This post is the final part of the blog time management series.
So far, I have given you 15 powerful tips that can help you maximize the available time you have for your blog. And in this final part, I’ll give you five more ways to boost your productivity.
Let’s get started!
Click here to access the other parts of the blog time management series:
- Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog - Part 1
- Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog - Part 2
- Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog - Part 3
1. Have a Template
If I have to pick one tip that makes a big difference in my blogging productivity, it is the use of templates.
If you take a look at the posts on this blog, almost all of them follow the same pattern. The pattern I’m referring to is known as a template.
The templates I use for my posts are nothing fancy, and they vary a bit, depending on which type of posts I’m writing. For instance, here is a simple post structure that I could use if I wanted to:
- Blog post title
- Intro text
- Table of Contents
Once I have created a template, I save it on my WordPress as a draft. You can then manually copy and paste this structure as a basis for your new post. But there is an easier way to do this.
What I have done instead is install a nifty plugin called Duplicate Post. One of the nice things that this plugin does is add a Clone link on your WordPress posts view:
Whenever I start writing a new post, and I want to use the predefined template, I click the Clone link to duplicate it. The new post structure is then in place without having to copy and paste anything.
2. Micro Source Your Tasks
Although you are most likely blogging by yourself, it doesn’t mean that you should do everything by yourself.
So what do I mean?
Well, there are certain tasks that you could let someone else do. And to find these “someones,” I use the help of Fiverr:
For instance, I have used these Fiverr services:
- Kindle book formatting.
- Proofreading and editing.
- Creation of eBook covers.
- Creation of video and podcast intros.
As you can see, Fiverr is a great way to outsource at least some of your smaller tasks. And when these small tasks are off your plate, you have more time to focus on other important parts of blogging, like content creation.
3. Invest in Paid Tools
Running a blog requires some tools, and fortunately, you can find a lot of the tools for free on the Internet. However, free tools can only take you so far.
For instance, doing keyword research without investing in paid tools is - well, a pain in the butt. Yes, you can save money with a free tool, but often, you are not saving time and effort.
So why not make things easier for yourself by investing in a premium tool?
For instance, for keyword research, I use a tool called KWFinder. Not only am I able to do keyword research faster, but I also know that I’m getting premium-level support if any questions come up.
Some other paid tools I use for running this blog are:
- Grammarly for proofreading and editing.
- Sketch for image editing.
- ScreenFlow for editing videos.
- Thrive Architect for formatting my blog posts.
I only invest in tools I need. I suggest you take this same approach as well.
4. Improve Your Processes
I think that the word “process” sounds very dull. But it is also an important one when blog time management is concerned.
The fact is, you are already following a process when you create content for your blog. But what may surprise you is that some of the steps in that process may not be necessary.
For instance, on a rough level, my process for writing blog posts looks like this:
- Pick a topic from a content calendar that I will cover next on my blog.
- Do some keyword research with KWFinder regarding that topic.
- Outline the post.
- Write the post.
- Edit and proofread the post.
- Send the post to an external proofreader.
- When I get the post back from the proofreader, insert the post on my WordPress, and publish it.
- Review the live post and fix anything that needs fixing.
Once I know the steps in the process, I dig deeper into them to find out individual tasks that I can optimize or sometimes, even remove.
For instance, I used to use Sketch to add a blog post title and subtitle texts to my post’s featured images. But after thinking about this task, I didn’t quite understand why I was doing so. So I stopped doing it.
The result? I’m now able to publish new content a little bit faster than before.
I also suggest that you write down your blogging process. In the beginning, do it on a rough level. And once you have done that, start adding more individual tasks that fall under those main levels.
For instance, you could find out that to speed up the publishing process, you should create a template for your posts. This way, publishing new posts becomes faster since the post structure is already in place.
5. Write Shorter Posts
I know - I’m going against the flow with this advice but hear me out.
A common piece of advice is to write long-form content.
Why? Because Google loves it.
Longer content is often considered as more in-depth, and long content helps you to rank better in search engines.
This advice is golden for those who blog full-time, from 9 to 5, who have a content team behind them, or money to spend on ads. However, it is not for those who run their blogs themselves, outside office hours.
I think that the major problem with the long-form content advice is that everyone else is already doing that.
The question is: how the heck are you going to compete with 10 (or more) other bloggers who already write long-form, in-depth stuff?
The answer: You are not.
My advice? If possible, write shorter posts that still answer your reader’s questions!
For instance, if I’m reading about a WordPress plugin, I don’t like reading a post with 6,000 words, if 600 words are sufficient. I value my time, and I want to get the facts fast, without having to set an appointment on the calendar to read a post!
So, do I follow the shorter post advice myself? Yes, I try to.
For instance, I try to shoot between 600 - 1200 words on my content. Occasionally, I may write longer posts, but if the message can be delivered with 600 words instead of 6,000, then the former is better.
Blog Time Management - Part 4: The Conclusion
This post was the last part of the blog time management series. I hope that you found these productivity tips valuable, and I will give you more tips like this in the future.
As always, I’m looking forward to hearing from you: What are your best time management tips that you can give for a part-time blogger? Share them in the comments area!