Running a successful blog demands consistency, discipline, effort and commitment. More often than not, we are juggling our blog-work with a job or a business, and that makes it all the more important to find productive and efficient ways to run the blog.
Blogs not only make you loved by the search engines, but they also help lay the foundation for a strong business. For example, a company blog is a great way to add additional value to your prospective and current customers - a content marketing strategy.
Here are some great tips to become a productive blogger and maintain a successful blog:
1. Create a tracking system
Different systems work for different people, so experiment a little and figure out what works for you the best. If you like maintaining a book to track things, a bullet journal might be your thing. If you like digital tracking then productivity tools such as Evernote are your best bet.
Running a blog is about the little things such as replying to a comment, reaching out for guest posts etc., which could easily slip your mind. Like I mentioned before, discipline is one of the key aspects of running a blog and without a good tracking system you can’t achieve that.
2. Make use of planning and productivity tools
Let technology come to your aid. There are a gazillion tools for you to choose from which can make managing your blog much easier.
Here are some tools that can help:
- Using tools like Google reader can help you scope out other blogs and see the trending topics to work on for your own blog. RSS feeds can also help you keep track of the other blogs, clustering all the updates on these blogs in one place.
- Google Alerts is another extremely useful tool. It sends you alerts when there are updates related to the keywords you choose. All you have to do is add keywords and every time there’s an update, you’ll get an email to alert you.
- Social media in itself is an excellent way to spread the reach of your content, gain more traffic and subscribers. You can use social media automation to amplify your efforts.
3. Align your blogging needs, efforts, and results
Sometimes, enthusiasm can get the better of us and we might end up spending more time and effort than we actually need to.
This is why having a blogging strategy is very important and we can only arrive at the best strategy by observing the results. In fact, at my startup Hiver, we have the policy to revisit our blog strategy every fortnight, and re-evaluate it based on the results of the last 14 days. A review every month/quarter is just not enough to keep you at the forefront.
For example, if you‘re getting the same results whether you post 3 articles per week or 5 articles per week, by posting 5 you’re wasting time and effort, which could be spent elsewhere. In this situation, you need to understand the true problem (maybe it’s because your outreach efforts are lacking etc.) and shift your efforts to tackle that problem.
Here are 3 ways in which you’re probably spending more effort than you should:
- Sharing your content on too many social platforms. Your content may not be relevant to all the platforms; eliminate the ones which are unnecessary.
- Posting too much content. Use metrics to understand the optimum amount of content you should post.
- Commenting on and reaching out to a multitude of websites and blogs. Instead, figure out your niche crowd, blogs, and websites - directly target them.
4. Have a routine and stick to it
Figure out a routine and stick to it every single day. You have to compartmentalize every aspect of your blog’s work, as there is no better way to get things done faster and stay disciplined.
If you’re a startup founder like me, you will have multiple pressing issues on your plate along with running your company blog. Schedule each task to different times of the day and once you find a comfortable routine you can simply follow it daily, unless adjustments are needed.
You should take your schedule seriously and respect your calendar. Maintaining a blog requires consistency and discipline but don’t stress, it gets easier the more you do it.
5. Use the Pomodoro method
It’s a method to tackle your time more efficiently. In this technique, you work in increments and pair it with short breaks in between. For example, you can work in 25 min chunks and take 5 min breaks to stretch and relax.
Once you set up a time block within the day to work on the blog, practice the Pomodoro technique within that time block. It makes you hyper-focused and thereby, helps you get more done within a given amount of time.
It might probably sound counter-productive to take many breaks, but these breaks help you recharge yourself and get back to work with a more attentive frame of mind.
6. Outsource when you can
Sometimes, you just have to let go and have someone else pick up the slack for you. There are entire armies online that are ready to help you manage your blog or provide content to post on it.
You can either hire a consultancy to help you out or hire freelancers via websites such as Upwork and Freelancer. Hiring a virtual assistant can help you deal with many of the small nitty gritty tasks that you don’t want to waste your time and energy on.
The bottom line is - smart work, discipline and a systematic approach to handling tasks are the key elements to becoming a productive blogger. The above tips can help you get more done in less time and blogging will cease to be an overwhelming task. Soon enough, blogging will become part of your routine and you’ll learn to truly enjoy sharing your thoughts with readers.