This post is inspired by Andye's post from Reading Teen. She mentions some of the same points, but others are purely me. Check out her post for her 11 steps.
New Years is closer than ever, and with that, comes New Years resolutions. And if I know the blogging community like I think I do, I'm sure I will find a few people who want to become more efficient and productive bloggers in the new year. Taking that in mind, I've decided to write a few steps that will help you become a more productive blogger!
Get a journal
Seriously, I can't live without my journal, especially when it comes to blogging. I generally buy a journal (specifically, the ones I sell on my Etsy store), and I write copious amounts of lists, from post ideas, thoughts on books, names of books I need to add to my TBR pile, and more importantly my calendar! I just make my own, because I'm a poor college student, but some of you may prefer to go out and buy a nice journal with a planner and all that jazz.
Some of you may prefer a more technological form of organization and Google Calendar and Google Drive will most like save your life. So if that interests you, take advantage of those free outlets.
Manage You Time
Everyone's different. We all have different priorities. For some it's school, others it's children and family. But what we all need to understand is how to manage our time. Sometimes that may require understanding when you need to take a whole day to work on a whole week of blogging. For others, it may just require you to schedule in 30-45 minutes every day. It just depends on what other priorities you have. Either way, you should figure out what would work best for you as far as scheduling time to work on your blog.
Going even further, I would then figure out what time you find that you are most productive. For some that's early mornings with a cup of joe and others it's late into the night (like me!). Whatever you choose, just make sure it is a time that will allow you to concentrate on making good, solid content for your blog.
Set a Schedule
This kinda stems off of my previous point, but a blogging schedule is a must if you want to stay organized, especially if you are scheduling blog tours and the like. It doesn't take much to make a tentative schedule or calendar. Again, you can quickly make a hand drawn calendar within two minutes. Your schedule can always change, but it will help you realize what you still have to do and posts that you have already finished and scheduled.
This also helps a lot when you are going out of town or on vacation. You can always reschedule posts or change things around if you find that a certain post should go somewhere else, but knowing what you have is always a good way of not losing track of what you have already written.
I personally do really well with making lists of things I need to do and checking them off. For the longest time, I just used my normal listing app on my iPhone or making a list in my journal and crossing things off as I finish them; however, Hannah from So Obsessed With has an AMAZING book blogging To-Do list that you can print off for yourself! Seriously you will want to take advantage of this!
Don't Let Your Reviews Pile Up
So many people let their reviews just pile up, books read but reviews unwritten. My answer to that would be to write your reviews as soon as you finish the book. I'm talking maybe 2-5 days between reading and writing max preferably before you read another book. Letting your reviews pile up because you are lazy will lead to forgetfulness and unreliable content. Now if you are busy, and you just can't find the time to write your reviews, type detailed notes out on your phone when you are waiting in line at the grocery store or right before you go to bed (making notes -with page numbers -while you read the book may not be a bad idea either).
Don't worry about posting as much as you can or every day of the week. Focus on your content and the quality of your content, not just how many you can post in the span of a week. Believe me, you would rather have one post that get a lot of hits and discussions in the comments than a few posts who just get mediocre hits and no solid comments.
What do I mean by breaks? I mean two different kinds of breaks.
Breaks from Blogging: Don't be afraid to take a a respite from the blogging world. You want to keep up your enthusiasm, and getting blogger burnout is not something you want to do, so don't be afraid to take a small break. Sometimes that may be a week or a month. Whatever you do, take the time to do what you want to do and not because you need to do it for your blog. So that means whatever you read, you read because you want to, or if you don't want to read, you don't have to read. Just remember to focus on yourself and getting to the place where you enjoy blogging again.
Breaks from Reading: What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes we can get into reading holes where we devour books in one sitting, and we get so immersed in the story that we really don't think about what the book is really telling us. Remember that some books are like a fine bourbon rather than a shot of tequila; it's better to be sipped than chugged all at once.
Don't be Afraid to DNF
People (including myself at times) are so afraid to DNF a book they hate. Don't waste your time on literature you don't like or couldn't care less for.100 pages of a good book can last for an hour and a half while 100 pages from a bad book can last days or weeks if you let it. Don't waste your time. Come up with a certain percentage or page number that you will stop at if you don't enjoy it. Understand that DNFs happen then move on and spend your time on good books.
Make the Content You Want
I think sometimes that we all get caught up in the memes and what everyone else posts, that we don't make time to actually create the content we want. I've changed a lot of posts or adopted original memes when I feel like my content was just like everyone else's. So I did a little thinking and brainstorming over the span of a couple months and bit of chatting with friends, and I finally came up with my own original weekly memes, such as Hello, Love and a new writing meme called Tips & Tricks that will launch in about a week or so. I try to give my blog a little taste of me. I'm a writer and I love funny videos on the Internet, so Tips & Tricks let's me discuss my love of writing while Hello, Love let's me share all the awesome things I find on the Internet. Make content you like and expresses your tastes. Maybe that's art, or fashion, or culture, or travel. Whatever it is, let your readers get a taste of it!
So tell me, what do you think makes for a more productive blogger?