How to blog effectively and save time on blogging tasks
What are the top three blogging challenges you face? I’m going to bet one of your challenges (if not all) have to do with productivity.
As bloggers, we wear so many hats, it’s quite literally astounding. In a given day, you are faced with writing, drafting and publishing, social media and email marketing, admin tasks. The list goes on.
It’s no wonder bloggers have the potential to get overwhelmed with so many tasks, and new bloggers throw in the towel after a couple of months.
Over the last six months, I’ve tried and tested a few different methods to improve productivity and actually get things done.
And as usual, I want to share what’s working for me in the event that a few of you might get something out of it.
When it comes to being productive as a blogger, different strategies work for different people. I really don’t think there is only one way to do it.
How you blog and allocate time to tasks depends on your ultimate blogging business goals. The important thing is to find and craft your own way of streamlining your tasks and reaching those blogging goals.
That’s the reason I chose to make these (fairly) universal methods for getting organized and time-efficient. These are the basic steps that have changed how I blog and supercharged my productivity.
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How to blog effectively and save time on blogging tasks
Declutter and Organize
You may be wondering what decluttering has to do with blogging tasks and productivity. A lot, actually. I believe the foundation for being time-efficient starts with having structure and clarity in your life.
And it’s really tough to structure and organize your business ideas the right way when there is clutter.
Where to Start Organizing
Want to know if you need to be getting into this whole decluttering business for the sake of productivity?
Ask yourself these questions and if your answer is a resounding yes, then don’t skip this step.
Is your office or work area chaotic and disorganized?
Do you spend time looking for things that you need for blogging? This can be printed course material, planning tools, blogging notes and more.
Is your laptop or computer full of files and documents that are all over the place? Do you waste time looking for things on your computer?
I find that my laptop tends to easily fill up with files and downloads. And most of the stuff just needs deleting. Get into the habit of deleting what you don’t need as you work on a regular basis.
Having folders and files labelled clearly (just like your physical work area) will also help you eliminate clutter.
Learn to focus on essentials
If you want to get super efficient, direct your life and business to focus on the essentials.
I have to admit, this takes a lot of thinking at first and a bit of work. But it’s so worth doing if you haven’t done it already.
You will want to sit down and delve into what you want out of your life and business. This is all about answering your “what, why, how, and when.”
Your essentials are going to be unique to you and only you. And it’s worth taking the time to write down your priorities because that will determine how you allocate your time.
I find that using mind maps and prompts really help to get everything out on paper so that I can then create a plan of attack.
Towards the end of 2017, I used the Slay Your Goals Planner by Nadalie Bardo to figure out my plan of action for my blog and other aspects of life.
The Slay Your Goals Planner is a 60+ page printable packed full of helpful prompts, mindmaps and worksheets, which will help you slay your goals.
I wholeheartedly believe it helped me focus and bring everything down to the essentials. That is one of the tools I used to become more efficient in blogging.
I recommend using the Slay Your Goals Planner or something similarto help you narrow things down to the essentials and focus your efforts on what you ACTUALLY need to do.
Now, planning should be easier after you’re clear on what you want to achieve in your blog as well as other areas of life. This step is about planning for balance between work and life.
It helps to use a goal setting and planning tool in this step as well.
You will want to put in order your actionable steps for the different demands of your blog. This includes things like creating content, monetizing your blog, and social media.
And the same goes for your family and social life, health, and whatever else is important to you.
It’s broad but it makes it easier if you’re guided by your previous step in which you defined your main focus for your life and business.
Once you make a really detailed plan, use an editorial calendar to block out time for those essential tasks. You can even use a digital editorial calendar like Trello or Evernote. Whatever works for you.
You may already have a great technique for writing your content. But if you are struggling to write and publish on time, you may want to review how you put out content.
I find that batch writing can be a really time-saving technique. When batching, you group similar tasks into one category, and you work on one area at a time.
So, let’s say you have one hour blocked out for blogging tasks today, you might focus all your efforts on brainstorming ideas for as many blog posts as possible.
Then, the next time you sit back down to work, you can focus on writing a draft for each post and so forth.
It’s about streamlining your blogging activities based on a theme so that you don’t waste any time switching from one task to another.
What this does is help you to focus on one thing at a time. By doing this, you reduce the effort and mental energy that’s required to move from one task to the next.
When I started using this technique, it was like it flipped a switch in my brain and it made writing smooth sailing.
Let’s say I was brainstorming ideas, I’d stay on this task and come up with one idea after the next in one sitting. Try this method if you haven’t done so already. Your brain will thank you and you will get more done.
I’m sure you know, social media is one massive way to drive traffic to your blog, but Pinterest is especially useful for new bloggers.
The problem is that it takes time to promote your blog on Pinterest. You want to complete other tasks like writing quality content and focusing on growing your email list.
But at the same time, you’re left with barely any time to promote that content that you’ve worked so hard for. You need to get your content out there and stay active on the platform.
And if you are not using a scheduling tool like Tailwind or BoardBooster, and you’re struggling to find time for other tasks, then this could be the thing you need to streamline more effectively.
I choose to schedule through BoardBooster and it really is astounding how much I can do without spending hours on Pinterest.
I have all my pins scheduled and the only thing I need to do on Pinterest is re-pin manually from the trending category, smart feed, as well as from group boards.
You should be doing this daily anyway, even if you’re scheduling your own pins. Pinning your own content only is a surefire way to lose traffic to your Pinterest profile.
Both scheduling tools are great, but I’ll be honest, Tailwind can be a bit of a pain in the proverbial sometimes. That’s why I’ve chosen to stick with BoardBooster.
It’s ridiculously easy to use and you can basically set it and forget it. Once scheduling is set, all you do is check your analytics and review your pinning strategy every few weeks.
What about Tailwind?
With Tailwind, you will need to keep going back to schedule your pins, which can take a good hour or two.
I also find it can be a bit glitchy and difficult to navigate. That’s obviously my opinion. Tailwind works for many bloggers.
The good thing is you can try it for free and decide which one you like best. So if you haven’t tried it yet, click here to get your FREE trial with Tailwind.
At the end of the day, the take-home message here is to try automating your pins and see how much time it will save you.
We’ve come to the end of another post on all things blogging. I’ve shared some of my strategies on how to blog effectively and save time on blogging tasks.
As you know, trying to bring balance to your life while still achieving your blogging goals is a learning process. But with consistent hard work, I will get there, and so will you.
Over to you. Let me know if you have any great blogging tips for me or if you have any questions. Even better, subscribe and let’s be blogging friends.