Hello again! Today’s post is a little off the subject of clinical depression, but I still believe it will be extremely helpful if you’re here reading and are looking for intuitive ways to improve your blogging. Also, as people with depression, we should look for things we enjoy and appreciate in life. The positives. Learning fascinates me and I want to learn about being a better blogger. My inspiration in this area has come from Michael Hyatt’s posts. He is my social media superhero. This writing is based on his post, “How to Blog if You Don’t Have Time” and can be found here – http://michaelhyatt.com/no-time-to-blog.html
Mr. Hyatt has been my inspiration for blogging, branding, and branching out into social media. His posts on productivity are a particular favorite of mine – they are tremendously insightful and practical. I use a lot of the apps he uses (though I am an Androider, sorry Mr. Hyatt) I invite you to visit his site (Intentional Leadership – http://michaelhyatt.com/) and if blogging is a passion of yours, purchase his book, Platform.
With that said, I am not being paid or endorsed by Mr. Hyatt to write this. Aside from holding the author in high esteem, I wanted to write this post for several reasons. I started blogging in January and have completed the Blogging 101 course by WordPress and am finishing up the Blogging 201 course this week. I haven’t written a blog based on someone else’s post so I wanted to test the waters here. Make sure I’m doing it correctly. I also wanted to try to incorporate functionality I hadn’t used in the past – e.g., inserting a block quote and linking back to the original post.
Michael’s 7 Must Dos in blogging
1. Own Your Schedule – Everyone has 24 hours in their day. Everyone has 60 minutes in an hour. You have to own the time you’ve been given. You have to be deliberate in your prioritization. Be intentional. Be proactive.
2. Set Your Schedule – Michael states, “Whatever the activity, the principle is the same: What gets scheduled gets done.” He stresses that he carves out dedicated time to blog and that if he relied on fitting things into a few unclaimed hours each week, he would only have one post for his readers each month. Michael makes it a point to purposely carve out time versus taking the left over hours in his week.
3. Use a Timer – Another must do he advocates is the deadline. People tend to work better when they are under pressure and deadlines do that. Mr. Hyatt uses a timer with his “micro-deadlines”. For instance, if he knows he has to post in 90 minutes. A strategy I like to use is the Pomodoro (Italian for tomato) Technique. Using this method, work sessions are chunked into small manageable bits of around 20 minutes. A timer is set and when the timer goes off, a short break is taken of five minutes or so. I don’t think the times are necessarily strict, as long as the periods of work time are kept shorter. Here’s a quick read and video from one of my favorite hack sites – http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-pomodoro-technique-1598992730. Or check out the official page here – http://pomodorotechnique.com/
4. Write – For as obvious as it sounds, sitting down to concentrate and write for any amount of time can be a challenge. Especially with all the distractions within a few feet of us at any given time – cell phones, internet, tablets, children, pets, etc. Certainly not conducive to concentration, which is what you need when you write. Michael makes mention of two writing aids that help him in this area, MultiMarkdown and Scrivener. Check them out!
5. Stay Close to Your Subject – Mr. Hyatt states this so perfectly that I have to quote it –
“I read somewhere that writing is like wrangling a horse. No matter how well you did yesterday, you have to saddle it again today if you want to ride. The trick is not letting the horse get too far from you.
“I try to stay as close as I can to my audience and the topics I cover. I’m thinking, talking, reading about them all the time. The benefit is that when I sit down to write my head is already in the right space. The horse is already saddled and ready to go.”
6. Keep a Notebook – The author makes it a point to keep an Evernote notebook within easy reach so he can jot down his
“research, quotes, post ideas, anything that will keep me present to the work. Part of staying close to my subject is keeping my subject close to me. I have I never have to work from scratch because I can always pick up an idea and get started.”
Very smart, Sir!
7. Use a Template – Michael stresses using a template as a timesaver for your blogging. I’ve found out recently that MS Word has a blogging template option. Excellent! If you want to read up on this more here it is – http://www.pcworld.com/article/2602862/how-to-start-blogging-with-microsoft-word.html
What is YOUR favorite blogging tip? I’d love to learn from you!
p.s. – It would be a dream come true to see a comment/suggestion from Mr. Hyatt!
Copyright information for Mr. Hyatt’s intellectual property contained in this post –
© 2013, Michael S. Hyatt. All rights reserved. Originally published at http://www.michaelhyatt.com.