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How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block

How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block

    So, you have finally found what you are passionate about, you blog about it regularly, you love to write and come up with new ideas, but nobody ever told you all the other bits that were involved in blogging. The guest posts, the commenting on other blogs, the social media requirements, the eBooks, the eCourses and that’s not including the other job you may be holding down.

    So how can anyone become a productive blogger with all these tasks to perform daily?

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    • The Writing
    • The Reading
    • The Commenting
    • The Marketing
    • The Stats Checking

    The Writing

    The cornerstone of what blogging is; writing. Bloggers have different schedules, some like to post once a week some more often but even if you just post once a week, we know that’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing. Bloggers need to guest post, others regularly contribute to fabulous sites like Lifehack. Bloggers also regularly write free reports, eBooks and eCourses to help their readers fulfill their dreams and passions.

    The Reading

    Bloggers regularly read large amounts daily, they read content from other blogs, they research the latest trends in how blogging is progressing and they openly read what the competition are writing.

    The Commenting

    They also read lots of blogs so they can comment on these blogs and spread their wonderful opinions around the blogosphere. Or rather they look for blogs with similar topics and comment regularly. When blogs use plugins like CommentLuv this helps drive traffic to their site as the last post will show up at the bottom of the comment.

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    The Marketing

    Online and offline. Social Media helps to build connections and create relationships. Engaging readers in conversation can help to create a following necessary to grow a blog. Offline marketing can also help to drive traffic from other sources that you wouldn’t normally have access to online.

    The Stats Checking

    A killer habit in the first year of blogging. It’s so motivating to see that people are actually reading and even better subscribing to your blog, but how much time are you spending watching their actions? Yes, it’s good to know which posts are popular, but it’s also important to breathe and let it go.

    80/20 Rule

    Now we know some of the tasks we should all be doing as a blogger but the question remains, “how do we fit them all in?”

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    I know you know the answer to this one. Yes, you guessed it: we pull out the calendar and schedule time for all these tasks. But before we do that, let us look at the 80/20 rule and see how much time you are currently spending on these tasks and which ones are actually helping you grow a successful blog.

    List out all of your daily blogging tasks and write down (honestly) how much time you spend on each one. Now look at all the tasks and critically assess which tasks are growing your blog. Which ones actually get you followers and subscribers? Which ones suck your time like a nasty time vampire? Could your work week in fact be reduced to a Four Hour Work Week?

    Focus on the Writing

    Leo Babauta of Zen Habits would tell you to ditch the things that aren’t important, to focus on the writing, and that if you produce good quality content the traffic will come. While that may be true it’s important to note that when Leo started he wasn’t just writing one good quality post a week he was writing 10 of them. Although I do believe with Leo’s tactics, I also believe that a little of the other factors can help the rest of us carve out a space for our blogs on the internet. So if you want to follow Leo’s tactics of focusing solely on your writing you want to check out this post which will tell you how you can write lots of content in short periods of time.

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    Focus on Your Passion

    What keeps most bloggers motivated and productive is the reminder of why they are doing what they are doing. Most of us started out with a mission. A vision to share our skills, knowledge or experiences with the world in the hope that they can make a difference in the lives of others. Reconnect with that passion daily, write it up over your desk if necessary and when you realize you have gone off track look up and get back to writing that good content that will make not just the most productive but the best blogger on the block.

    (Photo credit: the word blog written with old typewriter via Shutterstock)

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    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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