5 Expert Bloggers Share Their Productivity Hacks

8 min read 1 Responses
Adhithya Srinivas 1 year ago

“Someone or something that wastes your time, makes you lose a part of your life. One you can never get back.”

Innocent Mwatsikesimbe, The Reason

Blogging, and the tasks that blogging entails before, during, and after – can take forever.

With even mildly inefficient means, it can take even longer than forever.

That’s too much time to waste.

So we interviewed 5 people who blog superlatively, exactly because they employ efficient means and methods.  And they’ve been generous enough to share some of those means and methods with us.

Read on to find out how they make their work seem like it’s as easy as blinking.

Kristi Hines (@KristiHines)

Freelance writer, copywriter, blogger

Q1.) What is your favourite productivity hack as a blogger? What makes it so effective?

A) One of my favorite productivity hacks is using Canned Responses in Gmail. As a blogger, you will get a lot of emails that require very similar responses, such as requests to guest post, contribute to a crowdsourced post, and many more. Canned Responses in Gmail (found under the labs in your settings) allows you to create templates for answers you send often via email. This will help you get through your inbox a lot faster.

Lisa Butler (@elembee_)

Web developer, blogger

Q1.) In the process of blogging, where do you have your biggest productivity challenge? How do you work through/around that challenge?

A) Getting distracted! You know how it is — you log on to Twitter to schedule a few tweets and respond to mentions, and you look up and three hours have passed. That’s why I schedule my social media through CoSchedule – not only does it allow me to see everything in calendar format, it also prevents me from getting distracted since I’m not on the main site! I also use SelfControl to block social media when I’m really getting distracted.

Q2.)What productivity tool works best for you? Why do you think it works so well?

A) Todoist is my favorite, I’ve been using it for years! Every other to-do app I’ve tried is either too simple or too complex. I love that Todoist lets me create separate lists for projects, but I can also still organize my tasks by due date so I can see what I should be working on each day. Everything that gets added to my list gets a due date of the Monday of the week I want to get it done, then each Monday I use the 7-day view to distribute tasks throughout the week.

Q3.)   There may be some social media efforts by people that you’ve come across and spotted things that could be done better. What tip would you generally give to other online marketers, and why?

A) I think the biggest thing with social media is to stick with your favorite platforms and don’t worry about the rest. At the end of the day, social media is about making connections and building relationships. People can tell whether or not you’re excited to be there and will respond accordingly. When you’re clearly enjoying a social media platform, you’ll naturally draw more followers.

Priya Florence Shah (@PriyaFlorence)

CEO at Blog Brandz, author, social media marketer, blogger

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   Q1.) What is your biggest productivity challenge being a blogger? How do you work through/around that challenge?

   A) My biggest productivity challenge is not getting burned out. When you  write a lot of content, there’s a limit to how much you can produce in a day and you run the risk of burning out or running out of ideas. I get ideas by reading a lot of newsletters and get downtime by watching movies or television to recharge every evening.

Q2.) What productivity tool works best for you? Why do you think it works so well?

A)My best productivity tools are Gmail and MS Word. Yes, I’m pretty low tech that way. Gmail helps me manage communications with clients, and get things running smoothly, while I do all my writing in MS Word. I would also add Hootsuite, because helps me with all my social media scheduling.

Q3.) There may be some blogging efforts by people that you’ve come across that make you think about how things could be done better. What tip would you generally give to other bloggers, and why?

A) I would say, learn to write great headlines, proofread your content or have it edited by someone with good language skills and do keyword research for every post you write.

Jason Falls (@JasonFalls)

Senior Vice President Digital Strategy at Elasticity, author, speaker, blogger  

8ru8rggikw4nfq426tfkQ1.) What is your biggest productivity challenge as a blogger? How do you work through/around that challenge?

A) My biggest challenge is by far time. With my travel, client obligations, new business focus and family time, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. So I’ve addressed this with two simple things that have helped tremendously. First off, I block 1-2 hours of time every day that cannot be interrupted by meetings or phone calls, specifically to focus on client work. That is my primary focus and way of generating revenue for myself and my company, so clients come first. I’ve also blocked off uninterruptible time each week to write. It might be blog posts, presentations or just personal writing to clear my mind, but I take time to write and do not allow anything to interrupt that time.

The second thing I’ve done is a little more of a commitment, but works wonders. I hired a virtual assistant to handle administrative tasks like scheduling guest for my podcast, booking my travel and pulling together my presentation decks for conferences where I speak. I discovered it’s a far better use of my time making extra money and paying someone else to do the administrative work that eats into my productivity. The modest investment in that part-time employee is greatly compensated for in the extra time I have to focus on my clients and my work.

Q2.) What productivity tool works best for you? Why do you think it works so well?

A) I don’t use a lot of productivity tools beyond the standard calendar, etc. So I think I would say the best thing that works for me is being insistent that nothing interrupts the client or writing time on my calendar. I simply tell people, “I’m sorry. I’m booked at that time. We’ll have to find another time to meet.” If I allow flexibility to seep into my client or writing time, then that time and work disappears. So my best tool is being uncompromising in my time commitment.

Q3.) There may be some blogging and marketing efforts by people that you’ve come across, and spotted things that could be done better. What tip would you generally give to others, and why?

A) In terms of social marketing, I think too often people fail to define a voice and a personality for their brand. As a result, you get a variety of people (marketing manager, community manager, content provider) speaking on behalf of the brand with inconsistent voices and with a lack of consistent personality. Being a brand in social does mean being real, human and sort of rolling with the conversation, but it’s important to be defined as a personality more so than just a logo or a name. Consistency in tone and voice, plus always bringing those personality traits (humor, snark, intellect, self-deprecation, etc.) to the conversation are lost on most brands.

Matt Heinz (@HeinzMarketing)

President and Founder of Heinz Marketing Inc., author, blogger, speaker

1) What is your biggest productivity challenge being a blogger? How do you work through/around that challenge?

A) Having backups of almost everything is crucial to me – they could be useful at anytime in the future.  Everything gets stored in the cloud.  I use instances of both Box and Dropbox for different situations, but it all syncs to every device I use.  I have a Fujutsu ScanSnap device both at the home office and office office.  Every document that crosses my desk gets scanned and stored for future reference.  Even notes I take at meetings on pad & paper get processed this way.

2) What productivity tool works best for you? Why do you think it works so well?

A)  In the car I use Dial2Do and even have a waterproof notepad in the shower.  This frees my brain to think about the task at hand or the next idea.  I swear, this is the single most important element for me to stay productive. In my personal life, Evernote has become increasingly important to keep weekend “honey do” lists, grocery lists, hardware store lists, etc.

3) There may be some blogging efforts by people that you’ve come across and spotted things that could be done better. What tip would you generally give to others, and why?

A)  Life is short, work with people you enjoy.  That and relationships are at the heart of everything.

Now, for the response below, there were some issues in receiving the reply. In the spirit of abundance, I’m excited to present the opinions of…

Mark Jaquith (@markjaquith)

WordPress Lead Developer, independent WordPress consultant, blogger

1) What is your biggest productivity challenge being a blogger? How do you work through/around that challenge?

A)  My biggest challenge is consistency. I tend to write in bursts, when the mood strikes. I used to feel guilty about this, but as I primarily write for my personal edification, I like the lack of pressure.

2) What productivity tool works best for you? Why do you think it works so well?

A) I adore “Drafts” for iOS. It lets me quickly get ideas recorded, and then export those ideas anywhere. Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, or just saved as a private note to myself.

3) There may be some blogging efforts by people that you’ve come across and spotted things that could be done better. What tip would you generally give to others, and why?

A) My best tip for bloggers is to work in phases. Research. Write. Edit. Annotate (links, tags, footnotes). Each of these tasks is best done in isolation, as they involve different skills. And when done separately, it’s more clear when each is done.


Now that you’ve picked up your ammo…

We hope you can unlock all sorts of achievements with these tips. Try different methods and tools, and stick with what shows results, not what promises them. There’s no limit to how much you can better your methods. The dream is to  one day achieve instant results with the right tools and techniques. Gladly, it is possible to some degree even today, which is what I hope they’ve helped you discover.

What are some of your favourite productivity hacks? How have they made your work significantly easier? Tell us in the comments below.


About Adhithya Srinivas

Adhithya Srinivas is a blogger at Plugmatter, who thinks like/as his survival depends on it. Follow him on Twitter @IelfphilR.

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Responses

  • Anjan Kant

    extremely very well explained!

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