DS Blogging Schedule Featured Image

Why You Need a Blog Schedule

DS Blogging Schedule Featured Image

When you first start out blogging, you’ll probably have enough drive & ambition to stay focused and produce new content. At least for a while..

question markWhen I first got started, I followed other blogs, especially those geared towards new bloggers. I kept seeing question come up such as:

  • What is the best length for blog posts?
  • Which social media platforms should I be on?
  • How to I get more traffic?
  • and on and on..

These questions are a good start, but they leave out something important.

A Blog Schedule

One of the biggest keys to whether or not you become a successful blogger lies in your consistency. And how do you become consistent? By having a set schedule for your blogging activities.

I’m not just talking about posting on a regular schedule (like once a week, daily, etc.), I’m talking about having a daily schedule of tasks to complete. In my experience, having a set daily schedule makes the whole ‘blogging process’ effortless.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#hustle”]How do you become consistent? By having a set schedule for your blogging activities.[/tweetthis]


Here’s a sample schedule I’ve created, closely based on the version I personally use. It follows a logical progression of creating posts and spending some time improving the blog itself.

Sunday – Brainstorm new post headlines

content machine coverThe best advice I found for creating content came from Dan Norris in his book Content Machine, and he suggests to start with post headlines, rather than just the generic subject you’d like to talk about.

This can be done in as little as 10-15 minutes. All you need to do is come up with about 5 good headlines, and you’re good to go.

Monday – Outline next post

Now it’s a good idea to have your posts scheduled out a month or so in advance, but either way, for Monday’s task, you simply choose one of the headlines and outline that post.

Again, this task can usually be done in 10-15 minutes. I use Workflowy to quickly and easily outline posts.

Tuesday – Write rough draft

If you have a good outline, the post practically writes itself. I use Workflowy and Writebox, opened side by side to effortlessly write the rough draft of my upcoming post.

Mistakes are OK, and the post doesn’t need to be in perfect order; simply get all of the content out on this day, and you can worry about editing on Thursday.

Depending on the post length, this step usually takes 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday – Work on imagesimage editing

Aside from the text component, blog posts need an array of vibrant images to accompany that text. I usually use Pixabay for free images (but there are many other options for images).

Stock images are fine throughout the post, but often (and especially for your featured image) you need to work on them a bit. I mainly use Canva, which lets me add overlays, text, and a variety of other components to the image.

Working on images can eat up a lot of time, so try not to obsess about getting things perfect. I like to complete this task in 30-45 minutes.

Thursday – Finish & schedule post

Thursday’s task is the part I like most; putting it all together. You already wrote the text and created the images, now you just need to work on the layout and proofread the text.

This step is pretty straightforward, and when finished, you can schedule the post. This usually takes me about 15 minutes.

Friday – Email broadcast and autoresponders

Since a big part of blogging is about building your email list, I have a day dedicated to working on those funnels.

ConvertKit Resource ImageI use ConvertKit for my email marketing service, and they make it easy to create & schedule broadcast messages and setup ’email courses’ (which are basically just autoresponder sequences).

I schedule a brief broadcast message that tells subscribers about my latest post, and have it go out on the upcoming Monday.

Beyond the broadcast message, I also spend some time working on my email courses. I have one setup for each of my books, and am working to have a course setup for each topic I cover. This way, the incentive to subscribe is more targeted, and I can give those subscribers information that’s more suited to their interests.

Although this day’s work covers a wide range of activities (from writing the email texts, to outlining the sequence of an email course, and more), I can usually fit everything in to a 30-45 minute time block.

Saturday – Work on website

web designSaturday is the day I work on my ‘site infrastructure’. Things like static pages (about, resources, contact), adding landing pages for new products, making sure the plugins & theme are up to date and functioning perfectly, etc.

Since this step doesn’t usually take very long, I also take this time to update my post links. Whenever I have a 2 part series, I go back and link them together once the 2nd part is live.

Another example would be going back to a post where I mentioned an upcoming post topic, and updating the post to actually link to that topic. This makes for better continuity within your blog, should a reader land on an older post. I also link all of my ‘personal progress update‘ posts together.

I usually limit this step to about 30 minutes.


If you’re a student of productivity, you probably already know about batching your tasks, and how it’s much quicker to do the same task multiple times than to switch and start on something new.

This schedule is setup exactly in this manner.

For example, on Monday when I’m outlining my upcoming post, I usually have enough time to outline a 2nd post, either to help me stay ahead of things, to use as a guest post, or for posting to another platform (Quora, Medium, Reddit).

It’s much faster for me to outline 2 posts, than if I were to try to outline and then write 1 post, since I’d have to ‘change gears’.

What about marketing?

You may be thinking that I’ve overlooked social media and other means of marketing my posts, but I haven’t. Based on what I’ve read, a good blend seems to be ratio of 30% content creation, 70% marketing of that content.

I came to the conclusion of needing a ‘marketing schedule’, just like I have a ‘blog schedule’.

blogging board no border


Here’s another sample schedule I’ve created, and this one is closely based on the version I personally use for marketing my blog. It again follows a logical progression, but this time, it’s just a few tasks that repeat twice a week, with a ‘filler’ day in the middle.

Social Media MontageThe tasks are:

  • Posting for Traffic
  • Posting in Social Groups
  • Sharing quality post & articles
  • Outreach (the ‘filler’ day)

I’ll go into more detail on each of these tasks, and then end this section with an example of a schedule you can follow..

Posting for Traffic

When I say posting for traffic, what I mean is posting content to a site or platform (with a link back to your own site), and the whole intent is to drive the readers back to your blog. This is different from sharing on social media, in that the content is a bit longer, and it usually has a longer shelf life than a Tweet or Facebook status update.

Some good examples would be Medium, Reddit, Quora, and maybe LinkedIn. Posts here would be somewhere in the middle, lengthwise, between a Tweet and a full length blog post. (200-500 words)

My personal focus for this task is Quora. I’ll talk about Quora more in an upcoming post, but suffice it to say that I’ve found that answering questions on Quora leads to some good, steady traffic back to the blog.

Posting in Social Groups

facebook groupsThis should be self-explanatory. Posting in Facebook groups, Google+ communities, and the like. These posts typically get a lot more engagement than just a simple social share.

I like to either post a question, share a helpful tool, or leave well thought out comments to help people one on one.

This probably won’t bring in as much traffic as the last task would, but it builds a lot of good will. When you have a question, need help, or come out with a new post or product, you might be pleasantly surprised by how willing the group members will be to help you out in return.

Sharing Quality Posts & Articles

This section could more accurately be titled “loading the Buffer stream”, but let me explain the basic premise. Social media is overflowing with people who do nothing but share their content over and over.

Be different.

Share great articles written by other people. Follow a variety of blogs and other media sources in and around your niche, and regularly share their stuff. I use Buffer for this, as it is simple to use, and takes virtually no time to implement.

Simply install the Buffer browser extension, and then whenever you read a great article, add it to your Buffer stream with 1 click. I’ve actually written a Quora blog post that goes more into much more depth on this.


microphoneOutreach isn’t a big focus for me at this time, but I try to do a little each week. This would include pitching guest posts to other bloggers, lining up podcast interviews, or asking people to participate in a ‘expert round up’ post.

I’ve been having consistent success with posting for traffic and sharing quality posts & articles, so I haven’t spent much time with this.

So let’s see how these play out in a typical week. I’ve put together a simple image, so you can see the pattern I use..

Blog Schedule Image


I’ve attempted to balance the workload out between both schedules. For instance, when I’m writing a post for the blogging schedule task, all I need to do is reload my Buffer stream for the marketing/promotion schedule’s task. This tends to keep both tasks for the day to an hour (or two) of actual work.

Well, that’s about it for the marketing schedule. Let me briefly touch on how to put this into practice.

The Schedules in Action

monthly plannerCreating these two schedules for blogging and marketing the blog was a great first step, but I then needed to setup a system for following through with them.

The two best ideas I found were by either using recurring tasks in a task manager like TickTick, or simply having them in a document that I check out daily.

I chose the 2nd option, and have a nice set of bullet points in Workflowy. I use this tool for a variety of things, and always have it open. All I need to do is glance at it when I’m ready to start working, and I’ll know what to do for that day.

If you’re just getting started with blogging, there’s a much simpler version of this concept explained on the CoSchedule blog HERE.

The Results

working onlineThese schedules have helped me immensely. I’ve been able to increase the length and quality of my posts, get consistent traffic from outside sources, and slowly build up a social following.

On top of all that, it’s made blogging quite enjoyable. I encourage you to experiment with these two schedule types and give it a go.

Talk to you soon,


Micro Jobs Featured Image

How to Learn or Improve Skills with Micro Jobs

Micro Jobs Featured Image

This post is a more in-depth look at the way I’ve been using Micro Jobs to both learn & improve my skills, and earn extra income.

What is a Micro Job?

In case you’re not too familiar with this term, here is a simple explanation:

Micro jobs are tasks that typically take 15 minutes or less to complete (but can also be up to a couple hours in length). These are mostly online jobs, so think of them as a task that is too small to outsource conventionally (setting up a job posting on Upwork, then hiring the best applicant).

Some examples might be: having a 500 word article written, getting a voice over for either your voicemail greeting or a short video, having header images created for your social media sites, etc.

Most of the time, these tasks are packaged more as a commodity. You’ll find a few types of sites available. On some sites, sellers list their services, and you choose one that is the best match based on price, ratings, and turnaround time. The second site you’ll likely encounter is one that you post your task on, and freelancers will submit their bids to you.

There are pros and cons of each, but for today, I’ll be sticking to the first type of site. This type of site will usually get your work finished quicker, without having to sift through dozens of bids, and in most cases, you don’t pay (or can be refunded) if you’re not satisfied with the work.

Micro Job StrategiesMicro Job Strategies

I’ve found there to be 2 main ways that micro jobs are used.

  1. as a buyer outsourcing/delegating small tasks
  2. as a seller to earn extra income

For this post, I will be focusing on a variation of strategy #2.

As you may have already read in my Journey Toward Location Independence, I have been in the middle of a huge shift in my personal & professional life. As my business was changing, I realized that I needed to learn new skills, and replace my offline income with online sources.

I started on this journey back in March 2014, and in this time have sifted through many ‘opportunities’ (which mostly ended up being dead ends, scams, etc.), and was able to eventually find some legitimate online jobs.

After much trial & error, I settled on these elements to make up my micro jobs strategy:

  1. I must be learning skills that serve a dual purpose.
  2. These skills must build on each other.

By serving a dual purpose, I mean that my primary reason for working on micro jobs platforms is to learn skills that I can apply in multiple areas of my life.

Writing or marketing, for instance, can both be applied in a variety of areas, while whistling or juggling, on the other hand, have limited applicability in life (for most people).

By having the skills build on each other, I mean that I prefer them to be related and in the same field, rather than scattered all over the place.

Learning Skills

Earning extra income is another factor to consider, but it only plays a minor role. What the income does, is provide motivation and accountability.

A ‘Real World’ Example

For a real world (non-micro) example, I spent a few years working as the Editor in Chief for a community organization and later as the Executive Director for the same group, mainly to learn and improve my skills.

Some of the skills I learned include: design & layout, copy editing, proofreading, desktop publishing, print & email marketing, and payment processing. While those skills came in handy for my offline business, they also help in running an online business and blogging.

Why Micro Jobs for Learning Skills?

Online Platforms ImageThe reason I’m emphasizing Micro Jobs for this purpose, is that the work is in bite sized chunks, and doesn’t require an ongoing commitment. It is also easy to change directions, if need be.

It also has another added benefit. When you become a seller on a Micro Job platform, you will learn how to communicate effectively with your buyers, a skill that will be useful should you become a buyer when outsourcing and delegating tasks.

So that’s a summary of why I feel that working as a seller on a Micro Job platform is a very effective way to learn or improve your skills.

My Journey

Now I’m going to share which skills I want to learn and improve, which platforms I’m working on, and how all of this fits into my overall online business strategy.

First, let’s start with a list of the platforms I’m currently working on, and a few more that I’ve tested out. I’ll also mention which skills I’m learning or improving. Afterward, I’ll cover their importance in the long run..

Which Platforms Am I On?


Fiverr ImageI started on Fiverr in April of 2014, and within 4 months I had turned it into a low 4-figure monthly income. When I initially started, it was entirely for the income, but I quickly saw that this was a big opportunity to learn something new.

I started out by learning customer service, and then added “gigs” in areas where I felt I needed some work. So far, I’ve learned how to sell a service, communicate with buyers, and create & streamline systems for order delivery, communications, etc.

I’ve even gone so far as to write a book, Double Your Fiverr Income, detailing my methods for success.

Fiverr Clones

Micro Jobs Platforms

I started expanding onto a few new ‘Fiverr like’ platforms once I become successful on Fiverr itself. I basically just cloned my Fiverr account onto many of these sites.

They don’t get nearly as much traffic as Fiverr (even combined), but I didn’t think it could hurt to cast a wider net. I still get some sales from them, usually whenever the site owners do a big marketing push, but they almost aren’t worth the time. This next site, however, has been a great addition..

People Per Hour

people per hourI actually came across People Per Hour by accident. This platform didn’t show up in my searches for ‘Fiverr clones’, but I found it through Udemy when I was looking for courses about Fiverr.

What I like about it is that is combines the ‘bid on jobs’ type of freelancing site with the ‘one and done’ gigs from Fiverr (which are called ‘hourlies’). The site feels a bit more professional, and jobs go for a much higher price than you can get on Fiverr, although it is a smaller site.

What I like most about these platforms, is that there is a definite beginning and end to each order. From start to finish, it usually only takes between 2-10 minutes to complete an order.

There’s no hunting for (and then bidding on) jobs, haggling on price, etc. You simply put your service out there, and fill orders as they come it.


iWriter Once I took on the mindset of using these platforms to learn or improve my skills, I realized that my writing could use improving. Although I’ve had good results from the web & email copy I’ve written, it would take me a long time to complete. What better way to improve, than by writing on various topics, with money and positive ratings at stake.

I got started on iWriter, which has this probationary period where you need to write 30 articles and maintain good ratings before you can actually start making decent money. This put positive pressure on me to write faster, otherwise I would practically be working for free.

Once you make it past the first 30 articles, you can actually start making decent money, but at that point I began to put that effort into the blog instead. (This was a case where I was mainly looking to improve skills, and the money was a distant second.)

This Blog is also a Platform

While we’re still talking about writing, I should mention this blog as another platform I’m working on. I’m looking to further improve my writing, and also learn WordPress, SEO, and everything else that goes along with running a blog.

It also helps me to gather my thoughts for future books & courses, and lets me connect with other like-minded people online.

Digital Sharecropper Blog

How They Tie Together

As I mentioned earlier, these skills need to build on one other. Still being somewhat new to the world of online business, there is so much to learn. These platforms provide me with motivation, income, and the skills I’ll need to continue to grow as a Digital Nomad.

In the short term, I’m finishing up my second book, and in the usual fashion, writing this book is another avenue to learn some new skills. My eBook can also be turned into audio book, and maybe even video courses on Udemy.

So there again, building on what I’ve already learned. I’m sure you can see the pattern. Everything I do has a long term focus, and I highly recommend you take this approach too. To the outside world, you’ll eventually look like an “overnight success”, but you will know the truth.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#freelance #hustle”]An overnight success is really built one step at a time, one day at a time.[/tweetthis]

Thanks for stopping by, all the best.


Learn About Airbnb

How Airbnb Lets Me Live Rent-Free

Learn About Airbnb

A New(er) Business Model

sharing economy infographicThis week I wanted to share a technique I’ve been using that allows me to live ‘rent-free’. It has to do with a company that’s been around since 2008, but has seen exponential growth these last couple years: Airbnb.

It’s not the newest member of the Sharing Economy by any means, but it, along with companies like Uber, are shaking up their respective industries and giving consumers more choices & value.

This is a stark contrast to the traditional ‘top-down’ model of business used by governments, big business, and other institutions. Their model often employs ‘one size fit’s all’ solutions and carries the mentality that a central authority can make the best decisions, irrespective of the local situation.

The Sharing Economy turns this concept on its head. It allows the free market to make decisions; in other words, individuals can make their own individual choices at the local level, eliminating bureaucratic inefficiencies.

This brings us two excellent benefits: more choices and lower prices.


Airbnb embraces this new business model. Rather than researching what cities would be good locations to build a hotel in, they’ve simply created a platform that lets individuals offer their available room(s) or even entire properties for rent by the night.

This is how you can find a place to stay even in a small town, even one that’s too small for a hotel or motel to build in.

Now enough of the back story, I’m sure you’re more interested in how this lets me live rent-free. Let’s start with an infographic I pulled from Jumpshot that shows some basic metrics, and then I’ll talk about how this helps both the guests and the hosts..

airbnb infographic

How This Benefits Guests

Aside from Airbnb helping create rooms for rent in small towns, there are more benefits to guests that choose to stay with an Airbnb host vs a traditional hotel, motel, hostel, or bed & breakfast.

For starters, you typically get more for your money. Often, you’ll get access to a full kitchen, rather than a mini fridge. Full as in real plates & flatware, small appliances, and maybe even some food for your breakfast.

How about an actual bedroom and not the ‘studio apartment’ feel of a typical hotel room? Done. You may even have a laundry room with a washer & dryer available.

How Hosts Benefit

The main benefit to Airbnb hosts is income. At at average of $80 per night, this can add up quickly.

Do you have a spare bedroom? I’ve read estimates that more than half of homeowners in both the US and UK have at least one extra bedroom. That bedroom could be bringing in several hundred dollars (or more) each month.

There are some other benefits such as meeting new people and the social interactions it brings, learning about other cultures, running a small business, and so on. Most hosts, though, simply utilize Airbnb as an income source to cover their living expenses and supplement their other income.

Living Rent-Free

I first heard about Airbnb and the idea of hosting on a Side Hustle Show podcast episode and decided that I would give Airbnb hosting a try. I was already planning to travel in the future and thought: “How better to learn what to expect as a guest than to start out as a host, right?“.

In just a short time, I was able to go from earning a few hundred a month up to making low four figures monthly as a host, which covers our housing costs. If you’ve read the post about my journey toward location independence, the income from Airbnb was very helpful as I was shifting from offline to online income sources.

Airbnb Kindle eBook CoverMy New Book

Once I became an Airbnb ‘Superhost’, I thought it might be a good time to start compiling everything I’ve learned as a host into a little guide or book.

Having hosted well over 100 guests while maintaining a 5-star rating in all available categories for my listing, and having done all of this with just a few minor changes to my life, I finally felt credible enough on the topic to publish my system.

I’m calling it The Airbnb Superhost’s Field Manual, since this is the exact system I used to become an Airbnb Superhost and live rent-free.

I’ll be releasing it on the Amazon Kindle platform soon as the 2nd book in my Double Your Income series.

What’s Next?

I tend to follow a pattern of learning a new skill, mastering it, teaching others what I’ve learned, and then moving on to a new skill. In an upcoming post, I’ll explain how I can work on several projects like these without chasing too many rabbits and accomplishing nothing.

[tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#success #hustle”]The Success Formula is Simple: Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust.[/tweetthis]

Next week, though, I’ll be giving you a ‘personal update’, where I’ll tell you about my progress towards becoming a location independent digital nomad. Until then..