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Productivity Tips for Bloggers

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of September 2007 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Productivity-Tips-BloggersI get asked a lot of questions about how I find the time to do the different things that I do.

My daily focus includes: writing on two blogs (an average of 4-6 posts per day), moderate comments and interact with readers on those two blogs, manage a handful of other personal blogs (where others write) and a forum, train over 100 bloggers at b5media (as well as other management tasks), lead a small church, be a dad and husband – plus another secret project or two that are in development.

All in all I have a pretty full and busy life. My success rate at getting everything done is mixed – some days I manage to keep my hours to a sane 8 or 9 while other days it blows out to over 12 (although I’m getting better at having at least one day almost completely off on the weekend).

So how do I do it? Am I super organized?

To be honest – I’m not. I do have some systems and rhythms as well as some loose daily goals – but I tend to be more impulsive and intuitive in my style than anything else.

My Productivity Tips for Bloggers

Having said that – here are a few of the things that I do to help me keep my productivity levels up in the midst of my impulsive and sometimes quite random days of blogging:

  1. Identify Core Tasks – there are many tasks that a blogger needs to do to keep their blog growing – however some are more important than others and if you get distracted from these your blog will suffer considerably. Sit down and list the tasks that you need to do to maintain and grow your blog and then prioritize them into core daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks. This will mean you spend less time on the fluffy/tweaks that many blogs spend too much time doing and more time on the core things that will grow your blog.
  2. Set Times for Set Tasks – I’ve written previously about how I use Mondays as a day where I write a lot of my content for the week ahead. I find that setting aside blocks of time for important core tasks helps me keep on track.
  3. Establish a Posting Frequency – A trap that I used to fall into was just posting when I had something to publish. This meant that some days I would post 10 or more posts a day per blog (when I was in a writing groove – however it left me with nothing to publish the day after. These days I have daily goals on blogs and unless it’s a time sensitive breaking story I will save surplus posts that I’ve written to publish in days ahead.
  4. Establish Good Boundaries – a key part of being productive for me is to set healthy Win Win boundaries between work and family/life. When the balance gets out on either front everything suffers.
  5. Identify and Work in your Golden Hour – there are times in my day when I’m more productive than others – my Golden Hours. Knowing when these are and scheduling important core tasks in these times is crucial for me to get things done. Schedule other less important tasks for ‘dead time’.
  6. Develop Time Saving Systems – My morning routine is to get a snapshot of the different aspects of my work very quickly. I’ve written about how I use firefox bookmark folders to do this previously. Little systems and rhythms like this help you stay on top of things but do so in a quick way that lets you get back on with your core daily tasks. Another example of these types of systems is the ‘points system‘ that one ProBlogger reader developed to help them keep on track.
  7. Use Good Tools – I use a number of tools in my blogging to assist me to keep my different tasks managed. One of the tools that I’ve only just discovered that I’m still working out how to incorporate into my workflow is RustyBudget. This is a tool specifically designed for bloggers managing multiple blogs and or managing blogs with multiple authors. It provides you with a way to manage day to day storyboards, posts and topics. It’s free to use (until you add more than two authors) and while there are features that I’d like them to see added I think it’s got a lot of potential. For more reading on blog tools check out this list – the A-Z of Professional Blogging Tools (but be warned that there are ALOT and ironically it could grind the productivity of your day to a halt!).

I’m sure there is much more that I could write. Keep in mind that while some of the above makes it sound like I’m highly organized and thought through in my blogging that the truth is that in the midst of it all my daily reality is sometimes a complete jumble and that like everyone I get distracted, unproductive and stuck on a daily basis too.

For all of us who could do with a little more reading on how to be a more productive blogger – check out these two posts written on other blogs this week:

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Thanks for covering my article on Copyblogger.com on finding time to write!

    I wish you the best with that growing church!



  2. There is a line in one of my favourite Eagles songs that goes:

    “Some people spend all their time making money, some spend all their money, making time”

    It sounds to me like you need to do some more of the latter!

  3. I find that I often lose focus on key tasks (including writing content) and my productivity suffers as a result because there is just so much to do and learn on my path to becoming a successful blogger. I will definitely put your tips to good use. Thanks!

  4. This is what I’m looking for. I’m always on the lookout for better ways to be productive while having more time to spend with my kids. Thanks Darren.

  5. Darren, your honesty is refreshing and encouraging. Thank you for being someone that knows a lot but doesn’t pretend to know it all and someone who does a lot but doesn’t pretend to do it all. Thank you for sharing who and what you are, a “pro blogger” and a good human being.

  6. The rusty budget link is broken – it should be http://budget.rustybrick.com/ . The ‘www’ should not be there.

  7. Timely advise as always. At least for me. I just started another blog which I’m looking to actually turn into a money making machine, ok maybe that’s a bit over zealous, but you understand. Anyhow I was having trouble keeping myself organized.

  8. I use an outlining tool to keep track of all my ideas… over the last year I’ve built up a gigantic list of ideas, all nicely organized by category… couldn’t possibly live without it.

    I agree with the posting consistency… that’s probably the most difficult thing to get used to, and I’m only halfway there.

  9. Good post darren! I tend to do the Monday thing too… I write most of my posts on Monday, and sprinkly a few in throughout the week. Since I manage many other businesses, my blog is not something I live by… but I do want it to have quality content.. and have found it to be a great networking tool as an entrepreneur.

    Good stuff! *=) Keep up the good work!

  10. thanks Binny – fxed that link

  11. Matt Jones – yeah, I’ve been making a lot more time of late.

  12. Great post Darren! I always love reading about how other’s manage their time, and I try to learn from them.

    Since blogging is not my full-time job, I have other responsibilities I must tend to. But one thing I’ve learned to do is focus my internet time towards my two blogs. Most of the time I spend online now is dedicated to researching, posting and maintaining those blogs. I view it as a hobby that I have a lot of fun with, so it’s never hard to sit down and pound out a few posts!

    The other trick that works for me is using the same time each day devoted to blogging. Of course, some days that time can be altered if I have other stuff going on, but most week days I do a lot of work in the evening. On the weekends, it’s all up in the air.

    Effective time management is critical for anyone serious about blogging. It’s like running a marathon: you have to pace yourself and set small, manageable goals – otherwise you’ll get burned out too quickly.

    Thanks for the tips!!!

  13. Great tips Darren – thank you. And that is some huge list too. I’ve found quite a few useful tools I’d like to try.

    I too use the Golden Hour (between 4 and 5 in the morning). The hour I call my brain dead time is 3-4pm and that’s when I return none urgent calls. I know that sounds terrible, but the telephone can be a real nuisance.

    Darren which of the tools in your list is best for adding pictures to blog content? One of my visitors commented that I need pictures, but I’m really struggling to find a plug in that I can work.

  14. Great tips! I know I always having trouble in time to write a blog. Hopefully this tips can manage my time for blogging.

    I also have question: What is the term and condition when a blogger is blogging productively?

  15. “My daily focus includes: writing on two blogs (an average of 4-6 posts per day), moderate comments and interact with readers on those two blogs, manage a handful of other personal blogs (where others write) and a forum, train over 100 bloggers at b5media”

    Wow I can’t imagine doing that!

  16. Nice tips two thumbs Up . Big hello from Bali!

  17. I have really fallen into the trap of writing whenever I have the urge. Some days I have put out 6 to 10 posts just to find myself a day or two later with absolutely nothing to say.

    I have started a newer blog where I am trying to limit myself to 1 item a day, but am constantly coming up with new post ideas. I carry a notebook with me to help keep it consistent. (www.discoverspanishwithus.com).

    But my main blog is just a personal blog with no real format, so I don’t feel bad about ups and downs of daily life.

  18. I have plenty of blog material, so I don’t have to worry about that aspect. I plan to have a couple blogs up and running one day. (As soon as I quit my day job. lol)
    I consider my time spent now as being in “blogging school”.
    I attend your “classes” fairly regularly but am not very consistent with class participation. I’ve learned a lot from you and the video format is a great personal touch. Thanks.

  19. Hello,

    I could not write more than one post a week. Will it hamper my blog if the post quantity is not large? However, I try to maintain quality.


  20. Kanquona – it’s not essential to post daily – however it can help.

    I guess it’d depend upon the topic you’re writing about. For example a ‘newsy’ type blog would probably struggle with one post per week – whereas a blog with longer more analytical posts might work.

  21. Wow, you are definitely one of the busiest bloggers I know of, which is probably why you are one of the most successful ones I know of… and definitely an inspiration to aspiring bloggers.

    Thanks a lot for sharing those great tips to getting things done with blogging! I have a blog myself, but I find it difficult to keep it updated as often as I would like with the other projects I have going on.

  22. not a bad idea to write and manage 1 or 2 blogs a day

    that way you can answer to your blogs comments

    Hopefully your tips can manage my time for blogging.


  23. Great tips, Darren! Thanks!

  24. I usually write one month’s worth of blogs in one sitting.

    Darren, can you please let us know how many blogs per day would help us build our blogs?

    Some people are posting 4-6 times per day! That’s a lot for me, but at the same time I want this to just start flying.

    When I start getting income, I’d like to get a new writer and maybe have a consistent 3 posts per day.

    Thanks for your feedback.


  25. I wish I’d read this 3 days ago! I think I published nearly 13 posts that day!
    Anyway, thanks. It’s never too late to turn back from a bad road. I’m glad for the point of establishing a posting frequency. That’s a timely advice and one I could do with.

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