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After publishing my October 2017 blog traffic report, I got a lot of questions about how I managed to have 48 posts prepared for 4.5 months ahead of schedule.
I am not a time management expert. And I still struggle to keep up my productivity every day.
However, as any personal finance blogger will tell you, you don’t need to be an expert in something to share your tips and help others.
Today, I will take that advice to heart and share with you the 6 steps that I take to better manage my time, money, and productivity.
These tips have helped me produce content far ahead of schedule for my blog.
I have also used the same principles for many aspects of my life such as my full-time job and housework.
I hope you will find them helpful as well.
1. Find the time to blog
As with anything else in life, when we want to get something done, we need to find the time to do it.
If you earn passive income from your rental property or dividend from your stock portfolio, you might not have to get actively involved in order to get the work done and generate an income.
But blogging can be very time-consuming, especially in the beginning when you’re still trying to build content, engage with the audience, and grow your readership.
We all have many commitments and responsibilities to juggle in our lives: work, family, blogging, entertainment, school, etc. If you decide to make blogging part of your life, then the two questions you want to ask yourself are:
1) Is blogging one of you priorities? If yes, is it priority #1,2,3, 4, 5 or 6?
2) If you have free time outside of work, how many minutes or hours do you want to spend blogging on a weekday and/or on the weekend?
As for me, here is my list of priories:
2) My full-time job
Blogging is my #3 priority. After I get out of work and spend an adequate amount of time with my family, I spend almost the rest of my free time blogging.
After launching Frugal Asian Finance, I gave up on a lot of fun activities such as watching YouTube videos and TV shows. For me, 10 minutes of watching something is 10 minutes taken away from writing new content or being active on social media to market my blog.
Instead of spending 30-40 minutes watching a TV show episode, I choose to spend that time writing a post instead. Prioritize your to-do list and focus your time and energy on what matters the most to you.
2. Create the time to blog
If you find that your schedule is already packed, and that you can’t squeeze in some blogging, then it’s time to create some free time for your blog.
I’ve found that multitasking is one of the best ways to get more work done out of my day. For example, during my commute to work, I will either read and comments on new posts or interact with others on Twitter.
If I’m walking and can’t just stare at my phone for safety reasons, I will listen to podcasts on how to improve and monetize my blog such as ProBlogger, Do You Even Blog, and Smart Passive Income podcasts.
When I’m eating lunch at work, I will also get on my Twitter on my phone to share content, like, and comment on others’ tweets.
Multitasking in the right way will enable you to get more work done in a set period of time.
Related: The Glorious Life Of A Personal Finance Blogger
Before Mr. FAF and Baby FAF came back to DC, I would go to bed at 10:30 PM and get up at 6:30 AM every day. I got about 7.5-8 hours of sleep every day. Life was good.
Related: A Day In The Life Of A Personal Finance Blogger
After our family is reunited, I spend more time taking care of Baby FAF and doing more housework. My free time was cut down by at least 2 hours a day.
Instead of continuing my old routine, I decided to stay up late and go to bed at midnight or even 1-2 AM to have more time blogging. I also get up earlier at 6:15 AM to get ready for work and take Baby FAF to daycare.
I can’t create a 25th hour in my day, but I can sleep less to have more free time to blog. In the first 2-3 months, my body wasn’t used to running on 5-6 hours of sleep every day. I was exhausted.
However, after 6 months, I can function well with 6 hours of sleep every day. Life is good once again (kind of).
3. Finding more topics to write about
One of the struggles many of us bloggers face is finding that topic that we can write engagement content about.
Prior to launching Frugal Asia Finance, I was always afraid that I wouldn’t have anything interesting to talk about about, that I would run out of ideas, and that I would soon abandon my blog after a month or so.
However, after starting my blog, I have covered a wide range of topics about my life that I never thought I would.
If you have read my post about the 3 blogging styles, you might already know that I choose the more personal approach where I tell stories about my life while sharing frugal tips.
One of the main reason is that I want my blog to grow with me so that I will not run out of topics to talk about. If I choose to write about general topics, there are just so many that I can think of. And a lot of them might seem similar to what other bloggers have written.
But if I choose to write stories about myself, I know that they will be unique. We are all different in our own ways and have unique stories to tell. We might buy the same T-shirt but will have different stories about how we saved up to pay for it, how we bought it, and whether we like it or not.
We all have debt, but the amounts of debt always vary, and we all have different paths to paying off our debt.
There are billions of people on this earth, but no one looks the same or has exactly the same life experiences as you do. If you tap into your personal stories and share experiences that many people can relate to, it will set you apart from the rest.
If you run out of topics to write about, which happens to me sometimes, you can take the following steps to come up with new content for your blog.
Option 1: Look around your house. Everything that you have has a story behind them. Just pick one story and start typing it up.
The dining table that you have in the kitchen: When did you buy it and for how much? Did you like them back then and do you still like them now? If you got them for free, how did you do it? If a friend asks you for advice, what would you tell them so that they can get their furniture for free as well?
Your most expensive outfits: Why did you decide to spend so much on the clothes? Was it for a special occasion? Do you regret that decision and why?
Your house: What was the process of you buying that house? Did it go smoothly? Did you like it the first time you saw it? Is there anything you could have done differently? If you’re renting, why did you decide to choose your current place? Are there are pros and cons of selecting that living arrangement?
Your laptop: How long have you had your laptop? Are you going to replace it soon? If not, why? If yes, will you buy a much more expensive or much cheaper laptop based on your experience with this one?
Concerns/questions/confusion: Is there anything that you think about constantly without being able to resolve it? It could be something as simple as housework, a fight with your spouse, or your kids refusing to eat. It could be something you are struggling with but don’t know who to share it with in your personal life such as spousal envy or a career decision that you made.
With all of the topics mentioned above and many more, you can tell your own story and share your experiences so that other people can learn from them.
If you blog about investment, try to look at it through an investor’s perspective. If you focus on frugality, think about how a particular decision or purchase affects your saving or spending behavior.
Make the link to the topic you choose and stay relevant to the audience.
Option 2: Look into your childhood memories
Not all of us had a perfect childhood. It doesn’t have to be any dramatic stories that you don’t feel comfortable sharing on your blog. It could be something as simple as your first side hustle, your businesses, or the first few dollars that you earned yourself.
Your childhood might seem like what happened decades ago, but if you can tie it with your current life, it can make a great story. The beautiful thing about childhood is that all of us go through that phase, and chances are we can relate to something that happened to others.
Related: When You Are Ashamed Of Being Poor
Option 3: Check Pinterest and other blogs for ideas
When you have written about pretty much everything at your house and get stuck, check Pinterest and other blogs for ideas.
You don’t want to copy someone else’s ideas without giving them credit. But when I look at random Pinterest images or read other bloggers’s posts, I will start to have questions and thoughts that can easily lead to other topics.
Sometimes it could be as simple as someone’s comment or question on Twitter that can help you create your own content.
Option 4: Answer the reader’s questions
Look at the questions the reader ask you. Can you write a full post to answer a question?
One reason I am writing this post is because many people have asked me how I have managed to produce content to stay 3-4 months ahead while working full-time and taking care of a toddler.
I can easily type up a short answer. But I also feel that writing a full post will provide them with more details and action plans.
My hope is that my post will reach more people and can help them produce the content that they like and stay on top of their posting schedule.
For example, when I wrote that men are expected to own a house before getting married in Asia, a reader was interested to know what are the other financial expectations in Asian families. The answer to that great question came in the form of a fully developed post:
6 Financial Expectations In Asian Families
Instead of thinking hard about what other people might want to read, why not just answer the question someone just asked, especially if it also sounds appealing to you?
4. Type faster
This might sound like a no-brainer. But when you can type more words in a minute, chances are you will be able to finish a post in less time. If you can type 1,500 words in an hour, then in two hours, you can finish two posts instead of one.
Some people have seen me type and commented that I type really fast. That helps speed up the process of producing new content. I noticed that when I write posts, sometimes my fingers just try to keep up with my chain of thought.
Sometimes I feel like I just type without breathing.
5. Avoid distractions
With social media and email being constantly updated, we have a lot of distractions around us. I too get distracted often, so I try to not let that happen. What I realized is that when I stay focused and pour my thoughts into paper, I just let my chain of thought take over and dictate my writing.
However, if I pause to check Facebook, Twitter or answer a phone call, I tend to forget what I was even typing before. I then have to spend time trying to resume my thought process or even spend a couple of minutes skimming what I just wrote to catch up with the flow of the story.
When I just keep typing without distractions, however, my thinking tends to flow more freely, and I can thus type faster and finish a post in less time.
6. Take a break when needed
Sometimes I do feel stifled by the rules that I set for myself. At one point in my 7th month of blogging, I did get burned out.
I was tired of doing all the routines at work and at home and then switching straight to blogging. I needed a break from the pressure I created for myself.
You want to allocate a sufficient amount of time to your blog, but don’t forget to have some fun outside of family, work, and blogging. Don’t get burned out like I did.
Try to enjoy blogging as much as you can. But when you feel tired and dread writing, just take a break, reassess your priorities, and continue blogging when you feel better.
Related: How To Get Over A Blogger Burnout
I hope that the tips above will help you create more content for your blog. I still struggle with creating engaging content on a regular basis.
Sometimes I just wrote about a random thought that I had, and the post turned out to be well-received. Sometimes I put a lot of time and thought into an article, and it just fell flat, which could be demoralizing.
However, at the end of the day, I am just glad that I can express my thoughts freely. I can write about anything whenever and wherever I want. No one is there to assign me a topic or grade my writing when I’m done.
That, I think, is one of the most beautiful things I have found through blogging.
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44 thoughts on “How To Produce Massive Content For Your Personal Finance Blog”
Great post! I’m so alarmed at the logic of #1 and why I never thought of that idea myself!!! Being a genius again, eh FAF?
You’re much more prepared to blog than I am so I’m going to look up to you. I need to get off my lazy bum and start writing too.
At least I emailed bluehost…so….not a complete day wasted. 8) Your productivity is amazing.
Thank you, Lily! I think sometimes it’s just the simple things in life that catch us off guard. I’m by no means a genius hehe. I think you’ve been doing great with your blog, so just keep it up! 😉
Finding time to blog is a constant struggle for me… it always ends up being late at night or early in the morning! So I’m with you… less sleep 😉
It is for me too! I def want to sleep more going forward. I was a total zombie for the first 6 months of blogging. @_@
Great advice as usual. Sometime in the future, I might need a way to find the time to publish more than once a week and this post will come in handy 🙂
I also need to find time to write a bunch of posts that can last me at least for a few months and help me get ahead. Right now, I write my post the Sunday afternoon before publishing on Monday lol.
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Blog Report for First Full Month (9,262 pageviews) Stats & Strategies
Wow I’m really impressed by your progress (getting 9k views in the 1st month while posting once a week). Looking forward to your future blog traffic reports! ^.^
Great tips. Especially I like the “Option 1: look around your house”. The story is just around us, pick one and write about it.
I just started my blog this week, and realized how time consuming it is. Set up the domain, web hosting, design the layout, on and on. Finally got time to sit down and write a post, and found out it’s not easy. Overall, it’s fun, as I’m retired, and got time at least. I admire you and other bloggers who are working full time and having young babies to take care of. Kudos to you all.
Thank you for your kind words, Helen! And welcome to the personal finance blogger community! 🙂
Great tips here! I struggle with ideas sometimes, so definitely going to take a few pages from your book here 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!!
I’m glad you liked the post. I hope some of the tips will come in handy for you. 🙂
I am so impressed by your focus and dedication! I’m never more than three posts ahead of schedule, but I do have a lot of rough drafts. I wake up an hour earlier 4 days/week (still get 7.5-8 hours of sleep though), stopped watching most TV shows, and have started spending less time cooking (more big batches) to create time for blogging!
I think it’s great that you have sacrificed so many fun activities to make time for blogging. Keep it up! 🙂
This is truly inspiring and really a great reminder for me that there’s no substitute for just putting in the hard work. Thanks for being so open about sharing your experiences and ideas, I look forward to implementing them myself!
Thank you for your kind words, Andy! I hope some of the tips will be helpful for you. 🙂
First time coming across your website and love it! Found your blog through you and Lily’s podcast with Pete. I’ve been blogging for just about a month and this was the perfect post to keep me going.
Thank you for dropping by, Rich! And best of luck with your blog. 🙂
Great tips! My biggest struggle is time and energy. I work full time and have a pretty long commute. When I get home its family time and there are other commitments like homework, dinner, and soccer practice. Then we might crash on the couch for a little as a family and play a board game or watch a tv show before putting the kids to bed. THEN, I finally have some time to get some blogging work done but I’m usually exhausted by then too so I’m not terribly productive.
I do use my commute to listen to podcasts like Do You Even Blog, ProBlogger, and Side Hustle Nation too so I’m using that time effectively, but I need to find a way to squeeze in more time for blogging if I want it to grow.
Hi Mike, it’s totally understandable. Life can get extremely hectic, especially if you want to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to your family. I listen to the three podcasts you mentioned too. They’re great! ^.^
Great insight. My problem is figuring out how to write well, lol. And then all the promotion that goes with it too. I’m just really slow at everything because I over think it.
I tend to overthink too. I understand your concerns. Sometimes we just need to take the plunge and just do it. We will be able to figure things out along the way. 🙂
Great post, however I would kindly not recommend the “sleep less” strategy as a long-term thing. The effects of that are well-known and documented and there’s really no medical arguments about them anymore. It’s detrimental to your health in the long-term.
Now your “type-faster” recommendation is definitely the best, but I just can’t seem to pull that one off 🙂
I totally agree with you about sleeping less. It’s not healthy. I think I was just desperate to grow my blog. I’m sleeping more these days since I feel like a zombie due to sleep deprivation. Great tip! ^.^
Excellent post & one I will certainly be bookmarking for future reference.
I work a lot of hours but I certainly could do with working smarter & your post if full of useful suggestions so I find time to blog. Seems I need to reasses my priorities.
Like others have said, be careful with reducing your sleep. Not just for short term effects of possibly suffering burnout. But also long term effects on your overall health including your brain as you age. (I’ve read a few articles on this lately and it’s re-enforced the importance of consistently getting enough sleep).
The fact you work full time and produce such quantity and quality content is extremely inspiring!
Thank you for your kind words, Adam! Sleeping less is definitely not a good suggestion. I’m trying to sleep more these days because I was just exhausted staying up too late at night. >_<
Great recommendations Ms. FAF. A reminder that I do have the ability to create more time and write down more content. Its a matter of eliminating the time I wasted watching videos on Youtube or browsing websites that really have no meaning to me.
You were so prepared by having that many posts ready to put out, I wished I would have done half of what you did. We all need to look up to you for sure!
Thank you, Kris! We all love our YouTube videos, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Just do what you’re comfortable with based on how you prioritize different daily activities. 🙂
I love the idea of looking around the house for ideas. For the topic of finance that works for pretty much anything in your house. Just thinking of the story for researching and shopping around for “X” item is a great way to come up with enough content to start a reviews blog, let alone a finance blog lol.
Yes, one of my first posts was about how Mr. FAF and I bought our house. That was the first thing I could think of to write about hehe.
Hey FAF! Thanks for sharing this post! I think your list of advice will help a lot of bloggers out! I definitely agree w/ your point about finding time and making it a priority. This is like one of the most important point ‘cause if we don’t rank it as one of our top priorities, we won’t get around to taking action.
This post inspired me to push myself to get more done, so I’m actually going to make this my priority on the weekend and aim to complete a week’s worth of posts within a day.
This will be my first time doing it this way, so idk how it will go. Have you written a series of posts within a day? I’ve heard a lot about this “batching” concept from many bloggers who read the 4-hour workweek. Basically, grouping the same task (i.e. writing) all at once, instead of separating it at different times. Apparently, some find this more efficient and I’ve heard a lot of success. So, I thought maybe I’d give it a try to see if it works. On top of that, I’m gonna have to check out what my typing speed is lol. I never thought about this, but you make a great point on that!
I have written a series of posts within a day before. It’s usually when I have a lot of topics in mind and want to express all of my thoughts/concerns/questions in writing. But don’t push yourself too hard because you will get burned out. I got burned out a month ago and are still not totally over it yet. I just wrote way too much in a month and got tired of writing.
But yes, give it a try and see how it goes. You will feel great after completing so many posts on the same day! 🙂
Really needed to read this post. Finding time and removing distractions are what I need to do!
Sounds good. Best of luck with your blog! 🙂
This is a super helpful post, especially the part about how to get inspiration for content. Thanks for being so generous and sharing it.
I forgot to mention… as a male, multitasking isn’t an option, strictly one thing at a time for us!
Wow! I don’t know how you function on 5-6 hours of sleep a night! I am definitely most productive in the morning, so I usually do most of my blogging tasks in the morning before I go to work. Sometimes while I’m cooking dinner, I’ll work on finishing a post or adding images to a post, but I can’t do the late nights on the computer. I’m really impressed with how far ahead you are with your posts. I’m lucky if I have the next post ready the day before I want to post it.
Those are some great ideas. One of my goals for next year is to be at least 2 months ahead when it comes to my blog posts. I just need to take the time to buckle down and make it happen.
Great article and some good advice. I usually only plan my blog posts for a week or two in advance but I think I might try the plan of getting really ahead in terms of content which would free up more time for advertising my blog, etc. I think you’ve managed this blog perfectly from what I can see and therefore it would be a good idea to try your advice. Thanks!
This really resonated with me. For some reason I’ve been focusing on facts and figures and taking forever to write a post. Points 1 and 2 have made me switch up my writing to be a little more personal and I already feel the words coming more freely! Thanks!
Tip # 1 is so good. I’m just now creating my own personal finance blog and worried I will not have enough content. I will be searching around the house to see if I can find some new content. Thank you!
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