One of the most common excuses bloggers give for a lack of updates is that they just don’t have time to blog. The truth is almost everyone can find the time to blog. The problem is most of us aren’t very productive writers, so cranking out a blog post takes way longer than it should.
To help you blog more in less time, I’ve come up with a list of simple tips and tricks that can make you a more productive writer.
• Keep a journal with your ideas—Trying to come up with ideas for a blog post can be time consuming. So, don’t wait until you have an open word processor to figure out what you want to write about. Instead, keep a list of your ideas in a journal or somewhere on your computer. Ideas strike you all the time; make sure you write them down so you don’t forget them. This way, writer’s block will never be an issue, and you can hit the ground running whenever you’re ready to write a new post.
• Outline your posts—I like to create a basic outline for my posts before I begin writing them. I find that this keeps my writing tighter and more focused. With an outline, I basically just have to fill in the pieces of each section to write my post.
• Write first. Edit later—Don’t try to edit yourself as you write. This takes up too much time, and it will cause you to lose the conversation tone and flow in your writing. Once you get in the writing zone, ride that wave all the way to its completion. Then, once your post is written, you can start to do some editing. Otherwise, you’ll end up starting and stopping over and over, never getting any momentum built up.
• Use the egg timer writing method—I believe it was Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club and other great novels) who first came up with the egg timer method of writing. Here’s how it works: Get one of those little kitchen timers, and set it for a certain period of time…let’s say 30 minutes. Then, for that 30 minutes, focus only on writing. Don’t surf the web. Don’t answer the phone. Just write. Once the timer rings, you’re free to take a break or to stop writing altogether. This keeps you focused, allowing you to get a lot done in a small amount of time.
• Know your best writing times—Some people like to write late at night. Others are better early in the morning. Find the time that you’re best suited to write, and schedule your blogging during that part of the day.
• Unplug your laptop—I remember reading this in an article for freelance writers a long time ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. Unplug your laptop, and start writing. Your laptop’s battery can only last for a certain amount of time (usually 2-3 hours), so you can’t screw around. You have to focus on writing before your computer crashes.
• Think about what you want to write—Even when I’m not writing, I’m always thinking about ideas for new posts and things I want to say in my blog. The more time you spend thinking about what you want to write, the easier it will be to get it out once you sit down in front of your computer.
What are some other productivity boosting tips you’d add to this list? Leave a comment with your thoughts.