Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
If you routinely start out your posts with “Sorry I haven’t posted in a while”, this post is for you. If you maintain several blogs in addition to juggling other responsibilities, this post is for you too.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself. I’m a freelance copywriter/blogger. I’m running a one-man show, so the success of my business depends on how much work I’m able to handle on a daily basis. With years of experience, I’ve learned quite a bit about being a more productive writer, and now, I want to share some of my best tips with you.
By the way, if you have some of your own productivity tricks, share the love by leaving a comment!
- Outline a few posts at once—One of the things I do to save time is lay out ideas for a few posts at once. I’ll open a few different documents, put in the headlines, main bullet points, and a short intro for each. Then, whenever I have more time to write, it only takes a few short minutes to fill in each post because I already have a template to follow.
- Save everything!—Whether you type out your blog posts in a Word doc, Google docs, WordPress, or whatever else, make sure you always save your work every few minutes. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing what you’ve written. It wastes time, and it kills your momentum. Save! Save! Save!
- Schedule time for blog maintenance—If you try to approve every comment as it comes in, you’ll waste a lot of time all day long. That’s why I recommend setting aside a few minutes each day for your blog maintenance tasks. Put aside 15 minutes or so for approving and responding to comments, and focus on other tasks during the rest of your day.
- Study your blog analytics—You want to make sure you aren’t wasting time writing posts that won’t help you grow your blog. Check out the analytics on your blog to see which posts get the most traffic, which keywords are performing best, and also, which content your readers aren’t interested in. This will help you focus your writing on topics that can help you get more for your efforts.
- Know when to throw out a post—At this point, I’ve written thousands of blog posts, articles, and other content. Occasionally, I’ll start writing something, and it just never comes together into a cohesive, quality post. The key is to be able to know when a post isn’t working out, so you can scrap it and move on to something else.
- Accept guest posts—Finding time to write every single day can be challenging. Accepting content from guest bloggers can give you a little break from writing, so you can focus on handling your other responsibilities. Your blog will also benefit from the increased exposure you get from your guest writers. Sign up on My Blog Guest to connect with eager, well-qualified guest bloggers.
- Create goals and plans—What do you want to accomplish with your blog? Do you want to hit a certain number of unique views each month? Do you want to achieve certain rankings for targeted keywords? Write down specific goals you want to achieve, and create a plan for achieving them. This helps you stay focused, so you don’t waste time on tasks that won’t benefit your blog.
What productivity tips would you add to this list?
Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Let’s face it: Most bloggers suck at being productive. They stare at a blank computer screen for a while, check their email, chat it up on Facebook and Twitter, grab a bite to eat, write a few words, and repeat. Hours later, they finally have something resembling a blog post.
There must be a better way, right? Thankfully, there is. It starts by following these 8 simple tips for becoming a more productive blogger.
- Write down your ideas—If you blog regularly, you’re always trying to come up with new things to write about. You may have noticed that ideas tend to strike you at the weirdest times and in the strangest places. An idea for a new post might hit you while you’re shopping at the grocery store. It might enter your brain just as you’re ready to go to sleep. Whenever you get a new idea, write it down immediately. It doesn’t matter if you put in a notebook or make a memo on your phone, just make sure you save the idea somewhere so you’ll have a starting point the next time you write a post.
- Outline your posts before you start writing—While some writers find outlines restricting, I find that they help me stay focused so I can deliver my message clearly and concisely. Outlining your posts before you begin writing gives you direction so that you don’t find yourself staring at a blank monitor for hours at a time.
- Eliminate distractions—If you want to get your new blog post done as quickly as possible, you have to eliminate distractions.
- Close out internet tabs that don’t have anything to do with writing your new post
- Turn off the TV
- Stop checking your text messages
- START WRITING!!!
- Give yourself a break when you earn it—When writing for long periods of time, you sometimes get to the point that the Law of Diminishing Returns kicks in. In other words, your productivity and quality of writing starts to decrease because you’re getting tired. Whenever you’ve been writing for a while, give yourself a well-deserved break. Go grab a snack, or head outside to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air. Just don’t make your break too long or else you’ll never get back to work.
- Find your favorite times to write—We all have different times throughout the day when we’re most productive. Some bloggers like to do their writing early in the morning. Others are most productive when burning the midnight oil. Find your favorite time to write, and schedule your blogging accordingly.
- Set a deadline—If you don’t treat your blog as something that needs to be done, you’ll never get around to writing. You’ll keep telling yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” That’s why setting deadlines is so important. It forces you to stop screwing around and to start writing. Set realistic deadlines you are capable of meeting, and stick to them.
- Create the perfect writing environment—I prefer writing my blogs in silence. Other bloggers that I know like to have music on when they write. And others like to do their writing at a coffee shop. Figure out what your perfect writing environment is, and create it so you can get your work done.
- Practice writing regularly—Writing is just like anything else. The more you do it, the better you become. I like to write every single day so that I continue to improve my skills and find new ways to increase my productivity. Practice. Practice. Practice.
How do you stay productive as a blogger? Share your best tips in the replies.