Three Steps to Be a Smarter Blogger … And Cut Your Workload in Half

By Ali Luke

Becoming a successful blogger takes time …

… but maybe not as much time as you think.

If you’re spending hours and hours every week working on your blog, and not getting much traffic or many new subscribers as a result, it’s time to start working smart instead of hard.

And in case you think that means you won’t succeed, here’s a question for you:

Wouldn’t it be great if you could do half as much work as you do right now … and still get the same results?

Well, there’s a good chance you can.

Here are the three biggest steps I suggest:

Step #1: Write Less Frequently

If you’re currently posting once a month at best, this tip isn’t for you. But many bloggers are posting more often than they need to, especially when their blog is new.

For most niches, you can post once a week or even once every two weeks and still get good results. (Boost Blog Traffic, for instance, typically only has a new post once a week – yet it’s a very popular and well-regarded blog.)

If you’ve come across advice to post daily, it’s probably outdated (or just plain wrong). Here’s my view on it.

Step #2: Develop a Writing System

Do you find yourself struggling to come up with an idea when you’re due to write a post? Do you ever spend an hour writing a couple of paragraphs, only to change your mind and scrap the whole thing?

You need a writing system that lets you produce posts like clockwork. A good way to do that is to:

  • Come up with a bunch of ideas all at once (try to list, say, 20).
  • Plan out several posts at a time, with a list of bullet points to cover in each.
  • Set aside dedicated writing time, where you won’t check emails, social media, etc.
  • Allow plenty of time to edit, so you’re not pressuring yourself to write a perfect first draft.

If you haven’t tried separating these different steps of the process before, you might want to watch my (totally free) video training on The Writing Process for Bloggers.

Step #3: Cut Back on Social Media

When you “quickly check Facebook”, does it turn into a half-hour browsing session after you just have to check out that link to a Buzzfeed quiz? Social media can be a great way to build relationships and to share your blog with others, but it can also be a huge time sink.

Don’t feel that you have to read every status update / tweet / etc. Perhaps you’re worried about missing out … but the truth is, if you’re spending too much time reading and chatting on social media, you’re missing out on the opportunity to grow your blog in more effective ways.

Limit your social media time to, say, 15 minutes every morning and 15 minutes every afternoon. If you want to post updates throughout the day, try using a tool like Buffer to schedule them in advance.

 

Are you working smart, or just working hard? Drop a comment below to tell us your tips for using your blogging time as effectively as possible.

 




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5 Responses to “Three Steps to Be a Smarter Blogger … And Cut Your Workload in Half”

  • Raspal Seni

    Hi Ali,

    I remember how hard I worked last year when I started my blog and also joined a 30 day blog challenge. I used to keep thinking of what to post. And if I completed the post, then thought about what to tweet and where to comment, and about my next day’s post.

    Now, I stopped posting for a while since I was busy creating an e-book and moving my blog to another domain. Will be posting only about once or twice a month now.

    I agree, being smart is the key here. We should work like this quote from Abraham Lincoln: ”Give me six hours to chop down a
    tree and I will spend the first four
    sharpening the axe.”

    Nice tips, especially the 3rd one which I think most people make, except me. 🙂 I’m glad I’m not addicted to social networks.

  • Anurag

    HI Ali,
    I was reading this post like I read others but then suddenly when I read the second point, I was shocked.
    As it truly, resembles my situation as I have scraped many posts after writing two to three hundred words.
    And for the point three, I spend more than 50 percent of my time on Facebook doing nothing much.
    Thanks for this post, will try to work smarter from now on.

  • dojo

    I have started posting less and promoting more and it’s working pretty well. It allows me to spend more time with the family and also do some serious work on my blog.

  • Daniel

    Very insightful and well written post, Ali.

    Regarding the number of posts people are publishing, I think I agree with the “keep it regular” crowd on this one…

    Without a doubt, being to random with posts, can sometimes throw off subscribers and regular readers…

    As far as setting scheduled “themed post days” I think this is a fantastic idea…and I have noticed that this is quite common among the more successful bloggers, too.

    As to actual “post quota’s) per week month, etc…

    I have seen a few people go a little over the top, and they are publishing close to “double figures”per day….

    Probably, a daily post, or maybe 2 to 3 posts a week should be enough to keep both the readers and the search engines happy…

  • Kirsten

    Thank you for a most excellent and timely post. I hate to admit it, because I never thought it would happen to me, but I find myself getting caught in social media quicksand on a regular basis.
    My solution is to turn off the internet until I’m finished writing.
    Also, I have moved to once, at most twice, a week posts and that makes a huge difference, too, Perhaps I’ll get that novel finished now 🙂

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