We all know that feeling. You blocked off time in your calendar, made your coffee, and it’s time to get to work. But when you sit down at your computer to write — nothing.
As a blogger, chances are you’re painfully familiar with writer’s block. Producing high-quality SEO content on a regular basis is no easy task. Coming up with great ideas, thoroughly researching your topic, and writing a piece people want to read takes time. When it comes to SEO, though, it’s worth the effort.
If you’re struggling to publish consistently, check out these eight productivity tips for bloggers to optimize your workflow and get more out of your blogging efforts.
How Blogging Productivity Can Impact Your SEO
If you’ve been around the SEO space for some time, then you’ve probably heard the cliche — content is king.
However, creating consistently high-quality content capable of attracting organic traffic is not easy.
In today’s competitive SEO market, the simple short articles that used to draw in traffic just don’t cut it anymore. Making it to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) often requires in-depth content that truly delivers value to the reader. To reach the top of the search mountain, sites need to live up to Google’s E-A-T principles (expertise, authority, trust).
If you want your blog posts to capture industry keywords and support your SEO campaign, you need to consistently create excellent content geared toward your target audience.
Creating this kind of content is time-consuming — but not impossible to implement or scale. Improving your blogging productivity means working smarter, not harder, to squeeze as much value as possible out of your limited time.
The more productive you are during the hours you’ve set aside for content creation tasks, the quicker you’ll reach your SEO goals.
8 Productivity Tips For Bloggers
Thankfully, there are many useful tactics content creators or teams can use to improve their productivity and blogging output. If you’re struggling to generate content, check out these eight productivity tips for bloggers to make the most of your time and increase publication.
1. Build a Better Process
To improve your productivity, carefully break down and analyze your content creation process from start to finish. Consider every step a piece of content goes through — from ideation to publication — and think carefully about where you can improve or optimize the process.
A simple content creation process might look like this:
Ideation > Keyword Research > Outlining > Writing > Editing > Media Creation > QA > Publication
Once you have your process laid out, think about how you can fine-tune it to help you reach your goals. Don’t forget to include who’s responsible for each part of the process. You may find that some of your team members are overextended, which could slow down content production.
Developing a smooth content creation process and optimizing each step is one of the best ways to improve your productivity when blogging.
2. Formulate Reasonable Timelines
Quality content takes time. Overcommitting yourself or establishing tight deadlines will lead to substandard content, burnout, and frustration.
Once you understand each step of your process as outlined above, you can investigate how long each of those steps should take. If you rely on other team members for tasks like writing or editing, collaborate with them to determine reasonable turnaround times for those assignments.
At Victorious, each of our blog posts takes around two months to complete. While it’s entirely possible to rush a blog post through, we’ve found that giving ourselves that runway allows us to publish more thorough, valuable content while not overburdening the team of people that help bring each piece to fruition. It also allows us to work on several posts simultaneously.
Our timeline looks something like this:
- Ideation & Keyword Research: One day
- Outlining: One day
- Writing: Two weeks
- Editing: Two weeks
- Media Creation: One week
- QA: Two weeks
- Staging and scheduling post: One day
If you have a dedicated person for each task — for example, an in-house editor — they may not need as long to complete a task. However, if your editor has other responsibilities on their plate, I think giving them a set timeframe in which to complete the task allows them to manage their other responsibilities and properly prioritize their work. This will help reduce the overwhelm and keep your content team from getting burned out.
3. Create Briefs or Outlines For Each Blog Post
If you’re like me, chances are you’re usually eager to dive right into a topic and start writing. However, this excitement can quickly turn to frustration as you end up with bits and pieces of disjointed content that need to somehow fit together in a way that makes sense. Not only can this make the writing process extra frustrating and time-consuming, but it can also result in a lower-quality final product.
Briefs and outlines make the writing process smoother by providing you with a clear plan of attack. They serve as blueprints for your articles so you can hit each important point in a way that makes sense.
Rather than just opening a new document and typing away, take some time to research your topic and create an outline for your article that will serve as a map throughout the writing and editing process. Briefs and outlines also allow you to outsource content creation and ensure that each of your points is covered.
So, what should an outline look like? Think of it as the framework of your article that you can build out through the writing process. Break your topic down into subsections and note the key points or themes that should be covered. Keeping a blog post template on hand can simplify the process.
4. Outsource Aspects of Blog Production
Is there a step in the process that causes you more trouble than others? Or one that you just wish you could hand off? If so, consider how to outsource this step or create a workaround for it that can produce similar or better results in less time.
Can a keyword research service identify appropriate keywords? Can you task other team members with writing or QAing your content?
You may find you can’t outsource everything right away, but over time, you can grow your team by bringing on more in-house talent or using freelancers. Make sure to codify your processes so you can share them with future team members when the time comes.
You may also find that occasionally outsourcing posts can help you generate better content. For example, if you’re not an expert on a particular topic, having one pen a post allows you to more thoughtfully engage with your audience.
5. Block Out Time To Stay Productive
With different tasks to attend to and possible distractions lurking around the corner, you can easily find yourself being pulled in different directions and thrown off track. Don’t let new tasks or shifting priorities throw a wrench in your content creation process — implement time blocking or another scheduling strategy to help you manage your time.
Time blocking is a time management tool that can help you better organize your day by dividing it up into segments. While a standard to-do list can help you track the tasks you need to complete, time blocking can help you prioritize and specify when you’ll be working on which tasks.
First, a caveat: time blocking is only useful if you can commit to it. If you can’t seem to stick with it, experiment with other scheduling strategies.
To get started with time blocking, take a look at your Google calendar. Are there chunks of time you can dedicate to particular tasks on certain days? If your Tuesday and Thursday mornings are free, can you block off that time for particular content tasks? Some time blockers schedule their entire day; however, this doesn’t leave much room for last-minute tasks or shifting priorities. If you can carve out specific time blocks for focused content creation activities, this can help you knock out your to-do list while still providing flexibility.
If time blocking doesn’t sound like your thing, other variations may work better for you:
- Task batching involves stacking all similar tasks for one specific time of the day. For example, at 2pm, you can check content requests, sort your backlog, and ideate topics.
- Time boxing is the process of squeezing certain tasks between certain hours during the day, like writing 2000 words from 9 am – 1 pm.
- Day theming is the process of dedicating a day to working on one specific project or initiative. Mondays can be for keyword research and Thursdays for editing.
Introducing some scheduling mechanism can help you make content production more routine and efficient, which is critical for increasing productivity.
6. Integrate Helpful Tools Into Your Process
There are plenty of helpful tools you can use to enhance your content creation process and achieve better results.
Having trouble finding a good topic to write about? See which searches and what kind of content is trending right now with Google Trends. Or follow industry blogs with Feedly, an AI engine that collects insights from all over the web so you can see what’s making news and what’s trending without having to dig through the web yourself.
Surfer SEO can provide you with invaluable insights into how your page competes with other high-ranking pages, as well as with recommendations for how you can improve your own page to better compete with other high performers.
If you host your site through WordPress, then we highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast is widely recognized as being the best SEO optimization plugin for WordPress for its ability to perform a variety of automated and manual on-page optimizations to help your pages rank better. Learn more about other helpful WordPress plugins here.
7. Update Older Content
Not every SEO win has to come from a new piece of content. In many cases, updating older content to improve its performance in SERPs can be just as successful in attracting organic traffic as crafting a new piece from scratch.
Updating your old content is one of our favorite productivity tips for bloggers — and for good reason: It’s simple, and it works.
Search behavior and search intent can change over time, requiring you to update old content to keep capturing traffic. As different concepts, topics, and trends evolve, it’s important to update your content to make sure it captures any shift in search intent that may otherwise result in a loss of traffic. This will also help you keep any stats or recommendations from going stale.
Not sure where to start? Look at pages that used to rank well but don’t any longer, pages that never performed well in the first place, and pages that face stiff competition and are at risk of losing traffic over time.
8. Increase Your Cadence Over Time
Building a robust content strategy with replicable processes takes time. Don’t expect to publish every day or even once a week immediately. You’ll see better results and be more productive in the long term if you establish a posting schedule you can easily maintain and create a plan for increasing your publication cadence over a set period of time.
Start slow and publish one very well-written piece of content per week or every other week. As you begin to get into the groove of things and gain some confidence in your work processes, you can publish more frequently.
Just don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Your content strategy should always prioritize depth and quality rather than sheer volume. After all, what use is a lot of content if it lacks quality and doesn’t drive traffic?
Need Help? Partner With an SEO Content Writing Service
Having trouble creating content that gets results? Want a more successful blog that helps drive business results? You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Our SEO content writing services can help you take your SEO campaign to the next level. Book a free consultation today to learn more about what our team can do for you!