Let’s be brutally honest here. At times, every blogger craves insights on how to write a blog post the best and most efficient way. Maintaining a consistent blogging schedule can sometimes feel like a major feat.
You’ve had those days when the words just dry up, right?
Most things get easier with experience but even after blogging for more than a year, I’m always eager to read productivity tips, and I’ve tried most of them. I love my blogging life and the liberating experience of working from home on my schedule.
All that freedom can occasionally lead to procrastination. I can’t sit back and wait for creativity to strike. I need a more proactive strategy to ensure I stay on track with my deadlines, publish premium content, and still achieve the proper work-life balance.
If you’re looking for a stress-buster routine that can really make a difference, let’s jump right into the details.
Steps to Improve Your Blogging Efficiency
Most things work better with a plan and a workflow strategy. Ultimately, you need to devise an approach that works well for you because we’re all different. But here are some suggestions to jumpstart your planning process that have worked well for me.
Step 1 – Identify Your Topic or “Seed Idea.”
I like to set aside time each week to do nothing but keyword research so that I always have at least 5 to 6 ideas in the hopper to select from. Few things are more stressful than publishing a post and not knowing where you’re going next. The day before each writing session, I make my current selection from the list.
As part of the research process, I create a new note in Evernote for each keyword and gather reference materials like articles I want to read, or sources I intend to use as external links. I’ll also check youtube to see if there’s an appropriate video to embed.
I can then quickly review my background materials as part of my selection process because it’s all very accessible, but I resist the urge to start writing at this point. Although, I do like to have a pretty clear image of the purpose of the post and what I want readers to take away from it.
Step 2 – Let Your Chosen Topic Simmer
I know generally what I’m going to blog about and I now tuck the idea away in the back of my mind, walk away, and go about my life. What I’ve noticed is that my subconscious gets ahold of the concept and works on it. This is especially true if I indulge in a little relaxation (golf works for me).
Thoughts will pop into my head at unexpected moments, and I will jot them down as soon as I can because I lose these little gems just as quickly as they came to me. But I do have a favorite new tool for capturing this stuff anywhere. I downloaded Google Docs to my iPhone, and the voice recognition feature is awesome!
Step 3 – Eliminate Distractions That Can Sidetrack the Process
When It’s time to sit down at the keyboard, I want my environment to be as distraction-free as I can make it. I put my phone on airplane mode and turn off email notifications. Sometimes I’ll put on soft music to use as white noise but nothing with lyrics. I don’t want to find myself singing along.
Step 4 – Focus! I Like the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a fun and deceptively simple method for encouraging immersion in a task for intervals of time. You set a timer and work full out on one thing for 25-minutes. When the timer dings, you take a 5-minute break before jumping back into your next session.
I usually allocate 4 sessions to complete a blog. Of course, any timer will work. But I use a free app called Flat Tomato that lets me set the number of Pomodoro periods I need in advance. It keeps me focused and energized. I challenge myself to beat the clock, but the scheduled breaks really help too because I don’t forget to get up and stretch.
It sounds silly, but it does boost productivity! It’s a fabulous reminder that when I’m writing, I can’t do anything else until I hear the buzzer.
Intrigued? Here’s a video that more fully explains the technique.
Step 5 – Always Begin With A Simple Outline
What are the main points you want to convey in your article? Get off to a good start by creating headings and subheadings for these points. One advantage is that you’re less likely to forget anything. But the biggest benefit I’ve found is that I don’t have to follow some rigid structure.
Your post will ultimately have an intro or lead-in, several paragraphs where you make critical points, and then finish with a conclusion. But you don’t have to write it in that order and build it one sentence at a time. If you’ve broken it up into individual segments with their own subheadings, you’re free to complete the sections in any order you choose.
In fact, I recommend you leave the introduction for last. Get the meat of the post sorted out first. Then go back, and I think you’ll find the lead-in will flow more easily. We often struggle to get that intro just right, and it can chew up more time than expected.
Finally getting it right can feel a lot more satisfying if it’s the final step in the process. On the other hand, if you start with the introduction and spin your wheels it can feel like you have a long way to go.
Step 6 – Write Without Censuring or Editing Your Work
This step remains my biggest challenge, but with practice, I’m making progress. If you can just get the key points down without worrying about stuff like spelling, typos, grammar or anything else you can fix it later. It’s not necessary to agonize over every word choice as you create your first draft.
It’s a lot easier to pare down and revise once you have a draft to work with. So just start typing and see where it takes you.
Step 7 – Review and Use Editing Tools
There are some excellent tools for writing today that can help enormously to spruce up your draft and get it ready for your viewers. Grammarly is a must-have for me. It’s like having the luxury of a proofreader. The grammar police will be happy, and more importantly, your readers will thank you.
Step 8 – Paste the Document into the WordPress Editor and Get It Internet Ready
Working directly in the WordPress editor is possible but too distracting. If you create your post in a simple text editor like Google Docs, it’s easier to focus on your core message and just getting the words down. You also have a copy of all of your content, and you’re less likely to inadvertently publish too soon.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of waiting to place your content in WordPress is that you’re not tempted to continuously interrupt your writing to format or “make it pretty.” Write first and then focus on the visual aspects of your post. I’m in no way suggesting this aspect isn’t important, but it is a distinct element of the process that can be attacked separately.
Internet browsers are visual, so you’ll want to enhance your text by sprinkling images or perhaps adding a relevant video. Don’t forget to make your post scannable by using heading tags to call attention to your section subheadings. No giant paragraphs, please! Your readers’ eyes will glaze over, and you’ll lose them.
This is also the point in the process where you’ll add your internal and external links. And last but certainly not least, be sure to add your call to action.
Step 9 – Review Yoast SEO and Readability Status
I’m a huge fan of Yoast SEO for ensuring that my posts are properly optimized for the search engines. If you haven’t tried this plugin yet, you really should check it out. This is the stage where I add my meta description and tags and check for my SEO and readability green lights.
Step 10 – Preview Post, Read It One More Time and Click Publish
I always preview my post before I publish. There’s something about seeing my article in its finished format that draws the eye to anything that looks amiss. Maybe the spacing isn’t quite right, or there’s a heading I forgot to bold. Hopefully, the fixes are very quick at this stage.
It’s always a thrill to finally click that publish button, isn’t it?
Will Your Blog Post Be Perfect?
Probably not!Perfection is incredibly tough to achieve, but these steps will ensure it’s close enough to be perceived as a quality effort. And a published blog with an imperfection or two is far more effective than one that doesn’t see daylight.
Here’s another blogging secret I’ve learned. I’ve labored over a post for a week that didn’t fare as well with the search engines as one I whipped out in a couple of hours. So, perfection may be somewhat overrated.
Following a strategy can help us to be productive on purpose rather than letting it happen by chance (or not!). We know that keeping to a schedule and blogging consistently has positive benefits. By following this flow, I don’t let procrastination get the better of me.
These 10 steps have been instrumental in helping me improve my work habits and increase my blogging frequency. Learning how to write a blog post the efficient way has also saved me time and made the entire process far less intimidating and stressful.
I mean, is there anything worse than staring at a blank screen with no idea what to write?
If you’ve ever been there, as I have, I think you’ll agree it’s pretty bad. My hope is that some or all of my procedures will resonate with you and make your blogging life a little easier and more productive.
Over To You
So, what do you think of this approach? Do you have suggestions for me that I’m not using? Please drop me a line below because I would love to hear them!
Do you know someone who’s started blogging that might find value in these tips?
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