by Dina Indelicato
Yes, of course, you want to continue blogging. The thing is, it’s such a time-consuming activity that you’re not sure you can keep doing it as often as you do and still hold onto your job. And as your blog isn’t yet paying for your living standards (who can live off exposure after all) you need to find some ways to speed up your game.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that’s not that hard to do. The trick is to become a more productive and more effective blogger. In this article, we’re going to explore how you can do so. Sound good? Then enough preamble and let’s dive straight in.
It’s a matter of separation
When most people start writing a blog, they muddle through the processes of writing a blog because they don’t really understand the different stages. The result is that they have to constantly backtrack and jump forward, which means they can’t use the magic of flow and focused work. If that’s what you’re doing, you need to stop immediately and take to dividing your work up into the task at hand.
At a minimum, there are three and a half stages of the writing process (though you can turn into four and a half if you really know your stuff).
- Research and planning. Here you take your topic, flesh it out with the necessary research that you need and outline what you’re going to write. Doing a good job here will cut down the need to jump back and forth later a great deal.
- Writing. This is where you create the first outline of your blog article. If you’ve done a good job in the planning stage, this should be a matter of fleshing out your outline until you’ve got that first draft.
- Editing. A lot of people edit as they write. This is a terrible idea, as they’re both entirely different exercises. Writing is a positive and creative enterprise where you want ideas to flow freely. Editing is a critical and negative exercise, where you judge whether what you’ve written is actually up to scratch (And changing it when it isn’t). That means that they often block each other if you do them simultaneously. So don’t. Hold off with the editing till you’ve got that first draft on paper.
- Fill in the blanks. As you write, you’ll often realize that you don’t quite have all the statistics and values that you’re looking for. Don’t fill those in as you go. Instead, wait until this point and fill them in here.
So, say you’re writing a translation service guide. The first thing you’d do is find the services you want to actually include and the information you need about them. Personally, I’ll collect all that information in Evernote, but you can just as easily put it in a word doc.
Then you write out the entry as you’d approximately like it to be. If you don’t have a certain bit of information, throw in three Xs. This is much better than highlighting as you’ll be able to find them quickly with a Ctrl + F.
And only then do you do your editing and finally search for whatever you’re missing. I promise you, this will save you heaps of time.
A lot of people believe that the ticket to focusing on a task is resisting temptation. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not about willpower. Instead, it’s about making sure you can’t be tempted in the first place.
The most effective way to do that is to make it harder to interact with the stuff that distracts you. So, turn off your cell phone, kill your email program and – if you can – turn off the internet entirely. Alternatively, if that’s really not an option, use a website blocker like Stayfocusd which will stop you from accessing certain websites during a window in your day (like say, social media).
That will obviously work a great deal better if you are actually following the strategy I outlined above, where you’ve separated out the tasks. This will let you be online when you need to be and turn it off when you don’t – thereby streamlining your work that much more.
Work with others
We’re all better at some things then we are at others. For this reason, why not do a trade with somebody who you trust? Even if it’s just to get their opinion on something you’ve written or for them to use their superior grammar techniques to scan through your document for mistakes, you’ll be much better off.
Then, in return, do what you’re good at – be it coming up with clever headlines, SEO or producing high-quality images.
The best way to make sure that the trade is as fair as possible, track the time you’re both working on your respective assignments. If you can do that, then you’ll know that you’re spending about the same amount of time on your assigned tasks (and you’ll know if you’re actually winning time on the trade).
Don’t write as many blog entries
When we start off writing four entries a week (or however many you’re writing), it can feel like a betrayal for you to go back to fewer. You’ll feel convinced that if you do so, then your readers will get offended and desert you in droves.
Of course, nothing of the kind will happen. They’ll adjust. That’s particularly true if you stick some of the time that you win by not writing that blog article into making the other ones you’ve written that much better. Then they’ll actually get more bang for their buck – which will ultimately make them happier. After all, we’d rather read less and get the same, right?
So there you have it, some simple yet effective strategies that will immediately boost your productivity. Start applying them today and you’ll find they will make a huge difference to what you’re trying to do.
For the rest, just keep at it. Practice does make you faster over time. So if you keep writing, you’ll find that you’ll be able to produce higher quality tests in a greatly reduced amount of time. The best part? Even when you’re not writing blog entries that skill will still be immensely useful.
Dina Indelicato is a blogger enthusiast and freelance writer. She writes for a Translation Services Company. She is always open to research about new topics and gain new experiences to share with her readers. You can find her on Twitter @DinaIndelicato and Facebook.
Host blogger’s comments:
Dina advised not blogging as often. Do you agree that’s the way to write a better blog post? According to Dina, you’ll have more time to create quality content. Do you agree this is a wise idea?
Readers, please share. Many of Dina’s tips are valuable for everyone.
I look forward to your opinions in the comment section: Do you have any time-saving tips? Google prefers in-depth posts. How would you recommend saving time while trying to produce a better blog post?