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The Weekend is Here… The Perfect Time to Get Your Blog in Order…

I received this email on Monday from a reader (who has given me permission to share this but who wishes to remain anonymous):

“Darren on Thursday I downloaded your 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook. I know it’s been only a few days but I’ve half done it already and wanted to share how I’ve tackled it.

When I bought it late on Thursday I decided to get straight into it and set aside the weekend to do as much of it as I could.

I know you didn’t design it to be done as an intensive but I know I work a lot better by setting aside extended blocks of time and doing things all in one go.

I completed about half of the tasks in the workbook over the two days. I’ve done all the ‘writing tasks’ (although have saved most as drafts to publish over the next week) and a lot of the more strategic ones too.

I’ll do a few more this week and have set aside next Saturday to work through the rest of the workbook.

I wanted to let you know that while most people will probably do the process over a month, I personally found it to be just as helpful (more so for me) setting aside a weekend to do it as an intensive training session. I’ve learned so much and came away from the process with so many creative ideas and fresh inspiration – thanks!”

I wanted to share the story of this reader because she reminds me a lot of myself in that she works best when she sets aside specific blocks of time to work on specific tasks. I know whenever my university offered intensive subjects that could be done with full time study over vacation breaks – I always took them.

One blog building strategy I’ve used many times over the years (particularly in the early days when I was working other jobs during the week and mainly blogging in the evenings) is to set aside whole weekends just to work on my blog. Granted, this worked a lot better when I didn’t have kids, but if you can get any day long break from the normal routine of life it can be a useful thing to set aside specific time to improve your blog.

Previously when I’ve done these ‘intensive’ times of blog improvement my focus has been upon a variety of tasks. I remember one recent weekend when I spent most of the weekend writing. Other weekends have been more about promotion, others have been more about design, others have been more about networking.

Whether you use the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog workbook or not to give you some inspiration in these sorts of activities – these sorts of intentional efforts can be significant.

Blogs respond well to work, effort and focus.

Have you ever put aside an weekend or some other period of time just to focus upon your blog?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. desiree fawn says:

    What a nice email to get — you are brilliant, Darren! I loved taking part in the 31DBBB!

  2. I find that if I can block just 4-5 hours one day I can accomplish a week’s worth of writing for my blog.

    The focused nature of it makes you more effecient, and a side benefit is that your topics become more focused.

    Also when writing series type posts it’s easier to tie the central themes together becuase you’ve written them in one sitting.

    Have a great weekend,

    Matt

  3. Mandy says:

    OK Darren – I’m feeling pretty good right now – I’ve just spent a couple of hours fixing a few things that have been bothering me for months and I managed to make a couple of changes suggested by reviewers during the 31DBBB. I’m proud of that since it meant editing the header file and I’m not a technie! I think it would be easy to spend hours fixing up your blog and then find you haven’t done the background work for posts. But taking a few hours once a month would be a good way of balancing the work.

  4. Jon Peltier says:

    My approach is a bit slower. I skimmed the book and noted that I’m already doing some things. So I’m picking some low hanging fruit first of all (I checkied for broken links before almost anything else). It will take me more than 31 days because I’m busy, but it’s a good focus for what I’ll do in the few hours I put aside.

  5. I don’t normally spend my weekend writing a new blog post but some time I spend it to “make up” my blog (especially when I just changed to a new theme)

    But yeah, I switched to a new hosting last weekend during the weekend since we tend to get less visitors during the weekend. Although I found out that there was no downtime during the migration :)

  6. OzSoapbox says:

    Hah, I’m sitting here doing just that – working on the blog when this pops up in my rss reader.

    It’s a long weekend in Melbourne too so we’ve got no excuse not too :).

  7. I find it really helpful to do a big block of blogging when I’m writing a series. Currently I’m doing a Norwegian Language Lesson series (which is going to last at least two months of posting every weekday) and in order for me to revise and progress the lessons at a smooth rate I need to connect everything together.

    I found if I broke down every week to a certain theme and then do five posts all together I can keep on top of everything. It also helps to motivate me and it is very satisfying having a post already writing and waiting to go up each day.

  8. Darren, I loved your reality check about the “if you have kids or not”.

    After 6pm I am not allowed to near a computer unless my kids need help with an assignment.

    Weekends, mmmm, well I cannot even get near a computer as we have a 5 year old boy playing soccer and 4 girls (13, 11, 9 and 7) playing netball. Plus we have a 2 year old toddler.

    Try that for a reality check.

    Better go mate, there’s someone yelling out for help!!!

  9. Chris says:

    I had a similar experience. I set aside the past two days to focus on the first three exercises. I finally got my day/exercise 3 “List post” finished late last night and posted it. Then, this morning I promoted the post by tweet (and email to a select few) and had the best single day traffic of my less than two-week-old blog. (And got my first #FollowFriday reco based on the post – finding two great new followers/friends on Twitter in the deal.)

    Looking forward to the next 28…

  10. Andrea_R says:

    The “if you have kids” is a kicker. :D

    I’ve been getting up before them and even a half-hour REALLY helps. I don’t need to stay up to watch tv anyway.

    I’m a big fan of doing works in chunks, when I can find it. Usually I shuffle around something else, and say no to other things.

  11. I got the 31DBBB workbook via IttyBiz right at the end of May, and I started it on June 1. I’m only a few days in, but I’ve found it really good for getting me to think in-depth about our blog and what we want to do with it, the kind of questions that I probably should’ve considered BEFORE starting the blog, but really didn’t.

    I’m also using it for a blueprint of things I need to be doing regularly to help the blog, not just a list of 31 tasks to do once.

    Although I like to do things in big chunks if I can, because it really gives you a chance to get in the zone, right now it’s working better for me to break things up into smaller bits. I will set aside some time this weekend to get a few posts outlined, though, and maybe do some more of the tasks.

    Thank you, Darren, for writing such a great resource!

  12. Christin says:

    I’ve done several of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog and noticed results right away.

    As far as setting aside an entire weekend…for me that’s not doable. I’m a mother of 4 and a helper to my husband and they need me. I find I can accomplish much in smaller time blocks. I also pull out the handy pencil and legal pad and use that brilliant mind map to create article ideas. I have never had so many ideas to blog about! It’s exciting (even a little overwhelming)!

    I need to get a few more tasks done since I’ve taken a break this week just to focus on post writing.
    Thank you for all your wonderful, useful tips!
    I’m doing my first giveaway next week – all because of a series I’m doing, a poll I ran, and an author I asked and who agreed to donate. :)

  13. I too feel like setting aside long time for completing tasks. Unless they are boring tasks, I always find that it is easy to get more done due to focus and continuity.

    If it involves a lot of concentration and fresh ideas every time I write for my blog, then I first note down all the ideas before writing them all in one go.

  14. Same here, it’s very difficult for me to find a definite block of time to think and compose an article. But this post is a great reference.

  15. I spent today working on my blog. I think taking the time to really devote your attention to your blog now and then is essential to a great project, and the weekends are an awesome time for that. I was going to spend this weekend setting up my latest projects, but of course I have the SAT tomorrow morning. Nice timing, haha.

    I think I’m going to spend this weekend writing content, so I can free up time to develop a newer project. :)

  16. Mr. I says:

    I have just completed one task of workbook as I am going to do it day by day.
    I have holidays and I have 4-5 hours free every day. So, I think this approach can be a lot more helpful for me. Of course, since my whole week is weekend, I will set up 3-4 hours everyday and reduce gaming.
    Darren, workbook is excellent and even elevator pitch has increased the traffic! I added it to the signatures in forums and traffic has increased by 50-60%

  17. preetirajlaxmi says:

    I don’t normally spend my weekend writing a new blog post but some time I spend it to “make up” my blog (especially when I just changed to a new theme)

  18. If you have read the book – 4 hour work week, you would know what it means to ‘batch process’ the work and complete it in a short period of time.

  19. Just wandering here.

    I can see that Darren is testing his blog posting time.

    He is posting on different time of the day of late as compare to last few months.

    Maybe Darren should share his views on this ?

  20. Jessica says:

    I have been spending lots of time lately writing for my blog, trying to convey my emotions, feelings and experiences. So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I am not yet two months into it and I already am averaging over 100 visitors per day, and I have been steadily trending upwards.

    Thanks for all of your tips, problogger! I have put much of your advice to good use and I am currently reading your book. Highly recommended.

    Jessica

  21. greedygirl says:

    This is great in sight and ironically just what I planned to do this weekend. Istarted my blog a few months ago and so far haven’t gotten much traction. My cousin told me about your blog and my goal this weekend was to research and work on something to improve my blog. So this must be fate that I read this post of weekend inspiration thanks for sharing it

  22. Andrew says:

    Either I am a workaholic or I am just fanatical and have no life. :)

    I have 8 kids (6 at home), I spend every single afternoon with them (right up till bed time) and I usually spend an average of about 4-8 hours at the computer doing something constructive. That could be anything from writing a post or an article for a submission site, generating traffic of some type, posting to forums or blogs (just like this one) and often spend a good deal of time analyzing my websites to make sure they are optimized.

    But I too do a lot of my work in large concentrated bursts. Usually in 2 hour blocks. I find I achieve far more working that way and having a clear action plan each and every day. I’ll write up my action plan the night before so that I know exactly what I want to achieve for the next day.

  23. Hmm… I usually do most of my blogging work on Saturday night through Sunday morning, and sleep in the morning to afternoon around 2 to 3 and finished what was not done.
    On weekdays is all about writing stuff I do most not much about getting traffic, but now with twitter, I’m mostly on twitter all the time….

  24. Rohit says:

    Weekends are my favorite both for entertainment and for constructive work – blogging.
    I manage to get a lot of ideas for posts during there times of the week. I get the posts work done and give preference to tweaking,networking during the weekdays.

  25. Mr VBIC says:

    Great bit of advice. I should get to work on my blog now. http://youtube.com/user/thevbic

  26. Salman says:

    Hi Darren,
    Is that for starters or anyone can use it?I am blogging from 2 months and almost I have developed my blog according to my satisfaction.

    Regards
    Salman
    http://www.tips4blogging.co.cc for blogging tips and hacks.

  27. KampungBoy says:

    No wonder if follow all of your experience that share in your ebook, it will become reality to succeed. Any big mistake will become good coach to achieve more and more next time

  28. PraShawn says:

    great post. I think sorting out your blog as many advantages. Have a great weekend.

  29. fas says:

    Not necessarily weekend but any free time is good to work when its peaceful and you have time on your hands. Helps to save alot of time which would take more if not done in a single go.

  30. Starwrite says:

    Yeah i thinks the weekend is a good time to making some new blog or clean up the blog.
    But actually i write the schedule post for next day..hehe.
    So i can still blogwalking.

  31. Without weekends I would have no blog. I’m one of those people who has a full-time job during the week and so weekends are my main blogging time. During the week I manage a short time before work and then an hour or so in the evening. Weekends are a great time to get some serious thinking and writing done. I usually set aside a block of time to see what needs to be tweaked on the blog and then try to get the bulk of my writing and organizing done.

    The 31DBBB was so helpful to me when you ran it as a series. I may use it now as a 31 Weekends to Build a Better Blog and slowly review each task again. I love the fluidity of the blog – always changing. As soon as you do something, you know you can review it and improve it.

    Thanks again for a good suggestion to focus on the weekend time.

  32. BloggerDaily says:

    Weekend is a nice time where you can focus on your hobby or extra time. I personally love weekend because it’s a suitable time to focus on blogging. As a student, I have to focus on my study on working days – tasks, assignment, classes, tests and etc.

    Blogging is interesting and it gives me cash but I have to focus on study at the same time. Thanks to schedule post function. I writing posts for my blogs on weekend and schedule them. Some readers asked me – “Hey, how do you manage your time?”

    I’m waiting for the next vacation so I can join the 31 Days challenge. wish me luck! =D

  33. Pat Eyler says:

    Thanks for the great advice, my hits are up 700% so far this month, and my bounce rates are down. It’s hard to argue with results like that.

  34. Great post!

    I totally agree … my best work is done when I blog a chuck of time and focus on accomplishing a specific set of tasks.

    Miss Gisele B.

  35. R Kumar says:

    If you have a plan and you stick to it, you achieve the most. There are days when I know I have spent hours at my computer and yet did not accomplish anything worthwhile. Yet there are other days when I have a list of things to do and specific timeframes or, chunks of periods in which I am to do it and I find that I did much more than what I was planning to do. Setting aside time for specific tasks acn help accomplish much more that what you actually wanted to do.

  36. Sharon says:

    Hi Darren

    Weekends are not an option for me, with 3 kids in the house, it is not possible to get any work done.

    When I had my day job I used to work at nights – usually from 10:00 pm to 3:00 AM, wake up at 07:00 am get the kids ready for school and run to my day job.

    After a while I decided I can’t do this any more, and decided to quit my day job.

    Today my best hours are in the morning when the kids are at school. I start at 08:00 AM and work until 14:00 pm.

    I manage to squeeze quite a lot into these hours

    Sharon

  37. Jon says:

    I find I work a lot every day. Especially as of late, being on summer break as a college student and having only a part time job as my only true responsibility. I do enjoy pulling all nighters though and having it pay off a few days later :) Always fun.

    Still trying to build up some payments into my Paypal so I can buy the book! Looking forward to it.

  38. @Sharon,

    That was terrible to work for 5 hours every day in the night along with a day job..

    Why did you quit your day job? Are you able to earn more with your blog? It will be inspiring to know your answer. Thanks.

  39. Black Sand says:

    Thanks for Great post!

  40. Rss Guru says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    Nice Email and message, weekends for me are really productive, is were i can get most of the online work done.

    keep up the good work Darren.

  41. Tomas K. says:

    Yes Daren, thanks from me too.
    But I’d like to look at one thing, planning and blocks are important in other thing, not in just blogging. So these advices are usefull not for one thing, it is good in every aspect of life too.

  42. Same here, it’s very difficult for me to find a definite block of time to think and compose an article. But this post is a great reference.

  43. dofus kamas says:

    Daren, you made the point ^^

  44. What a nice email to get — you are brilliant, Darren! I loved taking part in the 31DBBB!