I started blogging when my third child was 8 months old. Back in 2011, there weren’t a lot of blogs, and they were definitely more written in a “journal” format, ladies sharing their day-to-day lives and the lessons they’d learned about faith, parenting, healthy eating, saving money and more.
Blogging has taken on a more business-like approach now, but people still want to read and learn about you and your story and how it can help them. They still want bloggers whom they can relate to and identify with as they go through various struggles and challenges.
Sometimes the many aspects of blogging seem overwhelming, even to me, though I’ve been doing it for quite some time. And as our family grew and our lives got busier, I began to find it challenging to carve out as much time as before for building my blog and communicating with my readers.
Maybe you’re in that same place. You might be asking “How do you find time to blog when you have kids? Especially when you have very young children that need a lot of attention?”
No one’s life looks exactly the same as mine, but I feel that there are some tried and true methods and strategies everyone can use that will get you moving toward your writing or blogging goals and actually give you the ability to be productive with the time that you do have available.
These are five strategies that I have put into practice for my own blog, so I know that they can work for you too!
5 Ways to Find Time to Blog When You Have Young Children
1) Keep an inexpensive spiral notebook handy and jot down your ideas whenever you have a spare moment
Have ideas for what you want to write? Hear something inspirational that makes you think, “I could talk about that from my own perspective”? Write it down! Whether you’re monitoring your toddler during bathtime, nursing your baby, waiting in the school pick up line or supervising homeschool work, you can use this spiral notebook to keep your ideas flowing. I call this my “brain dump notebook”.
2) Fill out your ideas.
What do I mean by that? In that same spiral notebook, use one page for each blog post idea (after you’ve gathered a few of them on your brain dump sheet). Then write down the details of exactly what you’ll share in your post. I find it helpful to use bullet points or numbered lists. You might be able to do this is small snatches of time, but for me it works best to do this when I have quiet moments to focus, such as after bedtime or during quiet time/naptime.
3) Set aside a chunk of time to actually write the post.
Make it a consistent time every day or at least 3 days a week. It can be an exact time (9:00-9:30 AM on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) or just “the first 30 minutes of naptime, daily”.
One thing that works for me is to set a timer for 25 minutes and just write without stopping. Don’t go back and edit or try to correct your spelling or grammar until later. That will mess you up, haha. My youngest child is 4, so I can now write in 25 minute chunks, but you may need to set your timer for 10-15 minutes at two different times throughout the day to start if you have very little ones.
How do you actually get through the allotted time without being interrupted? I can’t promise complete silence but this is what works for me:
- Bring out an activity your kids can only do during your “writing time”. Here are my favorites:
- Playdoh or Modeling Clay
- Quercetti Fanta Color Junior Peg Set
- Lauri Tall Stackers
- Counting Bears with Cups
- Dry Erase Tracing Sheets, similar to these
- Measuring cups in a big plastic bowl of rice (put over a cookie sheet to minimize mess)
- When my kids were really young, I would put dry beans on a jelly roll pan and let my kids drive their toy trucks and cars through them. Kept them occupied forever.
- Hold the baby or keep them in a bouncer while you type. It gets a little crazy once they can reach for stuff, but you have no idea how often I wrote blog posts with a baby on my lap!
- Turn on music (and then put in your own earbuds if you need to block out sound).
- Media Time or Video Time. I tried to make this a last resort just because my kids would ask for it all the time if I always used this option, but certainly you could just have your writing time be the same as your children’s video time each day.
- Tell your kids, “It’s mommy’s special time to work on something right now, but when the timer goes off, then let’s play together!” That really helps, to explain it.
4) Talk with your husband about setting aside a few hours each week where he can have the kids and you can blog.
Or have grandma watch the kids for a day, if you have that blessing! You’ll need to choose what to work on during this time. If you really need this time to write/type the post, by all means, use it for that purpose. But more often than not, I like to use my few hours for knocking out some “bulk tasks” such as:
- Creating a Pinterest graphic for my post
- Finding images for my posts
- Finding and inserting affiliate links in my posts
- Editing and fixing any errors in my writing
- Scheduling Facebook posts, including my blog posts and material from other bloggers or encouraging photos, memes, etc.
- Writing out a plan or editorial calendar for my blog, so I can decide approximately when I will write certain posts and publish them
- Creating emails for my readers (not the same as just sending a feed of your latest post! I’ll talk more about that soon.)
- Brainstorming products and working on those. This part is fairly time-consuming, so if I’m working on these, not much else gets done, which is ok! And by no means do you have to create an online shop, it’s just what I’ve chosen to do.
Visiting blog hops and linking my posts(Wow, this is sooo 2017! LOL! I don’t think bloggers even host these anymore.)
- Hopping on social media, like Instagram or Pinterest, to do some posting.
5) Finally, use any amount of time that you can get, and realize that it will get more streamlined as time goes on.
Keep track of how efficient you are being when you do these tasks. Shut off your Facebook feed using the Kill News Feed Chrome extension and put down your phone during writing time. Jot down ideas or goals for your blog while you’re making supper.
There may be weeks when you don’t have time to write. Unless your blog brings in a full-time income and your family depends on the money you make, you can allow yourself the flexibility to take time away from your blog when needed.
However, having a plan for writing and ideas in mind will help you bounce back into your routine when the crazy week passes.
When you first start blogging, it can be overwhelming to think about what to write, how to actually write it (that’s what still is difficult for me!), where to share it, if you have to worry about SEO and keywords, what a Facebook algorithm actually means and if it matters, and more!
Can I just encourage you, if you are just starting, to start first by writing well, and try not to worry about the other “stuff” for now.
I’m not perfect about staying on top of my blog all the time and there is a week here and there where I don’t work on it at all! Don’t push yourself so hard with your blog that it becomes a constant drudgery. Just try to be consistent and use some of these methods I’ve shared to help you make progress.
Once you get into a habit of getting your ideas actually typed up and published, then you will have a good store of posts to draw from when you start working on keywords, figuring out where to how to share your posts on social media for the best results, inserting affiliate links and writing emails to your readers.
Evaluate what your days are like, be intentional about squeezing in writing time and use your available moments to do most of the brainstorming so that when writing time comes, you can sit down and get those posts published!