Blogging takes time, there’s no getting around this fact. If you want to make a living from it, you need to be willing to put in the hours. How many hours you need to put in, however, all depends upon how productive you are.
Should you find yourself wondering where in the hell all of your time is going each day, here are ten productivity tips tailored to the unique demands of blogging.
Always Start with a Plan
If you really want to waste time, one of the easiest ways of doing so is to sit down with no other plan than to “work on your blog”. Do you want to write a post? Do you want research a few post ideas? Do you want to build some much needed backlinks? Choose a single task and work on it. Don’t float from one thing to another.
Break Up Your Day
Another common cause of woeful productivity levels is a lack of deadlines. If you give yourself all day to do something, it’s going to take all day to do. When you sit down to work on a particular task, give yourself a deadline. A lack of deadlines gives you far too much time to day dream and nit pick.
Multitasking leads to nothing but procrastination. It allows you to mindlessly jump between different activities without ever really getting anything done. If you have a post to write, break the task into three stages, research, writing and proofreading. Gather all the information that you need first, write your post in its entirety and then do the proofreading.
Accept Writers Block
Writers block can’t be beat. That’s the reason that it’s such a big problem. Don’t waste time staring at a blank screen trying to force words onto the page. If you can’t write today, accept that fact and move on. There’s more to blogging than writing. Focus on your promotional efforts. Respond to a few comments.
When You Hit Your Stride…
Many writers occasionally experience the opposite of writers block. I am referring to those strange periods of time when you can’t seem to stop the words pouring onto the page. When you hit your stride, always make the most of it. Don’t proofread, just let the words flow. There’ll be plenty of time to proofread when you have writers block tomorrow.
Stop Looking at Facebook
Combine an internet connection with a lack of a boss and it’s very easy to spend half your day mindlessly surfing. A five minute break every hour is good for your productivity levels but anything more than that and you are needlessly wasting time. If you lack the discipline to avoid virtual distractions, consider disconnecting from the internet.
Look After Yourself
Just because you don’t have to be up at seven am, that doesn’t mean that you can stay out partying until six and expect to get anything done the next day. Creativity requires a full nights sleep and a clear state of mind. And neither can be substituted with coffee. You don’t need to be a health freak to become a productive blogger, you do however need to look after yourself.
Get Some Fresh Air
Bloggers don’t need to spend eight hours a day in a stuffy, grey office. Take advantage of this fact. You are free to work wherever you want. Choose somewhere that helps you to be both productive and creative. Dark rooms don’t lead to productivity or creativity. Find a nice café with plenty of natural light. Experiment with different venues. It always surprises me how many bloggers literally work from home.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist
Proofreading your posts once makes sense. Proofreading them five times does not. Your readers are not looking for perfection. They are not going to disappear if you spell the odd word incorrectly. Aim for interesting, informative content. There is no reward for perfection. There is only the wasted time spent trying to achieve it.
Research the Problem
Finally, if you really want to do something about your productivity levels, there’s a hell of a lot of literature available on the subject. You can’t expect a single article to transform your working habits overnight. But if you’re really set on changing, and you’re willing to read a book or two, you might be surprised to learn just how much you can get done each day.
John Smith is a London based online marketer and a seo expert who is currently working for seo.org.uk