This is part 1 in a 3 part series about productivity. I just got home from Bloggy Boot Camp with the SITSGirls here in St. Louis (##BBCSTL) and am fired up to share all the secrets I learned! Just don’t tell anyone you heard them from me. ;)
The main problem many bloggers have is time. I can’t count how many times I heard, “I wish I had the time to blog more”. What I really heard was “If I could stop getting sucked into Facebook, I’d be able to blog ten times a day” – or something like that. :)
A man should never neglect his family for business. – Walt Disney
Sometimes blogging takes up too much of our time. Even if it’s a business, even if it’s our sole source of income, we have to find balance. Laurie from Tip Junkie talked a lot about balance. Balancing everything doesn’t mean that you actually have to do everything on your own. Once in a while we have to reach out for help. For me, I’m a total control freak so I can’t reach out to other bloggers for some things like writing. I have to do that myself for the most part. So, I reach out and use tools – productivity tools.
1. Use an Editorial Calendar. If you aren’t using an Editorial Calendar yet (I wasn’t until today!), then you should be. Time can get away from us and before you know it, you don’t have time to post that Mother’s Day gift idea soon enough to get the holiday traffic from it. If you’re a DIYer, you need to post at least a month in advance of the actual holiday so people have time to discover your post, share it, and then complete the craft or recipe that you posted about. The Editorial Calendar is also great for bloggers that do reviews and giveaways. Instead of posting 12 reviews this week and none next week, spread them out. Post for Nike today, Toyota in a few days, and then wait until next week to post for Eddie Bauer (in our dreams, right?).
2. Create shareable content. When your content is shared, that means less work for you. Of course you need to get the ball rolling, but after you Tweet, Facebook, Pin, and Stumble it, go ahead and take a break. If you have kids, go spend some time with them. Get out of the house. Get something done (offline). You don’t want to Stumble your own stuff over and over again, so ask a friend to Stumble it – or post it on Facebook and see if someone else Stumbles it for you.
3. Set a timer. Jen from Life with Levi suggests setting a timer for blog productivity. She uses ten minute increments. I can’t get anything done in ten minutes, so I set my timer for 30 minutes. I blog for 30 minutes, and then I go and do something else (usually not cleaning, but I should be!). Then I will Twitter for 15 minutes and Facebook for 15 minutes, Pinterest for 30 minutes (mostly fun, sometimes business), etc. Honestly, you just need to figure out what works for you and go with it. If it takes you hours to write a blog post, you may need to set a longer timer or take more breaks. I can crank out blog posts in a half an hour or less so the 30 minute timer works for me. The point of the timer is just to stop you from getting sucked into “one more minute, one more minute.. just one. more. minute”.
My favorite productivity tool lately: Read it Later
4. Use Zemanta. So, Zemanta is kind of a big deal. It’s free, and it’s uber helpful. You have to download it, but like I said – it’s free and helpful. Zemanta improves your blogging dashboard by recommending images, links, tags, and articles while you write. It helps you enrich your own content and link to other content with minimal effort. Zemanta works with WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, TypePad, and more. With Zemanta you can insert images into your blog post, link to related articles, link back to your own blog posts, and add affiliate links.
5. Use Inbound Writer. You can check out my tutorial on how to use Inbound Writer and see if you think you’d like using it.
Leave a comment, let me know how you stay productive.