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5 Essential Time Saving Tips For Bloggers

Posted by on 24th Oct 2007 | 9 comments

We bloggers have funny lives. Blogging means so much to us yet people think we waste time on blogging. We virtually live in two worlds, and both these worlds can be very demanding at times.

So how do you manage time to cope with the duties in both worlds and still have plenty of time left to enjoy yourself?

Trust me, I’ve struggled to manage time just as you do, and I know your pains. So without further ado, here are five time saving tips that I have come to rely on to get the best of both worlds.

1. Write batches of posts

This is the most useful technique I have just come to appreciate. Write when you are most prolific, have a lot of free time, and there are no disturbances around to break your concentration. Write till your fingers hurt. You won’t even feel bored or worn out once you get into the flow.

Currently, I can write up to 5 posts in a row, and then my eyes start making out faces in the words.

With so many posts written beforehand, you’ll feel immensely relieved later on when you are supposed to churn out posts under pressure. And, of course, if you are very prolific and have plenty of free time everyday, you can write so many posts in 15 days that you won’t have to write a word for next three months!

2. Cut down the time you waste on seeing your stats go up and down

I am sure most bloggers are addicted to seeing all kinds of stats about their blog, just as I was until a week ago. I would sometimes feel the urge to check my traffic stats right in the middle of writing a post, and after fiddling around with stats for a while, I’d check out new referrers, and, ultimately, lose track of time in hopping from one link to another.

This is highly unproductive and absolute waste of time. I’ve learned to keep myself from checking stats every 10 seconds, and now I hardly have any urge to peek at the stats more than twice a day.

Stats are not going anywhere. They accumulate while you do something more productive. You can always delve deep into your stats at the end of the day and explore them to your heart’s content.

3. Keep a schedule

Similar to above, we bloggers are also prone to checking email and our hourly earnings, diving into feed reader to see if there has been updates, and doing all kinds of useless stuff. As a result, we waste precious hours and hardly get anything done.

So, you have to sort this mess by tidying up your routine in a time-saving yet effective manner. Here’s how I manage my schedule after logging into the Internet.

First thing I do early on is check my inbox for new emails. Then I go on and check out my traffic stats and my AdSense earnings. When done, I go to my blog’s dashboard and check new comments and new incoming links, and then close down the browser. I don’t do anything that might capture my attention unnecessarily. The whole process takes 15 minutes to complete.

Now that I’ve satisfied my urge to see what happened during the time I was sleeping, I move on to do real life or virtual life work.

Next, I come back at noon and reply to emails, comments, and conversations on other blogs and forums I am active on. This usually takes just above 30 minutes.

I, then, move on to check out my social media profiles and browse around for a while on StumbleUpon and Digg. This can take an hour or more depending on the kind of content I come across.

Then I come back at night and go straight into my feed reader, and in a fifteen minutes or so I am full of inspiration and new ideas. So I settle down to write and keep on writing until I have written two or three posts. This can take a lot of time if my creative juices refuse to flow for some reason. But who cares? Nights are long and peaceful, and I am bound to put together at least one post in an hour or two.

If you add up the time I spend on all the above activities, it amounts only to 4 hours per day, on average. Compare this to 8 to 9 hours of my post-organization life and you’ll clearly see how much time I’ve managed to save just by restricting myself to a defined schedule.

4. Organize your tools of the trade

  • Organize your desktop – Keep the most used tools right on your desktop, and delete all other shortcuts that do nothing but add clutter. Similarly, if you are on Windows, keep your start menu and quick launch tidy by removing and uninstalling the unwanted shortcuts and programs.
  • Organize your browser – Keep all the toolbars turned off unless you need them. If you are a Firefox user, make use of bookmarks toolbar and keep your most visited pages organized in separate folders.
  • Use an offline post editor – Usually, you don’t want to be distracted when your are focused on writing. Writing in the web browser is a distraction in itself. You know, the usual urge to load up another page in a separate tab is sometimes quite irresistible. Using a desktop blogging client such as Windows Live Writer can be used to avoid such unnecessary distractions.

5. Post every alternate day

Finally, if you are really pressed for time, consider cutting down your post frequency. Posting an article everyday is not necessary. On the contrary, I believe posting less often is much more beneficial for most bloggers.

Your thoughts?

How do you organize your blogging life, and, as a problogger, do you find it hard to keep a balance between your online and offline life?


9 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Rob O. on 24th Oct 2007

    I have a alternative strategy to suggest… write in sessions.

    I find that more and more, I blog in spurts. That is, I often draft my posts over the course of multiple brief sessions. I'll get inspired about something and crank up a first rough draft then put it aside for an hour or two, a day or two, or even a week or more. Then as I have a chance, I revisit that draft, adding and tweaking, double-checking links and references. Sure, some posts come quick & easy, but others need time to germinate before they can fully bloom.

    Writing in sessions is especially useful if blogging is just a sideline rather than a full-time profession.

  • Posted by Wayne Liew on 24th Oct 2007

    We need these few steps to keep up the productivity level and I agree with this. Most of the people say that blogging should be enjoyable and when you can't produce a post according to your frequency, just let it be.

    I am certainly against this. Although blogging should be enjoyable, we must have self-discipline to achieve the balance of this hobby.

    My online and offline life is in the balance I guess but I am still studying though. Also, I don't consider myself as a problogger. :razz:

  • Posted by Jennifer on 24th Oct 2007

    I am far from a problogger, but I do my blogging every evening. It is part of my bedtime ritual. It allows me to sleep better.

  • Posted by chipseo on 24th Oct 2007

    That is a great list, thanks. I just decided myself that posting every single day is not really that beneficial to me or my readers.

    I spent two days doing research and writing a post that goes out tomorrow instead of trying to muscle it out yesterday. In the process I think the quality of the post is much higher because of the detail I was able to put into the post by giving myself more time to write.

    As for a "problogger" … I say, think and look like a pro to the best of your ability. Doesn't mean you have to receive your income from it to be a "professional". You don't have to work for the New York Times to be a journalist, sometimes you can just author a blog. Scott

  • Posted by Annie on 24th Oct 2007

    I've become a big fan of the writing batches of posts method lately. I only have one blog that I update daily, and I've just started writing everything for the week on Sunday or one particular day of the week. Even though it takes a couple hours that day, it's freed up a lot of time for other projects during the week. I don't wake up and think, oh, I've got to write a blog post for my big blog… I can always do an extra if I'm inspired, of course, but it's nice getting all the work out of the way for the day. :)

    Also, I find that challenges me to find original content instead of writing me-to posts. A lot of people don't blog on the weekends, so there aren't fresh posts to peruse on Sundays. I go out and find my own information to write about.

  • Posted by Karthik on 27th Oct 2007

    You could have written this article just for me! This is so true for me – looking at stats is my biggest weakness, I should probably chalk out a schedule to organize things…nice post!

  • Posted by Justin Tadlock on 28th Oct 2007

    The real time-waster is StumbleUpon. If I could simply delete that toolbar, I would have loads more time.

    One thing I do is write all my posts in Notepad. That way, I'm not searching the Net as much during the writing process. Of course, this doesn't always work.

  • Posted by Ellen on 17th Nov 2007

    I totally agree with the idea of writing several posts when you're in writing mode. It's so nice, on a day when you're not in the mood to blog or are busy, to have entries written and waiting for you. Click, publish, and you're done for that day.

  • Posted by Time Management Tips on 11th May 2011

    Its an really good Idea for the blogger which I am. Thanks for sharing the tips and saving the coming time which I suppose to give to my blog.