Last week, I was stressed with various blog guest post contribution requests I have been receiving. Despite the fact that writing is a full time job for me, this job pulls me in various directions. From just getting promoted as an editorial director at different website, to getting a new position as advisor for an upcoming startup, getting the time to fulfill some of these freelance blog guest posts are stressful and usually fall by the waste side. However, I seem to almost always (90% of the time) find a way to get these posts done. But exactly how do I do that? I didn’t exactly know either; so I looked back at my routine for last week and here’s what I found.
Tip 1: All in the Planning
This tip is number one for many reasons. First off, it should be the very first thing you should do when you are presented or think of a great post. While this list isn’t in any order of importance, this was listed first because if you don’t do anything else I advise you to do, at least do this. You should plan in three ways: getting a list of posts/blogs you will be publishing that week, applying these plans to a calendar, and creating the bones of your article (the outline). Once you have a plan of how the post will look and when you’ll get to it, it makes creating the post less stressful and more welcoming to undertake.
Tip 2: Mix Up the Routine
One of the biggest reasons writers get in a rut, especially freelance writers, is because they not only get used to the environment they are blogging in, but they then get bored of that routine. This makes them less likely to want to continue on with writing a post. In psychology, this occurs when any part of our intellect is not being challenged. When we are in new situations, our brain and intellect must be used and challenged to adjust. This is why we react (good or bad) to new situations, because they are in fact new and unlike the norm.
For this reason, to create a new situation to your routine that will make you want to blog, you can do both large and small scale changes. On the small scale, you can do something as little as opening a new window or using a light bulb that has the same hues as sunlight (full spectrum light bulbs). On a medium scale, you can mix it up by going outside or going to a new coffee shop to crank out some posts. I make it a routine to go to a local coffee shop at least a couple of times a month to get work done. On a large scale, you can do some office redesigns, from using the principles of feng shui to even going out and getting new furniture and an office chair.
Tip 3: Use the R.E.B Plan
This is a plan I just made up when creating this post due to textual constraints of actually writing out what it means. But R.E.B stands for: Rest, Eating & Exercise, and Breaks. These are the four things that bloggers habitually ignore, but are the four keys to success. With rest, you should make it a plan to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. When you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t have the energy or even the want to get a post out of the way. Yes, you may have to stay up at 2:00AM to release a new story, but make sure to make up for the lost sleep (meaning waking up at 9:00am and not 5 or 6AM).
Eating and exercise are two other things bloggers ignore. No, I don’t mean they aren’t eating (some may), but I mean eating the wrong stuff. Junk foods don’t allow your brain to be creative and work to the best of its ability. Eating more grains, vegetables, and fruits will keep you awake, full, and with more energy, much longer.
Lastly, breaks are a fourth thing that falls from blogger’s minds. Having a good break is more essential than any other type of jobs. We are in front of a computer, with our palms stationary and fingers typing away. This makes our vulnerable to back strain, carpal tunnel, and eye strain. You should make it a habit to get up and do a short, 10 second back and hand stretch every 20-30 minutes and to do a major 30 minute break every hour. A major break can constitute anything from a lunch or snack break to going out and running errands. The best major break is simply getting up and doing any type of walking around.
Remember the R.E.B system, and you’ll be healthier, happier, and more restful.
Tip 4: Create a Post Bank
This is one of my favorite tips, but it involves a hefty first time investment of time. You should create a post bank so that when you aren’t feeling the time or the energy to crank out a post, you’ll have a few available to post. Plus, they also work great as resume additions when blogs you want to write for require original postings. I like calling them “post banks” because it’s like having a savings account. You put a few dollars (posts) in over time and when you need the money (posts) in times of trouble, they’ll be there.
Initially, this should be done when you have two weeks you can actually dedicate (about an hour to an hour and a half each post) to writing part time. Create the posts in a word and PDF document, gather a couple of photos you want to include, and put them all in a folder. Then when you get a good amount of those folders, round them all up and place them in a “post bank” folder”. It’s easier said than done, but once you do it, you’ll feel more at ease.
Tip 5: Collaborate The Bones of Your Post
The final tip is directly solely at guest posters. When you are going to contribute to a website, you should remember that once a topic is agreed upon, send off only the outline. This allows the editor to look at the plans you have for your post. One tip that I learned last week was to not only send it off, but if the editor has time, also collaborate on the outline so that both you and the editor can voice what they want to see in the post. One highly recommended place to do this is on Google Docs. The comment feature on Google docs can turn your document into a conversation. It’s amazing!
Here are five tips for giving you more energy and stamina to go out and write great guest and freelance posts. Let me know three tips you have of your own for guest posting. If you don’t have any I didn’t already mention, let me know two of your favorite tips I mentioned in the article today. Can’t wait to read your responses!