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  • 10 September, 2012

    5 Ways To Streamline and Focus Your Blogging

    If you are anything like me, you have experienced the following 5 focus killers.  Let's outline the focus killers, get them out in the open, then point you in the direction of solving these problems.  Once you recognize these issues in yourself, fixing them will be elementary, my dear Watson.

    1.  Scattering on Social Media

    The word "scattering" is used for an important reason.  You are literally scattering your energies if you spend 3 hours on Facebook, 2 hours on Twitter and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.  Social Media can be used for good, it can also be used for evil.

    The Good - engaging with your followers, providing useful information for readers, highlighting important articles and issues and creating discussions within groups to generate interest for a particular topic.  Growing your blog following, promoting ideas and products, making sales, generating leads and taking it to the bank.

    The Bad - Spending hours looking at funny cat pictures and videos of kids falling off trampolines.  These things, while perhaps funny at first, can quickly turn into a momentum killer and make you wonder why it was you logged on to the internet in the first place.

    The Ugly - Trolling, homophobia, sexism, negative discussions that don't lead anywhere, pointless fights between opposing political views and religious ideology.  This is not to say that important political points don't need to be expressed.  It is our right and perhaps our duty to voice our concerns over policy decisions and corporate exploitation of workers and the natural world.  Just don't get caught as a Democrat having a week long back-and-forth argument with a Republican who isn't ever going to see things your way.

    Solution:  Don't even log on in the morning without writing down on paper (or using your best app or calendar program) your goals for the day.  These are not vague goals like "make $750 before sundown", these are action oriented goals designed for easy execution.  For example 1.  Let Facebook followers know about my new Money Making PDF.  2.  Start a Twitter discussion on the new Google update.  You get the idea.

    2.  Blogging About Everything and Anything

    Blogging about various issues is great, but if you want to be "known" in a particular field, try to stick to a smaller sphere of subjects.  This is not to say you can't stray off topic, but if people are coming to you for advice for a particular issue, try not to stray for too long.

    Solution:  To keep you focused, write a list of 10 broad topics in your field that you wish to blog about.  Then under each heading, write possible blog Titles.  Why titles?  Because that's the thing that shows up in Google, that's the keyphrase, the question people want answered.  If you have trouble thinking of titles, search in Google for your topic and see what comes up.  Don't copy anyone else's titles, but think of a good way to express the topic in a creative way.

    3.  Overload and Overwhelm

    Too much blogging, too much pointless surfing, too much emailing, too much "busy stuff".  You may find yourself dealing with irate customers if you have an online business.  You may find yourself blogging every day of the week because you think it will help get your blog "out there".  You may find yourself sifting through junk and probable junk emails for over an hour a day.

    Solution:  One great blog post is worth a week of sub-standard efforts.  Don't overdo it.
    Get a good junk mail filter and unsubscribe from as many emails as you can, unless you find them useful.  When deleting emails, sort by sender to see how many emails you are getting from one site.  You can then bulk delete, unsubscribe and feel less guilty for not reading all your emails.

    If a customer is giving you a hard time, do all you can, then TURN YOUR COMPUTER OFF.  Sometimes, there is only so much you can do, and you will need to distance yourself from your blogging and online business life.  Everyone needs a break, why should you be and exception?  Get some rest, visit a park, get some exercise, go to a beach and watch the waves for a bit. If you can't get away, then listen to ocean sounds on your mp3 player or YouTube and TURN YOUR SCREEN OFF.  Give your eyes a rest!

    Try f.lux to reduce eyestrain from staring at your monitor for hours on end.  This is the best freeware I have ever used, and my optometrist is a lot happier!

    You won't be doing any good slogging away at the computer after 3 maximum caffeine Macchiatos, a bunch of cigarettes and 5 hours sleep a night.  And yes, I have done all these things.  It works... for a bit.  And then you crash.

    4.  Losing Track of Time

    It's easy to lose track of time.  No matter what you are doing, it is likely that you are NOT doing the most important thing.  Timing yourself.

    Solution:  Productivity Tools!
    Use apps on your iPhone or Android, use add ons and extensions in Opera, Firefox and Safari to actually measure how much time you are spending on certain activities.
    Using the add on "Time Counter (Opera)", I found I had wasted 40 minutes on Twitter without remembering what I was looking at.  I also found I had spent only 22 minutes on Pinterest and had made one affiliate sale.  Productivity tools such as these allow you to see WHERE your time is spent and HOW you can better use your time to focus your attention on what is actually important.

    5.  Loading:  Please Wait

    Yes, I am referring to the speed of your internet connection.  Countless hours can be spent waiting for connection, dealing with dropouts in wireless internet, waiting for a seminar to load that ends up taking 3 hours instead of 2.

    Solution:  Get a new, speedy computer if your budget allows.  If not, can you upgrade your RAM?  Can you get a better deal on your internet connection?  More GB per month?  Faster speeds?  Talk to your internet service provider and see what you can do in the way of upgrading.  You may be surprised at the new deals out there for the same price you are paying for your old sluggish connection.