Do you love to blog but hate the amount of time it takes? Or perhaps you are interested in blogging but not sure you have the time to make it work? For many, blogging can be a total “time drain,” but with the right techniques, you can blog more efficiently.
Here are five time management tips you can use for more efficient blogging:
#1: Brainstorm a list of blog topics
Have you ever sat in front of your computer to start a blog post with no clue what to write about, and waste precious minutes trying to come up with a topic?
Knowing what you are going to write about is half the battle. That’s why knowing your blog topic before you sit down to write is a great time management trick. To help, try this brainstorming exercise:
Find a quiet place and take out a sheet of paper. Number it from 1-50. Then, start to brainstorm a list of blog topics you can write about. Remember, it’s a brainstorm, so there are no bad ideas. Once you are done brainstorming 50 topics, go back and cross off the ones that won’t work. What remains are dozens of blog post ideas that will carry you for several months.
Do this brainstorming exercise anytime the “well is running dry” so you constantly will have ideas for your blog articles.
#2: Create an editorial calendar
Now that you have a list of blog post topics from your brainstorming session, it is time to plug those topics into an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar helps you determine what day you will publish a specific blog post. Editorial calendars can be any format you want. Some bloggers use a wall calendar, while others use Google Calendars. Use a calendar that works best for your work style.
Transfer your topic ideas to the days when you publish your blog articles. That way, when it is time to write your blog post, all you have to do is consult your calendar, and you will know exactly what topic you are writing about.
In addition to the topic and publishing date, you can add other items to your editorial calendar, such as keywords, an outline for your blog post and blocked time for writing your blog post. The more you add to your editorial calendar, the more useful it will be – and the more time you will save when writing your blog posts.
#3: Repurpose other content
Repurposing is when you take an original piece of content, rework it and republish it in another way. Think of it as recycling content! Repurposing content is one of the best time management strategies for bloggers because it prevents you from re-creating the wheel every time you write.
Here are some ways you can repurpose content:
- Take chapters from your e-book and create blog posts from each one
- Transcribe a video you have recorded and convert it into a blog post
- Pull a few slides from a PowerPoint presentation and use the content for a blog post
- Combine two similar blog posts into one
You may be thinking: Won’t it upset my readers if I repurpose content they have already seen?
The answer is no. First, most readers will not remember every blog post you have written (you do, because you are the writer). Second, people absorb information differently, so presenting it to them in a different ways helps your reader gain a better understanding of the topic.
Take a look at your older content and determine what you can repurpose for your blog. Make sure to plug the repurposed ideas into your editorial calendar.
#4: Vary your blog format
Writer’s block can happen to even the best bloggers, and when it happens to you, it can waste your time. To help combat writer’s block, consider varying the format of your blog posts. When you vary how your blog post appears, it gets your creative juices flowing, saving you time during the writing process:
Here are some different blogging formats to try:
- A list of tips or ways
- Interview with an expert in your industry
- Embed an infographic or video accompanied by 2-3 paragraphs
- Analysis of an industry report
- First-person narrative or essay
- A letter to your reader
#5: Look for guest bloggers
Securing a guest blogger to write an article for your blog is the ultimate time saver. You want to take the time to find the right guest blogger, though, because it is a reflection of your brand. One tip is to find a guest blogger with a large following. That way, when the guest blogger shares the guest blog post with her audience, you will attract new readers to your blog.
Before looking for a person to write a guest blog post, take time to write out your editorial guidelines. Your editorial guidelines should include the desired length of the blog post, formatting preference and what additional information you need from the guest blogger (such as a headshot). Then, once you find the perfect guest blogger, you can send the guidelines to her, which will save you time when you reach out to different bloggers.
Blogging does not have to take hours of your time. When you plan ahead by identifying your topic, using an editorial calendar, repurposing content, varying your blog format and securing guest bloggers, you can tackle blogging more efficiently. With the right planning, you can write blog posts that will satisfy your readers – all while saving you valuable time.
Photo courtesy of ddqhu
Article reprinted with permission from Productive Magazine