The only truly non-renewable resource is your time and that’s why it pays to find ways to give yourself more time. Outsourcing, as mentioned in earlier articles, can prove very fruitful in this regard. Another way that you can save some precious time is to automate the tasks that would otherwise occupy an increasingly large part of your blogging day.
Automate Your Post Schedule
Say that you’ve decided to publish a new blog post each and every day at around 2pm. You’ve found that this time window seems to work best for your audience and it seems to generate the highest readership and the highest level of social media sharing. Does this mean that you have to be right at your computer at exactly 2pm every day? Not at all!
There is a great feature that is built into WordPress, allowing you to schedule your blog posts into the future. When in the area to write a new blog post, you’ll notice that you can choose the time and date to schedule your post. This can be utterly fantastic if you can only dedicate Sunday afternoons to writing your posts, for example, because you can pre-write and schedule an entire week (or more) worth of posts all at once.
Automate Your Private Ad Management
It’s a great sign when private advertisers start contacting you to inquire about placing ads on your blog. It means that you are getting enough attention on the Internet that these people would seek you out directly. However, you’ll quickly discover that managing all these private ads — collecting payment, uploading the ads, taking them down when the paid period has expired, etc. — can be very time-consuming.
Thankfully, there is a lot of software and WordPress plugins that can help you in this regard. One of the best is called OIOPublisher. It’s an ad manager that will handle every aspect of serving private ads and you get to keep 100% of the revenue. OIOPublisher is a paid service, but for many bloggers, it’s well worth the expense.
Automate Your Social Media Posting
It helps when you share your blog posts with the online community using sites like Twitter and Facebook, but doing so manually can take quite a bit of time. The bright side is that there are several free options available to you to completely automate the process.
One such tool is Hootsuite. If you go into the main menu,k you’ll find the ability to syndicate your blog’s RSS feed to your Twitter account automatically. You can also find WordPress plug-ins that do the same kind of thing, like WordTwit and Twitter Tools.
On the Facebook front, you can look at some of the apps available there for syndicating your blog content to your Facebook fan page too. These include Social RSS and RSS Graffiti.
Automate Your Blog Backups
It’s every blogger’s worst nightmare. You wake up one morning and discover that your blog is nuked. Perhaps it was hacked. Maybe something went wrong on the server side with your web hosting company. Whatever the case, your blog has been compromised, altered, or deleted in some fashion. This is why having backups is so important.
You can backup the files and databases manually, but the automated process is much more convenient. There are free plugins, like WordPress Backup and WP-DB-Backup, that will not only back up everything you need to reinstate your blog, they will automatically email you the files on a regular basis.
If you use a service like Gmail, you can have a repository filled with all your backup files. No mess, no worries.
Before you continue doing everything manually on your blog, it is worth investing the time in finding ways to automate your blogging tasks and posts. This initial investment can pay off in spades, freeing up so much more time for years to come and you can use this time to grow, expand, and develop your blog business even further.