If you only had 30 minutes per day to spend on your blog, what things can you spend your time on which would actually move the needle?
How would you build your list, build your traffic and potentially make real money if you are operating on such a limited schedule?
This question was asked of me by a subscriber... and I decided to take on the challenge! Actually, he said only 20 minutes! But, let's be real. 😉
In this post, I'm going to lay out 10 specific tasks you can do to make the most impact with your blog in as little as 30 minutes.
2 Things To Know First...
To make a real impact in such little time requires a certain mindset. It is possible that, for you, it will require some real shifts in how you currently do things.
#1 - Don't Be A Perfectionist
You simply can't spend time chasing perfection if you're going to get a lot done quickly.
I know some people really struggle with this quest for perfection. Thing is, if you ask them what exactly perfection looks like, they can't answer you.
Truth is, perfection is unattainable. It is a kind of hidden standard that you've made up in your head that you've set up to never be attainable. That quest for perfection is usually an excuse not to do anything. It is based on an irrational fear.
Nobody will ever know if you don't think it is perfect! They will literally never know. It won't even cross their minds. So, stop worrying about it.
Not chasing perfection doesn't mean you're going to put out crap. All it means is that you're not going to place artificial, undefined goal posts out there that are impossible to hit. It means that you need to be willing to declare something "DONE!"... and move on.
#2 - Money Can Buy You Time
If you are short on time, you can literally buy more. And if you just paralyze yourself because you think you have no time OR money, then.... stop concentrating on problems. You want this or not? If not, admit it and go do something else. But, if you WANT this, you either need to put some real sweat equity into it, or you can buy shortcuts.
Examples of how you can buy more time are:
- Investing money into paid traffic. This solves your traffic problem, allows you to rapidly test lead magnets and offers, and can literally be your money printing machine when you set it up right.
- Buying tools to speed up workflow. For instance, buying Thrive Suite and using Thrive Architect will allow you to make great landing pages any time, quickly, with no coding. The alternative is to try to design your own (usually badly). You end up wasting time re-inventing the wheel.
- Hiring a service provider to do stuff for you. Often, it will take you way WAY longer to do a much crappier job than if you were just to pay somebody to do it for you and be done with it.
These mindset items are absolutely traits of a successful entrepreneur. You should adopt them.
10 Tasks You Can Do In 30 Minutes That Have The Highest Impact
The name of the game here is LEVERAGE. How do we get the most impact with as little time and effort as possible?
This the classic Pareto principle, aka the 80/20 rule. 80% of your results will be gotten by 20% of your efforts. So, right now, we're concentrating squarely on those really productive 20% tasks.
Let's do it...
#1 - Develop A Game Plan
Planning and execution are two entirely separate activities.
Execution without a plan is just aimless. You end up spinning your wheels going nowhere. You end up feeling like you're wasting time... and you very well may be.
At the same time, planning without execution is just a method of stalling. So, we're not going to advocate either, but it is important that planning takes place.
Your other 30-minute productivity periods will be very much on point, efficient and aimed squarely at your goals if you FIRST sit down and plan out what you're doing.
One important aspect of planning is to anticipate what DECISIONS you will need to make.... and make them. Our actions often get stalled on decisions that we're not making. It is like a fork in the road that we just stop at. So, this is the time you make those decisions.
By the time you start executing your plan, there are no decisions to make. You just start cranking it out.
So, if you still feel aimless with your blog and what you're doing with it, use your first few 30 minute sessions to work out your game plan.
#2 - Make A New Lead Magnet or Content Upgrade
Your email list is the most important asset you're going to have as you build and grow your business. Any actions that directly contribute to your ability to grow your list is a highly effective use of time.
So, spend a 30-minute session working on a new lead magnet.
There's a good chance you can actually FINISH a new lead magnet in 30 minutes, too! That's because you don't need to write some big ebook, create some fancy video, or a whole "email challenge". Some of the highest converting lead magnets are usually short one-pagers.
The more lead magnets you have, the more effectively you can build your list. It's that simple.
#3 - Create A Video For A Post Update
So, an effective thing you can do in 30 minutes is to create a video. For instance:
Now, remember the rule about perfectionism. 🙂 This isn't a Hollywood production here.
Just use your webcam or your mobile phone. Use a decent microphone because audio is important. And just.... go! You can outline the video first and keep the outline in front of you, but don't script it. Just "wing it" based on your outline. Be natural. Be yourself. Talk like you would to a friend and don't overthink it.
#4 - Boost a post on Facebook
You can set up a quick boosted post in way less than 30 minutes, actually. But, doing so will expose your content to way more people and that's effective. Like I said, money can buy time.
Boosted posts have matured quite a bit. It used to be primarily a way to magnify a post to your own Facebook fans. But now, it is basically just a quick and easy way to set up a Facebook Ad based on one of your own posts. You don't have to target your own fans at all. You can actually put your blog post right in front of the audiences of other people.
Like a Facebook Ad, you can:
- Put that post in front of any custom audience you've built by way of your blog visitors or your email subscribers.
- Do interest, demographic targeting to expose your content to entirely new people
A very good use of 30 minutes, if you ask me. Plus, it allows you to test out concepts to different audiences quickly and easily to see how well it performs. That kind of data is invaluable and can give you the information you need to turn full Ad campaigns into a true evergreen source of revenue for you.
#5 - Set Up A Facebook Ad Campaign
Creating a full ad campaign is the next natural step off of boosting a post. It is essentially the same thing, however an actual ad campaign is often used for longer term campaigns that may continue to run in an evergreen fashion.
A boosted post is a very specific quick campaign where you say you're willing to put a quick $20 (or whatever) to see how that post does in front of certain people. If you like what you see, then you can evolve into a full Ad campaign where you can test different ads, different audience groups and have a lot more control.
Any time you spend on perfecting your game on paid advertising on the likes of Facebook is time well spent. It almost forces you to nail your product/market fit. You'll be focused in on the two real parts of your business that really matter: traffic and conversion.
To get up to speed with Facebook Advertising, in plain English, check out this course from The Lab: The Facebook Ads Blueprint.
#6 - Add An Email to Your Autoresponder Sequence
If you're looking to build your relationship with your audience, your time is always better spent emailing them than blogging. So, sending ANY email to your list is time well spent.
But, we're after leverage here. So, consider this...
Instead of sending a one-time email that you just wrote your heart out for, why not add it to your autoresponder instead of sending it out as a broadcast?
This way, all future subscribers will also get this email in the future.
But, what about your current subscribers? Well, in almost all email systems, when you add a new email to your autoresponder sequence, it will automatically send out to all current subscribers to that sequence. So, from their viewpoint, it is a broadcast email like any other. Only difference is, that email is now leveraged for later, too.
You build up a library of emails in your autoresponder over time and you now have emails for a long period of time that will be sent to your subscribers while you're not even there! This is how you create an automated business and an automated traffic machine.
So, spend 30 minutes and write an email. Make that email something valuable, but with a call to action that helps move the needle for you. And, instead of broadcasting it, add it to your autoresponder sequence and build up that asset.
Need help on what to say to your email list and how to structure things? I got ya covered. Check out the Email Marketing Engine.
#7 - Create A Landing Page
Landing pages are any singular purpose page that you send a person to in order to get them to do something. It could be:
- To get them to opt-in for a lead magnet
- To get them to watch a video and then share something
- To get them to buy something
- To pre-sell them on something you promote as an affiliate, telling them why you recommend it to them, then sending them onward
When you want your readers to DO something, many times a landing page (as opposed to a page on your blog) is the better way to do it. It is much more effective marketing.
If you use a tool like Thrive Architect, this is so easy to do that you can possibly get the whole thing done in 30 minutes. I know you may rack the noodle on the words to put on the page, but don't be a perfectionist! Any landing page is better than none.
These landing pages you will use in your marketing, including:
- If you promote an affiliate offer in an email to your list, don't try to "sell" them in the email. Instead, take them to a landing page which then reviews the product and makes it clear why you recommend it.
- If you create a new lead magnet, don't just email it direct to your subscribers. Instead, send them to a new landing page for it to resubscribe for it. This keeps them engaged, plus can enter them into an automated marketing sequence.
Landing pages are leverage pages to grow your business in some way. You need many of them. And they should be different than your main blog theme. As in, no sidebar, no header/footer noise. You need a tool like Thrive Architect to make this easy.
#8 - Pitch Yourself As A Podcast Guest
We all know that guest posting CAN be an effective traffic generation method. Thing is, to do it right is pretty time consuming.
But, podcasts are much easier! You just have a chat with the host and answer questions!
There are a ton of podcasts out there and many of them are always on the lookout for guests. You don't need to be some fancy guru to get on these podcasts. All you need to do is get on their radar and be able to make THEM look good? And how can you do that? By providing a ton of value to their listeners!
So, go out and find podcasts in your niche. Email them and pitch yourself as a potential guest on their show. Don't be needy about it. You approach it from the perspective of simply wanting to help. Link them to some of your best stuff (your redwood posts) and offer to come on and talk about one of those topics.
The podcast host does all the technical work. You just show up and be prepared to share some knowledge bombs. 🙂
Oh, and most podcasts can be recorded in less than 30 minutes. So, being on a podcast is a pretty effective use of time.
#9 - Talk to a Subscriber
Have you ever had a direct conversation with one of your email subscribers? If not, you definitely should and here's why...
There is absolutely NO BETTER WAY to really be in tune with what your market needs and wants than to simply talk to them. You can hear them speak in their own words. You can listen to their tone of voice. You can have conversations that are much more in-depth than you'll EVER get with a survey... or even an email exchange.
Having this conversation isn't about what you say to that person. It is about what you'll LEARN. You're not there to sell them on anything. You're just there to learn how you can best serve.
This information is invaluable to shaping the blog posts, the content, the lead magnets and the offers you will make in the future.
Don't overthink this. Just email your list and tell them you'd like to talk to a few people one-on-one. If you want, you can even offer to help them a little in exchange for their time, but you're open that you want to know what they're dealing with and how best you can help. You value what they think!
Schedule a few calls and go for it. Inside The Lab, we have an Avatar Interview Worksheet with actual questions you can ask. Or you can come up with some on your own. But, don't stress it out or make it a big, formal thing. It's just a conversation between two people with a mutual interest.
#10 - Create a pre-sell offer.
Creating courses and big information products takes a lot of time. It certainly isn't a 30-minute job! But...
There's a big difference between an offer and a product.
- A product is the THING you sell.
- The offer is the outward presentation of the promise for the purposes of making the sale.
You don't need a product created in order to make an offer.
An offer can be created for a service or something which hasn't happened yet. You only deliver IF people buy. If nobody buys, you don't waste your time making it but now you know it wasn't a good idea.
A pre-sale offer is when you present an offer for a product which doesn't exist yet. You're saying you WILL make it, and you're giving them an option to buy early. Usually for a nice discount and some extra perks. I like to position it as a live class or something similar, where I will just make that product right in front of them and release it to them as I make it. Also, there are benefits to them participating in the process since they'll have direct influence in the direction of the content and more access to you.
Now, if the pre-sale offer doesn't sell, you just saved yourself a lot of time. 🙂 If it does, then it is a proven concept. Make the product and deliver on your promises. But, in the future, you can sell a completed product.
Creating an OFFER doesn't take near as long. Plus, it allows you to put things out there to make money without all the product creation work. This is a much quicker path to revenue and product idea testing... and certainly a valuable use of 30 minutes.
Final Thoughts On These 30-Minute Increments
It is likely that some of these tasks described here will take you longer than 30 minutes. And, that's fine. Everybody's different.
But, keep these 2 more things in mind...
- The secret to getting a ton done with less time is knowing EXACTLY what to work on during that limited time.
- And, when those things you spend the time on are the most efficient things to be doing, you make more headway per unit of work.
So, what we're doing here is spending your time on the RIGHT things, not the things which are good at soaking up time but don't move the needle as much.
If you have more than 30 minutes, then great.
If not, then come back the next day for another 30 minute session. And focus on what you didn't complete the day before and see it through until it is done.
One thing at a time. Don't go off and try to multi-task. You set a specific target for that 30 minutes of time and you aim right for it. And if you don't get it done, you aim right for it during your next 30 minutes. And you don't do anything else until it is done.
I want you to also take strong notice of what is NOT on this list of tasks:
- Writing another blog post
- Tweeting at people or socializing on Facebook
- Tweaking your blog theme
Not that those things are bad, but they are not your best use of time. It's that simple. And if that's where much of your time goes now, that's why the needle doesn't move much for you.
But, things will be different now.
We all have 30 minutes to spend on our businesses and our blogs. I've just given you the things that are most effective for those 30-minute time periods. Do them... and let's make some progress here. 🙂