With over 1,000 posts to my name, I’ve learned a thing or two about the most efficient way to get content onto my blog and the importance of being an efficient blogger and writer.
(Honestly, I may not always follow the efficient path. Sometimes it just isn’t feasible. I will tell you that when I do follow the process, I can tell the difference in the quality of my writing. So can my readers.)
This takes a little planning and discipline, but it is totally worth it.
(Don’t miss the * at the bottom of this post.)
Check out the top benefits of being an efficient blogger.
1. More posts in less time.
If I’m efficient, I can crank out five posts a week in only five or six hours INCLUDING graphics*.
2. Time Management – Simplified.
Working in advance means I don’t sit in front of a screen refusing to get up until I hit publish for the day. I’ve done that, and it generally means we’re eating pizza for dinner and searching for clean socks.
Instead, I block out time for writing and keep it in balance.
3. Better Quality.
I try to write every day. But… not everything I write is worthy of being published.*
When I’m stuck in the “write today to publish today” cycle, I’m certain I’ve published things that were… less than fabulous.
I see the statistics for my blog. know what posts were written against the deadline and which ones were planned.
Of my top 10 posts, 9 of them were planned.
Six of my top search 10 terms all come from planning and working in advance.
Eight of my top 10 pins were from “efficient blogging” phases.
Do I have your attention? Other benefits include creating a more cohesive writing voice, increased page views, the ability to visually “brand” your blog, less stress, vacation, sanity, clean socks, and actually creating an income stream from your blog*.
Blogging happens in stages.
Not all the tasks required to get a post onto a blog are equal. Some of them might even be considered optional. Not all of them require the same kind of thinking or the same tools.
- Planning: Identifying the big ideas you want to tackle and lining them up with the calendar. This helps make sure you write a few Christmas posts in early December and avoid scheduling five sponsored review posts in a row.
- Brainstorming: Figuring out the idea for each post.
- Writing: Rapid fire work to create a first draft and get the idea on paper.
- Editing: Turning your first draft into something readable.*
- Graphic Generation: Creating graphics that fit the various size requirements for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….
- SEO’ing: Doing all the technical stuff that makes Google love your blog.
- Housekeeping: Fiddling with what tags and categories to put a post in. Twiddling with alt-tags. If you blog, you know the drill.
- Marketing: Sharing your post on all the social media sites you can think of. Not just once
The phases were true when I was an itty bitty baby blogger with one follower. They would be true if I was a giant blog with paid assistants.
Here’s the big secret to being an efficient blogger.
Work in batches.
[Tweet “The secret to efficient blogging is to work in batches.”]
Instead of trying to jump through all those different stages every day, move some of them to weekly (or monthly or quarterly) tasks. If you need to switch tools for the task, that’s a different stage of the process. Put each stage in a different batch and then work in batches.
Quarterly: plan your big themes and drop them onto the calendar
(I did this last night on the back of an index card. It took 30 minutes*.)
Monthly: Brainstorm. Spend an hour and come up with post ideas for each post you intend on publishing for the month. Spend another 30 minutes going through your notes for post ideas and then generating a tentative schedule for what posts when.
(This takes practice. I started to explain it a post but stopped writing when it hit 3,000 words*.)
Monthly / Weekly: Analyze. Check your blog stats and look for trends. Check on any affiliate income streams. Make adjustments in your planned posts based on what you find.
(I stink at this part. I know I’m supposed to be doing it. If you need advice on this part, I’m not the right person to ask… yet.)
Weekly: Create separate appointments for writing, editing, graphics generation, and SEO/Housekeeping.
(Personally, I can do graphics generation while I watch TV*, so I intentionally plan it that way.
I need quiet for that big writing block and plan accordingly. Typically, I aim for three writing blocks of 2 hours each and then celebrate when I get two of the three blocks.
I also aim for one block for editing, and then squeeze the rest in around life. I normally spend about 5 minutes on the SEO/Housekeeping part of each post.)
Daily: Free write or journal. Jot down ideas for posts in a writer’s notebook.
(I do NOT do my daily writing in my blog editor. I don’t think you should either. Again, I started to explain the why behind this and wrote about 3,000 words.*)
Daily: Intentional marketing. Set a timer, schedule your post shares, and get off. Check your comments and respond (or mark “spam”). Respond to comments on social media. Then walk away.
(I do unintentional marketing too. If I see something really cool I hit the “share” button. If I take a great photo, I may Instagram it on the spot. I spend time on Pinterest or hang out in a Facebook group because I like it, not because I’m marketing.)
Daily: Clean out your inbox for your email. Respond, schedule, or delete.
Your schedule may look very different than mine. Honestly, my schedule looks different from week to week.
I dare you.
Try it for a month. It will change your blog forever.
I’d love to hear how it works for you – bookmark this post and then come back and let me know.
* Coming soon to ebook format, because 3,000 word posts just aren’t popular.