This post is all about how I can focus more on blogging and how to be more productive blogging. I’ve outlined four steps to help me (and you) stick to it.
I really want to step up my blogging. Currently I create a post every now and then, but there is really no system in them and the quality varies a great deal. Up until now I have had a hard time figuring out what to write. While I have a lot of my mind, I always tend to think that other people have created a better post on the subject that I ever could.
I have realized that this will not change, and I can only control the content I write. If I always look at everybody else as a reference, I will never step up this blog.
Presenting my “Blog Schedule System”
In order to keep my focus on the blog I have created a small system that I will hopefully be able to follow. I also count onn you my dear and valued reader to keep me up to this. If I begin to slide and not keep the system, do not hestitate to contact me (you are also welcome to remind me through twitter ).
Step 1 – Set realistic goals
At first I will be more than happy if I can just put out one post per week. While it would be better to have two to three posts per week I need a realistic goal. If I told you that I would put out three posts per week, I would know with myself that I could not do this for much more than… well one week. Whenever you begin a journey you need succeses along the way. If you get a couple of successes it is much more easy to handle the occasional failure.
So a quality post per week is realistic for me (while setting the bar a little high because I have not had this schedule in the past)
Step 2 – Identify post types
To systemize it a little I have chosen to focus on what I call “post types”. Post types are just a taxonomy or simply said a bunch of labeled buckets I categorize my posts into.
A small detour into constraints
The reson why I categorize my posts (do not confuse the categorizing with the categories on this blog) is that your brain is typically more focused if it has a number of constraints. An example. You want to write an ebook and open up your text processor. You spend an hour just looking at the blank screen and then close the program down again, telling yourself that you will look at it another day.
If instead you setup a number of constraints, the brain has much more to work with. A constraint could be the title of the ebook, it could also be a certain format or formular you would like the book to be written in. Another constraint could also be to write the book within a certain deadline (forcing you to write something).
If you have ever been in a brainstorming session, try setting up constraints and then brainstorm within those constraints, usually you get much better results.
But back to the post types. I will create posts of the following types:
- Articles – this is your standard article where I typically dive into a given subject sticking mainly to stuff within in the 4 hour workweek or internet business universe. I will typically try to make the articles a little longer and perhaps a bit more substantiated. Hopefully making the articles better and of higher quality
- Book reviews – I read a lot of books (at least in periods) in a lot of different topics so I tohught it would be a welcomed edition to the blog. Also when I write about the book, I also remember the content better because my brain will have to try and remember some of the stuff in it
- Business reports – While I will not do hardcore income statements, I will report a little more on what’s going on in my business. I have a couple of sources of income, and I am launching another service (locally in Denmark) in the middle of December (more on this later). My main concern for not doing this before (other than how I did $2000 extra per month)
- Guest posts – This is not something I can plan as much, but I will look more openly after opportunities for having guests on the blog. Currently I only have the excellent blog post from Kristian, but it opened my eyes for letting other people write quality content on my blog.
If you have any other idea for post types let me know. I was also playing with a type called “guides” where I would publish small guides on different topics (an example could be “Create A Blog in 10 Minutes” where I did a small screencast on how to install and configure a blog in no time).
The regular reader might have noticed that I have not mentioned videos anywhere on my list. Well, I still want to do more video, but I have still not found a format I really like, and I still find it very hard to provide good value on camera. In order to get better doing video, it is of course important to do it again and again, so I might sneak a video in every now and then.
Step 3 – Post schedule
A blogging scheduled is needed, if I need to produce a quality blog post every week, I need to look at a few factors:
- How long time does it take me to produce a good post?
- When do I have time to research and write it?
- And how can I remind myself of the schedule
So, how much time should I spend on a blog post?
Up until now I have probably spend up to an hour on a blog post. In order to move forward and provide more value, I think I will probably have to spend 2-3 hours per blog post with a big one every now and then that I spend more time on.
While I currently only have to work six months per year, I am typically working 40 hours per week when I am working. This means that I will have to include weekends and evenings in my quest for more quality content.
Separating brainstorming and writing
My goal is to find 2-3 ideas for blog post in the weekend and no later than monday, perhaps even writing a bit or at least making an outline of the post. I will then finish the post thursday perhaps waiting to publish it to friday. This is the plan and this is what I am aiming at (and doing!).
So how do I remember my new commitment?
Well it is all about planning and turning off the tv. That should give me plenty of time. One hurdle about this is however that I am typically more tired in the evening after a long day of work (mainly in the period where I actually do work).
Currently I have to methods for managing work and tasks. I use Things for Mac and iPhone for Getting Things Done. I also use Things to track post ideas because it is extremely easy to create new tasks. Tasks can also be set to be recurring and on dates, but I haven’t used this feature much.
The other method is to use my calendar (currently using Google calendar which is free and ties in with my mail on my own domain – and my iPhone). I guess that this will be the first thing do and setup recurring reminders for myself.
The experts claim that it takes approximately six weeks to introduce a new habit so hopefully I can delete the reminder from the calendar in six weeks
Step 4 – Taking action
I really like Nike’s slogan, just do it. Taking action is in my book the most important advice to any entrepreneur.
What I have tried with this plan is to take away all the excuses getting in the way of actually getting it done and taking action. I have scheduled it, I have decided what to write about and I have openly made a commitment to all of you, so I really have to.
You might think that I make it sound hard to blog regularly, which is not necessarily the point I want make here. It is more that I simply forget to blog or find it hard to find suitable topics and suddenly a a couple of weeks have passed by. This simply helps me focus and keep me on track.
I hope that I can bring some posts to the table that you can learn from (or laugh at my mistakes ).