilling at the beach right now instead of writing some articles, but that’s because I am not at that point where she is anymore.

Yes, I said ‘not anymore’. Because there was a time, I would tell my spouse that I’d just ‘work on my blog later’ and later never happened. There were moments when I dreamed of my goals but did nothing to achieve them. When I let fear get the best of me, and I used the ‘no time’ excuse to no end.

You have time – it’s your priorities that you need to set straight

It’s a bold statement, I know. But you do have time for your blog. You choose to use your time differently. I sincerely hope you do not take this the wrong way and will flood me with comments about how I don’t know how it is to live your life, that you have a 40 hour or maybe even 60 hour work week, that you have a household to run, you have a toddler, or maybe multiple toddlers that never sleep, a spouse that demands attention and you also have that gym membership that you already never use. Oh, and you want to prep healthy meals, too. So, who am I to tell you, you do have time?

I’m the same as you. If I want to, I never have time for anything. Because I’m so busy worrying about life, busy with my family, with my job here at Yoast, with my commute and the horrible traffic jams, the laundry that just stacks up, et cetera. To conclude: I’m very busy being busy.

But I want to fit my blog in my schedule as well. Because it’s important to me. I love to write and I love the blogging atmosphere. This means that, just as any other task I have to do in life, this needs to become a priority too. So, if you’re struggling with the ‘I have no time’ excuse, read up to see my answers to all of your excuses for not making time for your blog.

Excuse 1: It’s easy for you to say, you just write opinions, I write fact stated articles

You need to do research for each and every article you write. Whether it’s focus keyword research, audience research or full-on article research because you happen to write about a very specific location in the middle of the Atlantic ocean that no one has ever visited yet, except for that one person you hate very much. Odds are, that if you want to write about it, you already know something. Write that article as if you know everything already, type it all out, and revise and do your research afterwards. If I want to make sure I don’t publish half-finished articles, I put my notes between brackets and in capitals. That means that when an article is in the draft and I need to revisit something, I’ll write: [CHECK IF SMALL DESERTED ISLAND IN ATLANTIC OCEAN EXISTS]. I’ll leave this note here because I didn’t check.

Excuse 2: I literally do not have time

You might say that, but if you text me about how busy you are and you continue to text for over an hour, that’s one or two articles you could’ve written. Two articles? That many? Yes. That many. If you have an idea for the blog post, set a timer for 25 minutes, also known as the Pomodoro technique, remove all distractions, tell everyone in your household to shut up for 25 minutes, and just type away. And if you don’t have 25 minutes, then take 15 minutes. And if you don’t have 15 minutes, tell your spouse you’re going to do the laundry. With your laptop and your research books and claim the load was just really heavy.
Dear husband, if you read this, this is not what I do. I might check my blog statistics during this time, though.

Excuse 3: But I’m not good enough

See article: Why you should quit your blog now and also read up on How to kill that inner critic.

Excuse 4: My family doesn’t understand me

They might not. And they may think it’s strange that you have the ambition to reach thousands of people. And you might tell them that it’s their fault that you couldn’t write that article you wanted to write. But the moment you start to take your blog more seriously, your family will do too. After dinner, my husband will ask me: “So, what’s your planning tonight? Blogging?” And that stems from the fact that I spent a lot of weeks working on my blog every night after our toddler went to bed. When I used my spare time for my blog, other people started to realize I was serious about it. And of course, you may need to discuss this with your family if this means you need time on, for example, Saturday mornings to work on your blog without being disturbed.

Remember: no one will take you seriously if you don’t take it seriously yourself first.

Any other excuse

If you have any other excuse other than the three I mentioned above, then you might want to reconsider if you even want to blog. I don’t want you to quit, absolutely not. I’ll be your cheerleader if you need one. But if your blog is giving you this much stress and you keep finding excuses not to do it, then maybe it’s time to look at why you started a blog at first.

My friend just proofread this blog post, and she wanted me to let you know that she did way more than I claimed. She also found a theme for her website. The next time we meet, she’ll probably hurl the book I gave her at my head.

Read more: Blogging: The ultimate guide »

Caroline's Corner series

Caroline's Corner series

Caroline blogs about her experience as a blogger, from making sure you keep going to optimizing your blog.

29 Responses to How to make time for your blog when you have no time

  1. Father ninja
    Father ninja  • 2 years ago

    Very inspirational, thank you! :)

  2. Martin
    Martin  • 2 years ago

    Thank you for giving me a kick. I will now write more :)

    • Caroline Geven

      You’re welcome ;) Hopefully you managed to write more!

  3. Rosina Dimech
    Rosina Dimech  • 2 years ago

    Excellent!! No more excuses. Thanks for writing this, I needed to rethink what I’m telling myself about how much time I have. You have given me new motivation.

    • Caroline Geven

      Thank you so much for your reply! I love that it gave you new motivation!

  4. Michelle (Lifejourney4two)
    Michelle (Lifejourney4two)  • 2 years ago

    So true – funny, because I know this. I know how we can make time if it’s important to us, but it is also easy to get caught in the mind game of ‘I didn’t have time’! A timely reminder to prioritise whats important! Thank you.

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes, ‘I don’t have time to spend 30 minutes working on a post, but I do have time to spend 60 minutes watching a mediocre tv show’. That’s me. Every day. You’re very welcome!

  5. Silentwisher
    Silentwisher  • 2 years ago

    Great post. Thank you. :)

  6. Casper Juel
    Casper Juel  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for a very nice and useful article. I think you hit the spot and explained it in a very good way.

    We often make excuses for things, by saying that we ain’t got the time. But instead of using the energy on the things we “ain’t got time for”, we use it on excuses as you said.

    I remember when I started my web shop, I was working 12 hours a day and using all my freetime to get it up and running. So when I got a partner, who said he didn’t have as much time as me to write content and product descriptions.
    I asked him some question like:
    – Well, when you’re on the toilet you’re using your phone right? Yes. And let me guess, you’re using it for instagram or facebook right?
    I asked if he could replace the time spent on facebook, to research or write something in his notes, we later could use for the website.

    Now most of his time on the toilet, and the 20 minutes way to work in the train, is only used for the website.

    That gave an extra hour, every day. Plus the time he using on it when he come home. That’s 7 hours a week, just by not looking at videos on facebook :-)

    • Caroline Geven

      That’s very inspiring to hear! If you add up all the time you spend on browsing and doing ‘nothing’, you’ll get a scare. Although relaxing is important too!

  7. Jason Rodgers
    Jason Rodgers  • 2 years ago

    My excuse always seems to be I don’t know what to blog about, or yes as you’ve said I don’t have time, even when I’ve somehow been distracted by facebook and been watching stupid cat videos on youtube for over an hour.

    • Caroline Geven

      Yes, I can browse websites upon websites to ‘find inspiration’, which is stupid, because I have a notebook filled with ideas. I just need to activate myself too!

  8. Axel
    Axel  • 2 years ago

    Great article! Blogging is some kind of art. You must enjoy it. If you do as a task, as a duty, then… no art would come. Every time I wrote, I’ enjoing. After wrote and article, I enjoy modify anchor text, repeting key words, changing to h1 and h2 labels, and so on. In the next 2 week after wrote and article, I get obsesed with Google Search Console, watching the new clicks because of my new article. Simple beautiful!

  9. Colleen
    Colleen  • 2 years ago

    Timely for me, Caroline! Thank you!! I have found new motivation! Maybe not for a blog, but for other things I haven’t “had time for.”

    • Caroline Geven

      I’m so glad it gave you more motivation! Good luck!

  10. Theresa Wagar
    Theresa Wagar  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the encouragement to take my blog seriously! I so want to help other folks going through and living in the empty nest years (that’s what happens AFTER your kids grow up and graduate and leave your home – by the way you’re still insanely busy -which I wrote a blog about . . .LOL). It is all about priorities. Now back to write another post. !!

    • Caroline Geven

      Haha, oh dear, this means that if I want, I can be busy my entire life! It’s exactly about priorities.

  11. Babs
    Babs  • 2 years ago

    This – excellent stuff. Thank you, Caroline. Practical suggestions to fend off the “excuses”. I shall apply them immediately, but first to share this post!

    • Caroline Geven

      Thanks! No more excuses now ;) Write a blog post first, then share the post ;)

  12. moshe
    moshe  • 2 years ago

    love this post, very usefull

  13. Travel Smith Nepal
    Travel Smith Nepal  • 2 years ago

    Thanks. That is the best steps of making blog those who have no time. I thinks it helps other people effectively. Thank You Author.

    • Caroline Geven

      You’re welcome :)

    CRMNIGERIA  • 2 years ago

    Wow . This is really encouraging. On my own country I found out that everybody wants to blog but they choosed to blog for the wrong reason. If money is the motive behind blogging , one will continue to procrastinate.

    Take my blog for example, I am not getting the kind of result that I want but I have made up my mind that I will not quit. That has kept me going. Thanks for this article.

    • Caroline Geven

      I’m glad that you’ll keep going! A lot of people might start blogging for the wrong reasons, but only the true enthusiasts will keep going when traffic or time might not be on their hand.

  15. Vincent Rhodes
    Vincent Rhodes  • 2 years ago

    I love your blog. You hit all of the points, especially my spouse. She gets angry when I don’t watch TV with her. Even after watching one program all the way through. thanks. I would love for my blog to start getting more visitor! She might change her tune then.

    • Caroline Geven

      Thank you Vincent :)
      I talked to my spouse about it and we decided that we have a few nights a week where I do not spend time on my blog and we spend time together. I found out that I have a habit of keeping things too close to me and now I’m sharing more with him, he’s actually becoming my biggest fan!

  16. Carrie L. Lewis
    Carrie L. Lewis  • 2 years ago

    An excellent post, Carolyn!
    And of course what you say applies to anything we want to do, whether’s writing a blog post or a great novel. We WILL make time for what we REALLY want to do.
    Thank you for the reminder.

    • Caroline Geven

      Thank you! Yes, it applies to anything you want to do. I’m glad it helped you!

      • Adesh Saxena
        Adesh Saxena  • 2 years ago

        Very Nice Article. I have been using some softwares like Speech to text and its really helpful for me and save time in writing long blog. And Yes, these tips will add value.