So you want to blog better? To be honest, it’s kind of an oxymoron that you’re here. After all, you’re procrastinating… right? But don’t go anywhere just yet! Let’s make a deal. Once you’ve read these 29 tips to increase your productivity as a blogger, you’re going to switch into blogger mode and get on with it. If you were looking for a sign, this is it. Read it, share it, bookmark, do whatever you have to do to get your head in the game…. and then go it all to use. Deal? Deal.
1. Schedule your posts
If there’s one thing we all know to be true, it’s that blogging is incredibly time-consuming. There’s much more to blogging than simply writing and hitting publish.
With brainstorming, planning, writing, editing, photographing, and finally posting, before you realise it, you’ve spent hours creating your post.
To save time and produce on mass, write your posts in advance and schedule them to publish themselves (i.e. easily done on the right-hand side of WordPress). A great way to do this if you’re blogging about your life in real-time is to sit down on a Sunday and write 3-7 blog posts for that week.
2. Do the most important things first thing in the morning
This point is more important than most of us will care to recognise. It’s no secret that we are more productive first thing in the morning – as soon as we have woken up and have no thoughts/dramas on the brain. BEFORE you check your emails or social media, consider doing your most important work – whether it be writing a post or a chapter for a book… whatever is most important and requires your complete concentration should always be done at the start of the day.
3. Only check your emails twice per day
We live in an increasingly connected world – that’s no secret. But because of this it often becomes far too easy to connect and much harder to actually disconnect and find ourselves at the moment, enjoying reality. To avoid wasting countless hours pondering over emails, try to only check them twice per day. Once in the morning – check and respond. Once again in the early evening – check and respond.
4. Work in bulk
Whether it’s taking enough photos to last 3-4 posts or sitting down for a few hours to pump out 4 high-quality blog posts, working in bulk is often the best way to work efficiently and to the best of your ability without letting blogging impact too heavily on your day to day life. If you’re blogging professionally, chances are you don’t mind when each of your worlds overlaps, but if you’re just starting out it’s a great way to manage your time.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
5. Plan, Plan, Plan
If you don’t have yourself a planner – be it digital or the old and faithful pen and paper now is as good a time as any to get yourself one. Planning each day, week and month of your life will inevitably lead to better practices for time management as you set yourself expectations and aim to meet them.
6. Set Goals
Take it one step further and begin to set (and meet) your goals. Goal setting is a great way to establish your expectations and decipher whether they are achievable. Don’t be afraid to adjust and readjust your expectations, as life will inevitably throw you curveballs.
7. …But be realistic
Have you set realistic or unrealistic goals? This is, of course, different for everyone as we all have different levels of achievement and productivity, so be sure not to compare your goals to those of others around you. Throwing around numbers and dreams as if they may somehow be achievable if you say them out loud is irrational. Think to yourself, what have I achieved so far in the time that I have had? Is there a way I can be more productive with my time and achieve more in the same space of time? (i.e. hints throughout this post). And then don’t waste a minute more – set your goals & set out to achieve them.
8. Separate Work from Rest
There’s no better time than in the 21st Century to legitimately find yourself with a split personality. It’s important to distinguish work time from rest time and be sure to balance the two. Of course, you won’t have equal parts of each, but distinguishing your rest time is a healthy way to ensure you enjoy your downtime and relax so that you’re feeling rejuvenated with fresh ideas when you start again.
9. Schedule your social media
Once you’re in a great writing routine with your posts scheduling themselves and everything working more efficiently than it ever has before, it’s time to consider your other biggest time consumer: social media. A great way to both grow your social following AND save time is to schedule your posts in advance. You can schedule Facebook posts in advance by using the clock icon in the left-hand corner of post drafts – too easy! Twitter can be scheduled using a range of different apps and add-ons – WOW recommends giving Hootsuite a try. It’s free and easy to use!
10. Be aware of your Google Analytics but don’t go overboard
Monitoring Google Analytics to see your traffic sources, behaviour, geographic locations, etc. is a great way to get to know your audience, but it can also be an incredibly ineffective use of time as soon as you start to go overboard. Checking your Analytics too frequently can lead to rash decisions. Check and monitor your Analytics to see what is working (and what isn’t) every so often, but try not to go overboard.
11. Find out whether you work better in silence or with music
Either you write with your left or your right hand, either you work better or worse with distractions. Find out which one you are of the two, and roll with it.
12. Turn off all other distractions
Even if you do prefer a little background noise, soundtrack, or movie playing in the background — there are some distractions that will never be an adequate use of your time. CASE IN POINT: Mr Cellphone.
13. Have a Writing Schedule and Stick to It
It may (or may not) come as a surprise to you that many bloggers plan their blog posts a month in advance. This is a great way to visualise your posts for an entire month and see how they will appear on your blogroll. This is also a great way to ensure you’re diversifying your content and in turn, keeping your readers interested. But most importantly, a writing schedule will keep you on track and ensure you stick to your goals.
14. Stop checking social media every 10 minutes
…..oh come on, you know you do it! Social media has an addictive nature and can easily eat up our time. There is perhaps nothing more that needs to be said than the following…
Eyes on the prize.
15. Read Other Blogs Effectively
If you haven’t heard of Bloglovin’, you’ve probably been living under a digital rock. This site is the blogosphere’s answer to productive procrastination. On this site, you can follow your favourite blogs, discover new ones, and gather inspiration from bloggers around you. It’s pretty flippin’ fantastic if you ask me.
16. Keep a Minimalistic Workspace
Keeping your workspace tidy is one of the simplest but considerably effective ways to ensure you keep on top of your work, your goals, and achieve more out of the time you allocate yourself.
17. The Process of elimination
If you find yourself at the middle of the day nowhere near completing half of your to-do list, fear not! You’re not alone. The best mindset is to visualise your tasks as a checklist you can work your way through. But you can also ask yourself — does this really need to be done? Sometimes the easiest way to work your way through your jobs is to simply eliminate them. If it doesn’t need to be done, eliminate it.
18. Celebrate both small and big achievements
It’s difficult to stay focused without feeling as though you have achieved something… anything! Be sure to celebrate small triumphs, as they are bound to be working towards some overall bigger picture.
19. Do what you love and love what you do
If at any point you become so unproductive with your time that you are endlessly procrastinating from jobs you know need your attention, chances are you need to take a step back to refocus. Be sure to do what you love and love what you do because nothing should come before your happiness.
20. If nothing goes right, go left
Sometimes things just don’t go your way. One of the best examples of this in the blogosphere is when you find yourself relentlessly trying to fix a small technical bug in your backend, only to wind up creating a complete mess that feels beyond your control. In this instance, sometimes the best option is to think outside the box and go in a completely different direction. Can you delete the plugin creating a headache? Can you change or upgrade your theme? Can you stop working with a company or contact that is causing you stress?
21. Filter what information you receive
If there’s one question I get asked more than any other, its “how did you start working with companies and brands?”. But the truth is that the one thing you think you want more than anything else (to turn blogging into a full-time profession) can also become the most time-consuming and stressful part of your work. Just remember that when the offers start coming in, they don’t stop!!! Soon enough you’ll have hundreds of emails coming your way daily and before too long it’s not possible to keep up your quality of work alongside all the emails and new tasks you need to conquer in order to stay on top of things. One way you can prevent things from piling up to the point of no recover is to filter the information you receive. If it begins to become a bit too much, consider segregating your fan email from your business email so you can switch between boring business matters and immediately get a boost of happiness going through your fan/reader mail.
22. Find connection in the disconnection
Taking a day or a few days off the connection to the rest of the world will do more good for you than you might initially recognise. Switching off completely for a day or two will result in some seriously increased productivity levels. This is a great option if you have a project or deadlines that need completing ASAP.
23. Focus and Refocus
Your goals, to-do lists, priorities, etc. should always be adjusted. Why? Change and evolution are natural. The best way to keep moving forward is to focus AND refocus.
24. Don’t be concerned with what everyone else is doing
Perhaps the most important and most underrated piece of advice – saved for anyone who made it this far in the list. The primary way you can doubt yourself and your work is to compare it to others – but as soon as you stop focusing on what others are doing (and being concerned that what they’re doing is better) and start focusing on YOUR work, is the exact same moment you will see yourself starting to succeed beyond belief.
An increasingly popular phenomenon that doesn’t suit all bloggers (WOW is yet to revert to outsourcing), but a very good way to increase productivity nonetheless. If you find yourself in a position to start outsourcing and wish to do so, you can save much of your precious blogging time and perhaps increase your # of posts per week.
26. If overwhelmed, take a break
By this point in the list (and with all the information available on the internet), you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Consider taking a short break – a few days or a week – to absorb your thoughts and gain a fresh perspective. You’ll come back more focused and productive than ever.
27. What goes in effects what comes out
Ever heard of ‘brain food’ or ‘concentration tea’ —- there’s a good reason for that. It is true that what goes in affects what comes out, so take care of your body and it will take care of you.
28. Note your highest priority in life (for right now)
When it becomes a little fuzzy, confusing, or you just feel like you need clarity to remember why you started blogging in the first place. Take some time to consider what is important to you right now instead of what you might see yourself accomplishing in the future.
29. Every day is a new day
Last but not least….. every day is a new day. Blogging should be fun, inspiring, challenging, but always exciting.