10 Ways to Blog Better, Faster – Part II

10 ways to blog fasterThanks to guest blogger, Michelle Shaeffer

In Part I, you read about tips #1-5 for better, faster blogging. Here’s a recap of those 5 blogging tips:

1. Be yourself & write what you know.
2. Let go of perfection
3. Practice short & be flexible.
4. Use templates.
5. Be inspired by others.

Thanks for coming back to read about tips #6-10. Here they are:

6. Keep a Notebook
Ideas are everywhere. Start paying more attention to what’s around you and you’ll soon find that you “see” blog ideas in everything from your cats to the mailman to the plant on your desk. Write them down as soon as they come to mind and then you’ll have a constant list of content ideas to draw from when it’s time to write.

7. Don’t Limit Yourself to Text

Video, audio, graphics — there are lots of options for blog posts. Don’t limit yourself to writing text, especially if you aren’t a fast typist. Maybe video blogging or audio blogging is a better option or a good way to give your fingers a break from time to time.

8. Improve Important Skills

Identify what takes you the longest when you blog, and work to improve on it. For example, are you:
A slow typer? Improve your typing speed with a typing class. Or try voice to text programs that type what you speak.
Spending too much time researching? Speed up your research by bookmarking the best sites for it so they’re at your fingertips.
Challenged to come up with ideas? Keep a list of brainstormed blog post ideas.
Frustrated by no comments so you don’t feel like writing anything new? Join a comment tribe, blogging group, form a comment circle with friends, comment on other blogs.
Unsure how to promote your posts? Create a promotion plan, then follow it for each new post.
Confused by WordPress (or your blogging software)? Take a class or find a mentor and learn it.
Having trouble finding perfect photos? If you’re spending 20 or 30 minutes searching free photo sites, consider just using royalty free photos instead from StockFresh or Dreamstime – if it saves 30 minutes, it’s worth the $1 or $2. Or look at plugins like Zemanta or PhotoDropper.

All of these present an upfront investment of time, some a few minutes and some longer, that will more than pay off in the long run.

9. Blog in Series/Batches

Instead of brainstorming a new idea every day, try choosing a theme and writing a series on it.

If you write 5 posts on the same topic in one writing session, you’ll find it’s usually a lot quicker than if you were to write 5 posts on different topics on 5 different days.

Series are a great way to draw readers back and add subscribers to your blog, too.

10. Use a Blogging Calendar

A blogging calendar can help you get organized. I tend to go old fashioned and brainstorm out my posts ideas on a printed calendar. Here’s how I plan mine: http://michelleshaeffer.com/how-planning-your-blog-content-can-make-blogging-easier-and-draw-more-regular-readers/2010/10/05/

I use the Editorial Calendar Plugin for WordPress. It allows me to see on one screen what posts I’ve got coming up and easily move them around.

Are you ready to really get your blog working for you?

If blogging ever feels like a frustrating time-suck that you’re putting tons of energy into and not getting results from, I want to help. I’ve been there. When I started blogging… well… it took quite a while before I started to figure things out. Once I did, everything got easier. I’m able to blog consistently, easily come up with dozens of ideas for blog post topics, attract traffic from the search engines and social networks, and build credibility with my blog that allows me opportunities to get new clients, participate in joint ventures, and grow my business faster while helping more people.

The next Launch Your Blog workshop begins May 29th, 2012. Get the details here.

About guest blogger Michelle Shaeffer: Michelle’s Twitter profile describes her as: “Helping entrepreneurs build visibility, voice and community. Homeschool mom, SciFi fan, voracious reader, lover of coffee.” That sums it up nicely. You can find her at MichelleShaeffer.com or on Twitter @MichelleShaeffr.