Running a blog is a lot of work, more than anyone ever tells you. It isn't just about writing a couple posts per week and calling it good. It is a near constant effort, from researching and writing the posts, to finding guest writers, to social media and content marketing.
Whether you are just starting out or your blog has become renowned, you will put your blood, sweat and tears into your site. Productivity is crucial to stretch every moment you have, and simplify whatever possible. Here are four ways to improve your blogging and make it more efficient.
Get your sources in order.
RSS feeds are awesome for tracking related blogs but it's easy to get lost and fall behind. There are two tools that email you handy digests from your chosen feeds as often as you want: SmartBrief and FeedSpot:
Cyfe is my preferred way keep track of various search queries and alerts. You can create a separate dashboard to keep track of Twitter and Google Plus search results, Google alerts, etc:
Take notes but don't get cluttered!
The two tools I am using for keeping notes for possible future articles are:
- Evernote (freemium): Take notes easily clip URLs, make handwritten notes, and snap photos.
- Trello (free): Organize your notes in boards, lists and cards. It's very easy to use and is perfect for keeping a birds-eye view of your plans.
Related: Content Marketing with eBook 101
Create an Editorial Calendar
Everyone with a blog should have this, no matter if you are the only writer, or one of dozens. Having a set schedule planned for when topics will be written and published, with strict deadlines, will keep everyone involved on the blog on track.
There are easy ways to make them, and share them with others:
Google Drive is helpful, as you can make a spreadsheet that can be edited as posts are completed. If you do have multiple writers, you or other editors can check that sheet and see the moment something is posted pending publication. Or you can just have it there for yourself, accessible from any mobile device or computer.
Plugins: There's also a Wordpress plugin that gives you a good view of your scheduled articles and drafts.
Schedule Posts For Later Publishing
(Especially if you know a trip or a busy week is coming)
Sometimes you have more fuel for writing than others, or just more time. There is nothing wrong with writing up a post and waiting to publish it. In fact, it can be helpful to have a few evergreen (non-time sensitive) posts available for times when you just can't get on to write something new.
Use your blogs scheduler to time posts for certain days, so they can publish without you there. It makes things much easier, and will give you peace of mind to know that your posts are going out on time.
Quoting people increases your productivity and makes your content more trust-worthy. There are many ways you can utilize quotes:
1. You can use the famous quotes to make your point stronger.
Quotery is an awesome resource for that. Definitely my favorite one! I have never seen an unverified quote there which is a very widespread problem nowadays: famous people are claimed to have said something they never said. Also the search is awesome and they have a huge database too. They have quite a few visual quotes too!
2. You can invite experts to share original quotes.
You won't always be able to post content, and even if you could, you won't always want to. A fresh voice is sometimes necessary for a site to thrive, and it keeps things from getting dull. It also brings a new perspective in what might be forming into a much too boring routine or opinion. If that wasn't enough, it opens you up to a new reader pool as they link to the post on their own sites and social media sites.
So you could end up significantly improving your traffic. Finding regular and semi-regular contributors as well as having monthly "group interviews" and round-ups columns will also keep you very well-organized (having a "tradition" your readers will be looking forward to is a great way to get things done). Here are some tips on using expert interviews to enhance your content marketing strategy as well as some examples.