Blogging Tips and Tricks: Creating Systems

Blogging Tips and Tricks

Blogging Tips and Tricks

You probably started blogging because you wanted to create more time for yourself, and end the rat race.

But now you seem to be using every available minute thinking and planning your next move.

So how do you free yourself up?

Well… by putting systems in place. Basically batching and automating as much as you can.

It’s one of the most effective ways to tackle any large project has always been to divide and conquer.

If you look at any manufacturing plant… you’ll see robots and workers who only focus on one task at a time.

Use this thinking when blogging to save yourself valuable time.

Blogging Ideas

Use Google Docs to Brainstorm What to Blog About

Use Google Docs to Brainstorm What to Blog About

You don’t know what to blog about, you are running out of ideas. What do you do?

First create a Google Docs spreadsheet so that you can keep track of your topics and keywords that you are looking to blog about.

Then visit sites like forums, Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Answers to see what questions people are asking in your particular blogging niche.

With your new Google Docs try to shoot for 15 new blogging topics, you’ll quickly be able to find what are the most pressing issues.

Once you have your topics, run over to the Google Keyword Tool and start brainstorming for keyword ideas… and then jotting them down on the same Google Docs spreadsheet.

By batching all of this together, you are literally saving yourself hours. You also don’t have to wait for inspiration to hit. Whenever you need a new topic to blog about, just head over to your Google Doc and pick one of your topics.

You’ll know that you already have a good blogging topic, because it’s a topic or question that many people need clarification on.

Tweeting Your Posts

Timely: Schedule Tweets for Maximum Impact

Timely: Schedule Tweets for Maximum Impact

The Half-Life of a tweet is not long at all. I’ve seen reports that say that the relevancy of a tweet is a few hours long to just a few minutes.

Whatever the case is… a link on twitter doesn’t live very long.

But you can test which time a day is the most effective time to tweet for your blog’s audience. Meaning if you tweet your blog post, are your readers going to be around to see it.

Let’s automate your tweets… You can use a free service like Timely to maximize your tweets potential.

Timely looks at your past 199 tweets and figures out the most effective time to publish your tweets.

They put emphasis on the time of day that your followers are actually active, the time of day that they’ve actually interacted with you… via RT’s and conversations.

With Timely you can load up your post and they’ll take care of the rest.

You’ll still want to actually interact with your followers, since social media is about being social… but at least your post tweets will always be maximized for impact.

Photos

Photo Dropper: Free Photos for Your Blog

Photo Dropper: Free Photos for Your Blog

Photos can have a massive impact on your blog post… both positive and negative.

Before you add your next image to a blog post take a look at this post from SocialTriggers How Images Improve—or Destroy—Conversion Rates

So how do we find impactful photos to use?

You can really waste hours trying to find the right photos, especially photos that you can legally use and are free from copyright restrictions.

The best way to go about this is search sites like morgueFile or stock.xchng.

These are two excellent resources for royalty free photos… but what about Flickr?

Well Flickr has a massive collection of photos, and you’ll be able to find some excellent photos that are completely free to use. You’ll just have to ad an advance search and look for photos that have a Creative Commons license.

You’ll just have to use the photo giving the photographer credit… or in technical terms “attribution”.

Since this post is about automation, you can just install the WordPress plugin Photo Dropper.

Photo Dropper makes it incredibly easy to search the Flickr Creative Commons photo database. Then with a click you’ll add that photo to your post… including the necessary attribution information.

How easy is that? Oh, and it’s also a free plugin.

Conclusion

We all know that we can save time, by batching like task together. However, sometimes it’s just hard to take a break… and actually take a step back to see the entire picture.

Start right now… head over to Google Docs and create your document… then link your twitter account to Timely and install Photo Dropper.

So, I really hope that this post has given you some ideas on how you can save time with your blog.

Let me know if you have other time saving blogging ideas… I’m really interested to see what creative ideas you all have.

Also… feel free to share this post on Twitter and Facebook.

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Written by Wilson Davalos

I'm a New Media Veteran who has worked at some amazing tech start-ups in Silicon Alley. My career transitioned into photography, with thanks to Complex & Interview Magazine.

Comments

  • John Phung says:

    I’m going to start using that spreadsheet, and thanks for the Timely link!

    Any ideas if you can connect your WP blog to Timely so that it will tweet a new blog post at the best time automatically?

    • Wilson Davalos says:

      It actually would be very nice if you could submit an rss feed… but they don’t have that feature.

  • Elin says:

    There are times when we don’t know where to start…That’s right, begin with google spreadsheet, outline and focus on what you can do.

    • Wilson Davalos says:

      Exactly, you never know when inspiration is going to hit. When it does, maximize your efforts and jot down all of your ideas.

      Because you’ll find yourself in a moment when you can’t think of a blog topic… but you won’t have to worry. Just take a look at your Google Doc… and you’ll have a handful of topics that you’ve already pre-researched.