I've been blogging for as long as I've been in Online Marketing and working with SEO.
I started blogging while helping a friend with some temporary content and I haven't stopped ever since. I blog for myself, I blog for a living, and I blog for self-growth and self-education.
Some of my biggest fears when I became interested in blogging: How do I keep up with successful bloggers? How do I stay motivated and inspired? How do I continue producing fresh quality content without burning out?
I am sure many bloggers have different tricks to stay in the game, here is what helps me:
For someone who works so much (while trying to wear ten other hats), this not as simple as it sounds. It's easy to lose all reading plans on your to-do list until a more convenient time, *actual* work has to be completed first.
Keep in mind, a key component to healthy and necessary competition is regularly seeing someone else's work and staying on top of industry trends. This also prevents you from becoming burned out and provides new ideas.
This isn't only focused on keeping up with expert articles and professional resources. It's about reading itself.
Reading allows me to refresh my mind, switch gears, and make way for motivational ideas to emerge . It's also the most efficient self-development and personal growth tactic I have personally experienced.
That sounds lovely, but back to the lack-of-time issue...
How do I find time to read, when sleep is a luxury I can’t afford?
Hard Learned Lessons:
Learn to read fast. I have become a pro at reading, especially when it comes to reading industry news. I don't have time to check RSS feeds: I use my trusted Moz and Hubspot tools to deliver industry news as it happens. You can use Tweetdeck desktop notifications or set up HubSpot Social Inbox email notifications to watch the news without interrupting your workflow. If I spot something reading-worthy, I'll click the link, scan through, the news is absorbed into my mind. One article at a time keeps me up-to-date…forever a student.
Develop your unique way to prioritize your reading list. I have tried lots of note-taking and list-building tools. They all have one problem in common: When I get busy, I don’t remember to "refer to my reading list" before beginning new projects, I also forget to remove out-dated goals. My answer: My irreplaceable inbox, something I can’t overlook!
I send links to myself and don't clear them out until I read them. I am meticulous with keeping my inbox clean. Thus I force myself to read them as soon as I can.
Write down your ideas as soon as you feel inspired
This is imperative.
The moment the idea comes to your mind and you feel good about it, jot it down. I have my “work bible” next to my desk, just a blank notepad that I house all my random thoughts.
I take note of everything that's on my mind at that moment. I draw arrows, write down bullet points, mention tools, and examples. (By the end, I think I am the only one who can interpret the mysterious script.)
Never wait until you have enough time to write the post. If you miss that very important moment of being inspired, that article may never happen.
In all honesty, I don't entertain the concept of "enough time"
Do it when you feel like it. Yes, writing your ideas down in precise detail this is likely to distract you from what you are doing, but it will soon become a habit and assist you with organization.
Get brainstorming help
As an active blogger who writes non-stop, feeling helpless, overwhelmed and stuck becomes a problem for us all.
That's the reason I have other blogs that I write for my personal entertainment. My most inspirational blog is dedicated to my German Shepherd, Nala.
It keeps me motivated and helps me discover new ideas. You can always ask the blogging community for ideas and you'll see lots of them from bloggers in your niche and outside (which helps finding other unique perspectives). I became a much more productive writer when I started using my personal blog to brainstorm.
There are more opportunities for inspiration after exposure of collective knowledge. The other two platforms I am using are:
Quora. I find this site very well organized and clutter-free (unlike other q&a sites I tried).
HARO. It hasn't been as successful for me lately, but this is still a great way to collect quotes and opinions to discover unexpected angles for your articles.
Try a different content format.
When I am tired, bored or in a rut, I put together a video or a SlideShare deck - don’t laugh.
No time to procrastinate, so creating something visual is actually relaxing and how I get rest. It is refreshing and invigorating, especially if you know the right tools.
A few I find helpful:
Haiku Deck to create awesome Slideshare presentations
Snagit to create screen captures for video tutorials
iMovie and Animoto to edit and beautify videos
Canva to create simple infographics or visual instructions
Gifdeck and Gyazo GIF to create animated Gif instructions.
These tools are simple and productive, you don't have to spend countless hours to create professional-looking visual content. Bloggers also tend to find inspiration in the process.
Most importantly have fun!
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