16 Tips to Become a Prolific Blogger
By: Jennine Jacob

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How much time have you spent waiting for “inspiration to strike?”

Waiting for inspiration to strike, is just that, waiting. Inspiration always comes, eventually, but how do you make it come on demand? How do you write every day, and keep it fresh?  Bloggers do a lot of multitasking, and truth be told, the work never will cease. Making time for inspiration, and being ready to act upon it, does take a bit of planning, determination and discipline to make it happen. It’s doable, and once you get in the habit, you’ll be on the path to discovering a whole realm of inspiration and new content.

Knowing we’re all busy, here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to getting things done, I noticed they also battle writer’s block. Because it turns out, that managing time properly has kept me inspired. Maybe it will for you too.

Make blogging a habit

You’ll hear a lot of bloggers advise to only blog when you have something to say. However, I disagree. Waiting for inspiration is risky. Developing a habit where you can find inspiration on command is more valuable. One of my artist friends once told me that the secret to his success is that he treats his painting like a job. Every morning he gets up and paints. Some days it’s good, others could use more work. But it’s the action of showing up which enables him to be ready when inspiration strikes. This I find to be true with blogging. I decided to wait for “inspiration” with my blog Shoe Kitten. And you know what? I haven’t posted since last year. When I stopped writing on IFB, it was hard to cough up posts every now and then. Now, I am writing every day, it’s a lot easier.

Habits work. Make blogging your ritual. You’ll find that it becomes a part of you, and you’ll be more open to inspiration.

Make yourself accountable

The world isn’t going to end if you don’t blog. Seriously. So how do you stay accountable? If it’s your job, then you have to pay the bills. That’s accountability. If it’s your dream to make it as a blogger, there is another path to accountability. Making your consequences for not blogging compelling enough to make it a priority could be one way to make sure the work gets done regularly.

Be grateful for blogging (stay enthusiastic)

Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to blogging. When you are grateful for the opportunity to share your creative endeavors with an audience (no matter what size) it makes you happy. When you are happy to do something, when blogging give you joy, it’s easier to do the work. You don’t have to force yourself to blog.

Don’t say, “I have to blog every day.” Say, “I GET to blog every day.” That little mind shift makes a massive difference when it comes to making priorities and keeping up your energy to get the job done.

Set a schedule and stick to it

I love schedules. For some strange reason. Consistency gives you parameters of when you work can be done. I write my posts by noon, and spend the rest of the day working on other blog related tasks. When I worked a full time job, I set aside time after work and Sundays to do all my posting for the week. Make your schedule clear and part of your routine and it will help you maintain your blogging habit.

Give yourself deadlines

Whether it be a daily deadline, or a weekly deadline. Deadlines give you a sense of accountability, a sense of urgency, and they can be incorporated in your schedule. Many bloggers will tell you there are optimal times for posting to ensure success of the post. Maybe your audience is awake at 2am? Or maybe you’d want to hit that Europe 5-6pm/East Coast noon/West Coast 9am slot which seems to work for several time zones.

Close your email, Twitter and Facebook tabs

If you’re anything like me, and you’re probably not, but do you have a lot of tabs open in your browser? Do you check your email 50 times an hour? Facebook and Twitter are productivity time-sucks as well. When you’re writing, you need to stay focused, so unless you are digging out a quote from your email, close that email tab, or quit your email program. Your email will be there when you’re done.

Plan your editorial calendars ahead of time

Nothing is a bigger time suck than sitting down and thinking…”What am I going to write about today?” I have wasted MANY hours “researching” topics (ie. wandering around the internet) when usually it takes me about 40 minutes (maximum) to create an editorial calendar once a week. I may change my mind about what to post about, but I will always have that backup idea every single day. Editorial calendars will keep you focused, and save you time.

Outline your post structure when you start your post

I learned this in college, when writing an essay it is suggested to outline your points before starting. This can be done in posts as well. I just use bullets, and write down my key points before beginning. It can be as easy as a list with a few words. It makes it easier to stay on track and ensures that you don’t leave anything out. Plus it saves you time because you already know what you are going to say.

Write your posts at least one day in advance

I don’t always get to do this, but when I do, my days are a lot easier. Since tomorrow never dies, there is work to do every day, but writing your posts in advance helps keep the anxiety and stress away. You already have your work done, now you can work on the next day. It does help lower stress and increase productivity.

Write your posts in batches

One contributor recently sent two months of posts in advance because she is traveling. I was really impressed. While I’ve never done that, I do have segments where I write in batches, when I know I can get some quiet time to focus, and schedule them out. That way it opens more time to focus on other blogging projects like promoting, networking, and hey, even relaxing.

Write when you are fired up and inspired

If you write regularly, you’ll have a good habit for when you’re not inspired. However, when it strikes, and your skills are sharp, oh boy! You can really be ready to let it rip. I’ve written posts in thirty minutes which have done well under this spell of inspiration. And in this day and age news comes up that we have to jump on right away. If have all your ducks in row, it’s easier to take on these times and you can save your other posts for later.

Keep an inspiration folder of potential post ideas

Whether it be on Pinterest (you can set your “post idea boards” to secret to keep the surprise for your readers) or in a document. I keep mine on a yellow pad as I see things around, or I email myself posts that have interesting ideas and attach the link in my editorial calendar. This is so when you sit down to do your editorial calendar, you’re not starting from scratch every week.

Do your post research ahead of time

Nothing is more anxiety causing than, setting yourself a deadline, and not giving yourself enough time to research. Create a research folder and hold onto the information you need to make your points in your posts. That way when it comes time to write it out, you can easily access your research and you’re not left sifting through the Internets or the library, or magazines to give your post substance.

Schedule your posts and tweets

A lot of people say not to schedule your tweets because you’ll sound like a robot. Well, you can do a mix of scheduled tweets and live tweets to mix it up. If you have your posts ahead of time, there’s no reason not to schedule posting, and no reason not to schedule tweets for them. Because you know what you are going to say. That way, if you have a particularly busy day, and there is a lot on your mind, you still have fresh tweets going out. Trust me, scheduling tweets when you are inspired is a lot better than forcing tweets when you’re busy or leaving your social media abandoned.

Let your post ideas incubate in your mind before sitting down and writing them

If you have an idea of what you are going to write. Let it marinate in your mind before writing. This way when you sit down to write, you’ll have a better idea of what you would like to say… it helps battle writer’s block. Also, if you let your posts become a part of your consciousness, it’ll open you up to be more personal and more clear when you do write. And you’ll write faster.

Take breaks

I’ve always had a lot of energy, and now that I’m 30 weeks pregnant, for the first time in my life, I’m experiencing exhaustion all day. It’s rough. But if I try to force myself to work, it takes 2-3 times longer to do a task, but if I take breaks, take a power nap in the afternoon, it helps to stay focused. Taking walks help, doing anything to break up the routine helps to maintain focus. Your brain needs a break to stay fresh, so don’t be afraid to take a break to get the job done faster.

 

Comments

  1. aquaskye says:

    Thank you Jennine for this writer’s block post!! I was sitting in front of my computer un-inspired and berating myself for not finding a new topic to talk about when I know when “I”M ON”, I have tons of things to say!!!! Jotting down blog topics is a great idea and I do love the secret board on Pinterest (smart!). Shine on!!! Sabrina

  2. Avatar of The Science of Happy

    Great tips, but I think it’s important not to let blogging consume you unless it’s your full time job!

    For anyone who’s interested, I’m holding a MAC giveaway this week!

    http://thescienceofhappy.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. shacs says:

    These are some great tips that I’m definitely going to take as a beginning blogger who: faces writer’s block one too many times, oftens starts a post only to never finish, and posts only a few times a month because of these bad habits.

  4. Zoe says:

    I really enjoyed this post, it is hard to stay on top of things sometimes, but worth it, I don’t ever want blogging to be something that is stressful. I have found that if I am finding myself very busy that I will do a quick post letting my readers know that my posts may be a little infrequent and letting them know why, depending on how personal the reason is. I think this is a nice way to stay in contact and let your readers know what’s going on x

  5. Thanks for this post! I’ve been struggling with gathering a good about of followers for my blog. I’ll definitely bookmark these tips!!

    Whitney
    Thedecorchronicles.blogspot.com

  6. Alyssa says:

    Great post, as always! My favourite point was letting ideas incubate … I didn’t realize it until reading it just now, but my best writing is always about a topic that I have had time to think about. Every now and then I’ll come up with an idea but won’t have the opportunity to write it down, so I develop an inner monologue about it in my head (as if I were writing it down) and I find myself editing and rearranging points in my mind before actually sitting down and writing. Once I get to my computer, it flows out easily!
    Now I just need it to happen more regularly! :)

  7. Cardin Lopez says:

    Love these ideas so much, and really needed to hear them. I do love to schedule posts.. oh the freedom to know I have the week scheduled! I don’t do it enough, however, so staying at least one day ahead of the game is my MO. I love the inspiration folder-idea. I usually go through blogger and save my ideas as “Drafts”, then write on them as inspiration hits, however the folder idea seems like these ideas could be more tangible for me in a clean, creative space. Lastly, I have created an office space for blogging only. I love to sit and “work”, as opposed to sitting on the couch with a laptop. I always feel more motivated from the energy of my office and a cup of tea on my desk.

    GREAT post. Many thanks!
    xx
    C

    http://life-style-lopez.com

  8. Avatar of Pamela Parker

    Amazing post! Going to use some of these ideas myself!

    http://www.trendischic.com

    xx Pamela

  9. Great tips :)

    I just posted a video on my favorite lip combo ever! come watch it here
    http://youtu.be/_5Y6JYZbbcI

    and also while you re at it, come take a sneak peek at my blog http://www.awomansaffair.blogspot.com

    Thanks! :)

  10. Avatar of Filipa
    Filipa says:

    Great advice! I have problems with time managing. Whenever I make a calendar (not only for blogging, but for learning and other stuff too), I never stick to it.
    I just haven’t developed that habit to do something at that precise moment when I’m supposed to do it. I always wait for another hour or two.

    I also have this obsession of opening my mail for 50 times a day that can distract me when I’m writing, but the good thing is that I mostly write the posts one day before I post them.
    I should definitely make some changes and try and use these tips because I neglected my blog a little bit when I was waiting for the inspiration to strike.

    xx
    Filipa from http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com

  11. Avatar of Margot Potter

    FABULOUS advice! Writing is a muscle, it has to be exercised daily. There are infinite topics about which one can write and having a plan helps focus the direction. My first few years of blogging way back when, I posted every single day. Mostly to make myself accountable and to prove to myself that yes, I could be a prolific writer. I know the search engines like content rich sites, so I’m aiming for Monday through Friday with the new site.

    This site is a fantastic resource and I’m so glad I found it!

    Cheers,
    Madge

  12. Ashley says:

    Close your email, Twitter, and Facebook tabs. <– SO GUILTY. I keep them perma-open (especially at work), and it really does cause more harm that good.

    The tip I love the most and find the most success in (when I'm writing well) is writing it batches. It really works in tandem with writing when you're fired up… some of my favorite blogging days are when I was enthused over one post, and then went on to write two or three immediately following it!

  13. Avatar of Z
    Z says:

    Good advice – I have let blogging take a back seat recently due to revision, so maybe this will help me get back on track!

    To see the kinds of problems I’ve been having, see my latest post.
    Bad at organizing time to write for your blog? Here’s what NOT to do!

    http://www.are-we-on-time.com/2013/04/exam-revision-vs-blogging-how-not-to.html

    Z

  14. Kristian says:

    LOVED this article. Feeling proud that many of these acts were goals of mine and a handful of which has become routine. An editorial calendar is sooo helpful, as is wrIting at least some of the posts in batches (a calendar and this go hand in hand it seems to me!)

    Unfortunately still struggling with keeping myself a schedule, partly because I substitute teach, but love the ideas of deadlines. Also am grateful for the reminder I GET to blog instead of HAVE to blog.

  15. Avatar of Kenneth Jacobs

    O.O

    I needed this! I definitely need to be more proactive with my planning. (procrastination is my worst enemy >.<)

    The good thing, though, is that I did make a list of topics I'm going to write for this week (but for next week or this month…yeah hasn't happened yet LOL) the calendar idea will make a great start!! Happy Blogging everyone!

    xoxo Kenny
    http://www.thefashionatefotobug.com

  16. Avatar of Debbie Baker Burns
    Debbie Burns says:

    I’ve pinned this for future inspiration. It’s the right words at just the right time for me…thanks!

  17. Avatar of TheAsiaMonique

    Great refreshing article!

  18. It’s so easy to let oneself get sidetracked by email, twitter, facebook, checking stats, tweaking this and that, “marketing”… we do lose focus. Thanks for this – will definitely help the focus.

  19. I love your article. Inspiration comes from working. So blogging consistently brings more ideas. I have a new blog post everyday and I have a specific schedule and deadlines. I write my blog posts in batches. For example I might write 3 beauty posts and schedule one for each week… and so on…
    See you in my blog, maybe.
    xxx
    Nina

  20. Oh I had no idea you were pregnant Jennine – Congrats! x

  21. Avatar of Emily Friday
    Emily Friday says:

    This is an absolutely excellent post! You’ve pretty much answered everything I’ve wanted to know about blogging recently, as I’ve been feeling slightly overwhelmed with how on earth everyone manages with blog schedules, coming up with ideas, accountability etc.

    I’m going to try using all these tips, but something that I think helps give me a kick in the butt to keep my blog going is the that whole ‘accountability’ thing – I simply remind myself of why I started in the first place, where I want it to go, and how I need this blog to get the career I want. Usually works!

    Emily x

    http://emiliciastyle.blogspot.co.uk/

  22. Beverly says:

    Such great information. Thank you! I write my posts for the week on Sundays. After church, my mind feels renewed.

  23. Laura says:

    I follow a few of your suggestions and find they work really well for me. I have an editorial calendar that I work from but it’s not completely filled in just in case I get inspired by something else. Plus I can always use an idea on another day when I’m not so inspired. I also keep a list of ideas and potential series type articles. And finally, I am a “batcher”. Thanks to having a calendar, I can think about and plan articles days ahead and then after work and on weekends pull a group of posts together. Which means I also have time for other things!
    Cheers,
    Laura

  24. Souri says:

    Thanks a lot for these tips … I just started blogging in Melbourne Australia. Looks like there is still lots to learn. I like the scheduling. Will try to get a weekly schedule for my blog. :-)

  25. Avatar of Petya
    Petya says:

    Amazing article! Thanks for the tips, I’m definitely going to use some of them.
    http://peysoul.blogspot.com

  26. Sandra Costa says:

    i can’t understand people who blog only “when have something to say”.
    i mean, life is so inspiring, at least, to me, i wish i had 54 hours a day to express everything i see about life and images around on my blog.

    http://blogdasandracosta.blogspot.com

  27. Avatar of iz by a
    iz by a says:

    Great Post Love, very useful. I have recently come back off a much needed hiatus from blogging and you made a good point to remind of some English basics I learned in college. I am also a fan of schedules and believe they help tremendously.Especially if you can stick with them for a continuous amount of time. Thanks

    http://www.iAMstyle.blogspot.com

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