Most bloggers are typically able to manage the ins and outs of their business efficiently. When the daily grind gets rough, however, you are often forced to take a second look at both the quality and the quantity of your workload to adjust your capabilities accordingly.
Let’s look at some highly effective productivity hacks to take your blogging business to the next level.
1. Create a To-Do List (and Obey it)
To truly become a highly productive blogger, you will have to “compartmentalize” every aspect of your online business. This is where the classic to-do list comes in handy, a traditional, but wildly effective approach that will always work due to its ability to keep you grounded.
As a successful business blogger, chances are you deal with some of the following regularly:
Reading and learning about new trends and tactics
Commenting on other blogs
Answering comments on your own property
Sharing content across multiple channels and venues
Finding or creating new products and/or services
Building and maintaining a newsletter
Answering blogging-related emails
Compartmentalizing consists of scheduling each task for different times and days (and remember, you don’t need to perform all of the above on a daily basis). This also gives you the chance to mix and match priorities, scheduling either the easiest tasks first or postponing them toward the middle of your day as a means to breathe better in between.
If you have been awfully overwhelmed, chances are you haven’t created and obeyed this mechanical, but reliable approach. If have been following through without much success, however, you may need to reevaluate some of your blogging priorities.
Which brings me to…
2. Critically Assess Your Blogging Needs
It’s not uncommon for successful bloggers to always want to do more, explore new ideas and develop a subconscious, obsessive behavior with their work.
By taking a long, hard look at your ongoing work routine, you might realize that some tasks are not quite as necessary, could be performed less frequently or more efficiently.
If you write 3-5 weekly articles: What results are you seeing from your efforts? Are you keeping track of which topics are generally bringing more traffic and conversions? This data could potentially help you worry less about quantity and more about quality. Now you can place more time and energy into other productive blogging tasks.
Sharing content on too many social networks? Remember some of these have their own type of audience (LinkedIn and Instagram being prime examples). Again, analyze your numbers and replace those that are mostly a waste of time for your business.
Are you commenting on other blogs without significant results? Perhaps your targeted blogs are not “niche enough” or your efforts could improve on quality. Once again, you could comment less frequently once you identify what triggers a high engagement rate from these external sources. Test, tweak, and apply accordingly.
3. Reschedule Your Daily Habits
Some of us refuse to change old habits even if it hurts our productivity and ultimately, our income.
Being self-employed, many may enjoy waking up later than usual and subsequently realizing how short the day seems. Getting up merely one hour earlier effectively provides 30 extra hours each month to get more work done. Such a small change could grant enormous results.
Moreover, think of potentially excessive habits such as cutting back on television by one hour, video games, or any other activity you might be subconsciously overdoing.
4. Use Temptations to Your Advantage
Some freelance writers are able to compose 1,000 words a day (partly) because they prepare certain small tasks right before bed. This may consist of leaving their Microsoft Word application open or launching a few websites in advance.
This allows them to trick their brains into working from the very moment they sit in front of the computer each morning.
Prepare various small tasks that might help you get started more efficiently and hit the ground running. For example, create a shortcut of your main documents folder right on your desktop, neatly divided into sub-folders pertaining to every aspect of your business.
5. Contract or Outsource
When all else fails, remember you have a virtual army of workers ready to help at any given time.
The Web has made it easy to contract or hire people of varying skills, most of which are pretty affordable. A virtual assistant can handle many small-to-medium tasks such as social media posting, commenting, and conducting thorough article research.
Depending on the amount of people or work required, you may then use any high quality management software such as those by Advance Systems Inc.
Their scheduling tools, for example, allow you to easily create work schedules, assess and manage people’s pay rates, and even compartmentalize everyone by skill set. In this case, a copyeditor’s attributes would be clearly laid out, as well as the responsibilities of an article researcher.
Before concluding, here are some simpler, but honorable mentions to help boost your blogging productivity even further:
6. Get Ahead with Work
This works especially well with email autoresponders, giving your subscribers an endless amount of automated content for weeks or months ahead. You may also apply this by scheduling several articles in advance within WordPress or your favorite Content Management System (CMS).
7. Take Timed Breaks
Many productive bloggers work and take breaks in intervals, enabling them to taste the best of both worlds and increasing their success in the process. The Pomodoro technique, for example, revolves around working non-stop for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break in between. Adjust the timing to your liking depending on the tasks at hand.
At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest productivity booster is following your passion above money and all else. This effectively enables for higher efficiency and competence, which translate to a highly successful blogging business.
What habits do you personally practice to become a more productive blogger?