Bloggers are a special breed. Their work involves many facets. If they are freelancers, they must market to potential clients and keep a flow of business coming their way.
If they decide to start and monetize their blog, they have a huge task ahead, but can certainly generate a following and income with a full commitment. If they work for companies that have clients, they must take on tasks that can be challenging, requiring research into unknown areas and mastering lots of new information.
But bloggers are committed. They get up every day and tackle even the most difficult tasks, intent upon doing their very best, no matter how much time they may need to spend creating perfect articles/posts. And it is how they get paid. And if they are beginners starting their blogs, the challenges are even greater.
Beginning Each Day with the Best Intentions
As a blogger, you may begin your day with the best of intentions – a full day of work, pumping out those blog posts. Somewhere along the line, though, there are distractions. If you work from home, you are well aware of some of these – kids at home, for one, along with daily chores, interruptions from phone calls, visitors, and pings that signal messages, emails, and such.
Even if you don’t face all of these, other distractions are self-imposed. These are all the temptations that rear their ugly heads as you work online – news outlets with intriguing headlines, your email accounts, social media, and more. So how do you remain productive against these odds and find all the resources you need to complete each article topic so that it is approved and accepted by the employer?
You need tools and resources to help you with all of these challenges. Here are 10 of them divided into two categories: productivity by removing distractions and productivity by using tools and resources to craft exceptional blog articles.
Tools and Resources to Remove Distractions
Distractions come in all types, and they always reduce productivity. A survey conducted by Pegasystems found that the average worker, in any environment, moved about on his computer to and from as many as 35 different applications each day. Of course, some of these included accessing resources related to their work, but a similar study conducted by Workfront showed that those who work spend only about 43% of their workweek on their actual work tasks. They state that the biggest disruptions are messaging, emails, and social media.
Here are some tools that should help you remain focused:
Here is a free app that lets you block website and app distractions on all of your devices. You set a particular period for the block and specify the sites to be included. Obviously, as a blogger, you cannot block all access to the Internet, but you know those that are the culprits for you.
Here’s an app that serves as a bit of a motivator. Each of us wants to be successful and “win.” The Forest app plants a seed as you begin to work and set a timer for getting a task completed. As you remain on task, the tree continues to grow. If you exit the app, the tree dies. Ultimately, you can grow an entire forest, the more on-task you remain.
This is an app for those who can be disorganized and hop from task to task, forgetting what should be done. Todoist is an app that functions like the traditional to-do list. It organizes tasks by order of priority, along with due dates and built-in reminders. Another cool feature is that it tracks progress on each assignment.
These are just 3 of many apps that will help you stay on task. A few other tips are as follows:
If you work from home (and most bloggers do), then setting yourself up at the kitchen table will never work. You need a dedicated, isolated workspace, no matter how small, where nothing else happens but your work. No one else is allowed into your workspace when you are there. This resource will provide you with the means to set up your space, no matter how small it may be.
You may not really know your own body and mind, in terms of what hours of the day and days of a month during which you are most productive. This great tool will let you track your levels over a 30-day period so that you can set up your work schedule based upon your highest energy times. Reserve your least productive hours and days for easier and other tasks. And you should run this calculator every several months, as things do change.
Tools and Resources to Streamline Your Blog Writing
Some blogs will be relatively easy to pump out. You are familiar with the topic; you enjoy the topic; and you can easily focus. But this is not always the case. There are many topics with which you are not familiar and which will require some research, sometimes quite deep, in order to provide a piece that is approved and published or that your followers will find compelling and engaging. Fortunately, technology can provide some great tools.
Buzzsumo has done the research that you often do not have time to do. You can access this site, type in a few keywords related to your article topic, and you will be presented with all the most recent trending research and topics, including links to articles on those topics. And if you have a topic that you know will be the subject of many blog articles you may be writing, you can even set up alerts.
All bloggers understand the power of a compelling headline for a blog article. They know that without that headline, many will simply skip the article entirely. Co-schedule offers a free headline analysis that will provide a full report on such things as “power” words, emotional appeal, etc. Type in a potential headline, and the tool goes to work, even making suggestions for improvement.
Tools for Language Use
Blog articles must be simply written, using informal language and simple sentences. There are tools to check for this, such as Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor. And you can also order proof help from any number of writing services that will check grammar, punctuation, and such. Remember, the reading level should be at about the 8th-grade level unless you are writing a highly technical piece.
This is one of the most popular free planners and organizers. You can take notes and sync them across all of your devices, thus keeping all of your ideas for articles in one place. And this includes visuals too. So, if you are out for coffee and an idea hits, just get it jotted down.
If you need to manage your workflow among many blog articles, this will be an extremely helpful app. And it’s free. This app offers an easy layout, as you can group your tasks into cards and boards with due dates. An easy way to manage multiple tasks and meet all of your deadlines.
Ready to Jump-Start Your Productivity?
Check this list. Are there tools or suggestions that could benefit your blogging? While blogging has become a huge economic sector, the competition is also tough. Only those who can produce engaging content that people want to read/view and share with others will ultimately earn you the reputation you need to become successful.