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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 March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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