Guest post by Bruce Stevens
What’s the one critical asset that every blogger has the exact identical amount of? Here’s a hint. It’s a precious resource and it has a very short shelf life. How you use this asset can make the difference between success or failure of your blogging business.
It’s called time!
Each of us receives exactly 24 hours per day and how we use those hours determines how successful we will be in our endeavors. Time is a perishable resource that you can compare to unsold seats on an airline or hotel rooms that go unbooked or rental cars that never leave their parking space. Every hour that is not used productively is an opportunity to further your business that you will never have again. You can’t stockpile time and use it when you want to.
Obviously I’m not suggesting that to be successful you have to work 24/7 although there may be times when it feels that way. There’s this little thing called sleep that most of us need. We also need family time and private time and time off to remain healthy and sane. In fact there are many demands on our time besides the business and the question is how can you manage those demands.
Great intentions do not guarantee great results.
When I first started in this business I had high expectations and was loaded with motivation. It didn’t take long however, to learn that I needed to manage my work better than I was.
I have a site that does in depth product reviews which require a significant amount of research. I live near the Canadian Rockies and I had a real interest in exploring the majesty of those mountains by camping and hiking. Rather than running out and buying an RV I figured the best way to spend a night or two on the Rockies was getting a light weight tent that was big enough to comfortably sleep my family.
Do you have a clue as to how much info there is online regarding tents? Trust me there is a ton. The research process involved searching multiple sites, snatching snippets of information and pasting into word and saving photos to my hard drive. The net result is I had information scattered all over my computer and it was a real task to get it into some workable form in order to write an intelligent review about my best pick the Eureka Titan Luxury family tent.
It took forever.
Building a productivity tool box
It became painfully obvious that I needed to get better organized. That’s when I decided to take a break from content writing and work on an organizational plan so I could use my time more productively. That effort led me to some pretty cool tools that I think you’ll find helpful in managing your own time.
Here’s a short list
1. Consolidation of resources. My biggest problem was not having a method to keep all my research and notes on a project in one place. I was constantly entering new URLs, opening new documents and spreadsheets and searching for the photos I saved. Then I found a web based service called EverNote.com.
Now there are a number of sites that are similar but I find that EverNote is the easiest to use. Their tag line “Take note of everything” pretty much describes their service. You can copy text to it, audio files, videos just about anything. Every item you save you assign a tag to so when you want to retrieve all info and a given project you just search the tag. Presto…all of your data appears in one place. The basic service is free and that’s another nice selling point.
2. Simplifying repetitive tasks. How much time do you spend everyday going to the same sites? Your login page for your WordPress sites, keyword tools, email, web hosting service, your social media accounts, forums and more. Sure you probably have these bookmarked but even still you have to open bookmarks, find the right folder and then click on the link.
There’s a free “start page” called PageLeap.com that takes bookmarking to a whole new level. You can have up to 20 different categories with unlimited links for each category. The layout is far friendlier than “bookmarks” and the “all in one feature” eliminates the need to open new windows for each visit.
But there’s more. If you are into “daily affirmations” this site will roll them across the top of the page so your goals are never out of site. EverNote is a great place to store content and PageLeap is a fantastic time saving navigation tool.
3. Guest blogging. We’ve talked about ways to work more efficiently now let’s talk about getting more productivity out of your blog posts. You already know that Panda is looking at the anchor text pointing at your site. The more “authority” your backlinks have the better your results in the SERP.
One way to speed up the quality backlink process is to seek out PR4 to PR6 sites that are open to accepting guest content. Comluv.com is an excellent example. By utilizing the leverage of this high ranking site you can get solid “authority” anchor text pointing back to you. In fact if you are accepted by multiple sites you can take the same content, repurpose it with a fresh angle so its unique, and get a much bigger bang for your original research time.
There are obviously more tools that can help you with efficiently blogging but why not start with these three. I think you’ll be amazed at how much more you get done when you organize the way you create and distribute your posts.
Bruce Stevens, an avid outdoorsman, became frustrated at the lack of review sites that were fair & unbiased, and decided to create his own, reviewing products he either owns or has first hand experience of.
Examples are: http://hubzz.net and a personal favorite; http://patiopetdoor.org