“Beeeeeeepppppp, hello, is there anyone there?” The sound of a phone going dead is enough to send shivers down the spine of a blogger.
To turn a pastime into a career, a person needs clients to make money and survive. Without them, the opportunity to make a living and find sponsorship is a lot lower than normal.
Sadly, bloggers can be their own worst enemy in this respect. Regarding deadlines, lots of people don’t treat them with the respect they deserve. If you aren’t punctual, the line will go dead and clients won’t come back for more. It’s that simple.
What self-employed content developers have to realise is, the cut-off point is there for a reason. With that in mind, it’s high time you started to hit it with unerring accuracy.
Here are the some tricks of the trade which will help any blogger to cultivate punctuality.
1. Don’t Over-Promise
Promising too much is without a doubt the biggest problem for newbies. To combat the fact that you’re not as experienced as your rivals, you make up for it in other ways.
Customers want a quick turnaround, but usually they would rather have quality. Although the competition has features you don’t, it is essential to resist the temptation to compete. It will only get you in deeper than you can handle and your reputation will take a hit.
So, figure out your workload timings and stick to them as much as you can.
2. Treat it Like a “Proper” Job
Sorry to use that term, but bloggers do slack off. The reason is simple: the surroundings.
When you work from home, it is easy to let the distractions get in the way. The number of people who wake up late, take an early lunch and watch TV all day is staggering.
However, if you let this happen, you will never be a fast or efficient worker. What home-based bloggers must do is act as if they are going to the office. By getting up at the same time, changing into work clothes and keeping the TV on standby, you will create a routine.
Once there is a structure to the day, it will fly.
3. Keep the Tech On Point
Regardless of routine or promises, there will be times when you are rushing. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances get in the way and cause breaks in the day.
Don’t worry because this is normal, but do try and limit the damage as much as possible. For instance, if you see the deadline is going to be tight, ensure everything is working properly. From stocking up on ink cartridges to powering the laptop, these small details can make a huge difference.
Another excellent tip is not to rely on technology. It might be the cornerstone of your work ethic, but it’s unpredictable. Every savvy blogger should have a contingency plan, such as a fax machine or mobile hotspot.
4. Have a List of Priorities
No matter the occupation, every person has a list of priorities. Although every factor is important in the long-term, some are more important than others.
The great thing about a list is that it keeps the crucial points in your mind and encourages you to finish them first. By taking care of the day’s big sticking points, it should free up time later on in the afternoon.
Also, when you begin to write a to-do list, you will notice that some things have a longer sell-by-date. Naturally, this means that they go to the bottom of the list for that day.
And, hey presto, a busy couple of hours gets a lot less demanding. However, don’t put them off for too long. If you do, they’re easy to forget and the situation will spiral.
5. Get Ahead
The idea of going into the office at 8pm is almost laughable. But, unlike the majority of people, this isn’t as daunting. Because you work at home, there is nothing wrong with going into the office after hours.
In fact, it’s an excellent method which will help you stick to deadlines. The way it works is simple. Start by writing the list of priorities for the next day. Once you finish, look for the tasks which are doable yet not too challenging. Then, start the job and try and finish on time. The slack it will cut for the next day’s work is enormous as there are fewer things to complete.
6. Take Regular Breaks
If you are going to work into the night, don’t fill up on coffee and energy drinks. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine isn’t the key to a productive night session. The key is to have a break.
When you’re overloaded, it takes a toll on the body. From your eyes to mental fatigue, it all becomes too much and you can’t focus. In this situation, the only antidote is to walk away from the laptop and have a rest. By the time you come back, the body and mind will be refreshed and ready to tackle anything.
For the non-believers, this is a theory backed up by science. According to lab rats, a break is a creative source of fuel.
Last but not least, don’t think that general business tactics are out of your reach. Sure, a home-based business isn’t a corporate entity. Still, pretty much any company can benefit from outsourcing because it’s cheap and exploits resources.
Blogging is a particular hot craze going forward. With more and more people wanting to make a living from writing, the options are varied. Therefore, finding an affordable content writer to share the load isn’t difficult or uncommon. Just make sure they are up to the job because it is your brand at risk. The internet has its pros, but allowing anyone to start a business isn’t one.
In a nutshell,
Missing a deadline can be the difference between success and failure. There will be times when it’s avoidable, but, for the most part, it isn’t inevitable. With the tips above, it’s more than possible to help you to deliver on time.