1) Blogging as part of your job. Blogging is part of my job, this is how I reach our corporate clients, most customers (and prospects) are reading it. I can also see who’s signed up for the email subscription (see right column) there’s some big brands. If I can demonstrate I can use these tools correctly, then I’ll be able to help clients with it as well. It’s working, as I’m my currently my companies greatest source of customer introductions. If blogging is not part of your job, you can certainly slowly and strategically make it part of your job, I did this at my previous company.
2) Reservoir of drafts: I currently have 135 drafts in wordpress. I work on some slowly, some will never be published, and some will get published. Quite often, my daily posts could be an iteration I’ve been working on for months, maybe years. I collect content as I read, and drop it into my drafts, link posts, and posts. I’m constantly filtering the web and making my blog a lens, and adding my additional thoughts.
3) Be efficient: Don’t spend too much time on my posts. I really believe that blog posts should not take more than an email of equal length, while my grammar will never be perfect, it’s the ideas and concepts that are more important to get out. It’s a blog, not a magazine article.
4) Cut out what you don’t really need: I recently purged myself of all coffee or caffeinated beverages as advised by my doctor. It took 5 days to get over the urges and head pressure and then it was over. You don’t need coffee, really you don’t. This has saved me time, money, and energy every day. If the average person spends $5 on coffee every day (some more), how much does that equate to in year? How much time?
5) Schedule time: Every morning before the world wakes up, I get up and read, check feeds, techmeme, digg, and key blogs. I then blog, this process takes about 2 hours, usually before 6 or 7 am. I leap out of bed every morning in anticipation for this, no joke.
6) Pay yourself first: I rarely check email before I start reading and blogging, (and I cut out instant messaging last year) it’s an endless spiral, the more you put in, the more you get back. I use blogging and video as a way to be more efficient with my time. As I start to get a pattern of questions, I realize that’s a blog post. I also use Facebook, Twitter, my Video Show and other tools to make my communications more effective. (Update: Great tip for email management from Trey, he recommends you try to answer your email in three sentences only)
I’m sure many are going to say in the comments: “Wait till you have kids”, I hear that quite a bit. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I have a balanced and fulfilled life, happily married, eat ‘somewhat’ healthy, socialize, workout, swim, get sun, travel, and enjoy a good red wine.
Also, I’ve noticed an increase in web analytics activity on this blog, there are 30,000 unique visitors in last month, but more importantly, the average time spend on site has doubled, it’s 7 minutes. If you multiply those two numbers, that’s a lot of time spent on site, although one could suspect that a tab was left open, so attention data is never accurate alone. Trends matter, and I think the activity/engagement has increased by 30% holistically.