Five Tips for Efficient Blogging

Many of us bloggers reach a point where it becomes overwhelming to constantly keep up with social media, while simultaneously thinking of new posts and writing them. Then, there are other bloggers to keep in touch with, and replies to be given. Let's not forget that there are kids and a home to be taken care of!

If you find yourself knee deep in a list of to-do lists, you are definitely not alone. Blogging can be very demanding in terms of time, which is why it is important to have some sort of system in place. I have already shared the lessons I learnt from a year of blogging. These are a few more tips to organise yourself so you can make the most of the time you spend online. I think these pointers would be most suited to bloggers who post a few times a week, rather than daily.

Five Tips for Efficient Blogging

1. Choose your main categories

You should always be clear about the topics that define your blog. What are the key subjects that identify it? Choose three or four of these blogging categories - whether recipes, parenting advice, blogging tips, or DIY tutorials. While making your choice, think about your expertise in these areas. Do you have enough knowledge and material for writing about them frequently? Also look at your stats. What are the type of posts that do well on your blog? Make this list and write it down. You don't have to restrict yourself to only these categories, but choose the ones that you want to focus on, and update on a regular basis.

2. Set targets for yourself

Next, set goals for how often you want to update your blog. Infrequent or sporadic blogging will not only affect your writing spirit, it will make you lose readers. It doesn't make sense to write 15 posts one month, and only 5 in the next one. Go back to your categories list and decide how many posts of each you will write on them every week or every month. You may decide to do recipes only twice a month, or make DIY a weekly series. Setting writing goals is the best way to keep the wheels moving. This way, you will at least have a blogging calendar to  tell you what you should be writing about, even if you don't have specific ideas. These targets don't have to be set in stone, because life tends to get in the way, and because it is your blog and you are the one setting the rules. Just be sure not be neglect it, even if you have to write a paragraph or two.

3. Make notes, and write freely

You never know when and how inspiration will strike you, so always have something to at hand to jot down notes - whether it is your mobile device or a notebook. Whenever something catches your fancy or makes you think, write it down, even if you don't know how you'll use it. Now coming to the important part - the actual writing. When you sit down to write, don't worry about the grammar and fluidity of your paragraphs. How is this efficient? Because it makes you write faster, and it's easier to edit copy after writing than during the process. If you are stuck at how to begin a post, leave that part and just get to the point. The same applies to conclusions. Both the start and end of a post are important, so sometimes I leave them and return after a day or two to complete them. It makes me look at the post afresh and really improves it.

4. Subscribe to blogs you like

Reading other blogs is a good way to get inspiration, exchange ideas, or just keep in touch with bloggers you like. I use an RSS reader to subscribe to blogs I don't want to miss any posts from. It's a better way to be updated about them, instead of waiting for a link to show up in my social media feed. I just bookmark the ones that I want to read later, and go back to them when I have time. You can do the same with email, if that works for you. Maybe set up a separate account to receive blog updates so it doesn't clog your regular inbox.

5. Separate social media time

Here's my best writing tip: Close all other windows when you are writing. It is very tempting to reply to a Tweet or a comment when you're writing, so just remove it from sight. Since I started doing this, I'm writing faster than I used to. Instead, choose times of the day when you will only be on social media - pinning, tweeting or whatever it is that you do. I even suggest choosing days of the week that you can spend on those accounts which you don't get to look at often.

Organising your blogging time will make you more efficient and allow you to focus on the important things first. And of course, it will help you spend more time with your family.

How do you organise your blogging time?

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Anonymous said...

Great post, I need to start doing point 5, it's so easy to distracted, by numbers popping up on your twitter or facebook tab, if you leave them open.

Anonymous said...

I've found the best way for to organise myself is by having, and using, an old-fashioned desk diary. So much like a content calendar I guess. It works really well for me. And as you rightly say, always but always have a notepad and pen for when inspiration strikes!

Unknown said...

Number 5 is so important when writing on a digital device, but also to keep in mind at all times. Being present in my life - my real life - is what makes my writing genuine. Thanks for sharing this, TK.

Chai a Cup of Life said...

I need to do point 4- I need to follow other blogs in one platform like RSS feeds. At the moment it is all over the place. Point 5 I do too because and I think it is really important as it saves time. It is so easy to get distracted..!

Roshni said...

#5 is so very important for me to remember!!!

Unknown said...

Brilliant tips, as always Tarana! You have pretty much become my one-stop-shop in terms of blogging advice. I love how specific your tips always are. I have been guilty of infrequent and sporadic blogging this year (or actually, pretty much the whole time my blog was been around!), but lately due to my relationship breaking down and having to move house. I know that now that I'm almost back on track again that I need to blog more consistently. I think separating social media time and taking notes when ideas pop into your head are fantastic ideas.

Anonymous said...

You give such excellent tips, Tarana. And I love how simple your writing is! Making notes and jotting down things I come across, is what I am going to follow from now on indefinitely. I always think I'll remember when I have to update my blog, but then there are the main points that I forget and miss. Organizing blogging time is definitely worth it if you have a child at home. I always make sure to update my blog and social media sites when my little one is snoozing, otherwise he feel neglected when he is around.

FarZain said...

Your tips on blogging are just great, especially for someone who has just joined the band wagon..especially point 4... Thanks a ton!!

Vinma said...

Organizing is my biggest flaw so far.. And focusing on one or two categories and writing about them frequently is a great tip! Nice post TK :)

Tarana Khan said...

It's very distracting, and really hampers my writing flow!

Tarana Khan said...

I really love writing on paper, and it's a great way to stay organised, as you said!

Tarana Khan said...

That's such an important point, Sarah, about being present in real life.

Tarana Khan said...

It really makes a difference to have them in one place, I really recommended an RSS reader.

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Lizzy! Sorry to hear about your personal problems, though. It's really up to you what you want to focus on, and sometimes it's best to let go of the writing until you can devote time to it.

Tarana Khan said...

Thanks, Tasneem! I definitely recommend using a notepad. I do my writing when the little one naps too, otherwise it's just impossible!

Tarana Khan said...

Thank you, Vinma! From the look of your blogs, it's hard to believe that organising isn't your strong point :)

Tarana Khan said...

Glad you found the post useful!

Richa said...

I mostly get stuck on intro and title of a post I want to write. Mostly me titles are not well thought, I guess. Its a good tip to leave the start and jot down whatever you have in mind and come back to the introduction later.
Nice post!

Katie @ Pick Any Two said...

These are great tips. I highly recommend Evernote as a tool for organizing your blogging thoughts/ideas. I keep running lists of post ideas separated by category.

Tarana Khan said...

It always works for me. It's hard to come up with a good title in the first go!

Tarana Khan said...

I have been thinking about using Evernote because it syncs across platforms. Maybe I'll give it a try now.

Unknown said...

I so need to heed no 5 Tarana!

Susanne Remic said...

I'd add another tip here- only blog if you have something to say. I find it frustrating when people moan about 'needing' to post but wanting ideas on what to post about. How can your blog be original if you are desperately asking people for inspiration? And since for the majority it is a hobby, why take it so seriously? Sometimes bloggers take it all so seriously, x x

Tarana said...

Very good point! When a blogger isn't passionate, it just shows through.

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