27 Hacks to be an Ultra Productive Blogger + free Blog Post Planner

By |2018-12-08T09:51:07+00:00October 9th, 2018|Blogging and Business, Self Improvement, Tips and Tricks|22 Comments
  • Time management hacks for Bloggers - Learn how to be more productive without getting overwhelmed. Learn to boost your traffic and write posts without going crazy! This post includes a free 12 page blog planner that you can download to grow your blog! #productivity #blogging #blogger #newblog #girlboss #time

You’re growing your blog.

I get it.

Weeks are zooming by at the speed of light and you have no idea how to juggle writing blog posts, promoting it and being part of an online community. Added to which, you have a job and endless responsibilities at home.

Your sanity has packed its bags and is threatening to leave.

Growing your blog can be hard work! It's super stressful and your sanity has packed its bags and is threatening to leave.

I’ve been there.

This is my 6th month blogging and I can honestly say that it’s been a rough couple of months. Aside from taking my dogs out 3 times a day, looking after my husband, practicing my piano, walking 10K steps a day, reading books, I have to juggle clients, my brand new blog and my online shop.

24 hours just isn’t enough.

But if you implement a few hacks, believe me… you’ll be sorted.

This post doesn’t just include tips to save time, but it also includes tips that will help you generate traffic. Because, the more traffic you generate quickly, the less time you need to spend promoting your blog. Time saved, is time gained!

Before we begin, download my free 12-page blog planner!

Here are 27 time management hacks that will help you become an ultra productive blogger.

This post includes affiliate links, meaning at no extra cost to you, I might make a small commission if you decide to buy something and this money will be used to feed my poor lil’ dogs. They are perennially hungry, my little ones.

Quick Productivity Hacks

1. Tuck away your Social Media

I cannot tell you how much time I’ve wasted scrolling the Quora news feed.

Yep, social Media is a huge time-killer!

Browsing social media is a huge time waste. It's a productivity killer. Therefore you should avoid checking your social media notifications while you work.

I’m a huge sucker for learning new things. You may think that this is a good thing, but it’s not if I’m delaying my work to find out what Penny said to her ex, 12 years after their divorce.

Learn to handle social media responsibly and use it only when you need to. It's super addictive and you don't want to be wasting precious time on it.

Keep your social media at bay.

I mean it.

As much as you enjoy browsing Pinterest for wedding cake toppers, don’t allow yourself to become a Social Media addict. It’s a very deep pit to get out of.

Trust me.

I’ve been there.

Turn off your phone notifications and your browser notifications on your computer so that it’s easy for you to focus on your work at hand.

2. Check your email only 1-2 times a day !

Oh, it’s so much fun to check your email whenever you hear a Ping.

But don’t.

It’s a productivity killer.

Constantly checking your email can kill your productivity. Check it only 1-2 times a day. Keep a strict schedule.

Make it a habit to check and reply to your emails either once or twice a day.

Some people do this once in 3-5 days. This is okay too!

The emails that require long answers (I have a few pen pals I write to), you can leave for the weekend to reply to.

3. Understand why you’re doing what you do.

Every time I lose focus and feel like getting distracted, I remind myself why I’m doing what I do. When I realize the benefits I will attain my finishing the task, I am instantly motivated and feel like working double!

Ask yourself why you’re blogging!

Keeping positive reminders around you, will help you work faster and not lose focus. Not losing focus is a very good time-hack!

Keep goals and understand why you keep getting creative blocks so you can beat them!

4. Make your mornings count.

Sleeping late on the weekends are totally okay.

Entrepreneurs don't have weekends. So, it is crucial to wake up early every day during the weekdays and work as much as you can.

Too bad, Jenny.

But on weekdays, it is crucial to sleep early so you can wake up early and get to work.

Finish the most daunting tasks early in the morning because that’s when you are filled with a lot of energy!

By afternoon, we generally tend to work less effectively, so you can focus on the less-important tasks toward the end of day.

Working smarter, not harder

5. Use Premade social media templates

I pretty much use the same template in all my Blog Posts. I use Photoshop because I have to create a different illustration and background for each post. But a lot of people use Canva.

All you have to do is change the background and the text. Bluchic has a beautiful collection of Canva social media templates that you can check out here!

This is a huge time saver because you don’t need to create a different graphic each time you write a blog post. You can re-use the same template over and over again with minimal changes!

6. Use Grammarly

I seriously detest proof-reading my posts. It’s such a huge waste of time. And this post is all about saving time.

The #1 Writing Tool

Save yourself from oodles of embarrassment (and dreaded hours proofreading) by using a nice editing software like Grammarly.

By using a good proof-reading app like Grammarly, you can save yourself a lot of time that you would normally spend editing posts.

7. Use a Smart Invoicing software

Following up with clients shouldn’t be a hassle.

Keeping track of who’s paid and then sending them a reminder via email is a precious waste of time that you could be using for more important things.

FreshBooks sends reminders to your clients to pay their invoices.

Use FreshBooks to avoid reminding clients to pay their invoives. FreshBooks will do it for you!

It allows you to track your expenses and earnings all in one place. You don’t need to maintain physical records or spreadsheets of your accounts with FreshBooks.

It’s a time saver and a very good investment for Business Owners and Freelancers who juggle loads of clients each month.

8. Schedule your weekly email broadcasts

Writing weekly emails is a lot of fun, but it’s life and death if you skip one email.

I’m totally guilty for not doing this at the moment and I’m trying to get my act together.

Once you have a few blog posts scheduled, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and write those weekly newsletters!

I use Convertkit and I am uber happy that I made the switch from Mailchimp to Convertkit. All my forms are made with Convertkit and I’ve been able to double my email subscribers every month after making the switch.

By using Convertkit, I was able to double my subscribers each month. It's very easy to use and makes gaining subscribers a whole lot easier!

It’s the best $29 a month I’m spending.

>>TAKE THE FREE 14 DAY TRIAL HERE<<

Getting organized in style!

9. Keep all your ideas in one place

Okay, this is one method that will save your life.

Use a Notes App on your Computer to keep track of all your Affiliate Links, Style Guide, Blog Post Ideas and so on. It will save you tons of time as a Blogger.

I have different tabs in my Notes app. And each tab has information stored in it.

See?

I have a Style Guide, Affiliate Links, Trip Wires/Sales Pages that I love and need to come back to, Blog post titles and so on.

It saves me so much time because my notes app is just one click away (on my system) and it syncs to my iPhone. This makes it easy for me to have all my ideas in one place!

10. Use a planner

Every night, write down your to-dos for the next day in your Planner. By having a plan in mind, your sub-conscious will mentally prepare you for the tasks you have to do the next day.

Keeping a Planner with all your to-do tasks will make you more productive.

You will not wake up feeling scatter-brained. You don’t need to waste precious hours in the morning figuring out what to do, because you will have your plan right in front of you!

This will leave you organized and super-duper ready to take on your to-dos!

You will also love:


11. Use an editorial calendar

In point number 9, we learnt how to keep all our ideas in one place. This is awesome because you never will have to go fishing for ideas everywhere else again!

A lot of people use Trello or Google Docs to keep track of their content. I’m more of a pen and paper girl so I use the monthly planner spread in my planners to maintain my ideas.

Additionally, you can download my free 12 page blog planner!

I’ve been using Rifle Co Planners for the past 2 years.

I use my Rifle Co Planners for Blogging. And I love them!

You can see them here.

Decide what blog posts you’re going to write 3 months in advance. I even have a theme I work on every month.

For egs, in August, I worked on my Creative Email Course for Creatives. So, I focused my attention on Creativity and Productivity related posts.

12. Keep a tidy desk.

Keep only what you use everyday on the table.

The rest of it can go into drawers and cabinets.

This encourages you to be more productive. The less stuff you have to work with, the more focused and mentally stimulated you become.

Keep your desk tidy and clutter-free. This will mentally stimulate you and increase your productivity.

Yep, this is my desk. See what’s on my desk here.

I discuss this tip in detail in my post on overcoming creative blocks.

I sketch everyday, but my pencil and drawing book are in my drawer because I only spend 10-20 minutes sketching. The rest of my work is pretty much digital.

13. Get to inbox 0 every single day.

This little tip has changed the way I work from the past 3 years. I have 7 Different Folders for my email.

• My Email
• Mum
• Husband
• Affiliates
• Newsletters
• Clients
• Payment and Bank Related

Every email in my inbox goes into a folder after it’s been read and dealt with. If I need to reply to the email, it stays in my inbox until I’ve replied to it. This really helps me stay on track.

Batching similar tasks together

14. Work on similar blogging tasks each day.

Instead of writing a post, creating the images, marketing the post all in one day, work in batches.

This will make you feel less overwhelmed.

Batch similar groups of tasks together while working. This will make you feel less overwhelmed as a blogger and help you become more productive!

Write your posts on one day, create blog post images on another and market/promote your posts on yet another.

I picked up this tip from Gillian Perkins who films her videos at a stretch and writes her blog posts the same way too!

I guarantee that you will find yourself with a lot more extra time because you will get a lot of work done in shorter amounts of time.

15.  Dedicate one day a week to researching.

Leave one day a week for the heavy-lifting thinking.

Researching can be very tiring especially because you have to get all your thoughts in order to come up with content ideas.

Dedicate an hour to mind-mapping.

All you need is a pen and paper.

In 15 minutes, write down anything that comes to mind. One idea might lead to many others. Write those down too!

After you’re done, go through everything and pick out the ideas that you want to use for your blog posts.

After that, you have to do keyword research and come up with 5-10 sassy combinations of blog post titles for each blog post. Instead of doing this each week, keep one day a week or a month to sit down and do all of this work, together!

Pumping out Blog Posts quickly

16. Decide on your blog post schedule.

You can either write three-four 500 word blog posts a week or one-two 2500+ blog post a week.

The choice is yours.

Ultimately it depends on the type of blog you own.

Lifestyle blogs can pump out more blog posts in a month than other niches because they cover a wide range of topics. The more specific your niche is, the less number blog posts you need to publish a month in order to gain traffic.

But whatever you decide, make sure you stick to your schedule. Because nothing is worse than inconsistent blogging.

This turns off readers very quickly.

Yep, they’ll be running out of there before you yell “Ay, caramba!”

So, once you decide on your blogging schedule, it’s time to write your posts.

17. Create a routine for blog-post writing

Okay, so I’ve already discussed batch-scheduling similar blogging tasks to finish your work faster.

But it is just as important to create a writing routine. Break up writing your blog posts in chunks so you can do one thing at a time and not become over-whelmed.

By utilizing the batching technique I mentioned earlier, you should already have a nice database of content ideas and titles.

Start drafting the outline of the post in a Word Document which a brief introduction, a CTA (call-to-action), and all the points in between.

After which, you can flesh out each point.

Write down all the points of your blog post first. After that is done, slowly flesh out each point. This will help you work faster and more smoothly as a blogger.

You’ll find your writing flowing out more smoothly and quickly since all your points are already drafted down.

Seriously, give it a try.

18. Edit at a stretch

Once you have all your blog posts written down, it’s time to edit those bad boys.

Take your time to edit each blog post by adding various internal and external links wherever necessary. The same applies to case-studies and examples you want to include in various points.

19. Repurpose your blog content

I use Google Analytics to keep track of my most popular posts. Now, double your traffic to these popular posts by creating similar content or adding an infographic to the post.

My most popular post this month was 20 Time Management Tasks that will make you Insanely Productive, so I decided I would expand on this subject by making a time management post just for bloggers.

That’s using the old noodle!

I’m not only increasing traffic to my older posts by adding infographics to them, but I’m also decreasing my bounce rate by adding internal links to similar posts my readers would love to read!

Quick Traffic Hacks

20. Focus your energy on 2-3 social media.

If you’re spending hours trying to grow your account on a particular social media and you see close to  zero results, it’s time to move on.

Your business may just not be suited for that crowd.

Make your peace with that, and focus your energy and time on the one social media that is actually getting you traffic. You will need to use Google Analytics to find out which one that is.

P.S. My favorite Social Media is Pinterest because their customer support rocks. And they’ve never left me hanging. I describe 2 of my most effective Pinterest Strategies in this post.

Pinterest has very good customer service and will never leave you hanging as a blogger.

Pinterest will never leave you hangin’

Aaaaaaand you can use a generic, free social media scheduling tool to publish standard posts to the other two social media that you prefer.

This is a huge, huge time saver and will make you more productive!

21. Write list posts.

You are currently reading a list post.

List posts are quick and easy to consume. Which is why you will find at least 5 such posts on almost every blog.

Points are easy to come up with and they are fun and entertaining for the reader. Not to mention how quickly the reader can scroll through the points!

They are huge traffic magnets, and if you’re pressed for time, this is exactly what you should be aiming for.

22. Add opt-ins to all your blog posts.

This is a major traffic generating tip. I doubled my monthly subscribers by implementing this super easy tip.

Additionally, you could also use a pop-up and place the opt-in on your sidebar.

I’ve also heard good things about having a sign up form in the notification bar on the top.

These are all time savers, because they’re doing all the work for you. 😉

23. Add social media buttons to your post.

Make sure your blog posts have social media buttons. I use Social Warfare because it’s neat, pretty and displays the number of shares.

Use Social Warfare to encourage people to

This encourages people to share your content and by motivating people to share your content, you are in fact decreasing your work and working smarter!

24. Schedule your Social Media

I seriously regret not doing this when I had my first blog.

Because I cannot even begin to describe how much time I’ve saved using Tailwind for my new blog.

I used to spend 2-3 hours everyday on Pinterest pinning my blog content. I also had to be active several hours during the night because my audience lives in the US and I do not.

Tailwind helped me gain 18,000 pageviews in my 3rd month of blogging. And I was able to gross over $300 (from my blog) in my 5th month of blogging all thanks to Tailwind.

Stray Curls Pageviews June 2018

I explain my 2 key traffic generating strategies here.

>>TAKE THE TAILWIND TRIAL<<

For Facebook and Twitter, I use Buffer. I schedule my content every 3 days. Once I complete a year of Blogging, I’m going to move to a paid scheduler.

Passive Income Hacks

As your online business develops, it is good to maintain lots of income streams.

These are huge time savers because once developed, these will generate an income on the side without you having to do anything except run a promotion once in a while.

This section covers the main passive income streams that will save you tons of time and make you more productive!

25. Implement sales funnels.

After you’ve analyzed your business and know whom you are writing for, you can start setting up sales funnels in your Blog.

This diagram shows how a customer moves through a sales funnel. After reading your blog, your prospective reader signs up to receive your emails, and eventually buys from you thus becoming a customer!

This is an example to illustrate how a customer moves through a sales funnel.

I will make a more detailed post on sales funnels soon. I promise.

By implementing a few of these in your blog, your blog will constantly be making a passive income for you. These are time consuming to set up, but is totally worth the effort because it will help you focus on other blogging tasks and leave you more productive.

Remember, work smart, not hard.

26. Create Online Courses.

Like sales funnels, you want to be looking for passive income streams that do all the work for you.

Setting up online courses is a brilliant way to make some extra cash on the side every month.

A lot of Bloggers (me included) have set up courses on Teachable. It’s the best platform to set up courses. You can insert text documents and/or videos in sequence for your students.

Everything is pretty straight forward and very user-friendly! So students have no difficulty moving through the course.

Teachable is even offering a free trial that you can redeem here.

27. Sell digital products

I love digital products. And I buy them all the time. I love eBooks, printables, fonts, graphics, stickers, the whole shebang. I’m such a digital goodie hoarder. Especially when it comes to downloading printables that will make me more productive!

And I’m not alone in my madness for digital products. *wink*

Yes, this means there is actually a very strong market for digital printables!

Exploit it, hon!

Don’t think twice.

You can either set up an Etsy store  or set up an online store with SendOwl.

Phew! And that brings us to the end of this very exhausting list! Okay, your turn! What is your favorite time management hack from this list so far?

And here’s the blog post planner printable that you can download to help move things faster and become more productive!

About the Author:

Angela is a 26 year old Illustrator and Comic Artist living in Bangalore, India with her husband and 2 cute little Labrador retrievers who resemble a cream-bun and a chocolate kiss.

22 Comments

  1. Josephine | Better as Us October 10, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I love these tips and they really do work! As someone who runs a motherhood community site, I use so many of these to make sure I get everything done.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Josephine | Better as Us

    • Angela Vaz October 11, 2018 at 3:11 am - Reply

      Hello Josephine,

      Thank you so much! You’re really sweet. Oh yes, motherhood means you have to juggle a lot of things to get work done. So glad you loved these tips.

      Warm regards,
      Angela

  2. Aneeqa Rafiq October 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    Hi can you share the 10 reasons why you should keep a diary and female comic artists to follow? I cant find them.

    • Angela Vaz October 12, 2018 at 3:42 am - Reply

      Hello Aneeqa,
      Those were posts on my older blog. I will slowly add them in the future to this blog. <3
      Lots of love,
      Angela

  3. SeaEmerald October 12, 2018 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Wow these are pretty useful tips! I live in India too. Also it would be nice if you showed me a website to make a blog with hotmail. Thanks. :3

    -SeaEmerald

    • Angela Vaz October 13, 2018 at 5:16 am - Reply

      Hello Sea,

      Thank you so much! I’m sorry, I don’t think I follow. What do you mean make a blog with hotmail? As far as I know Hotmail is an email service provider. You can however make a blog with a Hosting Provider. See my step-by-step guide here! 😀

      https://straycurls.com/start-money-making-blog-2018/

      Let me know if you require anything else! And I’d be more than happy to help!

      Lots of love,
      Angela

      • SeaEmerald October 13, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

        Thanks! Will check right now!

  4. Joleisa October 14, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

    I love going through this but I feel like I will go through it again but this time I will be taking notes. There’s so much to learn. I dont think I am at the top of my game when it comes to productivity as a blogger so I will definitely need this to refer to. I am pinning to my blogging board too. Thanks so much and oh, you have such a pretty blog!

    • Angela Vaz October 14, 2018 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Hello Joleisa,

      Thank you so much! Yes, there is so, so, so much to learn when it comes to blogging! 😀 I just bought the Genius Bloggers Toolkit and I’m overwhelmed with the amount of information that there is to go through.

      But it is a lot of fun, learning to blog and blogging! Don’t you agree?

      And again, thank you so much for the lovely compliment. Hope to see more of you!

      Hugs and kisses,
      Angela

  5. POOVANESH PATHER October 29, 2018 at 8:29 am - Reply

    I love this post. Not only are your tips uber helpful but your blog is so beautiful. Signed up.

    • Angela Vaz October 30, 2018 at 4:15 am - Reply

      Hello Poovanesh,

      I hopped on over to your blog and I loved your About Me page. You are such an inspiration. <3 Thank you so much for doing what you do.

      And thank you for your sweet words. I just changed the theme and I'm super happy with the way things look. <3 I'm such a sucker for art and design.

      Hope to see more of you. Have a beautiful day!

      Hugs,
      Angela

  6. Ashley October 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Hello Angela! This is the first time I’ve seen your blog. Found you through a pin on Pinterest and followed there as well. Great post for sure! Lot’s to digest. But more than anything I wanted to tell you how much I love your artwork! Really makes your blog fun! I’ll be back for sure! Best!

    • Angela Vaz October 30, 2018 at 4:12 am - Reply

      Hello Ashley,

      Yes, it’s a lot to digest! These are all the tips I’ve used to maximize productivity so I really think you’ll benefit from it even if you implement 4-5 of these. Thank you so much for the lovely compliment. You are too kind.

      It was just an idea off the top of my head to combine my love for illustrating and humor along with blogging. 🙂 So far, I’m liking how it’s coming together.

      Hope to see more of you. <3

      Have a wonderful day!
      Angela

  7. Sarah Garden October 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    I love this! Being organized is so helpful in being able to perform at a high level. When I don’t plan, I waste a couple of hours in scatterbrain mode 🙂

    • Angela Vaz October 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      Hello Sarah,

      Ah yes! Being organized is the bomb! 😀 If I don’t get organized, I find it difficult to function too!

      Warm regards,
      Angela

  8. Deanna November 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I loved the cartoon graphics you used for this post! When I saw the guy with the knife stabbing productivity I nearly cried laughing. So true though. I teach people how to turn a five-year plan into one and there are so many time wasters out there. Social media is a dream killer when managed poorly. This is a wonderful read. Thanks for the effort you put into this post!

    • Angela Vaz November 22, 2018 at 3:32 am - Reply

      Hello Deanna,

      Thank you so much! They’re all my very own hand-drawn Illustrations. 😀

      Ha ha, yes. I do try to add humor to my posts. It’s good to always look on the positive side of things. I feel life is so much better that way! 😀

      And OMG, your website is absolutely lovely! I love how positive and happy your website and writing is. And yes, Social media is such a huge time-waster. Except for engaging on Facebook Groups to help people and give my views and using Pinterest for my work, I try to not look at social media at all.

      Hope to see more of you soon! <3
      Angela

  9. MJL Things December 11, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    I agree with you, Social media is a real time killer, have wasted so much time on Facebook and now i am avoiding it whole time. Thank you for other tips, will starting my gmail from today as well.

    • Angela Vaz December 12, 2018 at 9:47 am - Reply

      Hello MJL,

      Yes! It’s a serious productivity killer. Once you cast Facebook aside, you’ll discover that you have more time for your Business and Family. 🙂

      Hugs and kisses,
      Angela

  10. Kelley Elly December 12, 2018 at 2:14 am - Reply

    As a brand-spanking new blogger (who sucks at All. The. Tech. Things.) this was a really cool post to see. I’m currently wrestling with the idea of shelling out for Tailwind- when I only have 5 or 6 posts, I’m worried about wasting my money. Anyway, I’m super excited about the blogging planner to help me with getting started. Thanks for the great post!

    • Angela Vaz December 12, 2018 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Hello Kelley,

      Ha ha, I love the way you write. You’re funny! 😀

      Oh, it’s such a Godsend. But you do realize you can make 5-6 pins for each post right? I explain it all here in this lovely tutorial of Pinterest. Give it a read. I’m sure you’ll love it.

      https://straycurls.com/how-tailwind-exploded-blog-traffic/

      Hope you love the Blogging Planner.

      Puppy dog kisses,
      Angela

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