This age we live in, full of distractions can really put productivity on a different level. Writing as a way of living or simply as a hobby is a task that requires attention, organization, scheduling. A productive blogger knows how to:
But this doesn’t mean that he/she doesn’t struggle with this situations. It’s a matter of how you educate yourself to actually doing the things above on a daily basis. After all, being a productive blogger has deep roots in your day to day activities, in how are you in general – productive or not. Because being productive requires discipline, and it just the result of your behavior. For certain, you are not born as a productive person, not to mention a productive blogger.
Seeing that you are struggling with keeping your blog up-to-date, you have to take some action. The first step is to actually admit that you need to do something and that you need a bit of a help. It doesn’t mean that you need help from someone else (this doesn’t involve reading other people’s advice). It means that you have to help yourself, to channel some energy into making a better you – in this case, a better, productive blogger.
In the next part of the article, you will find out a bit more about each situation mentioned above: procrastination, time management, writer’s block. See if you find yourself in any of these situations; it can be just one that is causing you troubles.
Procrastination – a Productive Blogger’s enemy
Being a productive blogger can be a struggle, as I’ve said. Whether you are working for a company, or you’re just writing as a hobby (maybe to gain some viewers and be popular), procrastination surely comes in the way.
You know those (often) situations when you know you should be doing something, but you’re focusing on something else instead? I mean, you know you have something important to do, but you keep postponing it, because:
- you think you’ll have the time;
- you wait to be in the mood to do that task;
- you don’t know everything about the task, so you keep waiting for more information to come, passively.
The basic example is that one from college or high school. You were supposed to study, but instead, you are cleaning your room, because you think that will help you set the right mood.
While for some these reasons may work, for most of us this is pure procrastination!
I have a more scientific definition for this situation: “the gap between the time we intend to perform a task and the time we actually perform it” – Clarry Lay, psychologist.
Let’s face it, we all procrastinate from time to time, you’re not alone. The idea is to find out why are you doing this, in order to be able to get that motivation and stop doing it. Think about the fact that the sooner you get over with the task, the better.
I have to mention that prioritizing your tasks and performing the most important task rather than the most recent one, is not procrastinating – it makes you an organized person!
Put yourself this question: “What makes me procrastinate?”, and most importantly “Why do I procrastinate when I have to write a blog article?”. If you can’t think of anything, look at these examples:
- your new subject is overwhelming (you don’t have the information, the resources, the confidence and/or the time to write it);
- you have troubles when making a decision (finding the right subject, deciding on how the article should look like and so on);
- you don’t recognize the value of completing your article;
- you are disorganized;
- you are a perfectionist.
Is any of these reasons a match? If not, there are a number of more reasons why you can procrastinate, it all comes to you. Examine yourself by thinking at your daily schedule; write down every task you’re doing and the time it takes you to it. Then ask yourself “Why…?”
Let’s dive more into these procrastination reasons. Thinking that your blog article’s subject is overwhelming can be a bit of a stress. This is why you postpone writing it. Even if you are the one that gave yourself the task, it can often happen to not be excited about writing the article. Not to mention if you work as a blogger for a company, and your new article has to be about a subject you don’t know much.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed when you have to write your new article, repeat yourself this: “I live in a world of technology and information, and this gives me power”. There’s no subject that hasn’t been mentioned somewhere before. Thus, you have the resources to find all the information you need. You have the power to feel confident that you’ll write one heck of a blog article.
Indeed, time is the most important resource, and if you feel you don’t have it, well…this is the main push you should give yourself in order to write an article. As I’ve said, the sooner you get over with, the better.
Of course, you don’t have to stay awake at night to call yourself a productive blogger. Even writing for a half an hour a day can help you a lot at avoiding procrastination (you’ll find more details later in the article). Think of it this way: instead of losing 2 hours procrastinating, thus doing unimportant stuff, why don’t use those 2 hours and at least find some ideas for your article?
Another sneaky feeling that can crawl your mind, not letting you be a productive blogger, is having troubles taking a decision. And this can happen from the moment of choosing the right subject, to even the moment of organizing the article in the page. To keep this situation to a minimum, try to do a list of variants, then ask for help. Maybe someone with an objective eye can quickly make you realize what’s the best option.
“Why should I finish this article today?” Well, mister, because it’s due today! Just (almost) kidding. Writing blog articles out of passion and as a hobby can make you put yourself this question a lot. I mean, it’s a world full of distractions and constant push notifications. I don’t blame or judge you.
But imagine if you had a boss. Like other bloggers do. Would you postpone it that much even then? Probably not as much. Thinking of consequences can be a push for you to become a productive blogger. Realizing the value and the feeling of accomplishment that you’ll get after you write your article, can be even a greater push.
Moving forward, let me tell you one thing: you may be (a bit) disorganized, even if you don’t like to accept that. That includes time and the environment. We’ll talk about time management a bit later. Let’s focus a bit on your work environment. It’s been proven that a decluttered workspace it’s the best way to keep yourself focused. Try to always keep your desk clean and tidy.
All those papers, all of those notes, put them aside in a special place. If you know you’ll have to write some ideas, then keep a small notebook and a pen close to you. Have a bottle of water near, in order to quickly hydrate your body and mind. Keep it to a minimal! When you begin writing, put your phone on Do Not Disturb mode, so that your attention will be focused in a single place. Just test it out one day and see for yourself that just this small step can help you develop into a productive blogger.
I mentioned perfectionism as a reason to procrastinate because you can be in the situation when you think that your article won’t be perfect, thus you don’t want to write it. Breaking news! Nobody is perfect, and I’m 100% sure you’ve heard this a million times. But this is for your own good. People have a lot of opinions, and there are a lot of people.
Of course, you may want to write your article in your way, but don’t stress about it not being perfect, especially perfect for others. This will only make you feel disappointed when someone may not agree with what you wrote. And thinking to not write an article because you don’t think you can write it in a perfect way, it’s definitely something to avoid.
Have confidence in you! There’s a reason why you started writing. Aiming for perfection is a bit of a different thing because this will help you not being sloppy and superficial.
Aim to be a perfect productive blogger – this will help you constantly improve yourself. But don’t procrastinate because you think you can’t write a perfect article. If you look for information and involve yourself in writing, then you’ll surely have a great (perfect) article.
All in all, keep away all distractions. This includes distraction thought as well as environment thoughts. If you’re working at a company, politely refuse chats while you have to write.
Stop blaming the environment! Make things happen, because you’re the only one that can do that. Let your colleagues know that you are dealing with an important task and that they shouldn’t involve you in chats or whatever else. If you’re really struggling with this, put on headphones and play some songs or white noise.
And don’t forget that “appetite comes eating”. It may be hard to start to write, but once you do, it will all be easier, so try to not interrupt your flow.
Time Management – a skill for a Productive Blogger
Time management is also a skill of a productive blogger. This is something that you must to in order to keep procrastination and stress away.
Start simple: make daily to-do lists regarding your articles: write some ideas, search for some graphics, look for some keywords.
Try to schedule your writing. Pay attention to your behavior, and try to find your most active times and days. These are the moments you should feel and be the most productive. Find a schedule that suits you or your company, so that you’ll avoid postponing.
Of course, you’ll have to be consistent and to stick with your schedule. This has some benefits:
- people will see that you are committed to writing, therefore they’ll gain trust;
- you’ll “train” you readers to know when they should expect your articles, thus they’ll become loyal.
These two attributes are the ones that will help you build a community of readers, thus making your blog successful. People will know that you’re trustworthy because you are involved in delivering content every week (or every day, every month etc.). They will become loyal because they learn your schedule and they will know exactly when you’ll post an article. They will expect it, and may even clear some of their schedules in order to be on that particular day and hour, to read your article.
As I’ve said above, time is the most important resource. Organize yourself in such a way that you’ll have time for both professional and personal tasks. Make a day plan and choose a time-period when you have to write. Do this every day, not only in the day when you have to complete an article. This will help you to gather more ideas, which will be very useful.
Think about how you are as a person. Are you a morning or an evening one? Do you feel the most productive in the morning or at night? Make use of this, and put your writing hours in that specific time period. Doing this every day will help your brain get used to it. Thus, you’ll become more and more productive – your brain will know that he has to help you write in the morning (or in another part of the day).
In this specific time period, you can use the Pomodoro technique, to write in batches. This will keep your mind fresh. Aim to write 300 words in 25 minutes, then slowly, day by day, increase the number. You’ll see that you’ll soon manage to write a 3000-word article in no time!
What I said in the Procrastination part applies here also: while you are in the writing period, turn off all of your notifications, and keep away all distractions. If you work in a company, try to ignore your colleagues (politely) and think only about your own good: the sooner you finish writing your article, the more time you’ll have to do other tasks. Think that after this, you’ll be free to go. Just like when you were a kid, and your mother would say “do your homework now so that you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to play”. It all makes sense now!
Besides, don’t you want to feel accomplished quicker? Finishing your article sooner than you expected, or sooner than your superiors expected, helps you being recognized as a productive blogger.
Writer’s block – the blank page
Another situation that can keep you from being a productive blogger is having a writer’s block. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! And you shouldn’t feel bad for having it.
You may panic about the fact that you don’t know what to write. It’s possible for you to know the article’s subject, but to simply have no ideas. Also, you may end up to that situation when you’d think that your ideas aren’t good enough.
To avoid having a block, try to always be open to new ideas. The world is full of inspiration in case you don’t have a subject in mind. Whenever you see or hear something that can be transformed into an article idea, write it down at that moment! You don’t want to lose it, so don’t rely on the fact that you’ll remember it later.
Finding ideas about a given subject can be easily done with Google. Think of all the possible way a person can search for that subject, and search for those ideas. Or simply go to Quora or Pinterest, write the most relevant keyword, and transform yourself into a private detective. Write down every single idea that you find.
In order to be organized, and successfully manage your time, set up a period of time when you should find ideas. Stick to the plan and focus only on finding as many ideas as you can. It’s basically a brainstorming session.
After you’ve finished, take a look at what you found and see which ideas are best. To keep track of your ideas, format them into a checklist; check the ideas that you find useful, and leave the other ones for later or for other articles. Doing this will not only help you find constant inspiration, but it will also help you be organized, and managing your time in a productive way.
Once you’ve managed to do at least a bit of these, there are a few steps that can help you write that blog article in no-time
Being a Productive Blogger – Steps to follow
I didn’t mention this before, but don’t multitask! I know, being able to do this might make you feel like a master of tasks, but it’s kind of the opposite way. You’re definitely not more productive by multitasking. Joggling with a lot of tasks is not an act of capability; it might even show that you’re not involved in the things you’re doing and that you don’t know how to organize time.
Of course, there are situations where multitasking is the only solution. But when it comes to writing, this is the biggest counterproductive situation. Imagine being constantly interrupted by others, while you are in the best mood of writing. You’ll get annoyed at some point because your writing flow will be more like a dashed line.
Also, not only others can interrupt you. Your mind can easily wonder about other important tasks that you have to do. This is where that time management comes into place: prioritize your tasks! Being a blogger, writing should be the most important task. If you want to be a productive blogger, then you must actually realize that none of the tasks unrelated to your blogging should be more important.
It’s no good to think that you have to write, edit, add graphics, proofread and all of that, all at the same time. It will be better for you to completely separate the tasks, and tackle them one by one. Down below are some steps that you can follow everytime you’re writing an article. See if they work for you, and if they don’t, adjust them so they’ll suit you best.
- The first step is to find a theme that suits you/company. If you are a blogger who simply likes to write, then think what you want people to find out, and make an article out of that. Or you can think about people’s struggles and how can you help them; if you are a freelancer that tries to build a community around the main subject (for example, social media), then search Google for what people are searching for. Almost the same goes for a company – still, you can also write articles presenting a product’s uses using real-life examples of how that product can benefit people. Either way, the first step is to find a subject.
- The second step is to search for some keywords. In whatever category of blogger, you’re in, keywords can help you bring your content in front of people. Write down the list, then try to include them in your article, step by step. Use a checked list or simply highlight the ones that you added. This will help you in organizing.
- Make an outline of your ideas. Keywords can really help you know what to focus on, therefore, create an outline. Having small titles (I call them that) gives you the impression that you have to write less; “a paragraph is done, yey! On to the next one!”. Writing in batches can really improve your productivity because you’ll focus on one thing at a time! If you think about it, is a writing inception.
- Start writing! Focus on writing using the Pomodoro technique. It’s been proven that is an effective way to work productively, not just write. Take the article step by step and complete those paragraphs where you feel inspired the most. This is just so you won’t lose your ideas (but you won’t, if you write them down). Otherwise, you can really focus on the challenging paragraphs; you’ll be relieved after you write them, which can lead to quicker results for the other paragraph. Test it out and see what works for you.
- Proof-read your article, using Grammarly or Type.li. Don’t worry about writing with mistakes, just focus on writing, writing, writing. You’ll be more relaxed knowing that you’ll only have to re-read the article to just correct it. If you worry about doing this while you write, you can lose your writing flow. while you re-read for proofreading you may find that you can add/erase some ideas; still don’t focus entirely on this and worry that your article isn’t good enough.most of the time, the first things you write are the best ones.
- Finally, add graphics and images to your article. After you complete everything that comes with actual writing, you can focus on beautifying your article. You’ll be focused solely on this, therefore you can take your time to find the best graphics to represent your article.
These are the steps for being productive at writing your blog articles. If you are a new blogger, you might want need more tips & tricks for writing the best blog article, so we got you covered.
Remember that being a productive blogger requires discipline; you have to avoid distractions, prioritize your tasks and stick to the plan, manage your time effectively and be always open for inspiration.
Featured image (background) by Designed by Molostock / Freepik