16 Power Tips to Unlock Super Human Productivity as a Blogger in 2022

By Nate McCallister


Of all the "make money from home," opportunities, blogging is certainly one of the most time consuming and slowest scaling approaches. 

However, it's still my personal favorite approach for many reasons. 

  1. Amazing conversions due to high search intent
  2. Can be sold at 36x monthly profits 
  3. You own it and it can't be taken away from you (without a handsome payday and your approval)

If you've read this far, you're sold on blogging as well. But, like all of us, you want to make sure you're getting results as quickly as possible. 

Relatively "slow" growth is par for the course, but I want to make sure that your growth is efficient and every ounce of effort moves the needle forward. 

This article will do exactly that. Read it from beginning to end and you'll be glad you did. 

Some of the tips are simple and easy to implement one time (buy a second monitor for example) and others are conceptual, but they are all important. 

Bonus Tip: Focus on Getting More for Your Time, Not Committing Less Time (click to expand)

The bloggers who commit the most time report better results on average.

You can read this guide and decide that you can now get the same amount of output done in 4 hours that used to take 20 hours and spend those extra hours somewhere else, but I challenge you to put them back into your blogging. 

This is how you grow faster than others. The choice is yours though.

via https://www.orbitmedia.com/

Approach each post with this in mind. Write until it's optimized, free from errors and is something you're proud to share and then move on, regardless of how long it took.

#1 Have an End Result in Mind Before Starting

We're very lucky, there are tools on the market now that show us with high levels of reliability exactly what our blog posts should look like to rank for key terms. 

The tool I couldn't live without and recommend to everyone is called Surfer SEO. I've written about it at length here and filmed a video about it here

Surfer has many features but the one I use religiously is the Content Editor. 

It shows me critical metrics to aim for based on what Google is favoring in SERPs at the time of writing. 

Here's an example of what they told me to aim for in an article I wrote about finding the publication date of a website. 

Content Editor Guidelines ---

I now have an end goal. Surfer is telling me to aim for between 1,394-1,604 words, 20-36 headings (this I usually ignore actually), at least 21 paragraphs and between 5-10 images. 

One the score is well optimized, I can come into WordPress and paste the content knowing that it's "done" and ready for final editing and images.  

Bonus Tip: Every Post Worth Writing Merits the Same Effort but Not Every Post Worth Writing Merits the Same Amount of Time (click to expand)...

Every post worth writing is worth your best effort. However, the duration of time each post should take varies widely. Some articles may take an hour while others might take 20. Surveys from Orbit Media suggest that the average blogger spent about 4 hours per post in 2021 (up from 2 hours and 24 minutes just 7 years prior.) 

--How-long-does-it-take-to-write-a-typical-blog-post--…-Just-over---hours

Via Orbit Media

Approach each post with this in mind. Write until it's optimized, free from errors and is something you're proud to share and then move on, regardless of how long it took.

#2 Measure Twice, Cut Once

This tip doesn't do anything in terms of speeding up your content creation, but it does everything for speeding up your results (which is the real goal). 

It refers to choosing topics that have the potential to drive visitors who bring revenue. 

In my first year of blogging, about 80% of my content did nothing for my traffic and revenue. It was an important part of my learning process, but my results would have arrived much faster if I did the following...

  • Spent more time researching and validating topic ideas.
  • Stopped writing content that had no potential for search traffic.
  • Stopped writing content that was long form when it should have been shorter.

So, spend more time on researching blog topics. It doesn't matter if you plow through a 5,000 word blog post in 2 hours vs. 10 hours if it does nothing for your site and doesn't bring in visits. 

This often means putting of the topics you're most passionate about but there will be a time for those once you've built more authority in your space. 

#3 Build Your Writing Environment

I don't want to say "put on noise cancelling headphones, turn off distractions and just write," because that isn't how everyone operates best.

Some people thrive in a coffee shop with ambient conversations and clinking glasses around them. 

Others can't even think if they hear anything besides their own typing and piano music on Pandora. 

  • What sounds make you most productive?
  • Is there a drink that gets you in the mood to write (coffee, tea, etc). 
  • How about lighting

Create your own unique writing environment, optimize it and spend as much time in it as possible. 

#4 Edit Last

Don't let editing slow you down. Editing is easy and can be outsourced for very affordable rates. Having inspiration to write is priceless and fleeting. If you continually stop the muse to make changes, you're shooting yourself in the foot. 

Remember, editing requires minimal inspiration. Few people complain of "editor's block," because it's straight forward. Writer's block is the real enemy and we need to put ourselves in the best position to avoid it. 

Editing vs. Writing

I understand the urge to immediately find a graphic or citation. To soften the pull of this, I recommend adopting your own short code system for your ugly first draft (UFD). 

Here's are the three that I use. 

  • [IMG] I put this inline whenever I write and want to add an image in the editing. 
  • [RESEARCH] I put this inline whenever I need a citation or to check facts.
  • [ORIGINAL GRAPHIC] I put this inline whenever I want to create my own custom graphics in Canva. 

I will also add other things if need be but I will simply highlight them, make the font larger, in bold and with brackets around it.

This will make the editing process much faster and will allow you to stay in the focus zone longer.

#5 Get a Second (or 3rd) Monitor

This might not be a perfect fit for everyone and some people may find it distracting during the UFD phase of writing, but I love having a second monitor for the editing process. 

- Monitor Set Up ---

Here is what my setup looks like...

  • Left Monitor - Snagit or Canva for image editing
  • Center Monitor - WordPress 
  • Right Monitor - Google

I have my wordpress page on one screen and another tab open on a different browser with Google search open.

#6 Use WP Sheet Editor for Bulk Updates

WP Sheet Editor Pro is a Godsend. It allows you to make bulk updates to your website all from one dashboard. I've made several videos showing how I use WP Sheet editor (this one and this one more recently).

I kid you not when I say this has saved me weeks of time.

#7 Use Link Whisper for Internal Linking

Internal linking is a critical part to a well optimized website. However, it can be extremely tedious and by definition requires you to back track into old posts to add links to new ones. 

Link Whisper allows you to set rules that will link certain pages to specified anchor text. This article for example, I can create a rule that adds a link to this post every time I've written "blog productivity" on any other page or post I've written previously or going forward. 

#8 Focus on Minimalism Whenever Possible

The ROI on having a flashy website is likely much lower than you think. People really just want content that is easy to follow and answers their questions.

It can be hard if you're a creative minded person to resist adding a ton of personality to each post, but the time to value trade off is too much. 

Here are some things you should simplify.

Thumbnails - This was the biggest time suck for me. I focused far too much on how my thumbnails looked and re-did almost all of them at least once. This was hundreds of hours.... h-u-n-d-r-e-d-s.

There is no shame in using basic stock photos or simply not using thumbnails at all. 

My favorite blog, JamesClear.com, doesn't use any thumbnails at all and is super light on graphics. My second favorite blogger uses custom thumbnails but they are extremely simplistic but always on brand, regardless of how long he doesn't spend on designing them. 


aida-action-animated

This GIF for example is one of his thumbnails. It's so bad that it's actually really good. It's like the less he does, the more on brand they are.

Fonts - Although I'm a huge fan of beautiful typography, I'm not a believer in using fancy font combinations on blogs. There are simply too many drawbacks. Stick to a basic Google safe, sans-serif font like Arial or Montserrat (what we use on this site). For headers, you can just use a larger, bold version of these. Not fancy, but very sound design wise.

Color Schemes - Studies have shown that it's far easier to read dark text on a light background (source) . Although it's tempting to create a nice "night time" effect with a dark background and lite font color, a few style points is probably not worth it. Create a brand kit from the color scheme of your logo and commit to it.  The only time to change it is if you made an egregious mistake early on and have some sort of neonic abomination as your color scheme.

Say it with me..."Less is more."

#9 Use Templates

Stop wasting so much time creating new blog posts from scratch. Design has a very low ROI compared to creating well optimized content. 

Focus on repetition over originality. This is difficult for creative minded people but the amount of time that can be wasted making new elements and formats for each post can be astronomical.

Always use a wordpress theme that has some sort of template feature. 

For this, I recommend Thrive Themes Builder and Thrive Architect. 

Thrive Architect

It allows you to create drag and drop templates for anything you use regularly. 

  • Lists
  • Table of Contents
  • Pull Quotes
  • Calls to Action
  • Etc.

Do not make these from scratch each time. 

#10 Reinvest Profits into People

Blogging is one of the best internet businesses to outsource. You can outsource any task on your blog...

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Design
  • SEO
  • Link Building
  • and more. 

As your revenue grows, invest in labor. If your site is profitable already and your processes are sound, hiring help can provide a tremendous ROI and free you up to focus on the big picture tasks. 

#11 Stop Setting Timers

This tip is counter to a lot of other productivity tips. Although I'm a huge fan of the Pomodoro technique and similar, structured work strategies, I don't believe writing works that way. 

Instead of setting times and durations for writing, focus on getting the most out of the energy you have when you have it. 

The graphic below explains how that typically works...

productive-zone

I do believe that you should set a consistent schedule for writing (I write daily Monday through Friday) but don't restrict yourself. If you have energy still after 20 minutes, keep going. Break when it feels natural, don't force it. 

#12 Kill Tiny Distractions

There is no such thing as a minor distraction when doing creative work. Losing focus for a short period of time requires a warm up period to get back into deep focus.

On average, it takes about 25 minutes to fully come back mentally from a distraction (source). 

The graphic below explains this...

So, set yourself up to avoid even the smallest distractions. 

  • Put your phone into airplane mode
  • Make sure people around you know you're focusing and not to interrupt
  • Exit all tabs that have notifications or pull for your attention

Protect your attention and you'll protect your time. 

#13 Create SOPs

Be sure to have an SOP (standard operating procedure) in place that ensures you never miss a step when you're creating your content. If you do everything right the first time, you'll have way fewer changes to make going forward. There's a reason doctors use checklists!

You can make these with a fancy software or something as simple as a Google Sheet.

Start with the free checklist we have here at 21dayblogs.com 🙂 

#14 Repurpose Content into Video

There's nothing wrong with being on multiple platforms. Many bloggers have presences on Twitter, YouTube, TikTok etc. 

If your blog is your main platform, focus on starting with blog content and then using that content for your other platforms. 

For example, this blog post you're reading will be turned into a YouTube video. I'll use the article as a loose script and will include the various graphics as b-roll. 

There are a lot of services that will make the repurposing easier. My favorite is Repurpose House

Likewise, if you've created a lot of great video content, convert it to blog posts if you haven't done so already. A service like Rev will help you quickly transcribe audio from video and you can use that in your content. 

#15 Optimize Top of Funnel Tech

This is straightforward, but make sure that your electronics are fast and reliable. I call this "top of funnel productivity," because it has a trickle down impact on everything else. 

If your internet is slow, your blogging will be slow. If you're computer crashes, you'll lose work or have to wait for it to restart. You get the picture.

Forus on the following...

  • Fastest wifi you can afford
  • Most reliable computer that you can afford
  • Quality mouse and keyboard

If you can't afford these right away, work towards them. 

#16 Network for Accountability, Motivation and Support

Don't confuse working for yourself with working by yourself. 

Blogging can get lonely, especially if you're still new and haven't yet grown a team around you. 

Find other bloggers to network with. Share your new content with them and ask for feedback and do the same for them. 

Also, consider joining paid blogging communities (there are many great ones across all price points). People who pay for communities are generally the best type of people to surround yourself with since they've shown they are at least committed enough to invest in themselves. 

About the author

Nate is the founder and main contributor of EntreResource.com and author of Evergreen Affiliate Marketing. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his four kids Sawyer, Brooks, Van and Lua with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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