What makes a blogger successful? There’s no denying that the ability to write well plays a big role, and having a genuine interest and insight into the topics you’re writing on helps, too. However, there are plenty of passionate bloggers with a great voice that never get anywhere because they’re missing what is perhaps the most important key to success: productivity. Here, we’re going to look at why productivity matters and how you can ensure you have it while you’re working on your blog.
Keep your home-life and work-life separate
This is number one. Most of us blog from home. Sometimes you might take a trip to the cafe or coworking space, but that’s not likely to be where you do most of your work. As such, you need the space and the time to make sure that you’re able to focus on your work. Set up a home office that provides the distraction-free, organized space that you need. If you live with any family members or housemates, then make sure you talk to them and set some boundaries. In general, make it clear that you’re not to be interrupted while you’re working unless it’s totally essential. Hopefully, everyone should be understanding. But this means you have to be understanding too, so try not to work when the home is at its most active.
Set goals and use KPIs to measure them
What does success look like to you? You can measure it with metrics like likes, follows, social media stats, and so on. But what you should really be looking at is how much work you’re getting done. As such, you should set productivity goals, whether it’s a certain amount of posts completed, working off a to-do list, or something else. Then you can use KPI tracking software to help you better see at any point how close you’re getting to those goals. There are marketing KPIs and analytics you can use to see how much impact your blog is having, but you have more direct control over the work that you’re doing, so productivity KPIs tend to be more useful in helping you get more done.
Set a schedule and keep to it
When you work is likely entirely up to you, and flexibility can be very useful, but you should try to set a daily routine and schedule that you can work to. Find your most productive hours of the day and have a set time you start and finish working in. If you work with other writers, then try to schedule some time together. You can look at how to make a work schedule for your team that’s flexible so that, even if you’re not all working at precisely the same time, you can make sure you’re all there for joint things like team meetings. Be sure to set deadlines for yourself, too. If you give your work room to keep rolling into the next day and next week, then it’s easy to let it do just that.
Be ready for ideas to strike at any time
Inspiration is going to hit when you least expect it sometimes. It’s not always there when you’re brainstorming at your desk. As such, you should be ready to capitalise on a good idea, no matter when it might suddenly pop into your head. Using note-taking apps on your smartphone can make it a lot easier to jot down your ideas no matter where you are and what time of day it is. Then, when you get home, you can look over your notes and see if there are any ideas that can be expanded on, or saved for a later date.
Keep a content pipeline flowing
WIth your blog, you’re going to need a content calendar that’s full of posts that are ready to go up throughout the week. However, you shouldn’t be working on posts from scratch so that they’re ready to go up when the calendar demands them. Rather, break up the process of creating a post into its constituent tasks. This might look something like idea > outline > research > writing > editing > post. With a good content pipeline, you will have at least one post in each of those different stages at all times. This way, you always have a new project that is partially done that you can carry to the end if, for instance, a subject becomes irrelevant or someone else posts something very similar to it around the same time.
Batch your tasks instead of doing them “in order”
What does your work as a blogger look like? Are you writing your blog post, then editing it, posting it, sharing it on social media, and then starting from scratch with the next blog post? If so, you could be wasting a lot of time. We tend to be more productive when we’re doing work that is consistent. As such, switching from one type of work to another repeatedly slows us down, as it takes our brains a while to switch tracks, metaphorically speaking. As such, you should consider looking at the idea of batching your tasks, so you’re doing all your writing, then all your editing, then all your posting, then all your sharing. It tends to be a much more productive way for some.
Have plenty of posts loaded up in advance
You shouldn’t always be working on the very next post that you’re going to put online. If you have yourself a very productive week and have more than enough work to keep the blog well supplied for the next few days, then you and your team (if you have one) shouldn’t be resting easy. You should be working to have content that you post in advance, as well. This way, even if you do end up running late on a certain post, then you can just pluck out one you already have written and it can do the trick.
Make sure you’re setting out time for non-writing blogging
If you’re only focusing on the posts that you’re writing, then you could be missing out on the other processes that are crucial to your success. This includes keeping up with social media, replying to comments, networking with others, arranging and going to interviews, and so on. Take a closer look at the different tasks that make up your work-day and ensure that set aside blocks of time to do the stuff that isn’t directly related to the content that goes up on your blog. Having great content is only part of your job. The bigger part is creating the infrastructure that gets it out there and builds a readership.
Don’t be afraid of repurposing content
Repurposing content is not cheating and you shouldn’t treat it as such. If you have evergreen content that’s highly popular, then keeping it updated is actually doing a service to the people that come to rely on it. Furthermore, you can repurpose content in a way that transforms it into a different format, be it a listicle, infographic, video post or something else. This way you can make sure that people see it in the format that they’re most likely to engage with. Look over old content that could use an update, a response, or even just a bit of reorganization to make it relevant again. Do not just copy and paste entire posts, however. That helps no-one.
As a blogger, staying relevant and always having new content to share is essential to your success. The tips above can ensure you do just that.