Thursday, January 22, 2015

Life :: Blog Tips / How to Write Better Posts in Less Time

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I'm busy. You're busy. The whole damn world is busy.

I get it. But I know you can still blog, and blog WELL.

So, let's say you just started a blog. Or maybe you've been blogging for awhile now, but you're still trying to juggle the work/life/blog balance. You've read my blogging tips for busy gals, but you still feel like your content could be better... and you could create it faster.

The good news? Both of these things are true. The not-so-good news? You'll have to change your blogging system, which could take some time... but it'll actually SAVE you time in the end. So, really, there's no bad news here. Hooray!

Here are the five stupid-simple changes you need to make to streamline your blogging process and create some kick-ass content. You can thank me later with chocolate and whiskey.

STEP ONE: Keep a running list of ideas. I'm constantly jotting down blog post ideas -- in my phone, on a napkin, in a notebook, on my hand, wherever -- but I consolidate them all in one spot. I recently opened up a memo file on my tablet, and that's where I keep my running list. I try to keep my tablet with me all the time, but if I don't have it handy, I write stuff where I can. Then, at the end of the day, I quickly scan my notes and phone and other materials to see if there's anything I need to transfer over to the mass list.

STEP TWO: Insert the best ideas into your blog calendar. I normally plan out my calendar of posts at least a month in advance. When I sit down to plot it all out, I grab my list and move my ideas from the file to a stack of sticky notes. Then, I place them into an order that looks good to me on the calendar. Things may change over time, but at least I have a plan to go by and I'm not left wondering what to write about. The key here is to only choose your BEST ideas for your calendar -- the ones that you're most passionate about, and the ones that will be most useful to your readers. You can always go back to your not-so-good ideas later, so don't delete them! In the future, they may be more important to you than they are now.

STEP THREE: Cut out all distractions. While I'm working on my blog, I remove as many distractions as possible. As I mentioned the other day, I work best in a quiet environment. It's difficult to do that now that I have a kid, but I try to control as much as I can by turning my phone on silent and saving social media tasks for after I'm done writing. I work faster and write better that way. I don't listen to music or watch TV, and I try to go into another room with the door shut.

STEP FOUR: Work on your drafts, little-by-little. It normally takes me about a week to write a post, but that's because I'm working on it a little bit each day. I used to spend 3-8 hours straight on one essay, and it took a lot more time and energy than breaking it up over multiple days. I choose my post photos in advance (either through Pinterest, my photographer, or my own Instagram feed) and upload them to Photobucket so they're ready to go. Whenever I'm perusing blogs and read a related article, I add that link to the draft. When I'm in the shower and a paragraph comes to mind, I hop out and type it. Then, when I'm ready to hit "schedule" everything's set up!

STEP FIVE: Schedule the posts in advance. Which brings me to my next point... scheduling posts. I try to have them completely finished at least a day ahead of time so there's no rush. For example: I had the idea for the post you're reading a month ago, I've been working on it for the past few days 15-20 minutes at a time, and I'm scheduling it on a Tuesday for a Thursday. It makes my life a hell of a lot easier, and I believe that it creates better content for YOU, my sexy readers.

So, are you ready to change your process? Or is yours already golden? I wanna hear about it!

And if you love my blog tips, don't forget to like them on Bloglovin'!

*Photo found here.
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