I am going to guess that blogging isn’t your favorite part of the day, but it feels pretty awesome when you hit publish and the article that you have worked hard on is sent out for everyone to read.
If only you could write better articles, faster, you could spend more time basking in your own glory.
Just when you thought that your excitement has peaked, you have enough time to effectively distribute your article. The results start rolling in and you can’t contain yourself.
This leaves us with more work and no more time. We need to focus on producing quality articles faster that are set up for quality distribution and optimize articles frequently.
This means blogging for the right people and making sure those people see it. Ask yourself these questions before you begin to write.
Increasing your blog velocity isn’t just about following a set a steps. It’s more about building a habit around major “necessities” related to producing a quality post.
This helps you to “automate” the essentials but remain fluid for creativity.
Before we move on I want to touch on one thing great blogs have.
Overtime, you begin to appreciate the consistency of information. A place you can always count on when ever you need a quick refresher or want to learn about an entirely new topic in your field.
But to become one of those trusted sources you have to proove yourself worthy. People can't gain confidence in your expertise if you aren't consistent enough to stay top of mind.
Consistentcy is the key to growing traffic on a regular basis. They go hand in hand. The more consisent (and frequent) you are the more rapidly your traffic will grow.
How to increase blogging productivity
Understand, then write shorter
There are two factors here:
- Acquire a deeper understanding.
- Write shorter.
Remember this quote from Albert Einstien: "Unless you can explain it simply, you do not understand it fully."
Take the time and invest in educating yourself before you begin writing on a topic (or series of topics). Not only will it help the quality of your articles but your understanding of the subject will come through in short and simple explainations.
You've probably heard of the KISS principle: Keep It Short & Simple
People actually don't like to read long articles. People will tend to get further through the article when they are shorter.
Readers will be more likely to get the intended value from the post and conversion rates on calls-to-action after the conclusion will increase because more people will actually see it.
By shortening your articles you can increase production. While brevity is diffucult and you may feel the itch to write 3 paragrpahs to explain one point, force yourself to stay on topic and streamline your focus.
Not to mention the SEO benefit from focusing on one topic and keyword at a time.
Design an easy-to-use blog template
Besides for esthetics of the blog, thats for a different article, what I am talking about here is a blog template that can be easily utilized on the fly.
A good blog template is:
- User friendly (doesn't require techincal know-how for writers to either publish or draft articles).
- Implements an optimal layout with social elements
- Follows a style guide to handle specifics of design, look and feel
You want to avoid a bunch of styling, or the need to make a lot of formatting adjustments.
Create a template that already has these things included so that you can focus on researching and writing. Optimize the template for speed and testing. Below is a few things to think about.
Layout and Elements
There are two design layouts to think about. Your blog listing page (or blog homepage) and the actual post page.
If you include a sidebar, keep it on the right hand side. Content should take up at least 60% of viewing area. This content should be centered on the page with the sidebar off to the side.
Make sure your blog is responsive and optimized for mobile. Nearly 60% of consumer time is spent on the internet on their mobile devices.
Every blog should have a separate module for headline, featured image, main blog section (where actual content goes), call-to-action, social sharing and author section.
This will serve as a reminder that these main pieces are always included.
How the headlines, body, bullets, and any other type should be displayed. Both on larger screens and mobile.
Use a bigger font soze for the body, no less than 12px. 12-14px font size seems to be the standard according to this infographic.
Headlines should be between 17px and 25px.
Vedrana, Lucida Grande and Arial are the most widely used fonts for body text. Arial and Georgia are the most popular choices for headlines.
The idea is make it so you don't have to think about how to style text as you format your post. This can waste a lot of time.
Additional text elements to think about making consistent:
- Include styling for bullet points - (font awesome is great)
- Include styling for "tweet this" text.
- Include styling for quotes you add
- Include styling for pictures included
A light background with dark text is by far the most popular. It's much easier to read.
98% of blogs use light backgrounds with dark text
Create a lot of whitespace. Good use of whitespcae can increase comprehension almost 20%.
If you're the only one contributing content to the blog, look for anything you do each time you publish an article that you could automate on a template level (such as headline font size or image borders).
Create repeatable process
The goal with this daily blogging habit is to deliver content that is more timely and relevant to our audience. Instead of planning a detailed editorial calendar months in advance, plan an outline that informs you what topics to focus on and when.
Effective blogs produce quality content and then get it to the right people.
Two parts. First producing then delivering.
Define the posts objective. What is it that you want your audience to get from this post? What topic/campaign is it associated with?
Write a few working titles. Not meant to be a final title but can help you stay focused during the writing process.
Research, collect links, twitter handles and emails. Gather your external links while you research your topic and gather information to include. Collect the author and their information so you can reach out to them later.
Outline the post. Start with writing the introduction, althought you can save it until the end, outline the main points to include in the body and how you will organize/present them. Then move to the colcusion.
Once you have outlined the post, fill it out until you have a first draft. Edit until acceptable.
On publish, dont autopost your blog to your social accounts. Create multiple messages for each social account (following a social promotion schedule). Then schedule these out so each social media account gets a contextual post.
Send to email subscribers letting them know that you just published a post. Keep this email tamplate basic and link to the blog three different time in the article. At the end of the email, after your signature, provide a link to a services page to build deeper awarenesss.
Monitor the article's topic with both Google Alerts and Twitter. Set up an alert for the topic and a twitter stream for the topic. If you are not using any twitter or social media software then just search hastags and keywords frequently. Write a compelling and valuable comment on the blog article that you found with a link back to your blog.
You should be linking to the sources that you researched when composing your article. Because you don't know how often this person may be checking their links, you want to inform them. Send them an email or a tweet letting them know that you liked their work and it gave you some information that helped you. Then ask them to check it out, leave a comment and share it with their audience.
Develop this process into a daily blogging habit to produce consistently higher quality articles. Building a strong habit will help you think less about the "process" and more about the content.
Now that you why consistency is key to building an effective blog you can begin to apply the daily blogging habit to produce a more consistent flow of quality content.
Have any further questions you can message me on twitter or leave a message below.