Have you designed a great looking blog and started writing, but now you feel like you’re heading into an abyss? Do ideas occur to you often, but by the time you grab the keyboard, you realize its all gone? Has some of your content attracted only a few likes and nothing after?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, you may be failing to create a winning content strategy. In simple terms, a content strategy is long-term planning for the content that appears on your blog. The first element that goes into such planning is time management.
According to a survey report by Food Bloggers of Canada, an average blogger will spend 6% of his or her time reading the news and other blogs, and only 4% time is spent in actually creating content.
It’s no wonder that your content isn’t going anywhere, or grabbing new visitors. You’re just not using your time well. While it still occurs to you that sitting and writing away or designing visual content is the solution, you are missing out on an important detail – how and when to execute your content planning?
Maybe it is time you started using a stopwatch. Yes, you heard it right, a stopwatch. The trap most content producers and bloggers fall into is just sitting down to write. The resultant blank screen provokes a writer’s block. You can use the stopwatch from your phone, mini-clock, a watch, any online stopwatch or an app to track time.
Here are the 6 solid reasons why owning and using a stopwatch can revolutionize the way you blog and produce content:
Managing an editorial calendar
It is extremely necessary to design an editorial calendar when starting out with blogging or even when you are faring well as a beginner. The best way to do it is to sit down and allow your mind to do some brainstorming (and wandering!). It will surely earn you some good content ideas.
Next, sit down and jot these topics down onto an editorial calendar.
Now hit start on your stop watch when you sit down to draft a post that is due to be published. Count the minutes you took to write a post and then judging by that, scribble this detail on your calendar so when you sit to write a post you know your average timing better and don’t hang in midair.
Even for calendars, some bloggers use manual calendars while some use a Google Calendar. It is really up to you. See what works best for you.
Grouping similar tasks
This is one of the most basic time management tips, but it works everytime! For example, in your regular blogging or content creation routine, some big tasks are:
- Planning posts
- Image searches
- Customizing blog designs
- Promoting posts and SEO
- Saving drafts
- Upcycling old content
Use a stopwatch to group all the tasks that are similar, together. They will help you focus better. You can start by finishing all the emails in, let’s say, the first 15 minutes of your day (which starts at 9am) after which you switch over to checking your stats and analytics.
Then later in the day(at 2pm) you check email again for 15 minutes and stop exactly when the stopwatch asks you to stop and not spend another second thinking about email.
Group computer-aided and manual tasks, or however you feel comfortable, and follow the buzz of your stopwatch to complete each task smoothly.
Keeping a track of your day
When you are working from home, it happens the most. You feel like you pulled a 12-hour, but you’ve actually spent only 4 productive hours. Now use a stopwatch to count the time you worked and make an elaborate spreadsheet or take notes.
In blogging, online time tracking tools like Toggl or Minterapp also help a lot, because they simplify the process of reminding and stacking up invoices at the end of each month. Coupling that with a handy tool like a stopwatch helps you stay on track online as well as offline. Tracking hours you spent working on a project makes you aware of how much you have done and how can you do more in less time.
Get boring tasks out of the way
Even famous people like Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez don’t like some parts of their day. It’s natural. But when you understand that you are finally a responsible person, you try to manage the boring tasks smartly. Even if it is working out or taking out the trash or fetching milk, use that stopwatch to time your tasks and turn them into one big achievement when you finish them!
The method is simple. Dedicate some time to doing work that you don’t like to do, but have to do. Chances are that time constraints will urge you to finish the work faster.
Now that it’s established that you are an A-class content producer or blogger, try this one out. When you feel extra jumpy, try challenging yourself using the stopwatch. Start the timer and ask your brain to jot down 50 post ideas. Challenge yourself. Exceeding limitations is all about the way you think. Look at this amazing artist who makes art in physical and spatial constraints.
The human brain can actually be motivated to work harder with time limits, and as a blogger it will make you a pro in planning and launching outstanding content in remarkably little time.
This one’s real easy. It is human to be distracted once in a while by either great smelling food or a fluffy little kitten or maybe just by thinking of an embarrassing thing you said to your boss two months ago. Winners are those who manage and then overcome their distractions to achieve level awesome.
It is okay to feel a little less interested when you’ve been bent over the laptop for over two hours. Start the stopwatch and get up to take a stroll and maybe have a snack.
Watch something on the TV or talk to a friend. If you work in an office, you can just stretch a little or fetch a glass of water. The more time that will accumulate into your timer, the more determined you will be to feel responsible for the work you left behind. Honesty can motivate you to do better, and small distractions like these can get you more focused and thus, productive!
Blogging and content production is all about managing time, and many tools are there to support you. As mentioned above, with responsibility comes the will to go on. Whether your content gets hundreds of likes in a minute or one like in a day, following solid time planning can carve out a better you, a better website and bigger fans.
Don’t worry about the stats, recent studies showed that after publishing some 50 posts, blog traffic goes up by 53% and triples when you hit 100 posts. Worry about the continuity, and stack up posts and quality content that genuinely helps a worried soul on the interwebs! Moreover, for getting up to date related to great content. Visit Medelita blog.