Anyone can start a blog. It takes less than half an hour to set yourself up with a domain, hosting and a WordPress blog – and even faster than that if you go for a free hosted blogging tool. However, many people fail to make a success out of their blog – and it’s not that they don’t enjoy what they blog about or find it boring. It’s because they just don’t have the motivation to maintain their productivity. Please read on as I lay out the 10 ways on how to be a more productive blogger.
1. Understand Why You Need to Be a Productive Blogger
Productivity is everything when blogging. There’s no point having a wealth of knowledge to share and a story to tell if you can’t find the time to get it down in a post. And, not just that, you’ve got to get it down in a way that people can read it, learn from it, enjoy it and share it.
A blog isn’t going to write itself and it certainly isn’t going to promote itself. With thousands of blogs being started every week, and many of them laying dormant a month later, what’s to stop your blog from being any different?
Productivity isn’t always just about the amount of content that you write; it’s also about how much you can leverage the potential of that content.
2. Get Organized – Computer and Desktop
The second thing that you should begin working on if you’re looking to become more productive is getting organized. There’s nothing worse than trying to motivate yourself to deal with the technical aspects of your blog and, at the same time, come up with great content when your work space and computer are in a mess.
Tips For Clearing Your Work space
- Keep everything to the bare minimum
- Don’t clutter up your desk with lots of papers and notes
- Keep a notice board and calendar where you can write your daily goals and see what you need to do at a glance.
- Keep a trash can nearby and don’t store things that aren’t useful.
Keeping Your Computer Organized
If you’re trying to work on a new project, it’s important to keep everything together. Try not to have to go ahead and search your whole computer and wade through files in order to find what you’re looking for.
There are many ways of organizing your files and one of the best ways are by project and then by date. For example, you could have a folder on your desktop that relates to a project that you are working on.
Within that folder, let’s say that you’re working on a blog post. That blog post should have its own folder and within that folder it’s important to include everything that you need for that blog post.
If you have everything that you need organized and ready to go, the only thing that you then need to do is start writing. You can get on with the creative process and let it flow instead of worrying about all of the technicalities and organization that would hinder your creative flow. It gives a great sense of release to clear up all of the organization in one go than have to try and organize and research as you’re trying to be creative.
3. Create a Schedule
One of the common pitfalls that many bloggers make is to not stick to a manageable schedule. One of the best ways to deal with that lack of focus and direction is to just lay out a blogging schedule so that you can always stay on track.
A common mistake that people make when coming up with a schedule is to be too general. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to write a blog post every day” – but in reality, you know that’s not going to happen. A great remedy for that is to get specific about what you’re exactly going to do.
For example, instead of saying that you’re going to blog everyday (something that is hard to keep up with) it’s important to say exactly what you’re going to do. You need so get specific and say things such as, “On Monday I’m going to research a blog post on Topic 1”. “On Tuesday, I’m going to write the blog post on Topic1”, “On Wednesday, I’m going to publish the draft on Topic 1 and research Topic 2”.
It’s always a good idea to say the actual topic that you’re going to be writing about and how you’re going to do it. Because then you give it more credibility and it helps to make it look like something that’s achievable. It’s much better than just saying you’re going to blog every day.
4. Write Regular Features
A regular feature is a common theme that you can come up with for one day per week. So, for example, let’s say that you’re blogging about a health related topic. You could have a day of the week where you check out the news headlines. You can also do a review of some of the most interesting news stories of the week. Or, it could be an interview with someone that works with in a health profession or a disease of the week – anything, as long as it’s a regular feature.
It’s a great way for you to schedule lots of quality content on a regular basis. Know what you need to write about next so you can get on with it. And it also brings in recurring traffic from your readers that will look forward to the next feature.
Example of Features to Consider
- Top 10 list day (eg. Top 10 Facts You Didn’t Know about Diabetes)
- A review day (where you review a product – digital or physical)
- An Interview day – where you have an interview or guest post.
Try to ensure that you still stick to the schedule and you can relax a little because you’re working a week (or more) ahead of schedule. This gives you time to keep creating content without worrying about deadlines and rushing it.
5. Understand That Productivity Doesn’t Have to Be Writing
Often, when we think about productivity in blogging, we’re often talking about creating lots of written content on a regular basis. However, being a productive blogger doesn’t always have to be about writing as much content as you can.
No, in fact, many successful bloggers don’t sit at their desk all day writing – it’s as much about the promotion of the content as the content itself.
Create a Video
Let’s say that you were going to write a post and you didn’t get time to actually write it. It’s so easy to just forget about it and wait until the next time that you were going to upload something and upload it at a later date.
Video is an excellent idea because many people love to sit and watch videos. They love to be able to sit back and watch their favorite blogger speak to them directly instead of having to read the content.
Using Social Media
Social media is one of the best ways to get yourself out there, to show people who you are and to tell them that they should take notice.
As soon as you’ve got a new post out there, make sure that you tweet it on Twitter (using hash tags related to your post), give it a +1 and share it on G+. Share it on Facebook and also submit it to social bookmarking websites like StumbleUpon.
Another great tip is to sign up in forums that are related to your blog topic. You can just add a signature link and begin posting helpful comments on the forum. You’re likely to build a name for yourself on the forum if you continually post and help people.
6. Be Fresh and Break News
One type of content that can potentially be beneficial is a post that breaks news. Or a topic that no one else is talking about. That way, people read your post, then write about the similar topic and can link back to your site for reference.
If you want to become a productive blogger you need to create a sense of authority in your niche. That means, you can’t really go around writing about the same rehashed material that everyone else is writing about. You need to try something different. You need to be looked upon by others as being someone that stands out from the crowd.
How To Write a Breaking News or Content
- Do An Interview – There are many stories out there that are about certain new websites. New ideas, new proposals or even about a problem within your niche market that is causing concern. Are all the other bloggers in your niche arguing over a certain topic and can’t come to a conclusion about it?
Why don’t you go direct to the original source and ask someone for an interview? Let’s say that you’re blogging about diabetes and there are some discrepancies about a new treatment that is causing a stir on their internet. It’s then your job as a productive blogger to actually go and see who came up with that treatment, contact them and get the details directly from them.
- Choose a New Angle – When you look out there for ideas to break some news or bring something new to your niche market and your readers. You don’t necessarily have to come up with something that’s brand new. As long as you’re putting your own spin on it and making it your own.
For example, there’s not going to be much point in repeating the news stories that other people are spewing on their blogs. It’s going to be more beneficial for you to change the angle of that news story and tackle it from a different perspective.
The whole point in breaking news and adding fresh information is:
1) So that your article doesn’t get lost in the masses of articles that are already published about the same topic.
2) So that your new perspective is much more interesting to people and as result, it gets shared more. You’re spending the same amount of time writing an article so you might as well make sure that the post you’re working on is one that’s going to go further.
Again, it’s not how much content you get written and published; it’s the type of content that you get written and published that will make all the difference.
7. Write a Review
Reviewing a product (whether physical or digital) is great for your readers and it’s also great for your blogging productivity. When you can’t think of anything to write about, you can almost always think of something to review.
Everyday, you’re using many different types of product. Whether it’s the type of computer you’re using, a tool or software, a course that you took. Even a book that you read or even the companies that you use to enhance and support your business.
A productive blogger knows the power of reviews and of personal opinions. Reviews offer great content. They are quick to write and they can also earn you affiliate commissions if you recommend the product through an affiliate link.
A productive blogger rarely stops thinking about their blog – at least in some capacity. If you want to become a productive blogger, you really need to start living and breathing your blog. Your blog can’t just be something that you update and write posts for. Your blog is your business and needs to take up a large portion of your time and thoughts.
You may be wondering how thinking about your blog often will help you to be a more productive blogger. Well, the answer is actually quite simple.
So, for example, let’s say that you’re blogging about diet and fitness. Your weekend trip to the store is now going to be much more than a necessity. You can now look at what latest products are being promoted the most. Which types of food appear to be selling the most. Whether healthy food is as good value for money as the unhealthy food.
In order to become a productive blogger you really need to tune yourself into the awareness of what’s going on around you. Because often, the best ideas come from out of nowhere. As a blogger you’re a website creator, a writer, a producer and an editor.
It’s important when you’re not in your writing mode, you’re thinking about the other roles that comes with being a blogger. And one of those is to really get out there and be on the lookout for ideas. Not just when you’re at the computer, but when you’re away from it as well.
9. Treat Your Blog as a Job
Often, not until they see money coming in that bloggers start to treat it as a proper business. However, it’s important that, even before you begin to make an income from your blog, you see it as a business model and come up with a proper business strategy to go with it.
That may be in terms of affiliate marketing, paid advertising, selling your own info products or offering services. If you know exactly where your income is going to come from in the future, you can learn to build your business towards that.
How does this idea of seeing your blog as a business relate to learning how to be a more productive blogger? Well, that comes in two ways:
First, when you’ve laid out your intentions in terms of a business, it gives you something more tangible and achievable. So you can set your sights on the goal more easily and be inspired to keep building momentum towards it.
Second, seeing your blog like a business means your mindset has changed and you now actually tackle your blog differently. It’s about seeing it as a business and, if you’re not yet making money, seeing its true potential as a business.
There are two main reasons why you need to see the business potential in your blog.
- Firstly, if you’re thinking about your blog as being a way to make an income, it’s important that you can gear your efforts towards those types of posts and activities that are going to be profitable for you.
That’s not just to say that you should always be looking to make money from your blog and nothing else. But the methods that you need to incorporate in order to make money are all of the things that are going to create a blog that is popular and financially successful anyway.
- The second reason is, you begin to hold yourself more accountable. When you’re working from home and writing with a laptop on your lap and being in a somewhat more relaxed position it means that you run the risk of being a little more complacent with your efforts.
You see, when running a business it’s all about efficiency. It’s important to ensure that you’re efficient in the amount of time that you spend on an activity. Whether that’s a blog post or promotional task that gives you the best return on your investment.
10. End Perfectionism
To be a productive blogger, you’re going to have to kill that idea that everything needs to be perfect. Too many bloggers are intimidated by the fact that their post won’t be good enough. That the design of their blog doesn’t look professional enough. Or that someone may be offended by what they have to say.
People want good content that’s beneficial to them. If you’re doing your job as a blogger, those are the types of posts that you will be creating anyway. There’s no reason why they should go criticize or complain about someone that’s taken the time to help them.
Perfectionism causes you to:
- Feel unhappy and frustrated because you’re not something you can never be anyway
- Procrastinate because you waste time and put off publishing content that would be valuable to you and your readers
- End up with low self-esteem issues and cause you to criticize your work instead of enjoying it
Spread your message and don’t wonder how it will come across to others. Don’t be afraid to share your work and attract an audience just because you don’t think it’s perfect.
Even if you only had one post on your blog, get it out there without wondering what people will think. It really doesn’t matter as long as the content is there. It doesn’t matter that the blog’s not perfectly designed before anyone gets to see it. Just get it done and get it out there. The rest will follow. You can’t let perfectionism stand in the way.