Blogging for me is like a part time job. Between this site and the other blog I run, around one to two hours per day is vested in maintaining them. This time includes:

  • Writing the actual articles
  • Research for new articles
  • Reading several dozen blogs, commenting where I can and getting ideas for new articles
  • Answering reader submitted questions
  • Promotion of articles
  • Working on larger articles, sometimes writing one large article doesn’t happen at one sit down.

The time I invest directly relates to how successful my blogs are, but blogging for me is just a model that can be applied to anyone who does freelance work from graphic design work to computer maintenance. Freelance Switched published 46 Must-Read Productivity Tips for Freelancers, I�ve pulled four of my favorite from the list to share:

  • List 3-5 things you will do the next day. My homepage, as mentioned several times before is iGoogle, if you haven�t played around with it, try, it’s worth it. On it, I’ve installed the Web Stickies module, it acts like a post-it note that is somewhat transparent and can be placed on top of any part of iGoogle. If I’m online (which I usually am) and an idea hits me for an article but I don’t have the time to write the full article, I’ll add the idea to the sticky note. Later when I do have time, I reference that for what articles to write next. At any given time there are 3-10 items listed.
  • Get your inbox to zero. This is a big one for me. Something about having 200 unread messages and 40 read messages in my inbox annoys me. Spend an evening or a lazy Sunday afternoon to go through and reply to those you need to, delete what you don’t need and archive important emails. Make sure your spam filter is working properly and check the spam (or junk) folder often just in case something slips though that isn’t supposed to. Having an empty inbox is like having a clean house, it just feels right
  • Learn to check email just twice a day. I can’t do this, personal or for my daytime job. Email is one of the biggest time wasters though. Just because an email comes doesn’t mean you need to reply to it right away. This rule for me is bendable though, as I’m often awaiting a response from someone about an article or a subscribed website email comes through that may have a link to a new article idea for me in it. When I’m writing, as I am now, I won�t check my email. I’ve also ignored my phone and text messages, it is too distracting.
  • Learn to say no. There is an old saying that goes something like, Would you rather make 50 cents from one job per day or have 2 jobs that pays 75 cents each� If you can only handle one job per day, perhaps you should just look at raising your rates and not taking on the extra headache of the second job. Learn to budget your time and find the proper value of it. It is a very fine line between selling yourself short and overbooking time so you become run down and worn out.

For me, one of the biggest problems I have with doing freelance work is self motivation. In my situation, I am writing for my own site, no one else. This means there is no set deadline for any given project. I do have a rubber goal right now to get at least 5 unique articles on Randomn3ss per week, in addition to what the other staff adds. Over the next 6 months I want to triple that. My tip for staying productive is to get off on the right foot. I’ve already given you 10 tips to starting your day right, here is another geared more towards freelancers, in my case this is what I do on weekends.

Get up and get showered right away. For me, rolling out of bed sucks, I hate to do it. Nothing about the whole waking up process is enjoyable for me, but after taking the dog for a walk I’ll hop in the shower. Something about a shower not only wakes me up, it makes me feel like the day has started and it’s time to be productive. This may be partly due to the fact that my week-days start in this manor, but doing it on a weekend and then writing for the first hour or so of the day makes it a lot easier for me then dragging my tired ass to the computer and rubbing the sleep from my eyes while squinting at the monitor for a half an hour as my body wakes up.