Blog Tasks You Can Complete in Under 20 Minutes (for when you’re strapped for time)
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Sometimes life gets crazy and there's no time to tackle all of your blog tasks.
Despite your absolute best intentions to get everything done, things don't always work out in quite the way you'd expect.
If you’re a parent, the kids have to be here and there. You’re constantly working to finish chores and you feel you barely have time for yourself.
If you’re employed (part time or full time) you’re splitting time between work, family and your own personal projects.
Whoever you are… you're busy. You always have something going on. So, sometimes, your blogging projects get pushed to the back burner. Especially when it feels like there just isn't enough time in a day.
Here's the thing though - there's always a way to use the little time you do have to progress your blog.
Blogging isn't an all or nothing game. There are tons of little blog tasks you can squeeze into the chaotic madness that is your life.
So PLEASE don't let your day to day busy schedule distract you from your day dream. If you're dedicated to growing your blog, there's always a way to fit it into your schedule.
Not quite sure what I mean? No problem!
Here is a compilation of several blog tasks that you can tackle in between your playdates, meetings, work obligations or loads of laundry. Honestly, each of these can be done in under 20 minutes.
12 blog tasks for when you don't have time to blog
1. Schedule social media posts
We don’t all have the luxury of spending our days on social media. In fact, most of us don’t. So that’s why scheduling your social media posts ahead of time is so important. You can use a free tool like Hootsuite’s forever free plan to accomplish this task. If you only have 20 minutes to spare, use that time to schedule out your next week’s worth of content on your main social media accounts!
2. Comment on blogs
Comments on blog posts are super duper (duper) important for blogging.
They are great for SEO purposes. Even though most comments you leave on blogs will have nofollow links back to your site, Google still likes to see a healthy amount of nofollow links – it means you are engaged in the blogging community.
Blog comments are also a great way to get traffic back to your site. Think about it. Let’s say you leave a really spectacular blog comment on a site. I’m not talking fluff like “hey, great post”. I’m talking about a comment that shows you read the article and shares thoughtful feedback and even advice. If other readers of that blog scroll down to see your thoughtful comment, they just might click over to your site. Blog comments are a great source of referral traffic if you do them well.
Blog comments also show the site owner that you are engaged with their content. There are some people out there who prowl popular sites and leave a comment on EVERY.SINGLE.POST.EVER published on that site. A bit much? Maybe. But this tactic is sure as hell going to get the attention of that site owner. Who knows, that blog commenter and site owner may even become friends after a while. Leaving thoughtful blog comments is a great way to network with site owners and build new relationships.
In a 20-minute period, you could probably leave two to three thoughtful comments on a blog. That’s good stuff and it could really help your blog.
3. SEO-up a blog post
So, 20 minutes doesn’t leave enough time to write an entire blog post and publish. But it does leave you enough time to accomplish some small tasks that go into publishing a blog post.
For example, you can search engine optimize your draft blog posts in 20 minutes without question. Grab your long-tail keyword and infuse it into the following places of your draft post:
- The blog title
- The blog URL
- The first sentence of the paragraph (or at least in the first paragraph)
- The H2 text (at least once)
- At least 2-3 other times throughout the blog post
- The image alt-tags
Don’t forget to make sure you include outbound do-follow links on your page to other reputable sites and that you interlink to relevant pages on your site, as well. During those 20 minutes, find a bunch of reputable sites that you could link to when your blog goes live.
4. Create imagery for your next blog post
Creating imagery for blog posts is one of those chores that I really don’t enjoy doing. It’s just not my thing.
But, you gotta do it! Good thing it only takes a few moments to open up canva and create a few images using your branded image template for your next blog post.
I always create at least 5 different images for my blog posts.
- Header image (which I also use for Facebook and Twitter)
- Pinterest sized images (between 3-4 per post)
It usually takes me about 10 minutes to create 5 images. Realistically, you could create 2 blog posts worth of images within 20 minute’s time.
Pro tip: register for a stock photo membership site. Stock photo memberships makes creating your graphics SO much easier. I subscribe to Haute Chocolate and I am IN LOVE. I download the pictures from their site and upload them right into Canva. Major life saver. Most of the photos on my site are from Haute Chocolate. Aren't they pretty?
5. Reach out to your subscribers
When was the last time you sat down with your email list and touched base with them? Now, I don’t mean, “When was the last time you sent out an email blast?”
Naw, I’m talking about the next level. Have you ever straight up emailed a person on your list and said, “Hello, how are you? It’s nice to meet you!”
You never thought about that, did you?
Reaching out to an email subscriber personally is an exceptional way to get to know them on a deeper level, build trust, and establish a working relationship. Your subscribers will be awestruck that you took the time to message them individually, and it will pay off a ton in the end.
You can send a whole lot of emails in 20 minutes!
6. Outline your next blog
Snag an idea off your blog post queue (you know, the list you have stored somewhere of all the great blog posts you hope to one day write) and start outlining it.
Your outline doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Draft your introduction; create your header text and sub-header text. Map out each of your ideas… and just like that, 1-2-3, you’re done.
The great thing about spending time outlining a blog post is that it actually helps to speed up your blog writing when you do finally get to that task.
7. Scout out guest posting opportunities
Guest posting on sites is hugely beneficial to your blog. Not only do guest posts allow you to get your name and brand out there for a new audience to see, but it also gives you a nice juicy “backlink” back to your blog. Backlinks help your blog rank higher in search engines (this ties right into all that fun SEO stuff that probably makes your head spin).
The takeaway here is that guest posting on sites can be incredibly influential in boosting the trajectory of your blog and business. The more you guest post on reputable websites within your niche, the better your blog will do.
So, when you have a few minutes to spare, spend that time scouting for opportunities to guest post on different sites and sending out guest post pitches.
8. Brainstorm blog post ideas
So, you don’t have time to write a blog post but you PROBABLY have enough time to brainstorm a few ideas for the future. 20 minutes is more than enough time to get some great ideas written down in your blog post idea spreadsheet that I know you have saved somewhere.
If you’re fresh out of ideas, head on over to Pinterest for some inspiration.
9. Engage in Facebook groups
With only a few minutes to spare, consider spending some of that time in a Facebook group (or several) that are within your niche. Answer some questions, introduce yourself to people, and promote your blog posts or your freebies. 20 minutes is more than enough time to spend in Facebook groups. In fact, a lot of people spend too much of their time on Facebook during the day. They call it “working” but is it all really productive? 20 minutes is a perfect amount of time to exercise healthy engagement in relevant groups.
Click here to join the Blogger Insights Facebook group for current or aspiring bloggers.
10. Keyword research
Oh no, I said the most dreaded two words in blogging history… “keyword research”. Yikes!
You hate it. I hate it. We all hate it.
Unfortunately for all of us, keyword research is an integral component of a healthy blogging strategy. Once you get good at it, it shouldn’t take you too long.
You can use Google Keyword planner, or any other paid tool to conduct your keyword research. It’s a good task to get done and out of the way in between errands.
11. Schedule social media posts for old blog posts
We talked earlier about scheduling social media posts when you don’t have a lot of time to spare. But I want to highlight scheduling social media posts for your old blogs.
Bloggers often forget about their old blogs. At one point in time, these blogs were new and exciting. You spent time promoting them, loving the, improving them, and promoting them some more.
But now they are old and dusty. They sit in the virtual archives of your blog collecting dust and not getting much attention.
It’s a shame, too… because they are probably good posts that would still perform well today!
When you have a few minutes to spare, spend time scrolling back to your old blog posts. Open them up and start sharing them again. Schedule out a bunch of new pots for these blogs (assuming they are still relevant) so that they can get a whole new wave of attention.
Think of it as 20 minute “spring cleaning” for your blog.
12. Conduct an email automation audit
When is the last time you checked to make sure your email service provider is functioning in exactly the way it should? Are all of your sequences running properly? Are your freebies delivering as they should be? Are your tags and segmentation settings running?
Spend 20 minutes going through your email marketing software just to be 100% sure it’s all working without a hitch. You might be surprised what you find.
Blogging is hard work. Anyone that thinks otherwise is just crazy! But, despite the difficulties and road bumps, there is always a way to move your blog forward. So don't give up on your blog! Spend time growing it and nurturing it. Give it love and attention. And, even when your day feels like it's so busy you hardly have time to breathe, spend 20 minutes tackling one of the above blog tasks. I said it before, but I'll say it again - slow progress is still progress!