How I Am Cutting My Blog Work In Half During A 5 Month RV Trip With The Family

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Since my birthday in March of this year our family has been planing a once in a lifetime RV trip. For five months all five of us will be living in a 27 foot trailer as we make our way across the United States, up the west coast and into Canada.

After visiting family and friends in Canada we will head back through the states, hitting a few key state and national parks before returning to our home in Indiana.

We have figured out how to finance the trip, we have figured out what RV, we have purchased most of the supplies, we have even figured out the route and where we are staying for almost the entire trip.

Only a few questions need to be answered and one of the biggest ones is how will I blog?

How one blogger plans to cut her blog work in half.

 

How I Am Cutting My Blog Work In Half During A 5 Month RV Trip With The Family

Currently I work 20 to 30 hours a week on average on the blog. That equals as much as 5 hours a day if you factor in that I usually take one full day off the blog each week.

I thought at first I could blog 2 hours in the morning and perhaps 2 hours in the evening while we traveled–which would mean I would be able to keep similar hours. Then my husband and I started planning out what we wanted to see and we both realized that I am going to be lucky to have an hour in in the morning and an hour in the evening.

So how do I go from working 5 hours a day to 2 hours a day?

I don’t want to miss out on anything during this trip. I want to be fully present.  So here is a list my husband and I came up with to make it easier for me to do just that.

1. Cut Back On Posting

As of January 1st I will go from posting 3 days a week to 2 days a week. One post will be a trip update for all of my blog readers that want to tag along on our adventure and the other post will be a evergreen style post for readers who love my help with being thrifty and keeping their homes and lives in order.

I have read reports from other bloggers and most state that their traffic was only minimally effected. I will be fully testing their reports.

2. Fill Some Content Spots With Guest Posting

I have been blogging for over 4 years now and have yet to have a guest post on my blog. The reason why has been a toss up between “do I have the traffic to really help out another blogger?” and “do I really need guests posts when I have so many ideas of things to share?”

Now that I have built this blog up to 3,000 to 5,000 page views daily and I am going to be traveling the answers to both those questions are “yes” instead of “no.”

I would like to feature a guest post every other week, saving me from having to write 2 evergreen posts a month. Bloggers, don’t submit your guest ideas yet as I need to nail down some submission guidelines first–I hope to have those done by the beginning of December.

3. Automate Pinterest

When it comes to Pinterest, I still pin everything by hand. I get amazing Pinterest traffic and because of that I have hesitated about jumping on the pin schedule bandwagon for quite a while.

After playing around with several different scheduling platforms I have decided to use Board Booster it works very similar to how I pin already and it seems to be as close to “set it and forget it” as I am going to get.

4. No BIG project for first half of 2017

This year I have been filling every single crack of time I have left beyond week to week blogging with eBook writing.

(psst–it is very close to finally being done–my goal is to have it ready to buy on Kindle before we leave).

Next year the RV trip is my BIG project so I am not planning on working on anything besides week to week blog tasks until we return from our trip.

5. No Small Tweaks While On The Road

I love spending 30 minutes here and there making an old blog post that has good traffic more profitable or taking a post that doesn’t have traffic and redoing it to see if I can make it more popular.

I will put this love of mine aside until the trip is over.

6. Using Google Docs On My Laptop And Smartphone

The key to successfully cutting  my work hours in half work is using little moments of time wisely. For me that meant learning how to use Google Docs on my laptop and smartphone this summer.

While we were on our  test run, camping a week in the new RV this summer, I practiced using Google Docs on my laptop without accessing WiFi. I found I could do a lot more writing without WiFi access than I thought I could–and I got it done a lot faster too (no rabbit trailing if you can’t open another tab).

This will allow me to work in the early mornings and evenings at the campground even if I can’t access WiFi–reducing my need to spend time driving  to a local WiFi hot spot to get work done. The less time I spend driving the more time I have to actually work.

I also figured out how to use the “speak” application part of the the google doc app on my smartphone so that I can dictate blog posts while we drive.

I suffer from mild motion sickness. If I even try to type as much as a short text when I am in a moving vehicle my stomach is tossing and turning for at least an hour. However, I can talk!

Now on scenic stretches of highway I won’t be touching this, but on those long boring stretches of road when all the kids are sleeping or listening to their tunes through their headphones the Google Doc app will open up a time to work window that has never been open to my motion sick self before.

The One Blogging Task I Plan To Do More:

More Instagram Updates

The more and more I talk about the trip the more and more I hear “take me with you”–so I am going to virtually!

I will be using Instagram to post pictures of our trip (go here to follow me on Instagram). I am also hoping to do the odd Facebook live video when I can (go here to follow me on Facebook).

Got any other tips for me of how to work more efficiently while traveling?

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One Blogger’s Journey To Earning A Full Time Income From Her Blog: What She Regrets Not Doing Sooner

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

My story to a full time blogging income isn’t a quick one. In fact, I didn’t realize I will end the year earning a full time salary from my blog until I recently ran some numbers: I totaled the money I have earned so far this year and then projected what I should earn the rest of the year based on what percentage my income has gone up during the last quarter of the year in previous years.

A story of how one blogger grew her blog to full time income. Plus--what she believes would have shortened her journey to a full time work at home income!

Now, I am in no way close to earning a six figure income, but I am earning more than minimum wage earners make for a 40 hour work week. I took my projected gross yearly earnings, took off what I reinvest into the blog, divided it by 12 months, then by four weeks and again by 40 hours. I came up with a before tax, full time hourly wage of approximately $12  (yep, I am a bit of a numbers geek). $12 an hour for a job that lets me work my own hours (which is more like 20 to 30 hours per week than 40) makes me feel very blessed.

There is no way my hubby could quit his job and have my blog pay all our bills, but thanks to the blog income, our rental income and lack of debt we are in a much better place financially than we have been in a long while.

My blog has not been an overnight success. I have been working on it for four and a half  years now and as I said, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized I will hit full time income status by year’s end!

My realization has me feeling very thankful that I found the courage to both start my blog and continue it even when I was earning just pennies an hour. It  also has me regretting not doing a few things that could have gotten me to earning a full time income sooner.

How I found the guts to start and continue

I had to push through so much fear to press publish on my first post. But the fear did not end there–in fact, it hasn’t ended.

I remember being just a few months into blogging, standing in my basement in the midst of a very large pile of dirty laundry, thinking about all the extra hours my husband was working that week to keep us afloat and feeling so mad at myself for not figuring out this whole make money from a blog thing yet.

I was working for pennies and pennies don’t pay the bills. Right then and there a light bulb when went off in my head–most of my friends and my husband didn’t start out earning a full time income from their careers either. Instead they started off with 4 years where they paid people to teach them what they needed to do the jobs they wanted to earn an income from.

Why would I think blogging would be any different. Right then, right there I mentally enrolled myself in a self-made “Blogging University”. I committed to making time each week to learn how I could improve my blogging skills, apply it and thus–hopefully–see an increase in income from those improvements.

It worked!

When I got discouraged along the way I would remind myself,  “You’re not finished with your degree yet, just keep improving.”

I got discouraged A LOT! But I stuck with it and I am so glad I did.

How I think I could make it to a full time income sooner if I was to do it again

One major thing I could have done to get to full time earnings faster would have been to spend more hours per week blogging, but I don’t believe in hustling–I am a hard core family and health first gal. So I don’t regret the decision to not burn the midnight oil just to put more hours in on my blog and I don’t regret often putting blogging work aside so I could spend more time hanging out with my kids, husband and close friends.

However, I do think there was one other way I could have reached a full time blog income faster–I could have invested more money back into the blog from day one. Here is why I didn’t and why I regret that decision.

Although my husband now fully supports the work I do on the blog, he wasn’t 100% sold on the idea that I could make money from it when I began–and most days neither was I.

Because of this in the first year and a half of blogging my husband and I did not invest any money in the blog– with just one exception.

We agreed to purchase a laptop, camera, and beginners blogging conference ticket for me with some inheritance I received at the year one mark of my blog. We both viewed the equipment as items we could use even if the blog flopped and the conference ticket as some much needed get out of the house time for me.

Beyond that we insisted that I should learn from free sources and give as much of the profits from the blog to the family as possible. After all, the whole point of me starting a blog was to help out the family financially and both of us felt that the blog should “prove” its worth before we gave it anything more.

There are a lot of great free resources for improving your blog out there, but once I had read my first NOT FREE eBook I realized how much more in-depth paid for materials are compared to free material–with few exceptions.

That first paid for book? Blogging For Profit Without Losing Your Soul. I spent a whopping $1.99  on it during the launch sale. I read the book and doubled my income in 30 days. My husband and I then became convinced that perhaps we should re-invest a small portion of the blog funds. We agreed to a 10% re-investment into the blog, which we later raised to 20% once we saw that a higher level of re-investment would help me grow my income at a faster rate.

How to make your blog investment money go further

I am thrifty at heart. I mean seriously, $1.99 was the price of my first paid for blogging eBook, you can’t get much thriftier than that! I apply my thrifty nature to blog investment just like I do to every other area of my life. These tips below have saved me hundreds on blogging materials and I am sure that number will soon climb into the thousands.

These tips are not hard to apply–any other blogger can do them and save a significant amount of money. In this article I have focused on purchasing blogging know-how materials, but you can apply these tips to blogging help, blog design, and product creation too–with a little out of the box thinking.

1. Have a clear goal in mind before you purchasing anything

There are so many products out there to help improve your blogging, eBooks, e-courses, blog reviews, coaching, etc. And then those are all divided into different areas of help, social media, product creation, post writing, etc.

If you just see a low priced deal and grab it before setting goals for your blog, you might be wasting your money. Instead, before you even look at “blog better” products know what your major goals are for your blog at this time. Stick to looking for products that deal specifically with achieving those goals.

The only exception to this should be bundle deals where your goal topics are covered in the bundle and the price makes it worth getting books not specific to your goals.

2.Purchase products with gift cards from point reward programs

This is how I got started in investing in my blog. I used Amazon gift cards I earned through Swagbucks or InstaGC to purchase eBooks on blogging (psst…these reward programs also often have Paypal options, meaning you could cash your points in for Paypal cash, which would allow you to purchase just about any course material you want).

3.Watch for launch sales

To make the most of my gift cards I would store them up until I heard about a launch sale of an eBook that covered the topic I wanted to improve in. Often eBooks sell for as low as $0.99 to $1.99 during these sales.

This tip doesn’t apply just to eBooks,  many creators of online courses often have incredible launch sales that help you stretch your re-investment money further.

4. Keep an eye open for bundle deals

Bundle deals are where a bunch of eBook authors or e-course authors put their products together and create a “bundle” that they sell for an incredibly low price. Usually you save 75% or more by buying bundles.

Now, you can end up with a lot of products that you won’t use so you do have to make sure to take time to go through the entire bundle and make sure that you will more than recoup the cost from products that will help you reach your goal.

full-bundle-pic

I recently was able to purchase 62 blogging eBooks and courses for just $97! Considering many blogging courses are $97 that is like getting 62 courses for the price of one.
Unfortunately the sale is now over but if you sign up for my weekly newsletter you won’t miss out on the next one.

A few more posts on blogging….

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3 Task Sheets You Need To Blog More In Less Time

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

Are you constantly feeling like you have too much blog work to complete in the time you have available? Do you want to get more done in less time?

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to get more blogging done in less time and recently I stumbled upon a great way.

It all started with the decision our family made to take a rather long road trip.

Being a blogger, I can’t stop work for the duration of our road trip. Well I could, but there would be several negative consequences that I am not willing to pay.

I realized if I want to enjoy this trip as much as the rest of my family and not feel like my blog is suffering, I would need to figure out how to get my work done faster.

After much brainstorming I decided the best way to get more done was to break down what I routinely need to do to maintain a profitable blog while still having a life into 3 categorized task sheets.

3 Task Sheets That Can Help You Get More Blogging Done In Less Time

First Vital Step

You have to actually use the sheets once you create them!

I don’t know about you but I am what I like to call Type B-personality. I type out lists like a Type A, but then I either lose the list or never follow it. So in order for this new system to work I had to make myself use them.

There may have been some chocolate rewards involved in helping me to make using my task sheets a habit. So if you need a reward system until using these tasks sheets becomes a habit–set it and go for it.

 Second Vital Step

Hold a brainstorming session

Before you set out to make these three task sheets you need to block out time to do some serious contemplation and brainstorming. A three hour time slot will probably be sufficient.

Here is what you agenda should look like for your brainstorming session

First spend time diving into your Google Analytics  as well as your income sources, asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are your top 50 to 100 posts of all time?
  • Where does the bulk of your traffic come from?
  • Where are you earning the bulk of your money?
  • What affiliate programs are you involved in that really just aren’t working for your blog?
  • What social media platforms are you using that bring you the most traffic?
  • What social media platforms don’t seem to be moving the traffic needle?

Now comes the hard part–make a pact with yourself to stop doing what isn’t bringing in a sizable return either in traffic or in money earned when compared to the time it takes to obtain it.

For example: if there is a topic you blog about and it isn’t getting you traffic, accept a narrowing of your niche and stop talking about that subject. If there is an affiliate that you have been pushing for months and yet you still haven’t made a sale (or just a few sales compared to other products)–stop spending time promoting it and spend the time you have on what is bringing you returns.

With those things crossed off your list you should be left with the most profitable blogging tasks for your blog.

Break down that list into blog tasks that you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to both maintain and grow in these areas.

I am not going to offer you my task sheet as free printables because they are very unique to my own blog, the time I have to work each day and a few more factors.  Therefore I feel it would be more helpful to just tell you how I did it so you can make your own.

Anyone can make these lists. I used Open Publisher to create mine. They do not have to be fancy–mine certainly are not. They just have to work!

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

 What Your Task Sheets Should Contain

Daily Blog Task List

Your daily blog task list should contain everything you need to do each day to keep your blog running well.

On one side of my daily blog task list page is a list of things in order of most important to things that I could miss doing for a day if needed. On the other side of the page is  lots of white space so I can also write down what I need to get done for the family that day, such as laundry or taking a child to the dentist.

I list things in order of importance so that if I am short on time I can skip what really doesn’t need to be done daily. For instance, I don’t have to look at my Facebook insights daily–I just like to, which means it is at the bottom of my list. However, I do have to make sure my post for the day is promoted through social media so that is at the top of my daily list.

Right under the absolutely essential daily stuff are the words “work on weekly task for the day.”  I will address that sheet in a moment, but know for now that this is a vital part of why this system is working so well for me. I use self discipline not to touch the things under “weekly task for the day” until my essential blog tasks are 100% complete.

Weekly Blog Task List

My weekly list breaks down one week of blog post writing into daily tasks so that I finish my blog posts days before they need to be posted–giving me breathing space in case of super busy days created by family stuff.

For example: on Monday I rough draft Friday’s post, Tuesday I finish it and Wednesday I read it one last time before sending it to the gal who proofreads it for me.

I keep Saturday open for special projects like eBooks, new subscriber freebies, an extra day off or as a catch up day if for some reason I got behind during the week.

Sundays I take a full day off blogging unless I took another day off during the week.

Monthly Task Sheets

My monthly task sheet is really more of an editorial calendar. I made a chart using the table maker in Open Office with enough boxes for a month’s worth of blog post titles and divided it up into sections for each day I post.

At the end of each month I hold a brainstorming session for blog post ideas. I can usually fill out this sheet with blog post ideas for the entire month within 30 minutes. I then take an hour or two outlining all those post ideas on paper so that I have a good post skeleton to put meat on when it is time write each post later in the month.

I would like to take this monthly listing of blog posts a step further and create a monthly post routine to follow. Something like “first Monday of the month a post on cleaning tips, second Monday of the month a post on decluttering, etc” so that even less brain power and time is needed each month to create a posting schedule.

Under the post title area I have a few empty lines dedicated for things I would like to get done on the blog during the month should I have more time than usual to work on it. Usually this includes 3 posts I would like to update for Pinterest.

At the very bottom I have an area marked “Saturday project” with two empty lines under it where I write down big blog projects I want to attack–currently this is my eBook time.

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

 

How These 3 Task Sheets Will Increase Your Productivity

These sheets help increase focus. They will quickly become task masters–tugging you out of rabbit holes and preventing you from screaming, “Squirrel!”

Personally, when I stick to my 3 task sheets I am finding that I am finishing my Monday through Friday weekly list by as early as Wednesday afternoon and often can either take Thursday and Friday afternoon off to enjoy more family time, use it to spend more time on my “Saturday Project” or spend it on those few things I listed on my monthly list as “would love to get to if I have extra time.”

On our long trip I am planning to use that found time to spend more time enjoying the sites with the family. I also don’t plan on doing a “Saturday project” while we are traveling to free up even more of my time.

If you have any tips for managing time spent blogging better, leave a comment below. This blogger is all ears!

How I Started Making Money From My Blog

How I started making money from blogging! | Snail Pace Transformations

If you are looking for ways to monetize your blog beyond ad networks, sponsored posts and products–check out my post on how I first started making money from my blog.

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.

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