Close
Close

Do You Know These Time Saving Blogging Tips?

Over the last few days we’ve been tackling the problem of ‘not enough time to blog’ that many bloggers struggle with. I started by sharing 7 tips for busy bloggers on how to find time to blog and then had 14 of my blogging friends share a little about their blogging routines.

When I asked these 14 bloggers about their routines I also asked if they had any tips for other busy bloggers. I’m glad I did because collectively they give some great insight below.

Chris Garrett

chris_garrett_blogworld.jpg

  1. Write down any ideas you have and transfer them to your blog drafts as soon as possible. If you can, skip the writing down part and go direct to your blog drafts. Maybe use a smart phone so you are more likely to have a handy route to your blog!
  2. In your drafts add a semi-decent headline (not final, just enough to get the idea across) and some bullets. At the very least the point you want to make. If you don’t then you will forget what your post was about. Trust me on this, I speak from experience, ha.
  3. Work out the best time of day for you to write and schedule time in that slot. I find my best writing is between 10am and 1pm, and second best between 6pm and 8pm. After lunch is a better time for me to talk but not write. We all have a rhythm, listen to yours.
  4. Set a timer. Tell the family to not disturb you until the time is up. Close all distractions. Write.
  5. Break up your writing into less daunting chunks if you need to. One session just do outlines. Next session do bad drafts. Third some editing. Then formatting. Then final polish and posting. Don’t try to do too much otherwise you will never do enough!

Tsh Oxenreider from Simple Mom

When I first started blogging, it wasn’t a job, so I had to hustle on top of my already full life. When I blogged, it was in snippets of time here and there—I wasn’t able to afford a babysitter until a few years ago. My best piece of advice is to not wait for that “perfect” time to write or blog, because it’ll never happen. Most of our days are full with a lot of those daily liturgies that require our focus—laundry, dinner, time with friends, parenting. If you can only blog in 10-minute increments, then so be it. If you can afford childcare, even if it’s just a few hours a day once a week, I say try it out and see what happens with your writing.

And also, make the most of your blogging time by blocking out distractions. Treat your blog as real work. Close out Twitter or Facebook unless you’re genuinely working on something there, and don’t open your blog reader until you’ve written as least a few paragraphs that day.

Leo Babauta from ZenHabits

leocomputer-300x290.jpgBlock off a chunk of two mornings a week to blog. If it’s important, you’ll make the time.

Cut out TV, Internet, news, socializing to make the time.

If you can’t dedicate 2-3 hours a week to blogging, you shouldn’t blog.

Christina Butcher from Hair Romance

A productivity technique I use is setting an alarm on my phone for 20 mins. I work well to deadlines and because I know I’ve only got 20 minutes I don’t procrastinate or check instagram etc. It’s surprising how much you can get done in 20 minutes.

When I’m filming tutorials I try and do a few at a time so that it’s more efficient. If you’re not filming often, I recommend keeping notes and a drawing of your perfect camera setup (eg time of day, lighting locations, reflector position, camera settings etc). It makes your next shoot quicker and easier.

I think it also comes down to being honest about your priorities and being aware of when you’re working and when you’re being ‘busy’.

Sarah Wilson

Not to get too fixed on posting every day, or to a strict roster, if that’s not working for you.

Why do you blog? To be creative, expressive? To do something meaningful?

If this is the case, it’s better to be your message and be a little loose and free and produce good work rather than “churning and burning”.

Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids

Nicole-Avery.png

  • Have written SMART goals for what you want to achieve for the year with your blogging. Lots of opportunities come up with blogging and there are plenty of social media distractions, so to keep focused, you can look back on these goals and assess whether you are spending time on activities which are going to help you achieve your goals. Your goals end up being your decision making framework.
  • Creating a content plan that is aligned to your goals. A content plan can take time to develop, but it is an excellent investment in time, which will save you time in the long run.
  • Have a social media strategy. Utilise Google Analytics to determine which social media network connects the most with your audience and brings readers to your blog. Don’t feel you have to be on every form of social media. Choose 1 -2 and do them well.
  • Be disciplined. Use productivity tools like Focus Booster when working through your to do list and stick to the allocated tasks before wandering off to social media or email to check out what is new.
  • Make sure you have time off over the year. Being online there is a constant flow of information in. Unplug and disconnect for chunks at time to recharge and relax. You will be surprised how productive you will be when you go back online.

Tina Roth – Swiss Miss

untitled.jpgTry to get organized in other aspects of your life by using some of the tools that exist solely for that reason. I use Sparrow, which helps me filter out my email.

I also use TeuxDeux for keeping a list of the things I need to do any given day.

And I cannot stress how wonderful DropMark is for collecting images and organizing them into specific groups.

Jonathan Fields from Good Life Project

untitled.jpgBlog in the margins. Keep an idea capture device with you at all times (Moleskine, voice recorder app, etc). That way, when you’re running around and some insights comes as you’re going from one place to another, you can jot it down immediately, then flesh it out later.

Experiment with short form content (which I’m about to do a bunch of). No such thing as too long or short, only too boring.

Chris Brogan

Most times, jugglers just haven’t learned their priorities, or haven’t chosen to cut out extraneous things.

I don’t watch TV. I don’t surf endlessly. I don’t spend hours at a time staying up on FB and Twitter and getting current with 400 blogs.

I work for my community and that gives me the time I need to create.

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom

1. Focus on the things that will give you the biggest return on your investment of time.

For me, that means devoting most of my blogging time to writing posts. Interacting on social media is good and answering emails can be a great way to build relationships, but I’m okay with not always being able to respond to every comment or email if it means that I’m able to devote more time to getting quality posts up on a regular basis. At the end of the day, the quality posts are what are going to give me the biggest return on my investment. Well, unless one of those emails is from some huge blogger or gigantic media company who wants to promote me. :)

2. Use a timer.
Have a set times for how long you’ll spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, answering comments, answering emails, etc. and then set a timer and stick with it. I don’t spend much free time on the computer; most of my computer time is scheduled in specific time blocks for specific tasks. This might seem rigid, but it significantly increases my online efficiency. Once I’ve had a really productive stretch of time, I’ll often give myself a short 5 or 10-minute breather to check whatever I want online. And then it’s back to the schedule.

3. Batch everything you can.
Don’t flitter here and there checking Facebook and responding to one comment, checking Twitter and retweeting something, and checking Pinterest to re-pin something all while writing a post and trying to draft an email. Focus on one task at a time and batch those tasks. For instance, I try to schedule a number of posts on Facebook at once or clean out my inbox in one swoop. Multi-tasking rarely increases online productivity.

4. Shut down the distractions.
When I’m writing posts, I usually shut down my email so I can focus on writing posts instead of being distracted by incoming emails. In addition, I’ve turned off all notifications possible on social media so that nothing is beeping or dinging for my attention while I’m trying to concentrate.

5. Outline posts ahead of time.
I rarely write a lengthy posts in one sitting. Usually, I outline the post ahead of time — often while I’m in the middle of doing dishes or even driving (thanks, Siri!). Having a framework in place for my posts ahead of time makes it much easier to flesh out the post when I’m at my computer and ready to write.

Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz

Much like working out, it has to become a habit.

You can build a habit in 30 days if you stick to it and force yourself not to deviate.

In my early blogging days, that’s exactly what I did – I wouldn’t let myself go to bed until the post was live.

Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs

What tips do I have to a “poor blogger who is juggling a busy life”? My response is that everybody is fucking busy, but you make time for what you love.

If you don’t love what you are blogging about, then you obviously are considering it “work” and it’s a “task” on your to-do list. Maybe your blog is about the wrong thing! It’s okay to change, you know… you’re allowed to be many things in life, so pivot to a new subject that you love. And if you’re not sure you love it, then try it for a while, like a child with a piano one week, a skateboard the next, and a guitar the next.

There’s no need to stop behing a childlike in your experimentation when you are an adult.

You’ll find what you love as long as you forgive yourself for failing on many random stabs! Your mom is not standing over you forcing you to play the piano (“blog about BS”) every day. You’re in charge, you know. If it’s something you love, then you crave it, you think about it in the shower, you lose track of time. If you love it, you find a way.

Chris Guillebeau

Well, we all have the same amount of time, and almost everyone is juggling a busy life.

For me it just finally became a priority. I wanted to be a writer for several years before I actually started writing.

Once I made it a priority I could tell it was something I’d be doing for a long time, so I tried to pare down as many other activities as possible to support that focus.

Neil Patel from Quick Sprout

neilpatel_1284435007_44-300x274.jpgHere is a guide to writing a detailed blog post in less than 2 hours.

FROM DARREN: A HUGE thanks to all 14 bloggers above who put aside precious time to respond to my questions! Thanks!

Don’t forget to check out our BlogWise Ebook for more tips on blogging productivity.

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.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Thank you! Those tips were awesome and so helpful.

    I’ve been working in batches lately and it really is amazingly efficient. I’ve also started blogging first thing in the morning and getting it done. I love that, too. Well, mostly. Sometimes I really want to straighten up the house or start the laundry but I’ve been making myself wait until a break or until blogging time is over. I find I enjoy the rest of the day more if I know my work is done.

  2. Thank you for these tips! I like your series of time management articles so much, I featured them in a separate post in my blog. They also fit my topic perfectly, so I would do a disservice to my readers if I didn’t.

  3. Sarah Bauer says:

    I appreciate the tips for staying focused, especially Christina Butcher’s 20-minute-timer idea. A common theme amongst these experts is that to create something really worthwhile, you have to be in a zone where it’s all about the material – block out the rest.

    Thanks, have a great weekend!
    Cheers,
    Sarah Bauer

  4. Ok, I will be a silent lurker if you like it better this way. I guess ProBlogger has outgrown the need for comments from relevant neighbors.

  5. faisal says:

    Some really nice tips. I would say – PLAN well, be realistic and work at the time you feel best.

  6. Siegfried says:

    I totally agree about building a habit – in my case it is the only solution – do the same things over and over again
    best regards!

  7. Thanks for taking the time to round up all of this great info Darren.

    This is outstanding on a number of levels.

    Time > Money.

  8. Syed Shah says:

    Just after a month In-Sha-ALLAH I will get my BE degree, that would be awesome but, currently I was bit confused about the future of my blogs… b/c surely in start definitely it would be bit difficult to give time also to blogging with a Job .. and, thank you for sharing a well covered time saving tips…

  9. It is a Technical professionals help to improve blogs time ,set on mobile and timer to fix time to write blogs on blogger like site and share that “what is in your mind to say and share?”
    for this thanks to U Dear,

  10. Milos says:

    Great tips. Thanks :)

  11. Amazing tips
    These days I am having bit time management problems
    this post helped me

  12. Clare says:

    Hello Darren

    Thanks for the great tips. I have enjoyed reading through your “Time Saving” posts.

    When you are working at home and you also have a family to look after it can get hard to find time for blogging.

    I especially like the idea of using a timer to get specific tasks done.

  13. Time management is a key to squeezing more time out of whatever time you have. I shut down everything and get out this old junk laptop that only has a word processor on it and find some corner of the world away from everyone and write. I usually don’t even have internet access. It helps tremendously.

  14. Shweta says:

    Thanks for this fantastic guide, It really helps out!

  15. Drewry says:

    In the morning, I normally pull up MS Wordpad and write my content in rough draft mode with speech recognition and proofread it and might add Amazon related content, before publishing. Then, I might go the gym afterwards and do 1 hour of cardio on the treadmill on an empty stomach.

  16. Kate James says:

    Great tips, thank you. I love Chris Garrett’s suggestion to go straight to blog drafts with ideas. Brilliant!

  17. Great round up and tips for planning time
    I keep my ideas on an old Dictaphone.
    This allows me catch ideas when out and about

  18. Sudip says:

    Wow so many blogging tips.

  19. Great advice from the best bloggers I knew in the industry. For me I usually do everything every other day, maybe this is just me and this is what I find that works for me. By the way, what I usually do the next day after that I publish the blog is to focus promoting it through social media .

  20. I. C. Daniel says:

    Around 60% of these tips already knew.

    Knew or not is too damn hard to put in practice even you know them.

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel – Romania

  21. Patti says:

    Getting great tips from successful bloggers is priceless. Thanks! I also really appreciate the mentions of specific apps and programs that can help to streamline tasks or to keep focus on a particular task. Already looked up several that I hadn’t even heard of and that I’ll be using now.

  22. Neil says:

    These are awesome tips. There’s no denying that a blogger has to love what he/she is doing.

  23. cheryl smith says:

    wow… really great tips… thanks alot they’ve helped me alot. Outlining posts ahead of time is really very usefull.. thanks a million :)

  24. Rahul says:

    I could really use some of these great ideas.

  25. Mohd Farrukh says:

    Amazing Information given and the one who wrote the article tried to do his job at the best. This has motivated me also.

  26. Great tips from great bloggers.Thank you very much for sharing all these tips Darren!I agree with Tsh Oxenreider, when you write a blog you should block out distractions. This is one way of finishing your work faster.

  27. These are some great blogging tips.

    I have always written down post ideas in my iPhone, scrap pieces of paper, etc.

    I never thought to create them as blog post drafts though, good idea. I have the WordPress app for my phone, so instead of writing them as a note, I could just login and draft them.

  28. I’m always looking for other ways to save time to blog. What I usually do is write a bunch of blogs and schedule them to publish later. This may be too much for some, but it definitely gives me time to do other things like write an ebook or study other strategies for my business.

    While I’m writing, I’m always jotting things down. Whether on my cell phone, or I may just start with the title, summary, quote, and first sentence to get me started. Thanks for sharing Darren!

  29. Mridula says:

    Thanks for these really awesome tips. For a starter like me these tips were really helpful

  30. joesalim says:

    Thanks.. very useful tips.. Really enjoying this article…

  31. Good tips from all. Really, comes down to making it a priority – and balance. Agree w/ Sarah’s advice to stick less to a schedule and go for quality over the ‘churning and burning.’ Will also disagree w/ many who suggest forsaking TV, social networking, reading other blogs. While these can be “distractions,” they can also provide much needed escape, recharge creative juices, get you thinking (esp. reading other blogs). FWIW.

  32. Amanda Troy says:

    Absolutely great advice from the best bloggers on the internet. These tips are great if you want to speed up and improve blogging. By following most tips you may learn how to effectively write on your blog each day.

    For a blogger, it is extremely important to capture your own ideas. I usually write them down in my notebook or phone (depending on the situation), and when I get to the office I manually export them in Google Calendar. Then I set up SMS notifications for each day when I want to publish and work on a selected post.

    For me this works the best.

  33. My best method for saving time and cutting down on sitting at my keyboard doing nothing is quite simple – I use Mind Mapping software, and have it sync’d with my iPhone.

    I start with one general topic in my niche, and then spin a bunch of ideas off it. It is surprising how you can narrow down individual ideas and then have hundreds of potential topics to write a blog post on.

    A lot of my ideas come when I am away from my computer – so the syncing with my iPhone is great.

  34. Cassi says:

    Great collection of tips!

  35. Celia says:

    All of these tips are really helpful. Once I started to use a timer and cut out mulittasking, my productivity went up. Trey Ratcliff’s thoughts really hit home for me – if you love what you do, then it won’t be work!

  36. Knitty says:

    Really helpful post on Time saving blogging.. I am following most of them and managing my time in better way. Thanks lot.

  37. Edgar says:

    Hi. Thank you for this great article.

    Great tips.

    I also work with blogging and know how important is to automate and to cut back a few hours per week to blog. It’s a very time consuming process but leads to results, followers and we are providing rich content on the web.

  38. Awesome Tips,
    our today’s life is busy so we don’t have much time but these tips really helped me.

    Thanks you guys :)

  39. Great tips from Professional Bloggers. I am fully agreed with Leo. You should sspend atleast 6 hours on your blog if you are seriouss about blogging. Otherwise leave it.