In The Best Guide to Beating Writer’s Block for Bloggers, one of the things we talked about is how sometimes, you just need to take a break from writing. Here are some ideas on how you can continue to be productive when it comes to your blog, without writing a blog. Sometimes not writing is exactly what you need to do to be able to write again.
Schedule Social Media Posts
Scheduling your social media posts is a must for any blogger! The worst thing a blogger could do is hit the Publish button, then think they are done with their work. A solid social media strategy is key, and if you have not already developed one the time is now. Be sure to take a look at this helpful infographic for the article the ultimate guide to launching your blog:
While this is all stuff that is important to do before you launch your blog, the fact of the matter is it is never too late to make a change. A big part of being a blogger is constantly evaluating what is working, what is not working, and adjusting your plans accordingly.
On a personal note, one mistake I made while running a Twitter campaign was not setting a schedule up front, or scheduling my content, but Tweeting it when I remembered to! This was probably the worst thing I could do, but in the end, I adjusted my course and began scheduling my Twitter campaign. Remember, it is never too late to make a change.
There is nothing wrong with spending time with your social media platforms, since it will be productive, which brings us to our next tip.
Research Social Media Platforms
Promoting content via social media is an important aspect of blogging, especially as you are establishing a new blog. There is also a huge learning curve to this, and every social media platform is a little bit different. The real question to ask yourself is “are you active on all of the social media platforms your audience is?”. There is no way to answer this question without a little research!
Yes, that’s right! The Instagram back hole we all try to avoid can actually be a productivity tool. The key is to spend time on each social media platform searching for you audience to see how active they are. It also is a good idea to keep some notes on this research.
Here is a list of common social media platforms to get you started:
It is always a good idea to think like your audience, and social media research is the perfect way to get in the right mindset. It will also help you determine how in tune you are with your audience. Remember, not every audience will be active on each and every social media platform. If you are new to social media, make sure you do not overwhelm yourself. Once you do your research, stick with one platform until you are comfortable, and feel like you know the ins and outs of that platform. If you already have a social media platform you are comfortable, go ahead and adopt a second, but remember there may be some key differences between the social media platform you have experience with and the one you are learning.
One of the platforms that is more new to me as a content creator is Pinterest. If you are new to Pinterest as well, I have a major spoiler alert for you! Pinterest group boards and Tailwind Tribes! These will both help you SO much as you are getting started. Be sure to check out this guide to make it super easy to manage them both!
Brainstorm New Blog Topics
Always do this, a little work goes a long way. Even if you only come up with two ideas, that is two more ideas than you had before. Does this still require writing? Sure, but it is a much lighter lift than writing a blog.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and get writing. The more words you throw out there the better…I have gotten ideas for three and four articles at a time by writing down random words related to what I wanted to write to, and linking them together.
Personally, I use a combination of an old school paper notebook and Evernote for all of my brainstorming. For me, nothing substitutes a pen and a piece of paper. Once my ideas are a bit more solid and materialized, I put them into Evernote in a list, so I have them no matter where I are. I have kept track of all of my favorite old school paper and pen resources here, so be sure to take a look!
You can see a great example of some blog brainstorming in the ultimate example of how to write a blog. This takes things a step further and shows you how to start outlining your blog posts.
Read a Blog
We have talked about how one of the secrets to becoming a better blogger is to read other blog posts! This is great to learn more about what others are doing in your area, and I have always believed that reading makes your writing better. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are reading example blog posts:
Sometimes, even reading about what you should be writing about is too much. When you get that burnt out feeling, the last thing you want to do is more of the thing that burned you out!
You can even re-read your existing blog posts (and you should) to get new ideas for your existing content. You may come up with an another article idea to create a series, or just add some new content to an existing post. When I re-read my existing posts when I have writers block, I make a list of things I want to either add to existing blogs, or update my blog idea list with new blog series topics.
When you are suffering from writer’s block, the time is perfect to learn something completely different and completely new. Sometimes, completely changing your train of thought can help you relax and feel better. It can be as simple as looking for a new recipe to try, or learning about how a car engine works. The goal is to make your mind shift gears, while still feeling like you are accomplishing something.
Read a Book (or Magazine)
Just like reading a blog can make you a better blog writer and inspire you, reading a book does the same thing! Be sure to check out our guide to why reading makes you a better writer – all around, and how reading can inspire you and keep you productive!
Research and Practice Using a Tool
As your blog grows, the fact of the matter is you are going to need to use multiple tools to manage it. Some of the tools I mention in the ultimate checklist for launching your blog are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. The best part about these tools is not only do they give you insight to your website traffic, they are also absolutely free. Your time will be well spend learning how to use Google Analytics and Google Search Console better.
Beyond these tools, there are many others for managing your blog. You could also put social media in this category, as social media management is often simplified by using a tool to help you schedule posts.
Here are some tools I love to use on a regular basis, and what I use them for:
- WordPress – The platform I run all of my blogs on. If you are using WordPress (Kinsta makes it simple with managed WordPress hosting), it never hurts to learn more about it!
- Ubersuggest.io – Absolutely free keyword research (walkthrough in this article).
- CoSchedule – Social Media Management, Scheduling, and more, also has WordPress plugin (review of why I love it here).
- Tweetdeck – For managing multiple Twitter accounts. You can look at all your mentions and different streams for multiple accounts in one place.
- Canva – Super easy to use tool for creating images for blog posts, Pinterest, social accounts, and anything you need. The more you use it, the easier it gets and the better your images look!
While those are my go-to tools, there are lots of other interesting ones out there that I know I even want to lean more about! Being a blogger is a constant state of not only keeping up to date with the latest and greatest information related to your niche, but keeping up to date with the latest and greatest tools to make your life as a blogger easier.
Do you have an iPad? Be sure to check out the complete guide to running a blog from your iPad to see how you can stay productive anytime, anywhere!
Productivity is Subjective
Productivity can be something that is very subjective. Sometimes, I feel like if I have not written a certain number of words in a certain period, I have not been productive with my time, or if I have not completed all of the tasks I set out to complete. This is a dangerous mindset that many people share, and I have found the feeling that you are not being productive impacts productivity can make us all even less productive!
The trick is to train yourself to see that as long as you are doing something, you are being productive. It may not be what you initially set out to do, but it is still something that was accomplished and should be celebrated.
I hope these four ideas about how to be productive without writing help you to feel accomplished even without writing a blog!