The most crucial problem every single blogger is faced with is not insufficient traffic to their blog, nor is it developing the best social media strategy. It’s productivity, or lack thereof, because it influences every other aspect of blogging. Posting high-quality content on a regular basis, which means at least two times a week, is an absolute must, and for some bloggers, that might be a nearly impossible feat.
It’s not because they are lazy, or they lack talent, but because they are bad at managing their time and get easily distracted by something else. And it’s perfectly fine, because everybody’s different in terms of their working habits, and how much time it takes them to go from full-on procrastination mode to typing away furiously at their keyboards.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to let it limit your blogging capacity. There are plenty of things you can use to your advantage to change the way you approach your work and boost your output, such as a whole slew of useful tools and resources to help you improve your productivity, take it to the next level, and make sure it stays there. The following list contains 12 tools that can assist you in achieving that.
One of the most efficient ways to eliminate distractions and focus on your job is the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working intensely for 25 minutes, and then taking a short break for 5 minutes. After you complete four of these cycles, you are allowed to take a longer break. Focus Booster is a time-tracking app which takes advantage of this approach, so instead of looking at the clock every so often, you can install this tool and concentrate on your work, until it lets you know that it’s time to take a break, or go back to work.
While organizer apps are very good at keeping you on track and managing your work schedule, they are usually so analytical and boring to look at, most bloggers avoid using them altogether. If you find it more comfortable to use visually oriented tools, you may want to check out Trello, whose user interface recalls that of Pinterest. But, in addition to posting photos, you can also add your notes, comments, labels, lists, and scheduled tasks.
If WordPress is your blogging platform of choice, then you’ll love CoSchedule. It acts both as a plugin you can use with WordPress and a web app whose primary task is to provide you with a powerful editorial calendar, but it offers more than just that. You will also like its social media-oriented features which enable you to schedule your posts for publishing across all of your social media accounts. It is a huge time-saver, which means you can focus on writing or figuring out your marketing strategy.
If you find Microsoft Office too expensive, massive, or distracting, perhaps it is time for you to check out a minimalistic writing app which can help you battle distractions and shift your focus to writing and nothing else. ZenWriter is one of the best tools for the job, with its streamlined and super-sleek interface which is free of any features that aren’t essential for creating awesome written content.
If you run into writer’s block, don’t beat yourself up about it, because it happens to everyone. It’s perfectly normal not to feel particularly creative at times, but that doesn’t mean your blog or your audience have to wait until you feel inspired again. You can share some of the burden and fill out the gaps in your creativity by getting in touch with writers at Australian Writings, which are capable of creating brilliant content for your blog and social media outlets. Also, their editors can save you a ton of time by going over your work and improving it.
Managing multiple social media account is really important, but it’s also one of the most tiresome, boring, and time-consuming tasks you will encounter as a blogger. Not if you decide to use Hootsuite, though. The app is laid out like a dashboard which features all of your social network activities, and which allows you to publish and schedule posts, collaborate with other members of your team, view stats, monitor performance, and plenty of other stuff.
Flipboard is a brilliantly designed online app which is laid out like a magazine and features the best content from all of your favorite sources, such as blogs, websites, and social media streams. It will save you a lot of time by providing you with inspiring topics, but also with trending themes and articles you can share on your social media accounts, which results in more frequent posting. Other than that, it is just wonderful to look at and really contagious, so might want to be careful not to spend too much time using it.
Asana is one of those tools which you simply need to have as part of blogging arsenal. It is suitable for managing every single aspect of your projects, regardless of their size and complexity. For instance, you can manage your blogging schedule, set an email list, collaborate with your team members and distribute tasks. You will be able to see a spike in your productivity with this gem in no time.
Song verses, inspiring quotes, or clever phrases, pasted onto an equally inspiring images are all the rage nowadays on social media, especially Facebook. Enhancing your blog’s content with some of that is a good idea, but creating that sort of images takes a long time if you are using Photoshop or some other similar app. Spoken.ly, however, can help you get it done in minutes, because the entire process is semi-automated. Check it out.
10. Adobe Kuler
Now, unless you’re a graphic designer, you will probably find yourself out of your comfort zone when deciding on your blog’s graphics, color schemes in particular. Even though you may feel really strong about the combination of colors you have come up with, there are rules which indicate which color schemes are the most pleasing the human eye. Check out Adobe Kuler, which is a simple, yet effective tool that can help your visual content pop in no time.
There comes a point in every blogger’s career when they are frustrated with the fact their competitors are driving more traffic to their websites and blogs, despite offering inferior content. This may be down to poor choice of keywords on your part. SEMRush can help you get back on track, because it is able to analyze your competition’s content and pinpoint the exact keywords which are responsible for such high traffic volume.
You may already be using Google Analytics, but you should also check out Google Webmaster Tools, which is a suite of tools that are focused more on making sure your website is working like a charm. It checks deep underneath the hood and provides information on how you can improve the structure of you blog, whether it’s through tweaking with the HTML code, or some other way. Also gives you info about your blog’s Google Index status and safety.
As you can see, you can improve your productivity regardless of your creativity, schedule, and work habits. All you have to do is rely on these amazing tools and let them do some of the work for you. As a result, you will be more productive, which means more posts, more traffic, and more potential customers.
About the author
Stephanie Norman is a professional writer and contributing blogger with 4 years of experience from Sydney. She writes creative and academic content covering content marketing, blogging, and writing issues as a freelancer. You can follow her at Facebook and Google+.