July 18, 2011

12 tips for writing more blog posts each week

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John HaydonIwrite six to seven posts each week on four different websites, which might seem amazing. But I used to struggle to write just two posts every week (seven is still a struggle, which is a good thing).

Here are a few things I do that have helped me be more efficient (but still authentic) with my blogging:

  1. Dragon Dictation – I wrote this post in 10 minutes using Dragon Dictation by Nuance Communications (two minutes dictating and eight minutes editing the post in WordPress).
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  3. Theme Calendar – I have a theme calendar in my head that looks like this:
    • Monday – Strategy article at JohnHaydon.com (cross-posted to Socialbrite), video on Headway Videos.com
    • Tuesday – Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
    • Wednesday – Social fundraising article at Razoo, how-to article at JohnHaydon.com
    • Thursday – Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
    • Friday – Personal / thought piece at JohnHaydon.com
  4. Mind mapping – This approach allows me to bounce freely between unrelated ideas, but anchor them together in a way that’s extremely organized. I wrote this post in 20 minutes using the MindMeister iPad app while I sat in a doctor’s waiting room.
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  6. Reuse emails – Many times I’ll be answering a question for someone in an email and realize that other people probably have the same question. Copy, paste, delete the guilty parties.
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  8. Reuse comments – Sometimes I’ll find myself leaving a thoughtful comment on a post and realize that I could blow it up into a blog post.
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  10. Write in batches – Writing requires creative muscle which, once warmed up, can be used for creative tasks beyond the one you planned for. Take advantage of an engine that’s warmed up.
  11. Put up blinders – Often, I write posts in full-screen mode, which hides distractions in the dashboard.
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  13. Use a tomato – It’s so hard for me to focus sometimes that I think my ADD has ADD. However, I’ve learned to be productive by focusing in short 20-minute bursts using the Pomodoro technique.
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  15. Read lots of blogs – I read 20+ blogs every day. The blogs I read are informative and inspiring, and often lead to me firing up a mind-map or post soon after.
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  17. Read lots of books – The difference between a blog and a book is that a blog is a collection of someone’s insights, whereas a book is the whole mind. A blog tells me what someone is thinking that day, but a book tells me why they think the way they do.
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  19. Go for walks – It may sound crazy, but the rhythm of walking brings out new ideas and inspiration, which I can dictate into my Dragon iPhone app.
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  21. Write titles first – Blogging is easier when you learn to think in titles. Ask yourself, “Would I click on that title?” If yes, all you need is three paragraphs to go with that title.

The last thing I’ll say about all this is that I’ve kept at it, every single day for over three years. I have no special talents, just skills I’ve acquired with hard work.

So if you’re amazed at how much I blog each week, don’t be. If I can do it, so can you.
What helps you write blog posts?
John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then connect up: Contact John by email, see his profile page, visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment.

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  • http://twitter.com/MarketingEcon Peter St. Onge

    Great list! I love #5, reusing comments. This is exactly why I comment, gets the mind flowing and you often come up with enough threads for a week’s bloggin.

    er, not sure this comment qualifies :)

  • Jessica

    Great post, tips will be handy as I am only new to the blogging arena and am looking to start creating regular posts for my company! :) Cheers

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