It’s not a matter of how much time you have, because we all have exactly the same amount.
No, it’s a matter of how you choose to use your time.
Let me share several “out-of-the-box” ways you can use your time. Before you know it, you’ll crankin’ out more blog posts (and good ones, at that) than you ever thought possible.
First of all, you may be laboring under too strict a notion of what a good blog post should be.
Each blog post you write does not have to be the “ultimate.” If people are good at anything, it’s over-complicating things. Your readers will appreciate just getting one clear, distilled thought, once in a while, instead of an entire instruction manual.
- Instead of making many points in a post, make shorter posts out of each of the one points, or several points that naturally group together.
- Write shorter posts, anyway.
- You don’t have to do all the work. Get the ball rolling and have your community help you out by posing questions on social media. Come back later and copy the responses into your post (be sure to give credit).
- Your posts also don’t have be hardly any words, at all. Shoot a quick video or take some pictures if that fits in with your niche. You don’t need to prattle on, just add enough text to give context and for SEO reasons.
Strike When the Iron is Hot
The only time you have to write blog posts is not when you are sitting in front of your computer. I’ve seen bloggers make videos while they were driving or sitting in their cars. Why? Because that’s when the idea hit, that’s where they were, and at that moment they had time so they made some magic happen.
There’s no reason why you can’t do that, too. Video is for everyone, now.
But it doesn’t have to be just video.
- Buy a little notebook and keep it with you to jot down ideas.
- Buy a digital voice recorder (the ones built into phones are often awkward to get going) and keep it handy. You can record whole damn podcasts while you’re driving to work, going to grocery store, or waiting to pick up your kids from school.
- Use your smartphone and/or tablet to jot down notes, observations, and ideas in Evernote or similar.
The important thing is do not let those little thoughts get away from you, because you will lose them forever.
The “coral reef” method
If you’re constantly collecting links and jotting down notes and ideas, you will build up a collection of fodder for use in your posts. Let me give you an example from my own site. Every Saturday I publish a WordPress Weekend post. The material for these mostly comes from me surfing the resources I’ve found and followed. I star them in Google Reader or create notes about them in Evernote.
Eventually, I collect enough material to start loosely categorizing it. Whenever I want to create a post, I find all my notes and bookmarks that seem to have a certain theme to them and copy them into WordPress. I can create a great post out of that raw material in a very short time because I did all the detective work, already.
This method takes a while to get off the ground. It starts out slow, but eventually, bit by bit, you build up a repository of links, resources, and ideas. Kind of like how a coral reef builds itself slowly over time.
This is an example of how thinking ahead and taking the right steps can save you tons of time and improve the quality of your posts simultaneously. Whereas if you just tried to “go faster,” you get sloppy and your quality is poor. Take a small amount of time to bookmark or create a note in Evernote. Take a small amount of time to tag and organize your notes. Get back a huge amount of efficiency, essentially giving you more time to blog.
Use a feed reader
Many people don’t know what RSS is or what news feeds are. That means they also don’t know about programs & services designed to let you use them. There are many, but I prefer to use Google Reader. I can scan through between 500 and a thousand headlines/articles a day (no exaggeration). I can star things for later or copy stuff into Evernote. I use keyboard shortcuts to navigate it even faster.
Use a social media dashboard
Adroit social media marketing has two requirements: a central place to manage multiple accounts, and the ability to schedule postings in advance. I get both with HootSuite, but there are other such services. I can manage Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ services from a single dashboard.
Because of HootSuite’s “autoschedule” feature, I can enter a barrage of postings in a short time and have them post in a more naturally spread-out fashion throughout the day.
Use automatic posting tools
Batch your tasks – do similar tasks together instead of consecutively
Batching is a powerful time-saving idea. Here’s the gist: instead of…
- Writing a blog post and scheduling it
- Then setting up your automated social media posts in HootSuite for that same post
- Then creating your email about the post in Aweber to send at a certain time
- Write several posts in a row
- Schedule social media posts for those posts in a single session
- Create and schedule your emails all in a single session
Batching improves your efficiency by reducing all the mental and logistical “switching of gears” involved in starting a task and then ending it in order to do something different. As you warm up to the tasks you can work more quickly and efficiently because of the repetition. If you have a hard time staying focused, try using a timer.
Share your tips/questions
Have any time-saving tips of your own you’d like to share? Please leave a comment, everyone will benefit by sharing our wisdom and experiences. Any questions about how to do these things? Ask away!