This is a blog post for anybody who has trouble finding the time to blog. In other words, everybody. I humbly submit a few practical ideas to help you become a time-efficient blogger.
1) Leap.I mentioned this in a recent post, but it bears repeating. The number one challenge most bloggers face isn’t time, it’s CONFIDENCE. Can we agree that you will take the leap? You will? Good, I knew it! You may proceed to item 2.
2) Don’t be Chris. Kids practicing basketball pretend they’re Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. They won’t be, but they can still have fun playing basketball. When I first started blogging, I tried to be Chris Brogan, who writes at least one post every day. I nearly killed myself. The bionic blogger and has set the bar unbelievably high. You can’t be Chris, but you can be YOU quite successfully. That’s good enough.
3) Take a little bite. Take the pressure off yourself by setting a goal of writing just one 400-word essay a week. Doesn’t that sound MUCH easier? Bonus points: Long posts lose readers any way.
4) Set sacred blog time. How long will it take you to write that one short essay? Probably an hour? Give yourself the gift of one quiet, undisturbed, productive hour each week to write.
5) Write lots of headlines. It takes time to come up with ideas so write them down right when they come to you. Inspirations for blog topics are everywhere. When I see an interesting tweet or news article that could be a post subject, I go into WordPress and quickly write the headline for the essay. That way, when it comes time for my quiet hour, I have a whole list of essay topics to choose from.
6) Stop second-guessing. Go back to your essay a day or so before you intend to publish it. Proof it. Tighten it up. And after 15 minutes, stop! You can waste far too much time re-writing and second-guessing yourself.
7) You don’t have to be profound. Here’s a recent post from my friend Danny Brown. He saw something interesting — a video demo of the electronic magazine of the future. He simply pasted the YouTube link into his blog, wrote a brief comment, and voila — c’est le post. This was a fun, interesting article. He did good work. How long did it take him to write it? Probably 10 minutes.
8) Listen to yourself. A lot of people tell me that my blog posts reflect questions and concerns they have but have never articulated. Why not? When you have a thought, idea or rant — write it out at that very moment when it is fresh and you are full of passion. This is the most efficient way to write and it almost always results in a great post.
9) Leave the technical stuff to a technical person. Don’t spend your precious time trying to figure out why your blog widgets are haywire. Pay an expert to figure it out, even if you like that technical stuff … especially if you like that stuff!
10) Try a video blog. I haven’t worked this area myself yet, but if you’re naturally eloquent, it might be a lot quicker for you than writing out a post. Best practice: Jason Falls.
11) Turn your comment into a post. You probably contribute comments to other blogs. Why not re-use the time it took to write that comment? Copy your comment and use it as the seed for an original post. Look at the comment section today. How many of these ideas could become a stand-alone article?
12) If you run out of ideas, see number 6. Repeat as needed. Seriously though, Google “ideas for blogs.” There are lots of lists of thought-joggers out there. If you are having trouble blogging, write about it. Seems like that would be the best cure.
I hope that gives you a practical framework to have some blogging success, even when time is tight. What other time-saving tricks can you recommend?