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How to blog more with less time.
Publishing a lot of content is important for any successful blog, but it can be difficult to find the time to write great posts when you have a busy schedule. If you feel like you never have enough hours in the day but still want to spend as much time as possible working on your blog, then this is for you!
Set yourself a daily word goal.
Try to shift your focus from “I need to write a blog post today” to “I need to write so many words today”. It doesn’t matter where those word go – they could all go towards one blog post or they could be split between five.
For instance my daily word goal is 1000 words. Most of my blog posts are around this length, so recently I’ve been averaging around one post a day. Sometimes if I’m having a good day, I’ll write 2000+ words, but I never write less.
If I get stuck on a particular post, instead of sitting at my computer for hours I’ll start working on something else. Sitting at your desk trying to find the right words for a post is a complete waste of time, so if I’m ever stuck on something I’ll return to it tomorrow with a clear mind.
Fast, Bad and Wrong.
Recently I listened to an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show in which Safi Bahcall, physicist and author, talks about his system of writing: Fast, Bad and Wrong. This episode touched on some great topics and I’d highly recommend giving it a listen if you’re interested in improving your writing.
The premise of writing Fast, Bad and Wrong is to write as fast as you can, ignoring any grammatical or factual errors, and without stopping at any point to backtrack. This is supposed to help you ignore any thoughts of perfectionism, a common trait among writers.
It’s also a great way to boost productivity: the most effective way to write is to ignore the voice inside your head telling you to obsess over every single word and just get the main bulk of what you want to say onto paper. Anything that doesn’t sound right can be edited out later.
When I first started writing I would put hours of work into my first drafts. In fact I was generally so happy with the first drafts that I rarely had to spend more than 10 minutes editing them. This may seem like an efficient way to write, but it’s not.
These days I spend much longer editing my posts, but less time writing them. Too many writers try to write and edit their work at the same time, but it’s much more efficient to split them up into two processes.
I actually really enjoy editing, too. In general I find it much easier than writing, so I like to finish the writing process as quickly as possible and spend as long as I need to editing.
Try setting yourself this challenge.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and see how many words you can write. They don’t have to be good, and you’re even allowed to write sentences that don’t make sense – you just need to write as many words as possible.
You’ll probably surprise yourself with how much you can get done in just 20 minutes, and you may even be surprised that your work isn’t as bad or as wrong as you initially thought. I haven’t yet written a first draft using this method that can’t be salvaged with some good editing.
Focus on your most successful marketing strategy.
Marketing your blog is one of the most important steps to running a successful blog, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. It’s a principle developed by sociologist and political scientist Vilferdo Pareto, who found that 80% of the world’s wealth belongs to 20% of the world’s population. But it also applies to many things in life, including productivity.
The 80/20 rule, sometimes known as the Pareto principle, states that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. So now imagine if you flipped this, and spent 80% of your time on what’s bringing you 80% of your success. This would clearly be a far better use of your time.
Personally most of my traffic – over 80% – comes from Pinterest. I do have an Instagram and a Twitter account for my blog, but it would be foolish to pour hours of work into them every week when building my Pinterest account will bring me better results.
Spend some time working out which of your marketing strategies is most successful, whether that’s a social media platform such as Pinterest or search engines, and focus most of your time and energy on that.
Batch complete tasks.
A great use of your time is to complete similar tasks for your blog in advance. For example I create all my pins for the week on Canva at once, which saves me a lot of time and energy over the week. In total I spend less than half an hour a day working on my Pinterest account, and it continues to grow every day.
Keep a content calendar.
Have you ever been in the mood to write, but been completely stuck for ideas? A good tip I came across on the Do You Even Blog podcast is to sit down for an hour or two, and stay there until you’ve generated at least 200 blog post ideas. Most of them will be terrible, but odds are you’ll end up generating 10 or 20 amazing ideas.
I always find that if I come up with a really great idea for a blog post, then I’m able to complete it in half the time it would have taken me to write an article I’m less excited about. Take some time to come up with some ideas that you’re really excited to write, and you’ll be sure to publish more content in a shorter period of time.
Don’t get caught up on how successful your blog is.
Any blogger knows how easy it is to get caught up in how many pageviews your blog is getting, and I’m guilty of this myself. But most bloggers also know that it’s a complete waste of time.
If you continue to push out great content, then your blog will continue to grow. Checking your pageviews won’t improve your blog, so spend more time writing and marketing and less time looking at Google Analytics.
These are the steps I’ve been taking to publish as much content as possible, even with a busy schedule. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything else I should have included!
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