12 Tips for Writing More Blog Posts

I write six to seven posts each week on four different websites, which might seem amazing. But I used to struggle to write just two posts every week (seven is still a struggle, which is a good thing).

Here are a few things I've done that have helped me be more efficient (but still authentic) with my blogging:
  1. Dragon Dictation - I wrote this post in ten minutes (two minutes dictating and eight minutes editing the post in WordPress).
  2. Theme Calendar - I have a theme calendar in my head that looks like this:
  • Monday - Strategy article at JohnHaydon.com, Video on Headway Videos.com
  • Tuesday - Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
  • Wednesday - Social fundraising article at Razoo, How-to article at JohnHaydon.com
  • Thursday - Tactical article at NonprofitFacebookGuy.com
  • Friday - Personal / thought piece at JohnHaydon.com
  • Mind-mapping - This approach allows me to bounce freely between unrelated ideas, but anchor them together in a way that's extremely organized. I wrote this post in twenty minutes using the MindMeister iPad app while I sat in a doctor's waiting room.
  • Reuse emails - Many times I'll be answering a question for someone in an email and realize that other people probably have the same question. Copy, paste, delete the guilty parties.
  • Reuse comments - Many times I'll find myself leaving a thoughtful comment on a post and realize that I could blow it up into a blog post.
  • Write in batches - Writing requires creative muscle which, once warmed up, can be used for creative tasks beyond the one you planned for. Take advantage of an engine that's warmed up.
  • Put up blinders - Often, I write posts in fullscreen mode which hides distractions in the dashboard.
  • Use a tomato - It's so hard for me to focus sometimes, that I think my ADD has ADD. However, I've learned to be productive by focusing in short 20-minute bursts using the Pomodoro technique.
  • Read lots of blogs - I read 20+ blogs every day. The blogs I read are informative and inspiring, and often lead to me firing up a mind-map or post soon after.
  • Read lots of books - The difference between a blog and a book is that a blog is a collection of someone's insights, whereas a book is the whole mind. A blog tells me what someone is thinking that day, but a book tells me why they think the way they do.
  • Go for walks - It may sound crazy, but the rhythm of walking brings out new ideas and inspiration, which I can dictate into my Dragon iPhone app.
  • Write titles first - Blogging is easier when you learn to think in titles. Ask yourself, "Would I click on that title?" If yes, all you need is three paragraphs to go with that title.
  • The last thing I'll say about all this is that I've kept at it, every single day for over three years. I have no special talents, just skills I've acquired with hard work.

    So if you're amazed at how much I blog each week, don't be. If I can do it, so can you.

    What helps you write blog posts?