If you make money from a blog, each post is a potential income source – whether via ads, affiliate sales, or products you sell yourself.
That said, not all posts are created equal. 80% of my revenue absolutely comes from 20% of the posts I write. But the more I write, the greater that 20% is.
No matter what Al or Google throws at me in the future, at this present stage of my life my income is directly proportional to how much I write and how good (and relevant) it is.
In some excellent research into blogging income, Productive Blogging found a very strong correlation between earnings and the number of posts on a blog.
While blogs with 100-299 posts earned an average monthly income of $1856.09, blogs with 300-499 posts earned on average $6315.29 a month.
Above 500 posts, there wasn’t a similarly steep increase in income, so the sweet spot seems to be having at least 300 posts for good monthly income from a blog.
The more high-quality blog posts you write, the more you’ll almost certainly earn. That means optimising your productivity as a blogger.
Sounds simple, right? In theory. But if you’re here reading this, you probably agree that theory doesn’t always match reality.
I’m definitely not perfect – and many of the notes below are reminders to myself – but here’s what I’ve found useful to increase my productivity as a blogger, write more content, and get out of my own way…
How to be more productive as a blogger (and write more content)
1. Get out your own way
First up, it’s worth thinking about why you’re not being as productive as you’d like. What’s standing in your way?
A few of my roadblocks to productivity include…
- not feeling like it
- feeling low on energy
- feeling bored
- pretending to be productive by checking analytics /adjusting my website theme, updating plugins / researching success stories
Some of these things are inevitable and can be useful. You can’t and shouldn’t be productive every minute of the day. But you can do your best to get out of your own way.
Can you turn off your wifi? Block social media during specific hours? Put a post-it on your laptop that says Analytics don’t increase by looking at them?
Do yourself a favour and make it as easy as possible for yourself to be productive.
2. Do the work
Okay, so you’ve reduced your distractions and you’re ready to go. Now it’s time to actually do the work.
This part should be simple: just sit there and write. But if you need a bit of help, here are some strategies…
- Pomodoro technique. You probably know this one already. Focus for chunks of 25 minutes, then have a break to rest + reward yourself. I have a Pomodoro Chrome extension I use for this.
- Lessons from Atomic Habits by James Clear. If you haven’t read this already, it’s definitely worth a read. My one-sentence summary: introduce habits (writing productively) by changing your identity (“I am someone who focuses on my writing every day”) and your systems (going to your desk every day after breakfast and having 3 focused hours of writing).
3. Make writing as easy as possible
How do you like to write? Or, what’s your most productive way of writing?
Your only option isn’t sitting and staring at the WordPress editor. There are plenty of other ways to get your blog posts on the page. Well, at least two of them:
Dictating blog content
If you prefer speaking to writing, why not try dictating your blog posts? Two good options to turn your voice into text include:
Writing on an iPad or Remarkable tablet
I often handwrite ideas and drafts – I find that it helps me think more clearly and creatively.
However, that led to a pretty inefficient workflow where I had to decipher my handwriting and transcribe to text… until I got a Remarkable 2 tablet.
So far, I love it. I can write by hand, convert handwriting to text, and also send PDFs of post previews to my Remarkable 2 to proofread.
If you’re writing, focus. If you’re resting, rest. One hour of focused writing a day is worth more than 3 hours of distraction.
When you improve your focus, you can spend less time working. Then you can spend the rest of the time doing absolutely anything you want – baking cookies, sleeping, hiking, child-rearing, dog walking… you choose.
4. Make the posts you write count
What keywords are most relevant to your blog? What do your readers want to read most?
When your time and energy are limited (which they are), make sure the posts you spend your time on are worth it.
Keep a list of keywords you want to rank for and prioritise those that will bring you the best results in the easiest way.
(You can track your keyword rankings in a Google Sheet and monitor progress over time – I’ll post about how I do this soon.)
5. Commit to a post-a-day challenge
One productivity strategy for bloggers that often comes up in the Mediavine publishers Facebook group is to set yourself a post-a-day challenge.
It’s pretty simple: try to publish every day for a set period of time (e.g. 30 days).
Completing all 30 days is fantastic (reward yourself!), but honestly, even if you come close to nearly every day, you’ll probably get good results too.
This is what helped me reinvigorate my old book blog from ~20k monthly sessions to 50k in two months (and then over 100k a few months after that).
6. Find your motivation
Sometimes when I’m feeling unproductive, it’s because I’m tired, stressed, and low on energy.
But other times, I’m simply not clear on WHY I should be sitting at my desk and writing. What’s in it for me?
If I get to that point, I have to spell it out. For me, that means a monologue like the following:
- You absolutely do not want a normal job
- You would very much appreciate a bit more income to go towards house /vacation /whatever
- It’s this or client work
- You know how to do this and you’re good at it
- You get kind messages from readers who appreciate it when you sit, focus, and publish new content
- Is it really that hard? No. Get to work.
Okay, let’s get out of my own head. But one last point here…
7. Actually reward yourself for productivity and progress
I don’t know about you, but I can be so caught up in being more productive and making progress that I don’t celebrate when I actually reach the goals I’ve been working so hard towards.
What kind of message does that send to my brain? Oh yeah, you should definitely put hundreds of hours into this new goal that will immediately be replaced with an even more challenging goal.
As the hundredth hidden message to myself in this post: take the time to celebrate and congratulate yourself.
Passive income, freedom over your time, flexible work… some of the things you’re achieving probably seemed impossible not that long ago.
Make sure to pat yourself on the back. Go out for Thai food. Plan a weekend trip. Share your joy with others who know how hard you’ve worked for it.
Now, it’s over to you.
You probably know what the best possible use of your time is right now.
You almost certainly know what Future You would LOVE for you to be doing now for results a few months down the line.
Ready to get to work?
For more advice for bloggers, you might also like reading…