Writing Productivity: 19 Tips to Increase Your Business Blog Output
Writing productivity is crucial when it comes to creating a successful business blog.
Not everyone is a writer. For a business owner making a first foray into blogging, output can quickly become a noticeable problem. It helps to maintain a writing and publication schedule.
Below are some writing productivity tips to help you succeed with your business blog. It doesn’t really matter if you are in the b2b or b2c space – with the right habits in place, you can achieve better results.
Writing Productivity Tips:
Advance Planning – When you take the time to plan out your blogging schedule, it serves as a written commitment to yourself. Creating an editorial calendar is a form of accountability. You take customer and client deadlines seriously. This is your chance to prioritize growing your own business as well. With an advance schedule, you aren’t scrambling for an idea every time you sit down to write, and that can do a lot to relieve pressure.
Write 2 pages a day – To be clear, I don’t necessarily mean that you have to publish a blog post every day. But getting yourself in the habit of writing daily will certainly help you remain more productive. Once you are in the habit, and exercise this muscle, you’ll have more publishable material.
Record It – Does the formal act of writing freak you out? You don’t do well staring at a blank white computer screen? It might be time to record and dictate out what you want to say. You can go back and write it out after the fact, or hire someone to transcribe the recording. For some, this may be a writing productivity tip that allows you to publish more.
Intense Focus – Distractions are all around us. We want to write, but we have to stay up on customer email. We need to stay up to date with other matters of the business. Problems compound through the course of the day, and they can interrupt workflow.
Here’s how you can handle that. First, schedule a block of writing time for whenever works best for you. Then, block out the distractions. Try unplugging yourself for manageable amounts of time, and what you’ll find is that the business is still standing after you are done. As you unplug, keep your focus on one thing, and one thing only: the words on the page. Tune everything else out.
Perfect Your Environment – This naturally relates to the previous writing tip. Your environment is crucial to writing productivity. Close out your email and social media. Leave open only tabs directly related to what you need to do. Make sure your desk is clean, and there are no hints of a “fire” that needs to be extinguished lingering around.
Make sure your door is closed, and coworkers know not to bother you as you write. You can listen to music if it will help you. But as you write, it helps if it is music you are already familiar with, so you’re not distracted by something new.
Everything in your immediate environment should be set up to help you succeed.
Carry a Notebook – Blog ideas can come at any point in the day. You never know when inspiration might strike. As you come across ideas, quotes, and inspiration throughout the course of your day, write it down.
You’ll be surprised how quick you might forget something otherwise. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A waiter’s pad will do the trick. I use small Moleskin notebooks, myself. Evernote can also be a great place to build a library of relevant ideas, links and inspiration.
Thorough Research in Advance – It may also help to separate out the acts of research and writing. It can be difficult to make your point when you don’t have all the right facts, statistics or vocabulary to back it up. So go ahead and look up what your competition has already done. Read, outline and take thorough notes. Make sure you understand the material.
The more of this that you have done in advance of the writing process, the quicker the writing process will be. When you are alternating, and flipping through websites for additional information, it can slow the writing process down.
Outline – Are you unsure how to organize the main points of your blog post? Outlining will always help your writing stay clean and organized. It can simply be writing out the points in the order you want to address them. It can be more in-depth like the outlines you did in school.
Really, it depends on each person, and their needs. What is absolutely necessary to one business blogger may be tedious and redundant to another.
Be Interested in Everything – What does your industry have to do with Elon Musk trying to land a rocket ship on Mars? What does it have to do with the football game you watched on Sunday, or your beloved baseball team that recently lost an NLCS series to the Dodgers (Go Cubs, Go)? I’m not sure, but it’s up to you to tell us.
Having a variety of interests makes life more exciting. It makes your business more exciting by default. A variety of interests will allow you to see the broader picture for your business, and industry, and give you the ability to connect more dots. All this will give you more ideas, and help you think more fluidly.
Read More – Reading more makes you better at what you do. It gives you a wider lens to see the world. It heightens your ability to draw connections back to your industry, and improves your ability to relate to your customer.
Reading more also gives you a taste for better writing, and provides a direct line to you on how to improve. This is something every writer should do to increase their writing productivity.
Understand Your Purpose – What do you want this post to do? What larger purpose will it serve? A post may take longer to write when you stray from the original goal. Keep this in mind, and it should lead you along a simpler path. If you find that you are still stuck, then…
Don’t Over Think It – Not every post needs to be the best post you’ve ever written.
It just needs to convey its message. Stay on track. Don’t wander, and scale things back to their simplest form. If you’re staring at the screen for too long, the chances are good that you are over-thinking something.
Tackle the Hardest Parts First – Overwhelm can easily slow down your writing productivity. What are you least looking forward to writing? Instead of putting it off, tackle it first. Your brain is never as fresh as the moment you first sit down.
When you put the worst part off, you run the risk of not thinking at 100 percent by the time it crosses your plate again. Writing a business blog isn’t always easy, but the results in the end will be worth it.
Take Occasional Breaks – No one can stay intensely focused forever. Take short breaks, and the ideas and creativity will continue to flow. Don’t be afraid to let the dog out, take out the garbage or empty the dishwasher. It may be exactly what you need to keep the creativity flowing.
Write First, Edit Later – You have to stifle your inner editor. Don’t let him at your blog post until you are good and finished. A thought or idea may not be perfect as it hits the page. But you have time to tweak it. Finish writing. Then go back and edit.
It can also help to have a friend or colleague look at it, or hire a copy editor.
Change Your Location – If your writing feels stale, it may be that you need a change of perspective. Get out of the office. Find a window seat at the coffee shop. Put yourself in a new environment to freshen up your writing.
Optimal Writing Time – This can vary from person to person. Improving your writing productivity may be as simple as switching to the time where your mind is most productive. Some people prefer to write early in the morning. Some prefer later in the evening.
Make sure you understand the time of day that you feel the most productive and adjust accordingly.
How do you want your readers to feel? – If you are feeling a little lost or overwhelmed on a particular subject, this is a great go-to question to ask. It’s not really about you, and what you want to convey.
It’s about how you want to leave your readers. Write to invoke emotion and generate action. This question can help guide you sentence by sentence.
Write a To-Do List Every Day – I never used to be a list person. There was no dramatic moment where I crossed sides of this great debate. But at some point they became necessary to keep client projects, as well as my own straight. Now I use them religiously and I know I’m being productive.
But you can also make sure that your lists are in accordance with your larger business plans.
Conclusion – The strategies above may be individual to each writer. It’s helpful to have a general idea of what may be bogging your business blog down, and be able to handpick the tips that might be helpful to implement.
By Matt Brennan first published on business2community.com October 23, 2017