How To Blog In 20 Minutes A Day

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I’ve been thinking a lot about how to grow my blog without sinking too much time into it.

Clear goals and time limits help but I wondered if I was really focused whether I could cut out all those late night oh-my- goodness I will be whacked in the morning blogging sessions!

And inspired by a good friend who wants to grow her blog … to help her get published … but who has no time, I wondered what you could achieve by blogging for 20 minutes a day … and not a sneaky second more …

I had a look at my stats and guess what? Well on a good month we get 200,000+ pageviews and 80% of our visits come from 3 sources:

  1. Pinterest – 40%
  2. Search – 20%
  3. Top 10 Link Parties – 17%

So my three critical activities are:

  1. Writing posts that get pinned
  2. Writing posts that perform well in search results
  3. Sharing at my best performing link parties as soon as they start

Getting Pinned

It took me a while to get Pinterest but the secret is you must have a great image on your post with a stand out title and you need to pin 2 or 3 posts, with great images, as often as you can.

Even if you are a rubbish photographer … I am!! … you can make your images stand out using PicMonkey which I use all the time and is brilliant! If you are not using, you absolutely must!

 

 

Search Results

I stumbled upon the power of search by accident and have lots to learn but my big tips are:

  1. Write on specific topics & stay focused
  2. Identify the key words others use to search for these topics
  3. Put key words in your blog post title & URL – but keep them short
  4. Put key words in opening paragraph and headers & use throughout post

 

Link Parties

I love link parties and I visit loads.

They are a wonderful way to meet bloggers but my top 10 deliver 80% of my readers so if you need to be ruthless with time you can focus on your biggies and not lose many readers.

The best parties obviously vary by niche and different parties work for different people so go through your stats and see where your links are coming from. For a full list of link parties with the time they start and links to all the hosts do check out my Link Party Calendar … even if I say so myself, it’s amazing!!!

 

A 20 Minute a Day Blog Schedule

OK so how does this translate into a 20 minute a day blogging schedule my friend can use to get 100,000 page views in her first year, (she currently gets a few hundred a month)?

Well based on the readers I know that you can get for just one pinnable post that appears in search results, this is how I would spend my time …

  • Quick SEO research – 5 minutes
  • One post a week – 45 minutes
  • Great pinnable image – 20 minutes
  • 10 link parties … share post & pin 2 others – 40 minutes
  • Pinterest … re-pin 3 posts in 1 minute, 3 times a day –  30 minutes
  • Back-up … after every post – 5 mins
  • Mail & comments – 5 mins

 

Can One Post a Week Deliver 100,000 Page Views a Year?

A well pinned post … even if you have very few Pinterest followers … shared early at big link parties should be able to get 250 page views in its first week, 900 odd in the first month and about 2,500 in the first year.

One post a week performing like this would deliver the target of 100,000 page views.

And if you only write one post a week, regular as clock work, it gives you the whole week to mull it over in your brain, refine your thoughts and chuck it out if it’s a bad idea.

20 minutes on an image might seem a lot but I promise you if you the picture is good and you share it right at the beginning of a big link party, your page views will fly.

When I try to hurry my image my posts bomb! And you really can work wonders with image editors like PicMonkey in just 20 minutes.

 

But What About Twitter?

My friend’s first reaction was what about Twitter and Facebook and Google+?

I know, I know, I love them! I would find it so hard to give them up. It would take a lot of the fun out of blogging which is as much about the conversations as hitting targets.

But all the big bloggers will tell you Pinterest delivers much, much more traffic, so if you need to cut down your blogging time without losing readers you need to focus your effort on pinning and being pinned.

I would love to hear your thoughts. How much time do you spend blogging? Are there things that you could cut out?

And if you’re looking for more blogging tips do follow my blogging board on Pinterest it is chock full of them.

This post has been shared at Mama and More.

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Luci

Luci

Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.

101 thoughts on “How To Blog In 20 Minutes A Day”

  1. great tips. We spend far to long on our blog but it is not to get more readers but it is to be able to blog about things we want to remember in our family – and I haven’t figured out how to reduce that amount of time because as it is we still only manage to blog about a fraction of the things we do. x

  2. Great post as always. I agree about Pinterest. It is by far my biggest traffic source and it seems like every once in a while an image will get a resurgence in pins even if the post is older.

    One thing I have noticed though is now that I am increasing my time and presence on G+ my search results are increasing.

  3. Are you kidding me?! This post is amazing! I’ve done so much research lately on trying to figure out how to grow my blog and they are all great but I feel like I’m just spamming my facebook, twitter, and instagram accounts. And all of that with not much difference. I’ve started pinning more but haven’t done anything special and don’t really use Pinterest myself. But after this I totally get why some pins do better than others! Thank you for sharing 🙂 i would LOVE to have you come critic my blog and help me figure out how to take it to the next level!!
    http://gracelangdon.blogspot.com/2013/09/foam-core-cornice-board.html

  4. Have to say Pinterest is my big one,too. I need to work on better images — I don’t always add text to my pics, which I think helps.

    Stopping in from one of those link up parties!

  5. Thank you for this! I really do spend far too much time posting on facebook. Its such a time drain for such little results. I’m curious, do you use instagram? If so, what are your results? I do not use it for blogging yet, but it seems as though its very easy to build a large audience there. I’m wondering what the actual click through rate is.

  6. Hi there! Found your link at Fluster and Busters. Great post and tips. Seems like I spend most of my time trying to get traffic to my blog. And it has improved, but I still don’t get very many comments. I’ve been working on my boards lately, trying to make them more seo friendly. Pinned your post and now following your pinterest board. Thanks for sharing your great tips. Have a great day!

    Linda @ Mixed Kreations

  7. This is great post! Pinterest is certainly huge! I would add that if you can get featured on a large blog with lots of readers, your traffic will get a major boost. That goes hand in hand with the pinterest worthy pics though. Really good thoughts, thank you!

  8. Great ideas! You know, another thing I have found that helps with SEO is naming my pictures with keywords as well. It’s an easy way to incorporate seo. Thanks for sharing these ideas! Stopping by from Strut Your Stuff!

  9. This was so helpful!!! I found this post through Pinterest and the image you created with the title is what drew me in. The excellent content kept me here. How do you make images like that with your blog title? I would love to know how to create those for some of my posts. Will you please share that? 🙂 Robin

  10. Thanks for the tips! I’m pinning this post to my blogging tips board 😉 I also find sharing on FB pages that allow it, like one day a week where a blogger opens up their page to shared posts, to be a good source of traffic.

  11. Pinterest is definitely where it’s at for me and my blog. It’s my greatest source of traffic. I love how you broke down the statistics of one great post and the traffic you can generate from that. Such great ideas! Thanks for sharing, as always! Enjoy your day!

  12. Great tips! Okay, I’ve seriously got to challenge myself on limiting time. I sit down to do one thing and then get so distracted by all the inspiration out there and before I know it I’ve linked up to 3 parties and it’s been an hour!! hahaha Thanks for sharing and love your Pinterest Board. Great information!!

  13. Great info! I am a newbie who probably “wastes” a lot of valuable time on minor things. I will try to focus more on Pinterest!

    Thanks 🙂

    Kelly at Old Blue Silo

  14. Great article and helpful advice. I too am a newbie and “wasting” too much time. This will help me narrow my focus…so I can clean the house and cook meals again, lol.
    Cindy @ Diy beautify

  15. This is one of the most helpful posts I have ever read! I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out blogs and growing traffic and this gave such great information! I have found that just the little bit of traffic growth I ever see, even when I abandoned my blog, was because people were still pinning outfits of mine. Great post!

    xoxo,
    Nicole @ http://reallifedressup.blogspot.com/

  16. Hi,
    I love Pinterest, and I agree that it drives more traffic than other social media sources, maybe because images are much more fun than reading status!
    Anyway, I love the images you are using in your posts, could you tell us what software you are using for that?

  17. Thanks for posting this! I have a couple of questions.
    Pinterest … re-pin 3 posts in 1 minute, 3 times a day – 30 minutes
    Repin 3 of your own posts? As in, all your posts that you post (wow that’s a mouth full) should be pinned immediately? And do you just keep repinning your own posts to your blog board or whatnot?
    you need to pin 2 or 3 posts, with great images, as often as you can
    Again…your own posts? Sorry if this should be obvious, but while I love and use pinterest personally… I don’t know how to optimize it for my blog!

    1. Hi Amanda

      By re-pin 3 posts I meant to pin 3 posts by someone else from your Pinterest stream. It’s really important to pin other people’s stuff to your boards as this earns followers for your boards.

      Try and create boards that will let you pin your post multiple times e.g. if I do a post on organization I would pin it to MML, Housework and Housework-Organized. But DON’T do it all at the same time – leave a couple of days or even weeks between each pin to optimise impact.

      Hope that helps

      Alice

  18. Alice, what are you doing to actually convert Pinterest pins to clicks/traffic on the blog? I have a post from a few weeks ago that’s at almost 2,000 pins already, but then I had the very-low-traffic of the holidays. Certainly didn’t see any traffic because of the pin. It seems they’re just pinning the recipe without checking out my blog!

    1. Hi Gina – I definitely see some of those but generally there’s a pretty close correlation between my pin numbers and my page views. I think it depends on how immediately important the post seems. I know I pin lots of recipes and play ideas that I might not get round to looking at for ages. I think it comes down to whether the post solves a problem for someone that they think is big right now … or shocks them, makes them laugh or totally awes them. Unfortunately I’m no good at any of the latter 3 🙂

  19. I just found your blog via the link up at Crystal and Comp and I’m putting some time aside to read as many of your posts as possible. I’m focusing efforts on Pinterest at the moment but I think you have to look deeper than just page views. I really don’t like updating my FB page thanks to FB’s silly tactics of not showing updates in people’s feeds, but actually when I look at my stats people from FB actually read more posts and stick around on my site longer than people from Pinterest, even though I get vastly more visits from Pinterest. I’m going to have a go at your 20 minute a day schedule and see how I get on. I’m currently writing two posts a week and sticking to that because I have lots of ideas bombing around in my head but if I wrote all of them and posted more often I wouldn’t have time to promote anything so I’d get no readers!

  20. Hi Alice. Now that you have been linking longer, do you have a top five list that you can give as to which link parties bring you the most traffic? It seems like some old parties are fading away, and I’d like to join some new ones. Thanks in advance!!-Sonja from Practical-Stewardship

  21. I’m a bit disheartened because my blog has been around for a year and a half, and I’ve starting writing more frequently. I have 2 or 3 posts that get almost all of my traffic from Pinterest, 1 post that has been re-pinned nearly 2,000 times, and I don’t often write a fluff post – most of my posts are about actual projects I’ve made from scratch, a lot of them hand-made furniture. I’ve been featured on larger sites, and even wrote a guest post for a large site, yet, in almost 2 years, I’ve just broken 60,000 page views. On average, I get 150 page views a day. When I do post to link parties, I get 10-20 views (even after linking to 10 parties). Am I doing something wrong here?

    1. Hi Yvonne … it really is so hard isn’t when you’re putting in all that time and effort and mental energy and just not getting the readers. I don’t think there’s a magic bullet but my best tips would be invest some more time in Pinterest. Follow the biggest people you can in your blog niche and pin what they’re pinning to a few key boards that really support your blog. Even if you can just pin 5 or 10 big posts in your niche a day you will really see your Pinterest followers go up. And then really try and optimise your images for Pinterest – you need to have at least one really, really great portrait image on each post as landscape images get lost on Pinterest. Do let me know how you get on over the next month and then we can see if we can come up with some more ideas for you – Good luck, Alice

    2. Thank you so much, Alice. You are so kind in wanting to help. I started blogging first to share, but once I found out that blogging could be an income source (and we became in desperate need of one), it has been hard to stop comparing my lack of income from my blog to the thriving success I watch others have. Comparison certainly can be the thief of joy, as is said.

      I’m sure it is just a fluke, but my older landscape images get all my pins on Pinterest. All the vertical images I’ve created with fun text, etc, doesn’t get much attention. Landscape images directly from my site that someone else pinned gives me most of my traffic – weird, isn’t it? Here’s my biggest traffic-giver – a re-pin of someone else’s pin from my site: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/513269688753079692/ – I lucked out that someone was kind enough to write a stellar description, perhaps?

      I’ll keep plugging away, and will continue to follow your tips. I’ll be back in a month to let you know how things are going. 🙂

  22. I was looking for this post without even knowing. Growing frustrated lately, I’ve been struggling to extinguish old habits that have been limiting what I know I am capable of. If I made a post each time the inspiration hit my blog would be abundant – but my updates are few and far between. I get caught up in the visual design so long the post never goes out; the perfectionist within knows the power of the perfect pinnable image, my potential, but also holds me back from getting it friggen out there. This post snapped me awake to time management and to create an image that’s captivating – without slaving endlessly. You noted the key elements I need to keep in mind: a formula that, if I follow, will help me organize and make the most of my time & posts. I’m still unclear on what exactly a link party is but think I need to delve deeper and get in on this!

  23. Great tips thanks. I think I need to be more focused if I want my blog to grow. I never do any SEO research and I tend to just write about whatever is in my head! On the other hand maybe I’m happy with my blog just being a reflection of my life…….#thelist

    1. It’s a real balance isn’t it Morna between blogging for pleasure and blogging for readers. But would say money saving and thrift posts are very popular on Pinterest – just need a great image.

  24. These are great tips!
    I’m definitely favouriting & bookmarking this page.
    I don’t use pinterest much & know I should more.

    Chloe
    x

    #thelist

    1. It’s just so much fun Laura – whatever you’re interested in you can find really great content. And the great thing is the more you pin the more followers you get x

  25. This post is great and I’ve even bookmarked it for later.
    I get quite a lot of traffic from Pinterest but I realise I’m not doing anywhere near enough (I only pin each post once!).
    Xx
    #TheList

    1. You’ve got so many great photos that are really pinterest friendly so should definitely do well for you. We’ve found a great way to build traffic is to pin lots of great stuff from other people – we try to stick to the 3:1 rule of 3 pins from other people for every one pin of ours.

  26. Great tips although I guess everyone’s blog is different – Pinterest is not a big thing for my blog but twitter is so my strategy is different #TheList

    1. You’re totally right everyone has work out the strategy that is best for them. Although we have found Pinterest generates much more traffic for us than twitter for same amount of effort.

  27. Great tips! At the moment everything seems to be taking ages as I’m just starting my blog which is fine while I’m on maternity leave. I’ll be glad of these ideas when I return to work though, it’s good to know that it’s possible to keep a blog going as part of a busy schedule. #TheList

    1. If you’re just getting started I would just go on Pinterest and enjoy yourself and find really good people to follow who are sharing fab stuff that you like. But also worth getting into the habit of including a portrait image with a title on each post. Your baby led weaning post for example would do well on Pinterest if you put a picture on it. Hope that helps and good luck when you go back to work x

  28. This was great to read as lately I feel like blogging is taking up so much more time than I used to. I don’t use pinterest much but as I am a days out blog I wonder if I can make it work for me!

    1. I think you can make regional stuff work Erin but I would suggest teaming up with other Yorkshire kids bloggers and creating a group board that you all pin to. It’s really important you pin lots of great Yorkshire stuff from other sources as well not just your team.

  29. Love how you’re broken it down. I’m going to try to follow your 20 minute schedule. It normally takes me about 2 hours!
    I’m also getting back in the groove with link parties – I joined @youbabymemummy’s #TheList.

  30. Thanks for this! Very useful for all of us who pushed for time – which is most of us, right? I didn’t realise quite the impact Pinterest has – and I clearly do not utilise it enough! Appreciate the tips… Need to make some ace images and get pinning!! #thelist

    1. So many of your posts – particularly your travel tips at this time of year – would do really well. Just need to make sure you have a portrait image with a title on each post as Pinterest doesn’t like landscape.

    1. You’ve got so many fab photos on the blog and I’m sure your play & create posts would do really well on there. The one quick thing I would do is always include a great portrait picture in your post and put a title on it in PicMonkey as Pinterest doesn’t like landscape images.

    1. We’ve found little and often really helps – just a few minutes everyday pinning great stuff soon generates followers

  31. Excellent tips. I spend a lot of time writing my blog posts, linking them to numerous linkies and then I promote them on twitter. I am not even on pinterest. I clearly need to get on it. THank you!

    1. It’s lots of fun – just get on there and explore and find the pinners and boards that you really like before bothering about traffic, but once you’ve found your niche it’s fantastic 🙂

    1. So glad you liked Jenni – we find that getting into a Pinterest habit of pinning just a few great things everyday from other bloggers really helps build up audience and then traffic for our own posts

  32. This is a fantastic post. I’ve yet to understand Pinterest (I pin pictures but not sure what that does!) thank you for explaining it more! #’TheList

    1. Can take a while to get started but really does deliver lots of traffic particularly for ever green posts that people will keep coming back to x

  33. Some awesome tips here. I think the key is focusing on your key activity, which I guess could be different for some people. Now to find the time to identify my key activity! #pocolo

  34. I used to use Pinterest, but I can’t say I ever got a single blog hit from it. I get most of my traffic from Twitter. I don’t get figures anywhere near yours though. I don’t get many hits from linkies either. There’s no way I could get my blogging down to 20 mins a day. Some of my posts take about 5hours just to sort the photos. I like to get a minimum of 3 posts out per week too and I have two blogs. I’m trying to cut down to 2 hours per day. After reading this post, I’m wondering if I should give Pinterest another try.

  35. Great post, thanks for sharing! I didn’t realise pinterest played such a big role. I’m on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I’ll get onto the big P now!! xx

  36. Thanks for this post, I’ve just recently tried to grow my blog but i’m finding it hard. Most my traffic comes from FB but I’m only getting a 100-300 hits a day. I’m now going to concentrate a lot more on my photos and Pinterest. Thanks for all your tips.

  37. This is great, thank you. I really, really must dedicate more time to Pinterest and creating images that are more pinnable. I just don’t prioritise it at all at the moment but I know it could make a huge difference x #PoCoLo

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