Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tips for Productive Blogging

As a professional blogger for many clients and one who employees five other bloggers here are the tips to being productive that I use and train my team to utilize.

1. Keep a topic log. Don't waste time sitting in front of the computer trying to decide what to write about. Keep a running list and keep ahead on topics. You would be amazed at how much more quickly you can write if you have your topic in mind before you start writing.

2. At the beginning, work in Word and monitor your word count. Check your word count and keep your posts between 200 to 300 words. Longer than that, break your post into a two part series with a teaser for the next post.

3. This is the important one for professional bloggers, time yourself. I can knock out a quality post in less than ten minutes. Train yourself to write quickly, effectively, and stay on topic by using a timer. Typically new bloggers will pore over posts spending as much as 30 minutes per post with an excessive amount of word smithing. You simply cannot do the volume of blogging you want to do spending that amount of time on each post, plus clients do not pay to cover that amount of time for a post. The going rate per post is $10 to $15 so if you are spending 30 minutes to create a post, you are selling your work way to cheap! By clocking yourself, you keep your post short, sweet, and on topic.

4. Work in the control panel! It takes more time to work in Word, once you have the Word count issue down, move your post to notepad, and then move it into Blogger or WordPress or correct non-compliant characters. Save time and work directly in the control panel. Don't have a good spell checker? Use ieSpell browser plug-in and stay out of Word.

5. Set a time for your blogging. Mine is first thing in the morning without fail. If I try to fit blogging into my work day later on, something always happens; a phone call, an email, an urgent task, and then blogging gets pushed back and doesn't happen that day.

6. Try working ahead. This is a hard one for some, but for effective professional bloggers a real time saver. Many of our bloggers have full-time professional jobs. Some prefer to knock out a full week of posts ahead in one day and then just setting a future publish date. This can be great if you are blogging on a thread and have a multiple part series. Do all your posts for the series in one sitting allowing you to keep the content that you have researched clearly in mind in just one sitting.

Blogging for fun is a whole different arena than when you are making money from blogging. So consider my tips and start to become a more effective blogger today!

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