As a blogger or content creator, it’s natural to want to increase your productivity.
If you can streamline your process for creating content, then you’ll be able to get more done and in turn publish more content.
Being able to publish more posts or videos in an efficient way is the quickest path to success for lots of bloggers.
By adopting some of these easy to follow tips and tricks during your workday, you’ll be well on your way to increasing your productivity as a blogger.
#1 Know Your Blog’s Focus
An important step to keep you focused on your work is to identify the topic of what your blog will be about.
This is sometimes referred to as a niche.
You’ll see the term niche all around the blogging space, and with good reason.
By clearly labeling the niche or focus of your blog, you’ll easily be able to define the articles or videos to create.
This allows you to focus on creating content rather than trying to figure out what to write about.
Similarly, having a focus for your blog will prevent you from creating content that’s completely outside of your chosen topic which may not be as interesting to your audience.
It’s perfectly fine to experiment every once in a while with a different type of article or video but keep in mind who your audience is and what they are looking for.
#2 Keep An Ideas List
Another great tip and one you’ve likely heard before is to keep a list of ideas for articles.
You never know when inspiration might strike for an article idea; doing the dishes, out walking in the park, or driving to and from work.
As ideas for articles pop into your head, note them down on a notes app on your phone (I use Notion or Google Keep), or into a notebook or bullet journal (keeping a Bujo spread for article ideas is a good idea here).
Over time, you will accumulate a great list of articles to write without having to give it much thought.
With this list, you can take some time to review the ideas, perform some competitor analysis and keyword research to determine if these are great ideas or not.
When you sit down to write an article, you’ll be able to pick an item on your ideas list and start writing without having to start from scratch which can be quite a hurdle to overcome.
#3 Use A Bullet Journal Or Todo List To Plan Tasks
By simply writing out and prioritizing your tasks each day, you’ll be more motivated to actually accomplish them.
A lot of time management methodologies and teachings advocate for writing out the top 3 things you plan to do in a day and focus on those tasks.
Some people will vary choosing perhaps 1 task or up to 5 tasks.
Whatever number works for you, try to stick with it for a month or so to see how this can benefit your productivity.
It’s important to keep this list to a minimum to avoid too much stress or the temptation to multi-task which is not conducive to productive and sustainable work.
Since starting to use the bullet journal method earlier this year, I have seen a dramatic increase in the amount of content I am creating.
I am also seeing benefits in other areas like exercise, healthy eating, and budgeting.
In relation to my to do-list each day, it is the first thing I look at before I start work. I check any notes or emails I have from the previous day, select the top 3 tasks I plan to carry out and write them onto a post-it note.
This keeps my head clear for the day as I know what I am going to be working on and I can work on each task at a time.
Things do happen that will cause this list to be changed, and that’s ok. Something may just be more urgent and need your attention as it comes up.
If you write your list on a post-it note, simply turn it over and re-write your top 3 list.
Any items that you can’t get done will simply roll over to the next day or whenever you get to them next.
There’s a lot more here that I haven’t even begun to touch on in relation to Bullet Journaling so I highly recommend you take a look at this topic to see if it might work for you.
#4 Have An Organized File & Folder Structure For Your Content
Depending on how you manage your content, you may have a myriad of files and folders spread across your computer, memory sticks, or hard drives.
This can make retrieving a specific file or graphic particularly challenging and over time can add up to a lot of wasted time.
It may even decrease your overall motivation to keep on top of your content schedule.
By taking the time to sort through all of your digital files and organizing them in a meaningful way, you’ll easily be able to find any file or document you need within seconds.
Also, take some time to consider at least one if not two methods of backup for your files. You always want peace of mind that should the worst happen, you still have your stuff.
I highly recommend watching the video linked below by Thomas Frank on organizing your computer files.
This video honestly changed the way I thought about my digital file management system and provided a lot of great advice and tips for organizing.
#5 Use A Kanban Board To Track Your Progress
Humans are visual creatures. We generally tend to prefer to visually understand things rather than just a wall of text with no real meaning.
What’s more, by understanding that we are making progress towards our goals, we are more likely to continue towards them.
In terms of content creation, this is where the Kanban board comes in.
A Kanban board is simply a layout of information that shows you visually where tasks are in terms of their progress.
This concept is seen most commonly in the Scrum Agile project management methodology. Don’t worry, we won’t be diving into that whole topic in this article.
A Kanban board allows you to visually see where tasks are and how close they are to completion.
As you move tasks across the board you will feel a sense of accomplishment and in turn, you’ll find the motivation to continue.
Notion is where I make use of Kanban boards so I’ll use that as an example here to help explain this more clearly.
Imagine I am writing a number of blog posts. Each blog post goes through various steps to completion:
- Ideas For Post
- Research Post
- Write Post
- Publish Post
Of course, this is a really basic example but it demonstrates the point.
Now imagine each of these tasks split up horizontally along the top of a grid.
Next, we have a number of cards, each representing a separate blog post.
These cards begin in the Ideas For Posts column. As you progress with the blog post it moves onto Research, then Write, and finally Publish.
This allows you to track the progress you are making on each of your blog posts from a high level which is great for managing a content calendar for example.
I highly recommend trying this approach out for content creation to see if this motivates you to create more content and keep track of it.
There are a number of tools you can use to create a Kanban board, including Notion, Trello, or even Google Sheets.
If you prefer a more tangible approach, create a Kanban board on a whiteboard and use sticky notes to represent your blog posts.
#6 Write Content In Markdown
This tip is a super one I wish I had known when I first started blogging, and that is to write your content in Markdown.
This might not work for everyone but I highly recommend you at least try it out for a couple of your blog posts to see how it works.
Markdown is a markup language that is used for formatting text. It is commonly used in programming for the creation of readme files. Now don’t get bogged down and think this is just for super-advanced programmers, it’s really simple.
There are a lot of advantages to using Markdown:
- It’s simple – you can write content in markdown and paste it into WordPress without having to worry about re-formatting everything. This saves me a ton of time with each article I write.
- Content can easily be reused in other places like WordPress, Notion, or any other system that supports markdown without having to reformat things.
- It is easy to learn – using a tool like Typora will allow you to learn how to use the Markdown language easily. If you know how any kind of word processing tool works like Microsoft Word, then this is a breeze.
- Removing the bells and whistles of word processing tools allows you to work distraction-free and just focus on writing.
- Secret tip – you can backup your work to a repository like GitHub or Bitbucket. If you want to give this a try for yourself, I would highly recommend this article: Content Workflow Using Github And Markdown
- For my content creation workflow, I use a tool called Typora to write my blog posts.
Hopefully, by now I’ve sold you on the idea of converting to using Markdown.
This completely changed the way I wrote blog posts for the better and I only wish I started sooner.
#7 Plan And Outline An Article Before Writing
We’ve already talked about the idea of starting from a blank page. This can be a daunting thing to overcome to actually start writing your article.
With that in mind, by taking the time to plan your article and write a rough outline, you will have done the hardest part, actually started.
It’s much easier to continue on from some existing progress than starting from nothing.
You don’t even have to do this all at once. Spend some time reviewing each article idea and plan out roughly what you might want to talk about.
The next time you look at this work, write a more thoughtful post outline including headings and subheadings.
When it comes time to begin writing your post, you already have the hard work done and you can concentrate on writing.
I take some time each day to outline articles roughly before I start the bulk of my writing.
This was a total game-changer for me in terms of my productivity as a blogger and I highly recommend you try it too.
#8 Batch Work Into Manageable Chunks
We sort of looked at batching work in the previous tip but it certainly deserves to be talked about on its own.
The idea of batching your work into manageable chunks allows you to work on one type of task at a time which is easier for your brain to manage.
This is more efficient as you will work faster at the same type of task as opposed to working slower at lots of different tasks.
Let’s break down the example of writing a blog post.
The first thing you might have to do is decide on the blog post title. So spend a chunk of time working on blog post titles for 5 or even 10 blog posts.
Next, you might need to create cover images for your posts. Spend some time using a tool like Canva to create 10 to 20 cover images.
Don’t feel like doing any writing in the afternoon? Spend some time compiling the graphics or resources you need for your posts.
As you can see, by batching the types of work you do, you’ll be able to do more of it.
If there are times you feel less motivated, work on easy more mindless tasks so you will still accomplish something.
This was certainly a massive productivity boost for me as I started following this approach.
I now feel as though I’ve accomplished more in a day even when I don’t necessarily publish a post.
#9 Use Canva To Create Graphics
It might be easy to fall into the trap of investing in a fancy pants graphics editor subscription like Photoshop or similar.
Although I will admit, I do own a subscription through work, but don’t use it for my content creation.
Don’t feel bogged down by the prospect of creating stunning and informative graphics to accompany your blog posts.
Keeping things simple is the key to amazing content.
I highly recommend using a graphics tool like Canva.
It has a free plan that is enough in most cases and allows you to create professional-level graphics in a drag and drop interface.
The paid plan of course offers more features like more folders and a branding section to store your businesses’ branding colors, but starting out this isn’t necessary.
What’s more, there are tons of online tutorials from really creative individuals that show you how to create stunning graphics for your blog, social media, or even business cards and flyers.
I even created my CV using Canva with minimal effort.
#10 Savor Your Accomplishments
It’s easy to feel bogged down with work and it can seem like you’re not making any progress.
As a blogger or someone who is constantly creating and publishing content, it’s difficult to identify accomplishments or achievements.
That’s why it’s important to focus on even the smallest of wins.
If your goal is to write one blog post a week and you stick to that goal, then know that you were successful with that goal.
If your plan for the day is to simply create social media pins and you accomplish that then you have achieved your goal.
By setting at least 1 MVP task or goal to accomplish in a day, you are setting yourself up for success. This allows you to focus on the positives each day helping you to stay motivated and happier.
Thinking more long term, consider setting out markers or achievable goals to hit over a period of time like 10 blog posts a quarter or whatever is feasible for you.
This can even extend beyond blogging to other areas of interest like reading or exercising consistently.
By creating these longer-term goals, you can break them down into manageable tasks each day. Over time, seeing the progress you are making towards your goals will keep you motivated.
If you’ve hit a particularly important goal or milestone, then take the time to celebrate your accomplishment. Treat yourself to a nice meal, or buy that gadget you’ve been looking at purchasing.
By focusing on our accomplishments and remembering the happiness associated with achieving them, we are more likely to want to repeat that in the future.
You’ve reached the end of this article.
Hopefully, you were able to learn some useful tips and tricks that you didn’t know before when it comes to blogging productively.
You may even find that some of these tips can be adapted to work for things other than blogging. I highly recommend you experiment and see what works for you.
I truly hope you found some value in reading this article as I spent a lot of time considering each tip and sharing with you what I’ve learned as a content creator.
If you did enjoy this article, please consider sharing it on social media. It will help others to find it.
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