We hear one complaint from our readers time and time again.
It appears in a variety of flavors:
“I’d like to start a blog, but I’m too busy.”
“I want to grow my blog, but I just don’t have the time.”
“I wish I had more time to dedicate to my blog, but it seems impossible right now.”
In fact, lack of time was the number one frustration cited by respondents to our recent reader survey.
So if you’re feeling it too, take heart in the knowledge that you’re not alone.
But even though “lack of time” is often the excuse for a lack of progress on your blog, it’s rarely the true cause.
To discover that, we need to dig beneath the surface.
Most of us experience this feeling of scarcity when it comes to time.
We all have a long list of things we’d love to do if only there were space in our busy days.
Learn a new language.
Take up yoga.
Create a daily writing habit.
But those activities almost never get to bask in the light of our undivided attention.
Equally, most of us would admit that we do not spend every hour of our time wisely. We’d grudgingly concede that less time on social media or one fewer series followed on Netflix, would free up valuable hours each week.
So what’s going on here? Is our time scarce or not?
In reality, “I don’t have enough time” is often just the label we give something else:
When you’re uncertain whether pursuing an activity will be time well spent, that uncertainty manifests itself as a lack of time.
So let’s try a quick thought experiment.
Imagine you were suddenly somehow 100% sure that two hours a day spent on your blog would lead to wild success.
Would you struggle to find those extra hours?
I seriously doubt it. Chances are, your calendar would miraculously open up, like the Red Sea parting for Moses’ staff.
But instead you pause and wonder:
Do I have the right strategy?
Will blogging even work for me?
And these are all valid questions.
But here’s the bad news:
When trying to create something from nothing, you’ll always face uncertainty.
Why Certainty is the Wrong Goal (and What You Should Target Instead)
Knowing the result of an action before you take it is an appealing notion.
The reason the next episode of your favorite Netflix series is so damned alluring is that you know you’ll receive the expected result. The plot will thicken, characters will develop, and it will be an entertaining ride.
But few things worth doing come with a guaranteed result.
For example, if I could give you the exact steps required to create a successful blog in your chosen niche, you’d still experience some degree of uncertainty.
You’d pause before acting and think:
- Are these truly the correct steps?
- Even if they work for others, will they work for me?
- Am I really capable of executing them?
In the real world, certainty is rarely a reasonable expectation.
That said, most bloggers could benefit from a little more clarity.
Many, for instance, need better answers to questions like these:
- Who is my target audience? (And where do they already hang out online?)
- What are their desires, goals, fears and frustrations?
- How will I get them to visit my blog?
But clarity on questions like these comes from committed thought, research and experimentation. Exactly the kinds of things that get neglected in the face of “not enough time.”
So instead of certainty, you need something else.
A powerful motive puts fire in your belly and helps you to push through your uncertainty to emerge on the other side triumphant.
And a powerful motive comes from looking at why you want to blog in the first place.
The Importance of Knowing Your “Why”
In our popular guest blogging certification program, the very first question we get students to answer is: What’s your big prize?
What we really mean is, what reward awaits you at the end of your guest blogging journey?
Here are some typical answers our students give:
When you place every step required to become a successful guest blogger in the context of a motivating outcome like one of these, finding time is not so challenging.
When the going gets tough, which it often does, the “prize” keeps students on track.
And that’s the reason you’ll find it tough to work out the who, where, what and how of your own blog until you’ve become clear on the why.
Because the clearer you get on your motive for blogging, and what success would actually look and feel like, the easier it is to find time to take action.
How to Get Clear on Your Blogging Motive
If a friend or family member asks you why you blog (or why you want to), what’s your response?
Is it a muttered explanation about wanting to help people, or being a writer, or making a little money on the side?
Or perhaps it’s an awkward shrug followed by a rapid change of topic?
Because if your reasons for blogging are still fuzzy, inevitably your commitment to it will be weak too.
You don’t need a power-packed elevator pitch for your blog (although you might learn a lot from creating one) but until you know with absolute clarity why you’re blogging, you’ll never find enough time for the how.
So how can you discover that clarity?
Start by defining what a successful blog looks like to you. Step into your mental time machine and leap, let’s say, three years into the future.
When you get there, what do you see?
- How many visitors does your blog attract each month?
- How many subscribers do you have on your email list?
- Which popular bloggers are now some of your closest friends?
Keep asking questions and record the answers until you’ve built a vivid picture of your thriving future blog.
And when the picture is complete, you’re ready to ask the most important question of all.
What does your successful blog enable you to do?
Maybe it means you can quit a job you hate and gain more freedom.
Maybe you can visit new countries while running a virtual business.
Maybe you can finally write full-time because your blog has given you the platform to launch your first book.
That’s your why. That’s your motive. That’s the reason you can find time where previously you thought there was none.
And whether you share your reason with others is up to you. But keeping it in mind when you think about your blog will give you the fuel you need to power through uncertainty.
Say Goodbye to “Not Enough Time”
If you feel you don’t have enough time for your blog, realize that uncertainty might be the actual cause.
And, the best solution to overcoming uncertainty is a stronger, clearer why.
Do this: commit to spending one hour (that’s just a single Netflix episode) exploring the question using the method above.
And you know what? If you can’t find a powerfully motivating reason for blogging, that’s fine too. Some things are destined to stay on your mental “Maybe/Someday” list. Stop beating yourself up about it and accept that blogging is just a casual interest, not a serious pursuit.
But if something tells you that having a successful blog could change your life, you must bring your why to life.
So block out an hour on your calendar right now to work out your motive for blogging.
Don’t worry – Netflix will still be there when you get back.
~ Master Yoda