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Tips to Help You Make the Best Decisions For Your Blog’s Success

Today’s episode is about how you can learn to make decisions for your blog more quickly and with confidence, freeing you up to focus your time on what really matters most.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is how I manage to fit everything in – blogging, social media, speaking appearances, product development and family life. The truth is, I don’t get to do everything I would like. But I have learned skills and developed habits that make me feel less overwhelmed and stressed about making decisions about how to spend my time.

If you’re feeling like you don’t have enough time to fit everything in, this episode is for you. I share tips that will help you get more focused about how to choose to spend your time to make your blog a success.

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In This Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment). In today’s episode:

  • How I juggle blogging, social media, speaking appearances, product development and family life without going crazy
  • Tips you can use to help you decide what opportunities you say ‘yes’ to
  • Why learning how to say ‘no’ can free up your time and energy and make you more productive
  • 10 questions you can ask yourself to help you make decisions about what tasks you will focus on and what to let go

Further Reading and Resources for How to Make the Best Decisions For Your Blog’s Success

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view
Hi there and welcome to episode 65 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and today, I want to talk about answering a question I get all the time, “How do you work out what to focus your time upon as a blogger?” You can find today’s show notes at

Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time to fit everything in? Like there’s some opportunity staring you in the face to start something new, but to take it on would mean everything else you are already doing would suffer. You know that feeling I’m sure. 

You’re working away on your blog, creating content, updating your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts everyday, responding to comments and emails from readers, then you got to read other people’s blogs and comment on those, watch other people’s Periscopes and create the occasional product for your blog and update your advertising page. 

The list goes on and on and on. The things that we all do as bloggers everyday, but then comes along an opportunity. Sometimes the opportunities are real ones. Someone asks you to do something, “Would you like to guest post on my blog?” or, “Can I interview you on my podcast?” or, “Would you like to come on my Blab?” “Would you like to speak at my events or work with us as a brand?”

Then some of the opportunities that come along are more perceived opportunities. Everyone else seems to be doing something, so maybe you should be doing it too. Maybe it’s a new social network like Periscope, MiChat, or Blab, or maybe everyone else seems to be podcasting and you wonder if you should be doing that too, or this other blogger has a second blog and maybe you should start a second blog as well.

Invitations, whether they are real opportunities or perceived ones, seem to come along quite regularly almost every day. I think of something that I could be doing and the fear of missing out rises. What if that thing starring you in the face, that opportunity or perceived opportunity is the next big thing. What if it’s your lucky break and if you don’t take it, you’re going to look back and regret?

The result of feeling this is that either you take on more than you should and then not doing everything less well or you let things go and have regrets and then wonder what if I had done that or what if I had done that? 

I get asked questions around these feelings all the time by readers and our event attendees. How do I work out what to focus upon is one of the big questions. The other big question I get from people is, “How do you fit it all in, Darren?” 

I don’t know why I get asked this all the time, but people seem to think I can fit it all in. I guess I blog, I podcast, I Facebook, I tweet, I Periscope, I speak, I publish ebooks et cetera, but the reality is I don’t fit it all in. I think it’s important to say that. Now, what I would say is that I am able to fit perhaps more in than I used to partly because I’ve built my business to a point where I could delegate some of it and outsource some of it, and that’s one strategy for getting more done. 

I’ve also worked on my own productivity and my own efficiency and discipline. If you want to learn more about how to become more productive and efficient, listen to episode 40 from my Seven Productivity Tips. I think it’s also really important to say that one of the things I’ve come to make peace with is that I just can’t fit it all in and I become very good or at least better at saying no to things. 

I say no quite a bit. Sometimes I say no to people who ask me to do things that don’t fit in with what I should be doing. Sometimes I say not to myself when I start wondering if I should be doing whatever everyone else’s doing. I’ve said no recently to getting on Meerkat and Snapchat and having a video channel on YouTube, but I’ve said yes to some things as well. One of the things I’ve said yes to recently is Periscope. I’ve been trying to Periscope every morning. So, there are some things I say yes to and some things I say no to.

The question that I am hearing some of you ask right now or at least I’m imagining you asking is, “How do you work out what to say yes to? And how do you work out what to say no to?” I have to say there are no exact signs of this. Sometimes it’s a bit of a hunch that I have, but there are a number of questions that I ask myself as I look at an opportunity, whether that be a real opportunity like someone asking me to go speak on an event or whether that be a perceived opportunity of me taking on something that I maybe think might work.

Here are some of the questions that I ask. The first question I usually ask is, “Do I have time for this?” and there’s usually a negative response to that because I just don’t have time. I operate to a point where my life is pretty full and even if that is full of empty space because I do try to put aside time every day to have empty space just to be, to think, to play, and to spend time with my family. It’s not empty, really. It’s productive, but to other people, it might seem empty. So do I have time for this? The answer is usually no so I know if I answer with a no, then it’s going to come at the cost of something else.

Am I going to do something else less well as a result of taking this new thing on? So, I start to ask myself my second question, “What would I give up to take it on?” Is there something that I can give up to take it on? That’s a tough question. The other question I sometimes ask around this is, “Could someone else on my team do this better or could they outsource it?” and that’s often the way I can fit more in.

Those are some of the first questions I ask. Do I have time? What cost will it bring to take it on? What could I give up to take it on? And could someone else in my team do it better? But there’s a whole heap of other questions that I then start to ponder. “Does it take me closer to my goals?” and this is a big one and I think it’s really important to understand what you are hoping to achieve. What are your goals? What is your why? Where are you headed? If the thing is going to take you close to your goals, then it’s definitely something you should consider but if it’s going to take you away from your goals, it’s just fun and might be interesting, then it’s probably a no.

Another question that I always ask (and this is one I often ask particularly when I’m thinking about whether to take on a speaking engagement) is will I learn something useful from this experience? If I’m asked to go to a conference, is it a conference that I will learn some new skills at? A related question is will I meet someone useful if I do this? Often, the answer to that is yes, since I might take on those opportunities.

Another question that I ask myself is will these give me energy? A good example of this one is Periscope. I get a lot of energy from the Periscopes that I do and the same probably is true for podcasting. I find that after I get off Periscope, even though it takes me time to put together and to actually run the Periscope—it probably takes me an hour almost to prepare and to do a decent Periscope; that takes time—I’m super productive. I have this adrenaline running through me and for the next hour or so, I’m extra productive. I also get a whole heap of ideas from doing it. I’m learning a lot from doing it, I’m meeting interesting people as well. So, I’m able to say yes to Periscope because it pretty much answers yes to all of the questions that I ask so far. If something is giving you energy, then that maybe is a good thing as well.

Another question that I ask (and this is a really important one for me) is will this opportunity make a difference to someone else? For me, it’s not just about will this take me closer to my goals? Will this get me something? But will this also be useful to other people? Is this going to make the world a better place? Is this going to be useful to people?

This is partly because I just want to have a business that does make the world better, I love hearing feedback, that something that I did change someone’s life in a big way or a small way. It’s also a little bit selfish because I know that if I’m useful to people, it’s much easier to build a business around that.

This links to my last question, is this potentially sustainable? Is this going to sustain itself? I’ve learned while sometimes, things give me energy, sometimes things are fun, not all things are sustainable, not all things are profitable to do. I’ve also learned that if I’m going to continue to be useful to people, if I’m going to make the world a better place, if I’m going to make other people’s lives better in some way, I need to find a way to sustain that. I need to be able to profit from that in some way. It’s so much easier to help other people if you are able to pay your bills.

There are some other questions that I ask. Do I have time? Will it mean that I do something else less well? Could I give this to someone else in my team? Does it take me closer to my goals? Will I learn something useful from this? Will I meet someone who will be useful to have that relationship while doing this? Will this thing give me energy? Will it make a difference to someone else? And is it potentially sustainable for me?

These are the other questions I ask myself when an opportunity—real or perceived—comes my way. I’m sure there’s a whole heap of other questions that I could ask and I’d love to hear what you ask yourself to try and work out, whether you take something on or not.

The last thing I really want to say is that it’s impossible to fit it all in, so you need to come to make peace with that for yourself and come up with some sort of a system to work out what you should and shouldn’t fit it.

I hope this is helpful to you. It’s something that I’ve shared with a number of people recently, particularly on Periscope, even just this morning. People seem to find it useful, so I wanted to share it on the podcast as well.

If you’ve got any feedback on today’s podcast, you can go to There’s an opportunity to leave a comment and to let me know what you would add and what do you disagree with me in what I said today. I also love to get your reviews on the ProBlogger podcast. You can go to iTunes and Stitcher to leave your reviews there.

Lastly, I just want to let you know that the next podcast, episode 66, starts a new series; a 10-part series. I think it has the potential to get your blog ready for 2016, in a way that (perhaps) your blog has never been ready for a new year before. It’s 10 episodes that are really going to help you to get your blog far in, to really give you a profitable and worthwhile 2016. So, stay tuned, keep refreshing iTunes, and in a couple of days’ time, you will see episode 66 which will hopefully help you to take your blog to the next level. Thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you then.

How did you go with today’s episode?

What did you learn from today’s episode? Do you have other tips that have worked for you? What will you try next? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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