Blogging is still big business, both for commercial interests and hobbyists. While it’s a full-time profession for some, many people undertake blogging alongside multiple other tasks and commitments or in their free time. As a result, even if you have good technical knowledge, it can be extremely difficult to find the time needed to ensure consistently high-quality content. This article is for those types of bloggers looking for ways to streamline their workflows to maintain their high standards. If that sounds like you, here are some time-saving tips, tricks, and tools to help you out.
This CMS (content management system) is popular with bloggers, but there are still those who don’t use it. This could either be because they’re experienced web developers who are used to building sites from scratch, or because they lack experience and assume they can only handle out-of-the-box solutions. Using WordPress as your platform, but hosting with a dedicated provider, is the ideal compromise between the quick and easy approach of using a ready-made blogging platform and a bespoke, self-built site. Some hosting packages come in-built with WordPress themes to base your site on. Take 1&1 for example – their WordPress packages combine customizable themes with reliable hosting. This type of solution allows you to save valuable time without compromising on personalization.
Bonus tip: If you’re using WordPress, be sure to take a look at our selection of the best plugins to use in 2017.
Automation is exactly what it sounds like: the automatic processing of tasks you would normally have to do manually. For bloggers, it’s an invaluable time-saving strategy. There are multiple tools and approaches, but one of the best is a free platform called IFTTT (If This Then That). The tool is free to use and allows you to create automation chains, known as applets. There are applets to automate a whole range of processes, from sharing WordPress posts to social media channels to syncing various organization and management tools. Plus, many of them work across different devices, giving you more scope for saving time and effort.
Research is a crucial part of blogging, both for generating ideas and keeping an eye on the competition. However, the sheer volume of content on the internet can make this process time-consuming. Productivity is not about how much you do, it’s about how much you get done, and blogging research is no exception. Curation platforms are a great way to focus your research process, cutting down time spent digging for inspiration and competitors. For instance, the RSS feed aggregator Feedly allows you to discover and monitor content from a range of sources, as well as organize your collections as you see fit. There are plenty more resources like this, so use them to your advantage.
Ultimately, there will always be some blogging tasks that demand a lot of time and attention, but there are ways to ensure you’re doing them as efficiently as possible. One fundamental method is to maintain a clear editorial calendar or plan. Although this will initially take up more of your precious time, it will save a lot more in the long run and also improve the overall quality of your content. When you have a clear picture of your editorial direction, you’ll spend less time deliberating on what to write. For the actual writing process, it’s important to compartmentalize. For example, don’t fact check and edit midway through writing; doing so will break up your creative flow and have a detrimental effect on your efficiency. You could also consider using a timer to allocate chunks of time for specific tasks if you’re prone to trying to take too much on at once.