Hey all! The lovely Imka has invited me onto her blog today to share some of my best tips for speeding up your blogging process with you. Whether you have 20 hours a week or 20 minutes to spend on your blog, working as quickly and efficiently as possible is going to help you put out your best content, but not sweat the small stuff. Here are my top 5 tips and tools for helping you blog faster:
Create templates for your graphics
Image templates are a MUST for bloggers, no matter what niche they’re in. Not only do templates speed up your process,they also give a consistent style to all of your images, and therefore, your brand. And having a consistent brand is what’s gonna make you recognizable and memorable online, so it’s super important when building up your audience.
If you’re looking for an awesome tool for creating your graphics, Canva is where it’s at. Canva is a photo editing site that’s not only super simple to use, but also completely free. They have custom-sized templates for you to choose from, depending on what platform you plan to use your image on (Twitter, Pinterest, your blog, etc.). Canva has a lot of great pre-set options and design layouts as well, like font combos, social media icons, and more.
The thing I love most about Canva is that it automatically saves a template of every single image you create. So the next time you need a similar image, you can just go back into the original graphic and change the colors, text, or backdrop, while keeping the layout exactly the same.
With Canva, it literally takes me two minutes to create a new image for my blog. And cutting down on that time allows me to focus on more important things, like writing new content, developing products, and promoting myself online.
Keep running lists of ideas
There’s nothing worse than spending hours trying to think up an idea for your next blog post and coming up blank. Especially when you upload on Mondays and it’s now midnight on Sunday.
Here’s a simple way to make sure that never happens to you again:
Whenever an idea for a blog post comes to mind, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, WRITE IT DOWN. Keep all of your ideas in one place – whether that’s the notes section on your iPhone, the Evernote app, or in an actual notebook. Then, the next time you sit down to write a post, pull out your list of ideas and choose the one that you feel most passionate about – and there’s your topic for the post.
There are so many places you can gather inspiration for your blog posts from. Some of my favorites are:
Magazines or books
Use web diagrams to hash out ideas
Flashback to fifth grade, hey? But seriously, web diagrams are the most amazing way to bang out your ideas and get your thoughts down in an organized but efficient way.
What I love most about web diagrams is that you don’t have to create any sort of “order” for the points you’re writing down, like you would with a regular list. They also allow you to connect certain ideas that are related, and to see which points stand out most and should be your main topics and/or headings.
In case you need a quick refresher, here’s an example of a web diagram I created for this very post:
See how my five main points (headers) branch out from the centre? Then each key point I want to hit branches off from those five. It’s simple, but it works really well. If you’ve got your diagram laid out ahead of time, writing your blog post will be a breeze – trust me.
Do tasks in bulk
One of the worst time-killers is switching back and forth between tasks again and again and again. Multi-tasking is actually scientifically proven to be worse for your productivity and efficiency. You might feel like you’re getting ahead by doing everything at once, but it’s actually just slowing you down.
A better method is to “batch” your tasks. Basically, batching is a fancy way of saying “doing things in bulk”. So instead of spending 20 minutes writing, then 20 minutes editing, and then 20 minutes taking photos, you devote a larger chunk of time to each task, and don’t move onto the next one until you’ve made big progress in each category.
If you only have an hour a day to spend on your blog, you can also try delegating Mondays as your “Writing Day”, Tuesdays your “Images Day”, and Wednesdays your “Editing Day” (or something along those lines – whatever works for you and your blog).
Whatever you do, don’t try to do two things at once – especially writing and editing. When you write posts, you just want to get everything out without thinking about your grammar and spelling and if it all makes sense. Let everything flow out of you as it comes to mind, and save the editing for a late date.
Divide your time accordingly + set time limits
Leading off that last point about doing tasks in bulk, you also want to make sure you’re dividing your time accordingly. You want to focus the most of your effort on the tasks that bring in the biggest rewards for you and your blog – whether that’s followers, page views, social media interaction, comments, etc.
Split your time up into chunks, with the highest Return-on-Investment (ROI) items getting the largest chunk of time. Here’s an example of how I might choose to break up my blogging time:
25% writing content
20% editing content
15% creating graphics/taking photos
40% social media promotion
Next, you’ll want to take the amount of time you have set aside for blogging, and actually break that up into portions of time for each item on your list. Just be approximate with it – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
Using the example above, I might divide my blogging time into 1 hour for writing, 45 minutes for editing, 30 minutes for photos, and 1.5 hours promoting the post on social media.
Now here’s where the good part comes in: I don’t want you to just try to stick to those guidelines – I want you to actually set a timer for each portion of time. Nothing will make you work faster than feeling like the clock is ticking and you’re racing against it. Once the timer goes off, it’s time to move on to the next task.
But don’t worry – the timer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. If you’re really in the groove with something, keep at it even after the timer goes off until you get to a point where you’re comfortable stopping. And if something isn’t working, don’t sit there struggling until the timer’s up – just move on.
By putting these 5 tips into action, I know you’re going to see a huge improvement in how fast you can get things done for your blog. I hope you found this post helpful and interesting, and a big thank-you to Imka for letting me come here and guest post for you!
Have a lovely day,
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