Tips for Organized Blogging

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To blog effectively and create a successful blog the blogger must become a prolific writer of quality content that calls readers to action.   Successful bloggers are organized and  manage their time well.  Scheduling enough time for creating original content, promoting it through social media and social networks, answering comments, locating similar blogs and reading and leaving comments on them, link building and relationship building requires strong organizational skills and commitment. — 6 Traits of Successful Bloggers

It’s important to set-up your work space, files and tools for what’s coming at you next. The more organized you are, the less time you waste looking for what you need.

  • Organize your work space
  • Organize your files
  • Organize your tools
  • Organize your email account
  • Organize your social networking accounts

Blogging-TipsThe Five Golden Rules of Goal Setting

Set Goals that Motivate You
Set SMART Goals
Set Goals in Writing
Make an Action Plan
Stick With It!

Set your goals for the month.  Determine what tasks are necessary to achieve your goals and set your priorities.  Decide how frequently you intend to publish on a weekly basis.

Create a schedule allowing for the time you need for research and content creation. Include time for microbreaks to give your head a rest and to exercise your wrists and hands, take a walk, meditate, listen to music, etc.

Time savers

  1. Try a digital note-taking system like Evernote and/or an online to-do list like Remember the Milk or Toodledo or use Pinterest.
  2. If you are short of time try the Copy a Post feature.  It allows you to start a new post without having to re-enter tags, categories and formatting.
  3. If you are collaborating or if you need an editor then use the Request Feedback feature to consult a colleague on a draft post.
  4. Post by Email, or use your phone to Post by Voice, or post by Offline Editor.
  5. If you use Twitter to promote your blog try using a program like HootSuite to schedule your tweets ahead of time.
  6. If you have free time, write and schedule draft posts for later publication.

Discussion

I’m aiming to become a more organized blogger in 2011, and I’m wondering how my readers manage their blogging time. Would you care to share how you manage your blogging time?

40 thoughts on “Tips for Organized Blogging

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  6. This has been a great discussion! I really appreciate this, and especially during the holidays and with the loss of your mom. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

    I’m also struggling with organizing and sustaining blogs. I have two, one is a family blog and writes itself and because it’s for a limited and loving audience and I know who all 7 of them are (LOL!) I don’t feel any pressure. It’s fun, and a creative outlet, which is all I’m really looking for.

    My oher blog is much more difficult. Time is tight. Today I spent hours on a post. Hours I don’t really have. I need to do some thinking about it, and it’s been good to read everyone’s thoughts and ideas and similar issues!

    • Hi there,
      I’m finding two blogs is very challenging so I have to organize and schedule. Now that I’m making more offline commitments schedulng is key to being productive.

      P.S. You’re right. It’s a tough time for me. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts.

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    • Just Add Attitude,
      Thanks so much for caring. It’s a happy time of the year and my mom’s death has made it a little harder to be in the spirit of the season. I’m recalling Christmases past and how much she enjoyed them. That’s helping me get through this tough time.

  8. This is such a great, thoughtful discussion that touches on so many topics that have been running through my head.

    At first, I blogged daily. Then, for a long time (3 years), I was a “slow blogger”–blogging occasionally. But in the last year, as I’ve been dealing with some personal stress, writing regularly and posting frequently have become very cathartic. So I do write almost daily but I post in advance. In October, I decided that I would try the “post daily for 30 days” to test what the strength of my social media network. This lead to an uptick in subscribers, traffic, and FB and Twitter followers.

    I certainly understand the wariness that folks have with social media. It can be a time suck. Yet some organization and perspective on it keeps me in check with it. Because I come at blogging via print work (I was the managing editor for a regional magazine for a little while), I see the daily writing/publishing as something akin to a daily column and the social media part as “subscriber outreach.” I confess to using Bufferapp.com. I like being able to set up what I’m going to share for a few days and then walk away, back to my ordinary life. (I can check back and respond to responses later. No biggie.)

    Do I post too much now on my blog? Maybe. I’m confident it keeps my subscriber numbers lower. But it also keeps my social media (Twitter, FB) traffic going.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to whether or not at any given period a blogger is satisfied with her experience. This formula works for me now. Slow blogging worked great before. I’m not into blogging for the big bucks. I’m in it because I’m one of those people who “must” write. With the publishing industry topsy turvy–and homeschooling a small child while helping an elderly parent, posting frequently gives me something for my brain. At some point I might want to monetize my networks and blog, but I value the PEOPLE behind the usernames more than anything else.

    Just don’t call me a “mommy blogger.” =) Too restrictive.

      • I don’t have a system to collect subscribers. I have Feedburner and WordPress.com subscriptions available and I leave it to readers to choose whether or not they wish to subscribe by email or by RSS Feed readers. As my readers provide an email address only for the purpose of commenting or receiving my posts by email I respect that and don’t use their email addresses for any other purpose. I’m a Canadian and doing otherwise is against the law. When I subscribe to a blog and provide an email address for receiving posts and for commenting if I receive anything else by email from them I unsubscribe.

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  10. I keep telling myself i need to get more organized. Talk about drowning is a sea of information on-line, i am amazed at how much new information comes out in such a short amount of time. From week to week! Thanks for the tips. i will certainly try to focus on organization a little more :).

    • Hi there,
      I too have felt like I’m drowning in a sea of information online. Once you feel that then it’s easy to become totally overwhelmed and less and less productive. For me the solutions are organization, scheduling and sticking to my schedule. That approach is only means I have found of being productive online and still having the time to live a fulfilling offline life too.

  11. This is all quite helpful–as usual. I’m still plagued by a problem of focus. My blog covers poetry and art but also a mishmash of what catches my fancy. A friend who does social media promo professionally wants to help me, but he feels the blog isn’t focused enough. I regard it as something between a hobby and a professional community. He thinks my voice should dominate more–I think I’m kind of a curator. I trimmed out a bunch of categories and then readers complained. Maybe it is just hard to promo poetry? I still haven’t met my goal for number of readers after 2 years of blogging.
    On the other hand, I truly enjoy it.
    How can I resolve this?

  12. “6.If you have free time, write and schedule draft posts for later publication.”

    I do this alot for all my blogs. It’s rare that I actually finish a blog post and publish on the same day. Main reason is that I don’t blog several times a week. So I spread out my publishing across 3 blogs.

    The publishing dates for 2 blogs that support 2 different organizations, are driven by on external things going on with the organization or combined with making sure we publish at least once a month at minimum.

    I have a full-time job so I have to be prudent how often I “appear” to be writing outside of my full-time job.

    Admittedly keeping the associated photos and final drafts of articles for different blogs can be vague headache. I realize one can make a copy of the blog, but my blogs include slideshows which may not render the best in a blog copy. My blogs use alot of personal photos.

    I do tweet out just published articles for 2 of my blogs. Occasionally from 3rd (personal) blog.

    We don’t use Facebook but a European sponsoring organization has FB to complement 1 of our blogs which they (paid staff) push our blog tweets to FB. They sponsor this blog too.

    Honest, I don’t have time to cope with FB and monitor/communicate/promote through there for any of these 3 blogs. The company owner doesn’t have time either –besides he prefers to write blog posts occasionally (if he’s not running around doing other stuff) because it’s more meatier content for him to express his thoughts.

    There is an informal “action” plan for the conference blog since we do work against tighter timelines and need to be more strategic of what and when certain blog posts are released publicly.

    I’ve never posted by mail —and would have to be a bit obsessed to be doing that OR pay me to use this method for this degree of urgency!

    • Dear Jean,
      I appreciate all of your thoughtful and informative comments. I have always assumed that you are an organized blogger simply because you are productive and you do produce high quality content.

      I’m still ruminating over the approach I’m going to take to social networking in the new year. I’m simply not into it. I’d rather produce content than schmoooze and that’s consistent with my introverted personality type. SIGH …

      • Whatever changes you make if it means to adopt more social media tools, then it must be for the right reasons that you, titi, are most comfortable with.

        which is why I left out FB and Google Plus. My main criteria: The content whatever I say, is not searchable and even if searchable, it’s not accessible. So no point for me to go to FB. I see Twitter like a currrent awareness tool for regular readers…a term used in the library world.

  13. I started blogging earlier this year. I too need to be a more organized blogger. I had no idea when I began just how much time each post would take. The way it works for me is that on the day I am going to post (images obviously are already taken) I set aside the whole evening to write and publish the post: I am especially slow at writing as I put down a jumble of words and thoughts and then have to spend hours tweaking and sifting through them. I am not saying the end result is good but I feel that it’s always better than the raw rough draft I started with.

    I am in awe daily posters. I am also curious to know when I read a well written piece does it just flow for the author or has he/she slaved over it for hours. I would love to hear how others do it.

    Thanks Timethief for all the tips.

    • “I am also curious to know when I read a well written piece does it just flow for the author or has he/she slaved over it for hours. I would love to hear how others do it.”

      It is rare for me to write, edit and complete a written blog post under 2 hrs. In most cases it’s double the writing and finalization. THEN another 1-2 hrs. to select, crop, resize and embed photos.

      Unlike some bloggers, I want all of my blog posts with 1 or more photos. It helps keep the reader on the blog longer or if they don’t feel like reading whole post, they can look at the photos to learn. I try to choose photos that show something different but relevant to the article’s subject matter.

      • I write fast–but that is my training. I highly recommend that any blogger build up some muscle with writing exercises from Natalie Goldberg or Julia Cameron’s The Artists’ Way or any fun book on writing. It helps enormously.

      • I don’t have much time, so I think out how I want a blog post to go, then set a 20-minute timer and write my brains out. Sometimes I’ll give myself another minute to slap on a conclusion.

        Then the next day I’ll edit, also within 20 minutes–or less, preferably. I only have one pic per post, so not nearly as many as you do. Does take annoyingly long (like 5-10 mins) to get the pic up.

        Practice this a while, and you will be pre-thinking more completely, and writing much faster.

        Daria

        • I’ve used this writing practice from time to time but it’s not my preferred practice. I schedule my work into timeblocks of about 40 – 45 minutes.

    • I’m not in awe of daily posters. I have yet to meet one who wasn’t either marketing something or who lacked a healthy offline life or both. That may seem like a harsh thing to say but it’s my truth beased on my own cyber experience. Though I do tend to write almost every day I don’t publish every day. I’m aware of how doing that can drive away readers, who do have healthy offline lives.

      Since the head injury my approach to writing has changed very little. I create a schedule of timeblocks and then stick to it. I still begin with research on a single topic but when I write I start out simply “spilling my guts”. I focus on the subject and write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes what I write contains nothing of value at all so I dump it. If there is value it it then I shift into editor mode and shape a post. Therefater I continue to edit to jettson all uneccesary words. That’s a recognition of my own reality and of the reality of others. We have so little time and so many posts to both write and to read.

      • Hello timethief,

        I’m enjoying reading through lots of your posts here, in order to blog better.

        I’ve had my WordPress blog since late 2006, but was using it more as an easily update-able website for my felt hats than as a blog. I averaged about a post per month in 6 years!

        At the start of March this year, I joined a challenge to post about “something green” every day until St. Patrick’s Day. I was amazed at how much fun it is to write more frequently.

        Not that I could ever keep up the post-per-day schedule, but I am curious why you say that posting every day can drive away readers? I had the feeling I was making up for lost time, or something. Is it just overkill?

        I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. My sincere condolences.

        • My experience may not reflect the experience of others. It’s my experience that most bloggers I know are hobby bloggers who do not want to be flooded with email from blogs that publish posts daily. I tend to subscribe to blogs wherein the blogger does not just toss up a quote or an image or video. The blogs I subscribe to tend to be kept by bloggers who are writers and they don’t publish unless they feel they have something of value to share.

          Thanks for your kind words re: my mother passing on. It’s a sad time for our family. I’m also under a lot of pressure to produce work and earn an income and the grieving process is one that slows us down. So I’m struggling right now to balance my online and offline life and to look foward to better days.

    • @Just Add Attitude
      I’m sorry it took so long for me to respond. I’m extremely busy right now getting ready for holiday compnay. I’m also dealing with many family issues as my mother has passed away.

      • Losing one’s mother is so tough. When mine passed in 2008, I read something about grief that helped me, and maybe will help you.

        The gist of it was that American culture doesn’t really understand grief. We tend to belief its akin to having the flu, that it’s something that eventually goes away. When actually, grief is more like an amputation, something you’ll always live with, although eventually you do adjust to the new normal.

        Which is not to say that life doesn’t feel good again. But more to give you the permission to take a long time processing your emotions.

        A loss like that is so hard. I couldn’t work for months. I don’t know how you are doing it.

        Wishing you peace in your loss, TT. All the best.

  14. I am not really into being organised when it comes to planning a schedule for writing blog posts. I think there is a risk that the in trying to be organised, the tail will start to wag the dog.

    I am organised when I am writing, but not in planning ahead.

    Gary Winogrand was a photographer and observer of human nature. When he died there were thousands of rolls of undeveloped film at his home.

    That’s because he usually left it a year or two before he developed his rolls of films and then, having made contact sheets of the negatives, he put those aside for another year before printing the ones he liked.

    That was his way of looking at his own work unclouded by whatever he had invested it with when he took the shot.

    So, in an analogous way, I think the most important tool in writing is to keep projects and write when the mood takes one, and to write in a notepad (I’ve started to use nvALT) that is non-threatening ( in other words not a draft on the blog itself) and just let it flow.

    Then look at it when the mood takes one and then pick it up and continue if it feels right. If not, then junk the project and forget it.

    • Hi David,
      I find that I have to organize my life in advance in order to create the time to write in. I do have a list of subjects for each blog that I intend to blog on but I’m fairly flexible when it comes to writing on something else if it comes to mind.

      Thanks for telling us about Gary Winogrand’s approach. The time separation and restrospective view is a fascinating concept. I’m pretty sure if I had taken that approach some of what I have published would not have made it into my blogs at all.

      I searched online and found nvALT 2. It sounds like it’s very easy to use.

      I have always kept notebooks and by that I mean the kind one writes in with a pencil and pen. I have a stack little notebooks full of ideas for future posts and from time to time I develop one of them.

      In the upcoming year I’ll be experiencing some big changes in my offline life and I plan to make some smaller changes in my off-line life too. I think I can benefit from becoming a more organized time manager.

      Thanks for your comment. :)

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