Guest post by Robbi Hess
Do you struggle with deadlines? Do you get to the end of the week and realize you haven’t gotten any of your blog posts done and posted? Do you have any kind of a routine for your blogging and social media tasks?
If any of these resonate or if you wish you could be more productive than you are, these tips may help you do just that.
You need to have your priorities in order for both your work (blogging) and your life. Focusing too heavily on one area or another means that the opposite one will suffer. Life and work has always been a balancing act. What can you do?
Write down your top five priorities in each area of your life. For example:
- Spend time with family (life)
- Blog three times a week (work)
- Learn new blogging techniques (work)
- Attend my child’s school activity (life)
- Exercise (life)
- You see where I am going with this, right? Take some time to work on yours right now
Now take some time and list what you believe are your time wasters. For example:
- Watching television or playing video games
- Poking around on Pinterest instead of working
- Doing laundry and cleaning the house when you should be working (procrastination at its best for a work-from-home writer)
Write down your top five blogging priorities as a way to more finely tune your efforts when you are in front of the computer:
- Commenting on X number of blog posts a day/week
- Writing and publishing X number of blog posts on your site a week
- Connecting with the movers and shakers in the pet blogging industry
- Writing guest posts for other sites
- Looking for colleagues to guest post on your site
You can certainly add in items such as:
- Getting X number of more visitors to your blog site
- Growing your social media following by X
- Building your community
- Monetizing your blog
- Working on your editorial calendar
Now that you have these items written down you can look at them and truly drill down to your priorities and taking steps toward making them a reality.
Carve out time on your calendar to get to your top priorities (both life and work). Write these items down on your calendar, whether paper or virtual, and assign a time frame to them. For example: Exercise (life) 15 minutes a day on the treadmill – write that on your calendar each and every day. To make it even more achievable and measurable assign it a time: Walk on treadmill at 7 am for 15 minutes. Boom. Done.
Consider mental blogging
What?! I do some of my best “writing” inside my mind. If I know I have a blog post due I will come up with an idea and mull it around for a day or so. I get a potential headline in my head and then I ponder the opening paragraph and truly, when I sit down to type, it all comes together. This was a skill I honed when I worked at a daily newspaper. When I sat down to write an article, a deadline was typically looming and having that headline and opening paragraph made the rest of the article flow from my fingertips.
Capture your ideas
I use Evernote (and yes that is an affiliate link). Why do I use that program? Because no matter where I am or on which device I can open it, jot down an idea under my Blog Topics folder and it will be available to me when I need it. I capture snippets of conversations I overhear. I will write down random questions that pop into my head and perhaps I will start to “what if” them into a blog post.
My BlogTopics idea folder also makes its way onto my Editorial Calendar. Yep, there I go again with the editorial calendar talk and its importance in the work routine of an effective blogger. Now go forth and calendar!
Don’t take a chance on a good idea disappearing from your mind in the hustle and bustle of your daily life.
Being a productive pet blogger means you need to have strategies in place to make it happen. Chances are, a fairy godmother will not come swooping down and make it all happen. You have to put in the work!
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter and is the Media Manager for Big Barker, maker of premium beds for big dogs.
Photo: Shutterstock Dog Fairy Godmother)