24 Productivity Tips for Bloggers
Whether you blog for pleasure or business, you’ll know just how difficult it is to stay motivated. Thinking of post titles, structuring your writing, proofing and, eventually, publishing your finished work requires planning, preparation and complete focus.
It’s therefore no wonder so many bloggers fail to keep up with their posting goals and, ultimately, cease blogging entirely (or end up disappointing clients).
In this post, I’ve got 24 productivity tips for bloggers and I can guarantee some will come as a surprise.
1. Go mobile
You don’t have to be tied to your desk anymore. Platforms such as WordPress have fantastic mobile apps and handheld devices are getting eminently easier to be productive on enabling you to blog, literally, anywhere.
2. Rise – and start – early
Think you’re the opposite of a ‘morning person’? Think again. Most of us are pretty productive first thing, even if we don’t feel it. Set an early alarm, have a mug of your favourite morning drink and… start writing. You’ll be amazed by how productive you are that early on. You get to finish earlier, too!
3. Treat email like regular post
Of all the productivity killers, email is perhaps the most prolific. The real villain, however, is the user; we all check our emails too much. It’s a useful method of communication, but nothing more; people shouldn’t be using it to attract your attention. Check your inbox a maximum of 3 times per day and leave it at that.
4. Don’t fail to prepare (you’ll fail, see)
‘Failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ – what brilliant advice. Where possible, plan your day out. Work out how many posts you want to complete and be realistic about what you can achieve. Do this every day.
5. Work in batches
If you blog for pleasure, you may only plan to post once a week, but if you’re a professional blogger, you’ll be far more productive if you work in batches. Because you’re now planning each day (see tip 4), you’ll know what you have ahead, so work in batches to get it all done. Two to three posts a time (with breaks) should do it, because once you’re in the zone, you’ll stay in the zone.
6. Reach Inbox Zero
An empty inbox is something most of us only see for a brief moment when we set up a new email client. But it is possible to get back to that empty nirvana – and stay there. The technique is called ‘Inbox Zero’ and it will transform your blogging productivity.
7. Use a to-do list
Starting the day without a to-do list is, again, planning to fail. Blogging is made up of lots of constituent tasks. Research, image hunting, link scavenging – correct use of a to-do list (physical or digital), will make sure you get it all done.
8. Set goals… and stick to them
Your goal may simply be to complete one blog post today. It may be to get twenty guest posts approved next month. Whatever your goals – set them, and stick to them.
9. Take regular breaks
Our minds need to rest and recuperate regularly throughout the day. By implementing something like the Pomodoro Technique, you’ll give your brain breaks when it most needs it and, as a result, increase your blogging productivity.
10. Ignore social media
Services such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are very useful tools for bloggers. They’re also big time sucks, so only use them when absolutely required. Turn off social media notifications and resist the temptation to continually check your feed while you’re blogging.
11. Schedule your blog posts
There’s more to blogging than simply writing. The process of physically posting every piece you write can be incredibly time-consuming. Counteract this by writing and scheduling batches of posts. You’ll be thankful for the time you get back as a result.
12. Read other blogs
You’ll become a better writer by reading other people’s work and nowhere is this old adage more true than when it comes to blogging. Study your fellow bloggers’ techniques and quicken the pace of your own writing by implementing them yourself.
13. Keep your workspace tidy
Blogging may be a digital endeavour, but if your workspace is a mess, it’ll have a negative effect on your writing. Tidy away everything you no longer require access to and watch your productivity increase.
14. Treat yourself when you achieve your goals
We’re simple creatures at heart. If we’re rewarded after good work, we’ll keep up that good work. Treat yourself once you hit each blogging goal. A favourite snack, spot of gaming or thirty minutes of your next boxset episode will spur you on.
15. Try free writing
Writer’s block is a killer for bloggers, but you can head it off at the pass by ‘free writing’. This is the process by which you simply write. Literally, anything which comes into your head and out of your finger tips. Do it for ten minutes and pick out the good stuff.
16. Try distraction-free writing
Word processors have got rather bloated of late. The prevalence of multiple menus and toolbars on a screen can kill your blogging productivity. Keep it simple by using distraction-free writing tools like iA Writer.
17. When you can’t see the wood or the trees – stop
We all have our limits and, as a blogger, you need to learn where yours begin. If you’re having trouble focussing on sentences you’ve written and inspiration appears to have vacated, stop and take a break. You’ll feel fresh when you return.
18. Stop trying to work normal hours
Blogging, by it’s very nature, doesn’t demand a normal 9-5 working regime. Be flexible with your day. Start early and finish late with a sizeable break in-between, if you find that increases productivity.
19. Don’t get hung up on the blog title
They say you should spend 80% of your time on your post title if you’re to engage an audience, but don’t waste time pondering what it should be – just start writing the post itself. The title will come as you type.
20. Don’t leave the hardest until last
If you’ve got a number of blog posts to write in a day, don’t leave the hardest until last. This is a classic human trait, but nearly always ends in poor productivity, because, chances are, you’ll never get to the hard stuff. Prioritise your work, even if it means doing the difficult post first.
21. Start by outlining
If you’ve got a solid idea for your next blog post, outline it before you start writing. Treat it like a film story board and map out the beginning, middle and end.
22. Use Google as a spellchecker and grammar checker
When blogging, you’ll likely spend a fair bit of time hunting around for online dictionaries and thesauruses, but the best one is closer than you think. Simply type your word or phrase into the search box and watch Google do its magic.
23. Listen to music
This doesn’t work for everyone, but research has shown that listening to music can improve productivity. Pick something melodic and without lyrics for starters, pop a pair of noise-cancelling headphones on and type away. It doesn’t work for everyone but it’s worth trying.
24. Keep a scratch pad of post ideas
Coming up with post ideas can often get in the way of the good stuff (writing), so be sure to keep a scratch pad with you at all times (either a traditional notebook or your smartphone notes app will do). Whenever a post idea strikes, note it down. You’ll be surprised how quickly you build up a list of post titles you can draw from at any time.
As you know, blogging isn’t a singular endeavour – it requires many constituent elements to be completed effectively if you are to produce your best work. Follow the tips above, and you’ll become a truly productive blogger producing nothing but spectacularly engaging posts.