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How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block

How to Become the Most Productive Blogger on the Block
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    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 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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