Steps to Becoming a More Productive Blogger

Friday, December 26, 2014
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.

To-Do Lists
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).

Posting
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.

Take Breaks
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?

21 comments:

  1. I really do need to make some rules for myself regarding DNFs. I'm tired of wasting time on books I don't like!

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    1. After DNFing a number of books in the matter of a month, I finally had to make rules. I normally give it 15-25% if I don't like it. And if it's okay and I can make it 50% through at least, I will log it.

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  2. Thanks so much for this awesome post. Love all your ideas. Hope you had a wonderful Holiday xoxo
    Book Nerd Addicts

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    1. Thanks so much!!! :) Have a great New Year!

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  3. Okay first of all: THIS BLOG IS FREAKING GORGEOUS. *tackle hugs blog* I've been on a blogging/reading break for a week (it is good to step back and recharge, so I completely agree with that tip) and I come back and you're all BEAUTIFULFIED. <-- Totally a word.
    I love these tips.
    I particularly like the last one. I kind of had to learn that last year, when I realised I was putting up a lot of posts because I "thought" that' what a book blogger should do. I totally had to cut back and just figure out what I'd want to read. Then post about that. ;-)

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT?!?! I've been waiting months for this beautiful design and I'm so happy with it!! Yeah, I was posting a lot of same things that everyone else was because I thought that was just how I should have run my blog, but I'm so glad it didn't take me absolutely forever to figure out that original content is better than memes or books everyone else does. :)

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  4. Ooh, I didn't know you had a new blog design, Amanda, but it looks awesome! I love the header area in particular. <3 Anyway, this was a great post, too -- I definitely need some tips on being more productive, not just in blogging, but in life in general, lol. I definitely agree with most of your points here, especially the one about not letting reviews pile up. Kinda late for me now, because I have so many reviews to write and not enough motivation, but yeah, write reviews as soon as you're done with the book. The only thing is that I like to wait a couple of days before I write reviews, just to make sure my feelings are the same. Oh, and don't get greedy on the ARCs. I requested so many ARCs earlier this year, and then fell into an unexpected book slump, so now I have too many books to get to, as well. *weeps*

    One weird thing, though, is that I find that I work better without a schedule. I'm now beginning to see just how much use schedules are on me, and that is... no use at all. :P I just can't seem to follow them, and I actually feel a lot less stressed if I don't have a schedule to follow. I guess that just goes to show how different things work for different people! I enjoy myself a lot more if I can post whenever I want with whatever I want, haha.

    I love the last step the best. I actually appreciate blogs that come up with their own original content, rather than participate in other well-known memes, or who constantly post about blog tours and cover reveals and stuff like that. Thanks for sharing, Amanda! :)

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    1. Thank you!!!! I'm kinda freaking out about the new design because I'm kinda in love lol! I can understand about waiting and letting the novel percolate a bit. For me, I process my thoughts best by writing about them about 2 days after finishing the book (unless I start another book in between there).

      Oh and ARCs... yes. My previous co-blogger kinda went ARC crazy and requested all the books, and I've been playing catch up ever since. It's terrible. My goal for the new year is to get my NetGalley ratio up to 90% at least.

      You work better without a schedule? really? That's great for you! All of the people I've met work best with a schedule, so that's surprising, but good for you! I'm glad you've figured out what works best for you!

      Thanks for reading and jumping into the discussion! :)

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  5. Ha, I love this post! I remember reading the original and enjoying it as well. I especially agree with tHe points on posting when you want, and the content you want. I really need to work on DNFing books too. Lovely post!

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    1. Thank you for commenting!! :) I hope these tips help you in the new year!

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  6. I am one of those people who use Google Calendar, it's so handy to keep track of everything in one place. I also use Google Drive, but that's mostly for Lola's Blog Tours.
    Not lettign reviews pile up is one of the things I never struggle with as I always write my review after I finisha book and before I start a new one. On the other hand I just blog whenever I feel like it, not sure if I want to organize that or not.

    Great post with some great tips!

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    1. thanks! I'm glad Google Calendar and Drive works well for you. For me I just can't do electronic calendars and the sort. I'm weird like that. Thanks for your comment! I hope the tips help you out this next year!

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  7. I think one of the things that makes me a more productive blogger is deadlines. I've always had a notebook of ideas. But without deadlines, those ideas was nothing more than a laundry list of ideas that I would get to...eventually...maybe. I jot all of my blog post ideas into dates on a calendar, which helps me stay focused-- it helps me make sure I actually create a post by that date.

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    1. I can agree with that! Deadlines help me a lot. If I know when I need to post, it will get done. :)

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  8. This is such a great post! Your advice is really good, and a lot of these are on my "resolutions" list, because really, I need to do this stuff! I am so, so bad at not reviewing immediately! And like you, I am a night owl, but it is hard because kids don't like to sleep in. I am one of those people who'd really benefit from the whole day of blogging once a week, but alas, it isn't in the cards!

    And I need to DNF more too. Probably a lot more. I mean, with such a finite amount of time, it is for the best to just cut your losses and move on (this is what I will tell myself the next time I am reading a crappy book haha). Such wonderful tips!

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    1. Yeah, family can be a bit time consuming so blogs tend to go on the back burner in those situations, understandably. Oh DNFs. I have a feeling this next year will be filled with more DNFs than this year. I will actually learn how to do it, so my tip is as much for everyone else as it is for me lol! Thanks for commenting, Shannon! :)

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  9. I LOVE the idea of sketching out your calendar. What does yours look like?

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    1. Mine looks super plain! Just the days of week at the top and the grid of days underneath. It's nothing really special. I do it all by hand. All it requires is a good ruler. :)

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  11. Hi! :) I've just found your blog and this post and as someone relatively new to the whole blogging thing, this has really helped! So thank you for that :)

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  12. Excellent advice! I came here via BookBriefs.net, which was recently featured on NetGalley.

    Some other advice I've seen for productivity (that plays nicely with your "take a break" advice) is to have a buffer of back-up posts scheduled ahead, for those times when you're just not able to stick to your regular plan.

    OR planning the posts so far in advance that any problems you have now will not affect this week's posts, and you'll have enough time to recover and write the ones that were disrupted later.

    Thanks for the great advice!

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