The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
Your time is precious.
My time is important too.
I want you to succeed and reach your blog’s goals. That is why I have incorporated some everyday hacks to become the most productive blogger I can be.
There is no real science to it. The trick is to find tips that work for you and implement them into your daily workflow.
Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve used to become a more productive blogger. I trust they can work for you too. Let’s get started.
1. Work fewer hours per day
Yup. You read that right. The Pareto 80/20 rule observes that most things have an unequal distribution. In other words, 20 percent of inputs or activities are responsible for 80 percent of outcomes or results. How does this apply to you? According to the rule, only 20 percent of your most productive work contributes to 80 percent of results.
Work fewer hours, but focus more during that set time. Turn off your notifications, limit distractions and stick to one task at a time. This leads me to my next point…
2. Quit multitasking already
Yes, you may be great at it, but countless studies show us how it has negative impacts on your productivity. Experts estimate switching between tasks can cause a 40 percent loss in productivity.
“There’s substantial literature on how the brain handles multi-tasking. And basically, it doesn’t…what’s really going on is a rapid toggling among tasks rather than simultaneous processing,” wrote Jordan Grafman, chief of the cognitive neuroscience section at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Wallis 2006).
Take a break now and again. Return back to your initial task at hand instead of changing focus altogether.
3. Ride the creative wave when it hits
There are times when I’m swimming in ideas for posts. It doesn’t happen all the time. But when it does, boy oh boy, you can bet that I’ll be riding that wave. Jot down all your ideas and write, write, write and write some more.
During this time, I can build an impressive content bank to draw from later during times of drought. Capitalize on those moments and run with it.
4. Be a ravenous reader
The best way to consistently come up with new topics and material to write about – is by reading. Consuming content in your field. This helps you stay on top of the latest trends, learn new information, and become an expert.
Spend some time each day reading. And I do mean reading, not skimming. In the “The Creative Genius” by Allen Gannet, he offers a refreshing look at the act of imitation. By reading, you learn new concepts and ideas will flow. Author J.K. Rowling said she was suddenly struck by the idea for Harry Potter while on a train ride. However, she was a relentless reader growing up. She read all genres and through this, she gained raw ingredients for her own future creation.
To get your juices flowing, check out my Book Summaries section. I read several business and personal growth books per month. You’ll find a summary of key topics and some actionable ideas to try.
5. Focus on your work, not the competition
Following up from my reading tip, I want to urge you to not become consumed by what your competition is doing.
Remember why you started your blog and stick with your own goals. It’s easy to feel dejected when we compare ourselves to that top blog. Their monthly unique visitors and income are off the charts. To become a productive blogger, put on your rose-tinted shades and focus on you and your blog. Slow and steady wins the race.
6. Outsource when possible
It can be exhausting running a blog all by yourself while maintaining a full-time job and personal life. Even if your blog is your main focus, it can still get tiring. To become a productive blogger, outsource tasks on Fiverr, Freelancer, UpWork or Guru.
This could be hiring an SEO specialist to research keywords or hiring a photographer to take original photos for your blog.
7. Plan your content
This is by far one of the most important ways I’ve managed to become a productive blogger and produce content. There’s nothing more counter-productive than sitting down to write and having no topic ideas to tackle.
Don’t forget about our social media content. Factor in time to create posts and share them on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or any platform of your choice.
8. Use productivity tools
Why reinvent the wheel? There are tons of great online productivity tools and most are free. that will help you leap into the land of efficiency.
There are great To-Do apps, communication tools, and apps to limit distractions. Here’s a list of the 5 best productivity apps to use in 2018.
9. Time block
What is time blocking? It’s a simple method to help you get more things done. Instead of creating a long to-do list, focus on one task.
To become a productive blogger, time-block a chunk of time. For example, allocated 2 hours and only focus on one task during that time. Here are more tips on how to time block for a more productive workflow.
10. Use templates
If you have a specific format you use to create Pinterest graphics, make a template in Photoshop and save it. Canva and Picmonkey are great online tools to create graphics. They come with some beautiful templates, ready to customize.
I’ve also created several blog templates that I use when I write a new post. I begin with the bones of the post – the outline – and then fill it in with content.
11. Keep a style guide
Create a simple style guide document and save it on your desktop for quick access. Store your websites colors, font choices, and editorial style guide. Consistency is key.
It creates a sense of high quality for your blog. Don’t confuse the reader with various colors and font sizes. The same applies to your writing style. For example, do you write “e-book” or “ebook?” Chose one and add it to your style guide.
12. Learn keyboard shorts
Keyboard shortcuts will save you tons of time. Whether you write in Google Docs or directly in WordPress, learn some essential shortcuts to save time. To be a productive blogger, learn some new keyboard shortcuts on a regular basis.
Here are some great ones for WordPress. If you are using Windows, you will need to press Alt + Shift before each letter below. If you are working on a Mac, press Ctrl + Option before the letter.
a: Insert Link
c: Align CENTER
j: JUSTIFY Text
l: align LEFT
m: Insert Image
r: Align RIGHT
s: Remove Link
t: Insert More tag
u: Unordered List
13. Create an FAQ or Start Here page
Readers might email you with the same questions. Now, of course, we love getting mail and taking the opportunity to connect with our readers.
However, some questions can easily be answered by having a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or a Start Here page. Use it as a way to introduce what your blog is all about and what readers can expect from you.
14. Automate Social Media scheduling
Spend your precious time on your main “bread and butter” tasks. This could be; writing blog posts, ebooks, courses, newsletters or creating graphics. To become a productive blogger and save time, automate your social media scheduling. CoSchedule, Tailwind for Pinterest and Hootsuite are some great options.
15. Use analytics tool sparingly
Google Analytics and Webmaster tools are great ways to see how your site is performing. Check which posts did well, what terms are readers searching for, and where are they coming from. This data helps you learn more about your reader and create further relevant and helpful content.
With that being said, don’t become obsessed with it. You might think a post will do exceptionally well, only to find it hasn’t. Don’t let it bring you down. Instead, use this data to fine-tune your post. Add another image, or share it on a different social media channel.
16. Set up a good morning routine
If you don’t already, set up a productive morning routine. Prepare for your day the night before, try to rise at the same time every day and get started with some exercise. Sleep is such a crucial part of productivity.
A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggests sleeping between seven to eight hours is optimal. Participants who slept less performed worse compared to those who did. They had reduced motivation to learn and were less able to manage competing tasks.
Now if that all seems overwhelming, start small. Pick 5 tips that you can incorporate into your workflow today.
If you have a lot of content on social media, start automating. If you struggle to find topics to write about, set up an editorial calendar. Find what works for you. And remember…
~ Persist and Grow Forth ~
What are some tips you’re planning on trying? Do you have some that I didn’t include? I’d love to hear them, share it in the comments below.