It doesn’t matter if you are just starting to blog or someone who’s been building their platform for a few years, the Number 1 struggle people face is finding enough time to post consistently.
In fact there have been times I’ve wondered if I even have what it takes to keep up the pace with any sort of consistency. But I’ve found seventeen strategies that help most bloggers make and maximize my time for blogging. It is a time problem.
This problem differs from Blank-Post Syndrome because it’s about the lack of time not the lack of inspiration . While some bloggers can sit at a Starbucks and knock out a week’s worth of posts in a few hours, many can’t. Further, once the post is written, it still needs editing and other technical additions before it’s ready to publish.
To combat the I-Don’t-Have Time-to-Blog-Blues, here are seventeen blog post suggestions to help minimize your content creation time.
- Make a video.
Online videos are a great medium for storytelling. Leverage this strength while adding another content format to your blog. The video can be a talking head of your insights in lieu of a written post or a demonstration. Chris Brogan does this a lot to mix up his blog offering. Benefit: Videos tend to be short so that they’re less time consuming to produce. Further, videos are useful for search optimization but don’t forget to add text for the search engines.
2. Use photographs to make your point.
Including photographs, illustrations and infographics can help to make a point more powerful. The visuals can be the entire post or you can add a short commentary to explain the content to your audience. The Satorialist presents a collection of breath-taking fashion-oriented photographs on city streets around the world. Of if you want a laugh, check out Cake Wrecks, photographs of professional cakes gone wrong.
3.Set a Schedule
The simplest practice is to make blogging part of your weekly schedule, and protect that time by saying no to other activities.
Don’t treat it like an extracurricular activity, but dedicate a small chunk of time to sitting in front of your computer screen and connecting with your readers.
Start small: aim for one post a week. If it makes sense, budget an hour on a Friday evening (or whatever day you know you’ll have an hour to spare) and make blogging part of your routine.
Schedules are great for two reasons:
- They keep you on task, because you know that this timeis blogging time. You don’t need to feel guilty about not getting other important work done.
- Your readers know what to expect. Ideally, whenever you’re scheduled to post, you’ll see a surge of new visitors flooding your site to see if you’ve put your new material up.
The most important thing is to commit to treating this time as non-negotiable. Don’t schedule over top of it, don’t sacrifice it for other things – plan around it if you have to!
In time, writing will become a discipline.
- It takes discipline
Every skill takes discipline. The most important things in life require time and effort. Blog writing is no different.
Most novels aren’t written in a weekend. No, this work requires the will to plug away at it every day, even when the finish line is far off in the distance.
Unless you’ve “arrived”, those of us with other jobs and responsibilities that aren’t just writing must be disciplined. Following these habits will help you.
5. Interview high profile experts, bloggers or customers in your niche.
While this can be done in a variety of ways, such as in-person and Skype, use email because the person being interviewed can express themselves in their own words. Further, it eliminates the need to transcribe the information. Let the person check their input after you’ve edited it and before you publish it to reduce the chance of misrepresentation.
- Plan Content in Advance
Coming up with content ideas is probably the most time consuming part of blogging, aside from researching your subject matter.
Part of what keeps people from updating their blog is a lack of ideas. So – instead of constantly sitting down to a blank screen, coming up with a whole bunch of content ideas at once and plan them out into a calendar!
Where do you get ideas from? A few ideas…
- Ask some of your audience memberswhat their most common problems are in the niche you write about.
- Check out forums like Quora, Yahoo Answers or even Reddit to see what people are talking about in your niche.
- Find a very popular post you disagree with, and write a counterpoint! (Be sure to reach out to the original poster to spark a friendly discussion).
- Google other blogs and forums in your nicheand see what their most popular posts are. Can you write something similar, or improve on what’s there?
- Keep a journal throughout your day, and write down ideas as they pop up, before you forget them.
The other point? When you’ve got a big list of ideas, you can sit down to write extra posts when you feel inspired or energetic. Instead of publishing them right away, schedule them for a later date. Now, you’re ahead of your publishing schedule!
7. Figure out how many words you Can Write Per day
I’m grateful to Karen for this advice. Instead of being overwhelmed with writing 200 pages over five months, I figured out that if I wrote 500 words a day, I could finish the book in a little over four months and still have time to edit.
Anyone can write 500 words a day. Anyone. Keeping things down to a manageable amount allows you to hit your goal and to celebrate small victories every day along the way.
8. Curate information. Highlight the top ten news items or insights of the week in your category. This type of post must have value for your readers. Therefore, to be more than just a collection of links, add your perspective on the posts. Beth Harte does this type of post well. Subtext: Give your readers a reason to check your links versus going directly to these bloggers and news sites.
9. Guest bloggers to help you. Ask bloggers to contribute to your blog; this is commonly known as guest blogging. Give them notice and put their name in lights on your blog along with links back to their blog, website or social media. It helps if your blog has traction since most bloggers want to expand their reach.
Also hiring a guest blogger can give you great publicity even if you’re already maintaining a tight schedule.
- Never surrender
This has to be the mindset you take on while you write. Of course, you can and should take days off. This is necessary for the sake of your sanity. But the minute you have “writing” on your calendar and skip it is when failure becomes a possibility.
- Always be ready to capture ideas and quotes
The best ideas always come at the worst times. You never know when you hear something that has to go in the book. You never know when a brilliant idea will come for a chapter that you won’t write for another two months.
I recommend Evernote for this sort of note-taking, because it works from phones, tablets, and computers. A small notebook that you always carry with you isn’t a bad option, either. You can never take too many notes as you’re writing the first draft. Don’t give failure the chance to seep into your head.
Other things to do when you don’t have time for blogging are:
- Hire someone to blog for or with you
- Request submissions from people in your field
- Share other peoples’ work on your blog (with their permission)
- Hire someone to take over some of your other tasks, so you’ll have time for blogging
- Create a multi-author blog, where you’re only responsible for some of the posts
- Instead of having a blog, have an “articles” page
While you can’t rely solely on these tips to keep your blog going, they do add interest to your blog offering. Just like most people can’t eat the same thing every day, the same holds for your content. Even if you’re a prolific writer, it’s useful to change up your mix to add some spice to your offering.
Do you have any suggestions for readers who are time pressed to create new content? If so, what are they?