Organizational Tips for Bloggers

  1. Keep an idea journal. When you need to sit down and write a new post you’ll have plenty of ideas.
  2. Have a few backup posts ready for when you have interruptions. Eventually you’ll run into times where it’s impossible to find time for a new post.
  3. Set aside time each week for brainstorming and idea generation. Creating unique content is essential for blogging success.
  4. Limit email to specific times of the day. Email can be a big time waster if you’re constantly checking it. Save some time by reading and replying to all of your email once or twice a day.
  5. Use an RSS reader. Save time and still follow your favorite blogs.
  6. Unsubscribe from feeds that you do not read. If you never read it, why waste time clicking past it each day?
  7. Use a service like FeedHub. FeedHub learns about your preferences and scans your RSS feeds to present you with only the content that you will like.
  8. Visit and comment on other blogs at a specific time each day. Take a certain amount of time each day to surf and comment. I use the “star” feature in Google Reader to mark items that I want to return to at a later time to comment.
  9. Limit the time you spend on social media sites. Social media marketing is important, but it’s easy to waste a lot of time here.
  10. Focus on a few specific social networks, and don’t waste time on others. It’s not possible to effectively use every social media site. Focus on a few that work well for your audience.
  11. Use the Better Comments Manager Plugin, which lets you respond to comments from your admin panel rather than going to each post and replying.
  12. Consider using a blog editing program. Programs like Blog Desk will let you type posts offline and publish them directly to your blog. No more cutting and pasting from word processors and notepad needed.
  13. Use Outlook (or another email program) to keep track of your contacts. Keep an address book so you can easily find contact information when you need it.
  14. Use del.icio.us to keep track of your bookmarks. Save your favorite pages and save time by not needing to search for them later.
  15. Use Google Calendars (or something similar) to schedule your important blogging activities. Keep track of posting schedule or whatever else you don’t want to forget about.
  16. Use Google Alerts to monitor buzz about you and to help detect copyright infringements. Google Alerts will email you pages that match your search queries as they are added to Google’s index.
  17. Create a FAQ page to help visitors and to cut down on the amount of email you receive. With a FAQ you can answer some of your readers’ questions without taking the time to email.
  18. Use spam protection for blog comments. Moderating your comments for spam can take hours if you don’t have a tool to prevent spam.
  19. Know when to say “no”. You won’t have time to devote to every worthwhile cause.
  20. Know what promotional efforts work for you, and focus your efforts on them. Maximize the limited time that you have for promotion by dedicating your time to the most productive efforts.
  21. Know your priorities. What’s important to use as a blogger?
  22. Balance your time. Once you know your priorities, allocate your time accordingly.
  23. Limit the time that you spend looking at you stats. Statistical analysis is necessary, but it’s easy to lose track of how much time you spend on your stats.
  24. Set specific, time-sensitive, measurable goals. Challenge yourself and stay motivated by with goals.
  25. Track your goals to see how you do. Goal setting won’t help very much if you don’t follow up to see how you’re doing.

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35 Responses

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  • Karen Zara, October 10, 2007

    This list gave me lots of good ideas. For instance, I didn’t know about FeedHub. And though I had heard about the Better Comments Manager plugin, I had forgotten about it.

    I’ve tried to use Google Calendar to help me organise my online activities, but I’ve failed miserably. I’ll write a post about it someday. Anyway, it is a great tool, if you use it properly.

    A blog editing program wouldn’t be of much use to me these days because I’m almost permanently connected. No need to get a program that lets me write off-line when I’m ever online. ;-) But in the past (when I wasn’t allowed to log on whenever I wanted) I used one of those, and at that time it was a good tool for me indeed.

    There is so much more to be said about this excellent list of yours, but that would require a whole new post. Anyway, congratulations on another great article!

  • Vandelay Design, October 10, 2007

    Hi Karen,
    Thanks for your response. I don’t personally use FeedHub because I like to see all of the feeds I subscribe to, but I’ve read good things about it.

    The blog editing tools I would say are not necessary, but they are a huge help to some people, and I think it’s worth trying a few to see what they can do.

    Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting.

  • WarriorBlog, October 10, 2007

    Nice ideas Steven. I think the major one for me is keeping a journal and writing every ideas down. I read today that Thomas Edison journal has over 5,000,000 pages!!! It sound crazy but I bet it is true.

    Goal setting is also another one that I think is very important.

    Take care,
    Sean

  • Vandelay Design, October 10, 2007

    Sean,
    Thanks for your feedback. Yeah, I think the idea journal is the most important for me. I’d be lost without it.

  • Jason Falls, October 10, 2007

    Excellent list. I’ve got to unsubscribe from a handful of feeds … oh, and add yours!

  • Vandelay Design, October 10, 2007

    Jason,
    Thanks for stopping by. So commenting on other blogs apparently does lead to visitors sometimes… I was hesitant to put the one about unsubscribing in my list in fear of people unsubscribing from my blog. I figured it belonged on the list and if people were actually reading it they weren’t too likely to get rid of me. If my feed count has a big drop tomorrow I’ll have second thoughts.

  • pelf, October 10, 2007

    In other words, manage your time wisely =)

  • TyCat, October 11, 2007

    I dont really have time to write in a journal. When i have an idea about a blog topic i find a note card and jot down my ideas.

  • Sandra, October 11, 2007

    Great tips. I especially like the one where you use the star feature for articles you want to come back to to comment on. I’ve never thought about using the star feature before, but I’m certainly going to implement the idea from now on.

  • Dennis.S, October 11, 2007

    When one of my blogs got hit by a large wave of social sites traffic i was spending up to an hour a day looking at my stats rising. I could have used that time to write a new entry but watching stats is so fun :)

  • Felix Ker, October 11, 2007

    It’s good to have targets, but you must have time to set good targets.

    I recently started working (attachment) and I’ve got totally no time for blogging!

  • david, October 11, 2007

    Nice list there, regarding delicious.. is it better to limit your tags or to have a lot of them? What would be the ideal number of tags for each post?

  • Madhur Kapoor, October 11, 2007

    One thing which i would definately love to do is to have some post written in advance . And i am going to try out Better Comments Manager plugin .

  • Vandelay Design, October 11, 2007

    TyCat,
    I think you do about the same thing with note cards that I do with a journal. I just write down ideas, nothing too complicated or time-consuming.

    Sandra,
    I haven’t been using the star feature for that long myself, but I use it everyday now and I love it. The only thing I’ll warn you about is be sure to un-star things when you’re done with them or you’ll have so many in there that you won’t be able to find what you’re looking for.

    Dennis,
    I struggle with the stats too. It’s hard to overcome!

    David,
    When you ask about tags, are you referring to the tags you use in delicious when you save a page, or the tags you use when you create a blog post? For me, when I’m creating a post I usually only use 3 or 4 tags. I’ve read that you should use the same tags repeatedly (not on every post of course) for the best results. As far as when I’m saving someone else’s page into my delicious account I use whatever I think will help me to find it, regardless of how many that may be.

    Madur,
    Yes, that’s always a challenge. The best thing (and most realistic for me) is to try to get ahead over the weekend in preparation for the next week. Plus, I like to have some extra posts outlined to make it easier for upcoming days.

  • Tay, October 12, 2007

    Great tips, Steven. I need to work harder on number 2, and number 17 sounds like a lot of fun, so I might plan to implement it in the future. Keep up the great work. :D

  • Tibi Puiu, October 12, 2007

    Excellent tips, writing down ideas and bookmarking are critical for a productive blogger.

  • Michael Martine, October 12, 2007

    Feed Hub looks promising, so thanks for that! And the last item about tracking goal accomplishment is something I hadn’t thought of. Great idea! I’m already doing most of the rest of the tips, so I already know they’re great advice! ;) Great post!

  • Mike C, October 13, 2007

    There is one thing you listed here that I have never done before. I never keep backup posts. I will have to try that as I do run into times where I cannot post.

  • Jack Page, October 14, 2007

    I can’t begin to overstate the importance of backup posts personally. The past few months I’ve been getting pulled away randomly for 3-4 days at a time due to offline matters. If it weren’t for the fact that I have backup posts ready I’d go days at a time without an update since I never know when I’m actually going to be pulled away until it happens.

    So when you’re in the mood for writing and you’re making multiple posts, don’t always feel like you need to publish it unless it’s a current event matter. Save some posts, you never know when you might need them later.

  • Fab, October 14, 2007

    I am a new user of Google RSS Reader and had not noticed the star feature, that’s a good way to keep track of articles.
    Also I will probably add the plugin “Better Comments Manager Plugin”, even if my blog is not over flooded with comments ;)
    That’s a great list.

    Here some of my tips for busy people : http://www.fabnetrevenue.com/2007/10/03/adapting-my-lifestyle-for-blogging/

  • unTECHy, October 14, 2007

    Thanks for the info. I’ve mentioned this list on my blog.

  • unTECHy, October 14, 2007

    I used the wrong address in the previous post.

    “Thanks for the info. I’ve mentioned this list in my blog.”

  • Vandelay Design, October 14, 2007

    unTECHY,
    Thanks for the link.

    Fab,
    I use the star feature every day and it really does help.

    Jack,
    I agree with you. In fact, tonight I took care of 4 posts for the week.

  • TigerTom, October 15, 2007

    26. Get out of the house occasionally, or you’ll get _stale_!

  • tonilah, October 20, 2007

    thanx for the tips…

    i like the journal idea too…but i’ve got so many ideas and projects, i’m afraid that i won’t be able to organize these ideas….how do you sort through random thoughts and ideas

  • Vandelay Design, October 21, 2007

    Tonilah,
    In my journal I have a few pages that I use to quickly write down ideas before I forget them. These pages aren’t very organized, but they help me get basic ideas for posts written down before I forget. Then when I am ready to write I’ll pick a topic from the list and outline it on another page in the journal. Once I have an idea of what I’m going to write and how it will be organized I’ll type it.

  • bLuefRogX, November 11, 2007

    I should really give the better comments plugin a shot. I just started out my blog not too long ago but I’ve gotten a few comments lately and it DOES seem quite a hassle to move back and forth.

    Currently using windows live writer, I normally save my posts as drafts before finalizing them in wordpress’ editor (adding tags, keywords, etc)

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