How to be a productive blogger, check out these top tips!

I'm probably the worst person to be asking how to be a productive blogger right now especially with it being the summer holidays my routine has gone completely out of the window. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into a routine now that Amelia is starting school this week. However I get asked on a regular, if not daily basis how I manage to blog productively with two young children. So today I thought I would share some of my tips on how to be productive if you work from home or are a blogger.

Being a blogger involves so much more than just writing blog posts. You also have to plan, constantly find new ideas to write about, take photos, update your blog design, reply to comments, interact with readers and so much more. It is so easy to let everything get on top of you or easily get distracted with other daily tasks. Here are 10 ways that you can be more productive:

1. Have a designated workspace

I cannot stress this enough, by having a designated workspace you are allowing yourself to become more productive instantly. If like me and you like to curl up on the sofa with your laptop on your knees whilst watching Eastenders then you'll easily become distracted. Before I had my own workspace I would make do with blogging from my bed or the sofa which would usually end up with my falling asleep especially as I do most of my work late a night which isn't good when needing to meet deadlines. I find that I am far more productive if I am sat in my designated workspace, with everything I need in arms reach. I make sure I have a drink, any snacks and my phone all on my desk so I won't need to get up and get sidetracked.

I recently created a new workspace in the main bedroom which I will be blogging about soon but in the meantime you can read my tips on how to create a calming workspace over on the Simply Business website here.

2. Plan

Blogging can be very time consuming and you'll often be left feeling overwhelmed. Try planning ahead to give yourself more time to get everything done and to meet deadlines on time. There are various ways that you can plan ahead and some of these include using:

A planner

Purchase a planner for your blog to keep track of everything blog related and schedule your day/week. Plan out your posts in advance, do you need to pick up any products for your pots, do you need to take photos or do you have any upcoming blog events to attend? You won't be very productive in your working time if you don't have an idea what to write about!

I have a planner from The Bloggers Planner for any blog related work or information I need to jot down. Planners don't work for everyone and didn't for me until recently but if you're the type of person who likes to be organised and have everything written down then a planner may just be for you. I really like the layout of this planner compared to others I've come across and can easily plan out a months worth of posts in advance as well as anything that needs doing on a specific day.

An Editorial Calendar

If you're on WordPress then an editorial calendar plugin such as Co-schedule is highly recommended, I use it for another site I run and absolutely love it! It allows you to see the whole month ahead and easily drag posts from one day to another. You can even schedule your social media posts through it! If you're not on WordPress or prefer writing things down then this monthly paper planner may be for you.

3. Work in bulk

Have a set day or numerous days each week where you sit down and write to your hearts content. Utilise this time to get as many posts written up and scheduled as possible. I like to have a few post titles drafted up ready so when the time comes to sit down I know what I want to be writing about which saves time.

Decide on a day where you can take all of your blog photos, by doing this you are saving time instead of doing this each day when you have a deadline to meet. Taking photos can be time consuming and sometimes you could take up to 500 photos for each scene/review item. Once all of your photos have been taken, sit down and edit them ready to upload to your blog. A handy tip is to upload your images to your posts ready for the set day where you will write up all of your posts.

4. Have set 'office' hours

Set yourself your own working hours where you can sit down and just work. This could be first thing in the morning if you work best when you first wake up, 9-5, in the evening once the kids are in bed or 10pm until the early hours, find out what works best for you. I like to work once the kids are in bed so from around 8pm until 2 or 3am this is my quiet time and I can just crack on and get everything done. I do try and get a couple of hours work done throughout the day when Harry is napping and Amelia is content playing. As Amelia has started nursery this week I'll have an hour each morning to reply to emails and schedule some social media posts, then I use the evenings to write posts and do anything else that needs doing.

My work schedule looks something like this:

9-10.15am | Reply to emails & schedule social media
12-1pm or 4-5pm | Whilst Harry is napping I reply to emails or start a new blog post
8pm-2/3am | Write up blog posts/social media/reply to emails/edit images

Sat & Sun
1-3 hours during the day if we are home to check emails/write up posts and take blog photos
8pm-2/3am | Write up blog posts and anything else that needs doing

Weekly total: 58-60 hours (sometimes more sometimes less)

Of course, I don't work constantly through those hours I do get up to make lunch, get drawn into Instagram and Pinterest or end up having to stop Amelia from dragging Harry around the living room by his feet! Not even joking, but that is generally what my working week looks like.

5. Set realistic goals 

Set yourself realistic goals which you will be able to achieve. There's no point setting out to write 10 posts a week if you won't have the time to write them. Start by posting 2-3 posts a week then increasing the workload once you know you can achieve it. Same goes for meeting deadlines for clients. If you know you won't be able to have the post published the next day don't promise the PR that you will. Instead, let them know that you will have the post written up over the next few days and if it is done sooner then that's a bonus!

6. Prioritise

To be a productive blogger you need to be able to prioritise, here are a few ways that you can do this: 

- Decide which tasks are more important and need doing urgently. You could categories these or put them into two different lists for example: Important vs not so important

- Do the hardest task first. Once you've got the big stuff out of the way everything else will seem like a piece of cake.

- Focus on one thing at a time

- Set a timer. It can be so easy to get lost on Pinterest or Twitter for hours so by setting yourself a timer you can monitor how long you've been doing a specific task and need to move on to the next.

- Learn to say no. With so many fantastic opportunities landing in your inbox it can be really hard to turn them down. You need to learn how to say no, don't worry about letting people down if it's not for you. It's more important for you to have more time to get important things done.

- Give yourself deadlines

- Take care of any quick tasks as soon as they come up. Need to reply to an email, amend a blog post, edit a photo you forgot to edit, if it takes a few minutes to do, try to do it right away to keep your to-do lists minimal.

7. Make lists

Every night before I go to sleep I write out a to-do list on my iPhone of what I need to do the following day, even if all of the tasks don't get completed at least I can then carry them on to the following day. I've found that I get less overwhelmed by the to-do list in my head when I write it down and I tend to remember to do the things I need to do. I like to split my lists into categories, for example... blog posts I need to write, photos I need to take, anything I need to buy. Just like planners, lists aren't for everyone but I like to have all of my to-do tasks written down somewhere that I can easily access and cross off when completed. When making lists it's important to set yourself realistic goals, if you're doing a to-do list for to be completed the next day don't plan to write 50 blog posts as we all know that is somewhat impossible.

8. Eliminate distractions

Put your phone on silent or airplane mode unless you're waiting for an important call. If you can't work with noise in the background, turn off the TV or music and just work. One thing I like to do occasionally if I have urgent deadlines to meet is to use a website blocker such as FocalFilter which allows me to block myself from using certain websites such as Facebook or Twitter for a certain time. I can easily get drawn into these so by doing this I am allowing myself to concentrate on getting the job done.

9. Schedule social media

By using sites such as Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule your posts to Twitter and Facebook you are giving yourself more free time to blog, tweet about other stuff or get things done throughout the day. If you have a busy life, work during the day or have little people to look after then you may not have time to be sitting down and tweeting in the middle of the day. Once you have published a blog post use buffer to schedule and re-buffer over the week. I also like to log on every few days to add some old content to be shared as well as re-buffer any popular posts. It's also a good idea to upgrade to the full version if you need to buffer a lot of posts. 

10. Have a clutter free desk

I always like to have an organised and clutter free desk, after all a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind. By having an organised work space you will spend far less time looking for things and more time working. Don't forget to have a notepad on your desk ready to jot down any ideas that may spring into mind. Have a clear out once a week or more if needed, and organise any random papers into files, get rid of anything you no longer need and give your desk a quick polish, it will leave you feeling more motivated!

Don't forget, whilst blogging can be very time consuming it is also very rewarding if you put the work in! Writing a blog should be fun, but if it's something you are passionate about then keeping organised and having set priorities will help you to increase your productivity. That's one thing I love about this job is that I am my own boss and can make my own schedule! 

What helps you to blog productively? Do you have any tips to share?

For more blogging tips and advice click here.

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  1. What a great post! The other thing I've found helpful is to know what time of day I'm best at different things. So photos have to be a daytime job but I'm also better at writing during the day and then editing and scheduling during the evening. It's not a perfect system but it makes it easier to know what I should do next!

  2. That is very organised. I am not near as organised as that. I am usually coming up with a post on the day or write it on the day. I only scheduled 2 or 3 posts in my whole blogging year. I should get more organised but it is very hard I find.

  3. Fantastic post Kerry! Really enjoyed reading this and learnt a few things too! I am hoping to have my own workspace just after Christmas or maybe before once I have given upstairs a full makeover. I need to set times and organise myself a bit better I think. I said my first no last week as I didn't fancy working hard on one post (which needed a lot of research on) for one bottle or spray :) haha . xx

  4. This is such an amazing post! It has totally put into words everything I have been thinking about myself recently. I really want a planner or some kid of organisational system. Thank-you for this post :) xx

  5. Thank you for sharing this post Kerry, it's very useful! I love to be organised and I've been thinking of getting my own little workspace so I can be more productive! x

  6. How do you cope going to bed that late? I'd be permanently shattered!

    1. Haha, I have no idea. Been doing it for the last 3 years though and I've always been an night owl. I just don't look forward to the early wake up calls! x

  7. This is a really comprehensive post about how to be productive when it comes to blogging. The ones I use a lot are planning as well as bulking content.

    How do you have the energy to get up with such a late night?!

    Sharing snapshots at Captured By Jade

  8. Great tips. I have notebooks everywhere and my in trays on my desk are so cluttered now that they are not serving the purpose they were bought for.

  9. Great tips! I need a dedicated work space really, and I should have office hours too - I find it hard to switch off x

  10. I need to be more organised! I had a planner but then I never used it. I also tend to write posts as and when I can which isn't very productive. x

  11. Fantastic advice....I need to take notice of this! Thank you for sharing x

  12. What a great post - I am so unorganised I just hope and do haha! x

  13. Some great tips, I love lists and like to write them in order of priority. Working full time and blogging is hard work x

  14. These tips are great. I don't use many of them yet, because I'm a very disorganized person, but I think I could use them.

  15. I love posts like this, there is always at least one tip to take on board that will make blogging easier and more productive.

  16. I love these types of posts! This is a post that will help everyone :) x

  17. These are some great tips. I have just found a planner I was given at Christmas which should prove useful now.

  18. Some great practical tips, I have blog planner and do use it though not to its fullest potential. I am with you re the tip do the hardest task first - once its completed its so satisfying.

  19. I'm really working on building my blog right now, so this is very helpful! I've been trying to work on one post at a time, but I like the tip about working in bulk instead.

  20. This is a really interesting post - I wish I could get a big block to get stuff done each week but my daughter doesn't to bed til about 7.30 and my brain shuts down about 9.30 - 10 ! I wish I needed less sleep!

  21. Such a fab post and I have one day a week with no post going live which gives me chance to catch up on comments, write new posts, take photos and ensure my inbox is replied too x

  22. These are such great tips! I feel like I'm slacking now haha. I'm going to bookmark this post and keep reading over it until I'm on top of it all. I've been struggling to find the time and stay motivated with blogging.

  23. Fantastic tips, I really need to prioritize blogging and planning especially! x


  24. 500 photos? I've never taken more than 5 for a post.. because I am a blogger and not a photographer!

  25. Amazing post and I love your desk! I have to admit I did it like you - sat in Front of TV or in bed and fall asleep - and I have cute desk space too! I bought the planner as well.

  26. These are great tips! I really want the Bloggers Planner.

    Daniella | Freshly Pressed Beauty

  27. I definitely needed this post today! I have a lovely desk but never seem to have time to work at it! I really should bookmark this post and try to stick to a more productive blogging schedule! xx

  28. Great tips here. I haven't been very good with posting regularly lately, I need to set time aside each day to keep on top of it. I have so many half written posts, I need to sit down and finish them off. I have just installed Co-Schedule so will give that a go to help organise myself and social media :-)

  29. I really do need to learn to be more productive with my time. I have to work it around nap times rally because the little one isn't in nursery. I really want a bloggers planner too! x

  30. Really insightful blog into managing your time effectively, definitely getting a blog planner, I'm already obsessed with lists! X

  31. This post is super useful as I also struggle to get that work life balance with two kids at home, good to see I am not the only one up until 2-3am in the morning doing work :)

    Laura x

  32. I have been using Buffer recently and I have been seeing great results. Great post and great tips. Thank you for sharing.

  33. That post title is what I needed ! I am heading for a planner and a schedule plugin x

  34. This is such a great post! I really struggle sometimes to stick to my plans for blogging, I think I need to try and set myself a list of 'rules' and goals to stick to like this!

  35. This is a very useful post. I often wondered how you get time to do what you do! My problem is I work evenings so it's kids all day and work all evening so I crash out as soon as I'm home! I don't get a lot of time to do mine but I have so many ideas! Will be trying some of your tips regarding organisation.

  36. This was extremely helpful. I know all these other comments are saying the same thing but I just wanted to say thank you for posting this. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to do what I love and do it well and it can be hard when you don't have other "bloggers" in your real life to understand the struggle. This was really well written and helpful to me! Thank you!

    Also, I love all the black and white, thats my kind of taste!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I love reading them all and will try my best to answer all of your questions. If you would like to contact me for a quicker response please feel free to tweet me at (@ohsoamelia_blog) or email me. Kerry