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10 Rhythms for Productive Blogging

Productivity-Tips-Bloggers-RhythmsAs 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.”

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. These are all wonderful ideas! Thanks for posting.. and of course to those who shared them! *=)

  2. Jake says:

    Definitely drinking strong coffee!!

  3. Steven Snell says:

    Thanks for the resources Darren. I found at least a few things here that will be useful to me.

  4. I kinda do what CatherineL does. I usually carry around a little notebook with me wherever I go, if I get an idea I’ll write it down.

  5. Oh wow – those tips are amazing.
    I am going to use them and I believe it shall greatly improve my productivity.

    My favorites were #7, #10, and #1/#2.

    Thanks y’all for those tips!

  6. Rich Minx says:

    Thanks for the mention!

    Disclaimer: Rich Minx accepts no responsibility for any injuries sustained caused by the consumption of too much coffee whilst blogging.

  7. Darren Rowse says:

    lol RM :-)

  8. Alex says:

    Nice tips. For me, I tend to slap myself sometimes if I lack the motivation to write a blog post.

  9. Very good tips. I like the way you pulled out a key message from each post. Nice job.

  10. Thanks for posting my quote. Not to mention all of the rest, all great tips.

  11. Notebooks, definitely! Also: blog first! Check email/stats/rss later.

  12. I would like to add that I am not really a morning person. For some reason, getting up so early helps me feel unfettered as a writer, and I just get so much done!

  13. CatherineL says:

    Thank you so much for including my tip Darren.

    The tips you’ve included here are brilliant, and anyone following them can’t fail to improve their blogging.

    And Rich Minx – your tip on leaving the house sometimes is invaluable. It’s something I often forget to do with working indoors all the time. So, as soon as it gets light this morning, I’m off for a walk. Thank you.

  14. It’s amazing how many of us find inspiration using good old pen and paper.

  15. koen says:

    These are really nice tips. Will you post the others too anytime soon :) ? Keep it up!

  16. gchristine says:

    i stay productive by making a small list of the minimum goals i need to do for that day. if i do more, which is almost always, i can feel extra extra special that day,and reward myself with a six pack or two.

  17. Michal Levy says:

    Thank you so much for this recap! Especially the tip about removing distractions is very useful. Keep up the good work!

  18. Jim Moon says:

    Thanks Darren, Great Tips !

    Jim Moon

  19. Leon says:

    My methods: 1. Scribble down your ideas. 2. Type them, trying to make them as coherent as possible. 3. Take a small break, just to destress. 4. Continue typing. 5. Post!

  20. Stacy Nelson says:

    Bloglines is my tip of the day. I can flip through 600+ posts each day in 5-10 minutes. I open up the articles I want to comment on (like this post), read more thoroughly or ones that have good article ideas and then spend another 15 minutes flipping through those pages and commenting, saving the notes to GoogleDocs or reading and moving on. This one tool keeps me in tune with my niche markets that I blog about or gives me the latest Rugby stats for the World Cup!

    It’s a brilliant must-have tool for any blogger.

  21. WalterLyn says:

    I liked no.7 tip of Tomaz, when I start reading other sources for my topic my head fills with ideas and it is hard to switch back for writing your own post.
    My own tip here would be to carry any thing (notebook or cellphone) where you can write down sudden idea. Later you can develop it into post.

  22. Nymfa Aranas says:

    thanks for all the useful blogging tips! i was especially blessed with the post on “empty room” or “what if no one seems to be reading my blog.” however, it was a bit frustrating that my entry for the 31 Days to Building A Better Blog was not accepted.

    well maybe, i will have yet to establish my credibility as a blogger. but guess what, a few days after writing that post on “blogging, writing and giving birth,” i gave birth to a healthy baby boy and my hubby and i named him charles darren.

    who knows, if blogging will still be in 20 years from now, my son might become another preacher-blogger.

  23. Brad V. says:

    Those are all good suggestions! But I especially like the first one, about removing all distractions, including the internet. I’m writing more and more of my posts offline, using MS Word (to avoid losing posts by pushing the wrong button, which I’ve done more than once).

    But the sparse Word Doc forces me to concentrate and I shut down my internet browser. I can usually write a longer post that is better in quality than if I write a post directly into my blogging platform.

    I have a short attention span as it is, so if I don’t remove a lot of distractions, I’d never get anything done!

    Thanks for all the tips!

  24. Asako says:

    After 2.5 months of blogging experience, I learned how much I can write within a week. So I simply decided to write at the speed I can manage. I know you would say write every day. But I realized I can write a better article by slowing down.

    Also I am now using expression engine, and one thing I like is I can actually schedule when the article is published. So I stored a number of articles at least for the next few weeks. That helped me to manage the pressure.

  25. vargas says:

    Thank you for including my tip Darren. All of these are wonderful tips for blogging!

  26. Simon says:

    I am annoyed with Point 3 if I am honest.”Cut down on reading about blogging” – where Simmons goes on to suggest he only reads Problogger now. Sure it’s not your point of view and one of your readers, but I still think it’s uncalled for. There are a lot of great blogs out there about blogging. It’s hard enough for bloggers starting out to make a wave in the blogging world, but with advice advice like this :( I guess to some extent it is sour grapes on my part because I have a blog where one of my main themes is blogging. But I still can’t help but feel a little hurt when I see my feed subscription count drop considerably to it’s lowest point in ages on the 6th of September, the day following this post.

    Someone even made a post on their blog saying that they were cutting back all their “blogs about Blogging” rss feed subscriptions and gave me and others that they were cutting back link love for the evil deed, at the same time saying why he enjoyed reading my blog and what was great about it.

    I wonder how many of Problogger rss subscribers blog about blogging?

    I guess it’s a case of “first it giveth, then if take it away”…because I gained many of my subscribers during Probloggers “31 days to Building a Better Blog Project”. So I guess I can’t get too angry, but I think this goes to show the influence that an article on an A list blog can have. Cheers anyway Darren, Problogger is a great resource, and I will continue to subscribe :)

  27. David says:

    I think it is good to have a list of popular bloggers that offer cutting edge advice and stay tuned as those folks are tweaking and testing and than sharing the results with the rest of us.

  28. syafiq says:

    sorry for incorrect my url, here it is right
    the comment :

    wow, great many useful tips, but sometimes time must be devided between making article/post and blog maintaining, even we lost any clear idea to do that…
    anyway, those tips have to be considered to apply…
    thanks for the tips