When you publish websites, your product is content.
Table of Contents
- 1. Outline then Fill in the Blanks
- 2. Use Voice Dictation Software (I use Dragon Naturally Speaking)
- 3. Learn your most productive hours of the day
- 4. Use 2 or 3 Monitors
- 5. Outsource SOME of your Content
- 6. Outsource Select Parts of Content Creation
- 7. If you outsource, create training videos
- 8. Hire People Willing to Work in your WordPress Backend
- 9. Can Software Do It Faster? Always Check
- 10. Batch Your Work Processes
- 11. Use Site-Wide Management Tools Whenever Possible
- 12. Focus on what works
- 13. Use Similar Post Formats and Concepts Over and Over
- 14. Leverage Existing Content and Topics
- 15. Accept QUALITY Guest Posts and Sponsored Posts
- 16. Publish QUALITY External Curation Posts
- 17. Write from Personal Experience
- 18. Avoid Insignificant Website Tweaks
- 19. Delegate, but don’t abdicate
- 20. Perfection is the enemy of the good
- 21. Create Short, Achievable To-Do Lists
- 22. Don’t Try to Plan Everything (Especially in the Long Run)
- 23. Be Organized (Digitally)
- 24. Use .txt Documents Whenever Possible
- 25. Outsource Coding Tasks (if you’re not a coder)
- Do you have any blogging hacks?
If you get organic search traffic, the more keywords you rank for, the more traffic you get. One way to rank for more keywords is publishing more content.
I’m NOT suggesting you turn your website into a content mill where you pump out junk. The key is publishing awesome content that does well on social media and will rank for intended keywords (or at the very least a nice batch of related long tail keywords).
I know some super successful bloggers like Brian Dean publish very few blog posts each year yet continues growing his traffic like crazy. It’s a good strategy and works for him, but let’s face it, if you publish a popular B2C magazine website with a large audience, you probably want to publish more often than once every couple weeks.
I’m not bashing Brian’s strategy. It’s a great strategy. I’m just saying in some niches with some audiences and some traffic strategies, publishing more often is beneficial.
Take Neil Patel for instance. That guy is a content production phenom. I’m sure he has loads of help, but it’s undeniable that he publishes a lot of great content. You can bet your bottom dollar that his publishing volume strategy works for him.
And then there are the monster magazine sites – Forbes.com, Huffington Post, Business Insider… all the biggies. They publish multiple times per day. Again, they do so because it’s profitable to do so.
For instance, for my B2C magazine websites, it just so happens that as I publish more content, traffic grows. Traffic is revenue and while there are many variables dictating overall revenue, the fact is more quality content means traffic growth which all other variables aside, means revenue growth.
How can you publish more content faster without compromising quality?
I’m constantly working on both improving my content and publishing more of it faster. Plenty of what I do fails. Some of what I test works great.
Here is my list of 25 blogging hacks to help you pump out more awesome content faster (without spending a fortune on high-priced writers and VA’s).
1. Outline then Fill in the Blanks
For me, one of the easiest ways to write a text rich article is to outline it first.
By outlining the content it helps me organize all the points I want to cover in the article. I start with the main headings and then under some of the headings may add some subheadings for topics I wish to expand upon.
Once the outline is more or less done with headings and subheadings, I go ahead and fill in the rest of the content.
Often as I am writing or now dictating I will come up with additional topics to cover and so I add more headings as they come to me.
I find creating detailed alliance with headings and subheadings results in the articles pretty much writing themselves.
2. Use Voice Dictation Software (I use Dragon Naturally Speaking)
My recent purchase of Dragon Naturally Speaking inspired this post. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is voice to text software. It’s incredibly accurate now. I tried it a few years ago and it was pretty bad. It was not accurate. Now it’s insanely accurate. Also, a few years ago I had to spend 30 minutes training it reading a bunch of text. This time I read 3 paragraphs and that was it. It’s been a massive blogging hack from the minute I installed it.
My Dragon Demo
If you write, get this software. You will love it. I now use it for longer emails, skype chats and blog posts. I’ll probably get the mobile version for my phone.
FYI, before getting Dragon Naturally Speaking I tried Windows 10 voice recognition software. It was TERRIBLE. Dragon is ten times better.
Also I’m not a purist. I don’t use Dragon for everything. I still find it’s faster to type quick or short chunks of text such as short emails or short skype responses. I use it when it makes sense. That said, I’m sure if I memorized all the commands, I could in theory run my entire business with voice which would be cool.
3. Learn your most productive hours of the day
This is one of the keys to my success. I know that the morning hours are my best hours. So, that’s when I focus on doing work that will generate the most revenue. Since I’m a website publisher, I use this time for content production, whether keyword research, writing, editing… pretty much anything that gets me to click “Publish 1 to 3 times”. After that I deal with social media posts, emails, admin, tech glitches etc.
My worst hours are after 2 pm. That’s why I often quit at 3:30 pm and go for a walk and/or the gym. I then put in another 1 to 2 hours in the late evening when I’m rejuvenated. I’d probably be better off not working at night, but I enjoy it so I do it.
Once you know your most productive hours, guard them zealously. Make sure you do your highest earning work during those hours. Email can wait. Technical tweaks (unless it’s a site crash) can wait. Checking your revenue can wait (previous day’s numbers won’t improve by checking them first thing the following day).
4. Use 2 or 3 Monitors
I’ve used 2 monitors for years. I then went to 3 monitors. Last weekend I went out and upgraded my 2 add-on monitors to 32″ LG monsters. They’re amazing and help me get even more done in less time (no more straining to read anything).
Check out the new and improved work station:
I’m astonished that not every single desk does not have two monitors. It’s amazing how many employers fail to realize how much more efficient it is to work with a second monitor. Moreover, it’s not very expensive to get a second monitor.
Being able to have two full windows open at the same time or one browser window and documents or any combination of two full displays helps speed up your writing tremendously. For example obviously if you’re writing you have Word document (or .txt document or WordPress visual editor) open, and if you are doing on line research, and or working with images it makes it so much easier to be able to have that second monitor so that you have immediate access to whatever other materials you need to complete your writing.
In fact, is much as I love working in coffee shops, I rarely do so because I find it very difficult to work only on a laptop. I also think it might be a little strange to do voice dictation and a coffee shop… I don’t think other patrons would appreciate listening to me speak like a robot.
The point is if you are working on the computer, it’s a really good idea to get a second monitor.
5. Outsource SOME of your Content
I still publish content myself on my magazine sites. I enjoy it. I like trying new things. Sometimes I get inspired. In fact these days I’m getting more hands on with content production than I’ve been for a quite a long time and I’m enjoying it. After all it’s content that pays the bills.
Therefore, I pick and choose the content I can do best and outsource the rest.
6. Outsource Select Parts of Content Creation
Another blogging hack I’ve been working on is outsourcing parts of content production. For example, on one site that is image-centric, I’ve been rolling up my sleeves and choosing images for posts. This is time consuming, but it’s pretty important since images pull in the traffic. Once the images are set up on the draft post, I hand over the writing to a hired writer to wrap it up.
I can tee up quite a few draft posts ready for text each day. Hired writers can finish them up quickly. It’s a smooth content assembly line. I review everything before it’s published (for the most part. I do have some hired writers with LongerDays who handle entire posts from start to publish).
The best tasks to outsource are recurring tasks so that once trained, your VA’s and writers do not need to ask so many questions. But do this in conjunction with the next blogging hack which is “create training videos”.
7. If you outsource, create training videos
Training videos are by far the most efficient way to train someone. Actually, you can use them over and over to train new people. I have a batch of 9 training videos which covers many aspects of my niche sites. Those videos have saved me many hours of time. Moreover, people you train can refer to them over and over saving you having to answer endless questions.
Any video screen capture software will work. I usually use Camtasia but for quick videos on the fly I use Jing.
8. Hire People Willing to Work in your WordPress Backend
Writing is just part of the blogging process. Once an article is written there’s formatting it which includes creating headings, bolding parts of text, creating lists, inserting images and/or videos.
While on the face of it you might think formatting written text is easy and fast, in my experience it can be time intensive.
Therefore, whenever possible you can dramatically increase your publishing volume by hiring writers who will write and format your posts for you directly in WordPress.
9. Can Software Do It Faster? Always Check
Software is a double-edged sword. It can help but you can also end up with way too many subscriptions that are not worth the monthly cost.
You definitely want to use some software to help with publishing websites but at the same ensure you get your money’s worth.
Here’s a brief list of software I couldn’t get by without (currently):
- Canva: brilliant for creating featured images and collages for social media.
- Picmonkey.com: I use this for quickly resizing images.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking: see point number 2 above)
- JPEGmini: Quickly optimizes images in bulk.
Examples where I dropped the ball here:
Another really good use of software is when ever you have any kind of repetitive task. Before going about doing anything repetitive in your WordPress site do a quick Google search to see if there is software or a plug-in that will do it faster.
SEO Data Transport Plugin
The SEO data transport plug-in will migrate existing SEO metadata from a theme or plug-in to another team or plug-in. Years ago when I switched from one theme to a plug-in I manually copy and pasted 200 sets of meta-SEO data which took hours. SEO data transport could have done for me in five minutes.
Export WP Content
Not too long ago I needed to restore a website to three weeks prior. Without thinking I copied and pasted all of the content that had been published over that three weeks so I could add it back after the restore. Fortunately about halfway through my idiotic copy and paste process I realized that WordPress has an export content option which turned a two hour process into a five-minute process.
These are just two examples where free software can save you a lot of time. The point is if you need to do a tedious repetitive task it’s definitely worth searching a few minutes for software that can do it almost instantaneously.
10. Batch Your Work Processes
Batching your work tasks can save you some time with the article publishing process.
For example, when I am gathering images for one post, I will often gather images for all the posts I plan to publish that day. I then optimize them, rename them and up load all of them to the WordPress website all at the same time.
Another obvious example of batching work tasks is handling emails. I try to ensure I check email only a couple or a few times per day and when I do handle all of them at one time so I avoid constant interruptions during my writing and publishing process.
And yet another example is video production. When I set out to create a video, I usually set out to create multiple videos because there is a little bit of set up time loading whatever software I’m going to use and therefore while it’s open, it saves me time to crank out multiple videos rather than do them individually or one by one throughout the course of a day.
Expanding on the video example, when uploading videos to YouTube and or my websites I will do it in batches as well because again having YouTube open along with my websites I can upload multiple videos much faster in one shot rather than doing them individually.
11. Use Site-Wide Management Tools Whenever Possible
One very good example of sitewide management tools that I use is the ad inserter plug-in (my review). What an inserter does is it lets me manage all ad placements for the entire website. This makes it possible so I do not need to end put ad code in individual posts, which would be a nightmare scenario in the event I want to test different ad placements. Without ad inserter plug-in I would need to go and change the ad code for hundreds of posts which would be a total waste of time.
Any time you can use a plug-in or software to manage site wide rather than manage something via individual post, it saves you a ton of time.
12. Focus on what works
Once you get traffic, analyze which traffic sources are the best and which generates the highest RPM. Focus on those traffic sources the most.
Same thing with content. Figure out which types of content does best on social media and which types rank best in the search engines. For example, on one of my sites I discovered I was generating the lion’s share of affiliate commissions from a small handful of posts. To grow affiliate commissions, I published more of those types of posts.
Yes, I currently do invest time and money in many traffic sources now, but I do that for more than just traffic purposes. I also am at a stage with my site where I have the luxury, but when starting out I focused on the things that directly generated revenue.
13. Use Similar Post Formats and Concepts Over and Over
As you’ll see on this website I tend to publish posts that are in similar formats. This is also the case on my other websites. By following the same format, especially when using a lot of images and/or videos, it speeds up the process because I can quickly format the post without thinking.
Similarly, I publish similar posts conceptually over and over and over. For example on this website I publish tutorials, reviews and list posts. Using similar concepts over and over and over helps me come up with new blog content ideas. It also helps me to organize topics on which I wish to publish very quickly.
14. Leverage Existing Content and Topics
I leverage content extensively. One example is to create overview or index posts that provide a brief synopsis of other posts on your site to which you linked to from the overview post.
In other words, I create extensive internal curation posts that are formatted in a list which provide a lot of value for the visitor because the post itself not only provides quality overviews of the various topics but then links out to more in-depth coverage to a series of individual posts on my site.
Once you have 50 or more posts on your website look for internal curate opportunities. They are both excellent for user experience and very easy to publish.
15. Accept QUALITY Guest Posts and Sponsored Posts
While I would never turn a website into a massive batch of guest posts, I am not 100% opposed to publishing excellent guest posts.
If someone offers you a guest post, it’s usually worth responding with a quick list of your requirements. While most will not agree to your list if you require quality work such as thousand plus words and unique images, once in a while you’ll strike gold and the guest blogger will be happy to provide you with what you ask for. When that happens you end up with a free piece of high quality content.
Unfortunately quality guest posts are the exception, however, if you can get one or a few per month that’s bonus content that didn’t cost you any money and very little time.
16. Publish QUALITY External Curation Posts
I do publish what I call external curated posts but do so judiciously. In other words I publish them occasionally.
An external curated post is a list post with each item in the list being an overview of a webpage or article on the web outside of your website.
An example could be the “Top 20 SEO articles for 2016”. Each listing in that curated article would provide an overview of the main SEO article and a link to it.
FYI I do not publish curated content for individual posts. When I curate its an extensive list of options for visitors.
17. Write from Personal Experience
You can almost always include personal experience in content you write. Regardless of the niche, you can probably relate in some way. This applies to products as well to a large extent.
People love reading personal tidbits. You don’t have to turn your website into a confessional, but fun, interesting and/or funny personal anecdotes resonate well and the best part is it’s so easy to write. There’s no research involved. Just write from memory.
18. Avoid Insignificant Website Tweaks
I say this from experience. I’ve spent days mired into silly design tweaks and trying to add fancy features, both of which do nothing for the bottom line. Instead, when starting out choose a decent looking mobile responsive theme and start making money. Even though my website is worth 7 figures, I still use an out-of-the-box design. It’s brought me this far; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Please keep in mind I include this point for B2C magazine authority niche sites. If you publish websites for local businesses and/or do lead gen, you want to spend time testing design because that’s all about conversion where design and copy can make a big difference.
19. Delegate, but don’t abdicate
I recently learned that abdicating the functioning of your website is not a good idea. For about 6 to 9 months I did not really spend much time managing one of my websites. While I have excellent people working on it, it just doesn’t function and grow as well as when I am actively managing it.
The take away is that it’s great to delegate work so that you can get more done, but don’t completely ignore what you’re doing.
20. Perfection is the enemy of the good
Do NOT strive for perfection. I’m lucky because I’m not stricken with a perfectionist streak although many pursuing online businesses are.
Striving for perfection is a recipe for failure. I don’t do ANYTHING perfect. Every website I own has problems. Every post I publish could be better. I’m okay with that.
For example, Fat Stacks is not a pretty blog. The blog posts are plain; they aren’t dressed up with fancy charts and tables. I’m sure you’ve come across typos, spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and many other “amateur” mistakes on Fat Stacks. I’m okay with that. The fact is I have very little time for Fat Stacks because I’m running many sites. The way I figure it, visitors would rather I publish content that’s plain and has some spelling mistakes but offers helpful information than not publish anything because I don’t have the time to make it perfect.
21. Create Short, Achievable To-Do Lists
Yes, I use to-do lists each day. I have a master to-do list which lists items I should do over the next few weeks. But mostly I create a fresh, achievable to-do list each morning. It takes me 5 minutes tops. I then work until it’s done.
I don’t use software or calendars. I use a simple .txt document and it includes 3 to 8 items tops. That’s it. Usually I complete 80 to 100% of it. Once done, I call it a day.
My short to-do lists keeps me on track and focused throughout the day. Most of it sets out the content I need to publish or work on.
22. Don’t Try to Plan Everything (Especially in the Long Run)
This is a huge mistake I see many people make. I work with many aspiring website publishers and they no sooner have a niche and a few topics to cover to launch the site when they start talking about the next 2 years of content and how it should be organized on the site etc.
If you did solid niche research before launching your niche authority site, you don’t have to worry about there being enough topics to cover for the next 2 to 5 years. You’ll figure them out. You’ll discover more than you can every cover.
Instead, FOCUS on the next set of 5 to 20 articles. That’s it. Don’t think about anything else until they are publish. By all means plan out topic series with keyword research, but stick with that topic until it’s done.
23. Be Organized (Digitally)
I’m a bit hypocritical saying this because I’m not terribly organized. However, I am reasonably organized digitally. I have dedicated folders for each niche site I own or am involved with. Inside each niche folder I create an “Articles” folder. Inside that I have a folder for each article I publish. Inside that I place all media, links, references… everything pertaining to that article.
You can set up your own organizational structure. There’s no one-size fits all. However, it’s good to be at least somewhat organized so that you minimize time spent looking for things.
24. Use .txt Documents Whenever Possible
I loathe waiting for MS Word and MS Excel to load. I pretty much do all my work in .txt documents including storing lists and other items that would be better organized in a spreadsheet, but it’s so much faster obtaining and editing from .txt documents.
25. Outsource Coding Tasks (if you’re not a coder)
I’m so grateful there’s WPCurve. I have 2 subscriptions and they’ve saved me dozens, maybe hundreds of hours. I’m not a coder. Sure, I can usually figure out WordPress coding tweaks if I spend enough time on it, but that’s the problem. I end up wasting hours when WPCurve can do it in less than 30 minutes, which costs me all of 3 minutes sending them the task.
I like WPCurve because they do good work and I don’t have to spend time hiring a coder. Moreover, good freelance coders usually have a massive backlog of work. With WPCurve, coding tasks are handled in 1 to 24 hours. I love that.
Do you have any blogging hacks?
I’d love to read them. Please set them out in the comments.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.