As a follow up to my own productivity tips for bloggers I asked readers to submit some of their own tips for keeping productive. The response was fantastic with over 40 responses already. As promised in the call for tips I said I’d be publishing some of my favorite submissions. Here are some of the highlights for me. I’ve divided them into ‘Rhythms, Tools and Organizational Techniques’ to help make it a little more digestible and will post a summary of each of these areas over the next three days. Lets start with blogging rhythms:
1. Tejvan Pettinger writes about removing distractions:
“I set aside time for writing. When I write I turn off the internet (good excuse for going to a coffee shop). The main thing is to do one thing at a time. It’s when we get distracted that we lose time and productivity.”
2. A Blog about Nothing starts the blogging process offline too:
“Pen and paper are my biggest organizational habits. I generally write down an outline of what I want to post about over the course of the next week and carry it around with me. Just the exercise of having written it down seems to help me stay on track as far as subject matter.”
3. Simmons advises cutting down on reading about blogging:
“My #1 tip: Stop reading blogs that help you blog. I used to read around 10 a day, but I’ve cut it down to one (ProBlogger). I’ve saved a LOT of time.”
4. CatherineL shares a how she captures ideas when offline:
“It’s usually when I’m not thinking about things to blog about that I come up with an idea. So, I keep a notebook with me and write down a sentence or two that will remind me of the ideas later on. If I didn’t do this I would forget. If I read something in a magazine or newspaper that inspires me, I cut it out and put it into a file for later.”
5. Jeremy Killian writes:
“The most productive thing that I can do for my blog is to get up by 5:30. This gives me a good 45 minutes to work before I have to head to work. Although you may not believe it, these 45 minutes are more productive in my work day than three hours could be later in the day. It is unreal how much I can get done!”
6. Shawn Hoefer says reading posts out loud before publishing can help a lot:
“Skip rough drafts and rewrites. instead, read your post aloud to someone before hitting the publish button. It’s amazing how many errors you’ll find and correct as you read it.”
7.Tomaz Mencinger shares some wise words:
“My least productive days are those, when I start reading first (emails, forums posts, RSS news, …) and producing second. (writing, getting links, optimizing my websites, …) The key to great productivity is then to discipline yourself to produce first and learn second.”
8. Vargas talks about a more productive time to blog:
“I tend to be more creative in the evening and at night and sometimes I get a lot of ideas during that time. What I do to harness that wave of creativity is start several posts about different things I want to blog about and then save them instead of posting them. On days that I find it very difficult to come up with ideas to write about I can always go back to these unfinished posts and finish them, polish then up and post them. Between that and the list, I rarely miss an opportunity to post.”
9. Rich Minx shares a 6 point plan:
1. Drinking strong coffee.
2. Refraining from checking my stats all the time.
3. Leaving the house occasionally, which clears my head and the stimuli of the outside world give me new ideas.
4. Cutting down on the RSS feeds I subscribe to.
5. Building a close blogging network so we all inspire each other to keep going.
6. Time-stamping posts.
10. Brad Shorr shares how he uses delicious to help him and shares a tip on writing series of posts rather than long posts:
“Whenever I come across a fascinating blog article or Web site, I tag it in My del.icio.us, usually with a category and/or note that corresponds to one of my blog categories. Then I come back and review the tagged material when I have time to really absorb it. Often, in the process of doing that, I’ll develop an idea for a post of my own. At the very least, I’ll write a link post that point my readers to quality posts related to the theme of my blog.
I’m also trying to break down long posts into a series of posts – something I learned from ProBlogger. Not only does this fill out the editorial calendar, I think series posts make it easier on the reader to focus in, and hopefully, return to your blog for the next installment.”