Are you being busy or productive?
It’s easy to mix the two notions. Being busy means that you are always hustling…but do not accomplish everything you would want to.
While being productive means that you still work a lot (or a tad bit less), but manage to deal with the same amount of work faster.
Over the last month, we’ve brought to you a range of productivity tips and best practices and this week, we’ve created a master list that will help you work smarter, not harder on your blogging business. Optimize the daunting chores and eliminate those productivity killers by using these tools we recommend…
A BAKER’S DOZEN OF WORDPRESS PLUGINS
As we’ve mentioned countless times, WordPress.org is the go-to platform for blogs. And what makes WordPress.org even more appealing are the plugins – separate software modules you can use to add additional features to your blog without writing any code.
In case you missed, we have already published a roundup of the best plugins for …everything. Check out the following posts:
- The Best…Advertising Plugins for WordPress
- The Best…Speed Plugins for WordPress
- The Best…Security Plugins for WordPress
- The Best…Social Sharing Plugins for WordPress
- 4 Plugins To Run Competitions Smooth and Effective
And the cherry on top – Yoast SEO plugin – a versatile tool to optimize each and every post you publish in a few clicks.
It doesn’t take long to send a single email…but you can easily find yourself doing just that for half a day. People with “inbox zero” may seem to have superhuman abilities, and you may think you can never ever get even close to that inbox state. But here’s the thing: it’s not the time you may be lacking to keep your email neat, it’s the tools to do that for you. Here are our some our secret email helpers:
- Airmail – customize your inbox look to up your productivity. Set up custom alerts for emails from important contacts; use built-in templates for fast responses and sync Airmail with your other fav apps such as Evernote, Dropbox and others.
- Astro – an AI-powered email assistant that will reconcile your email with your calendar; prioritize emails and remind you to send follow-ups.
- Boomerang for Gmail – pre-schedule your emails and customize alerts and notifications for incoming communication.
- Voila Norbert – finds addresses of the people you don’t know in a few clicks.
- Sales Navigator for Gmail – a handy extension that will show rich LinkedIn profile data for your contacts in Gmail.
- Appoint.ly – easy and fast appointment scheduling via email.
CONTENT CURATION AND ORGANIZATION
Your job as a blogger is to stay in the vogue of things, both fashion and business-wise. And the information overload can get real too quickly (we know that first hand!). To cut down on mindless browsing, and devote more time to productive reading, check out these apps:
- Feedly – add your favorite publishers, and browse post summaries before reading the newly published posts.
- Pocket – a better alternative to browser bookmarking. Save interesting reads for later in curated lists and receive personalized suggestions and weekly digests based on your interests.
- Unroll.me – roll all your email newsletter subscriptions to one neat daily digest. Everything gets saved in an archive so you can check out all the updates in one seating during the weekend.
- theSkimm – stay on top of the world’s news by reading a curated newsletter once a day.
Mixing work and play is oh-so-easy when it comes to social media. We all told ourselves that we were browsing Instagram for an hour “because I’m doing research”, not eyeing some new wardrobe staples. But let’s keep it real – sometimes, you do need to spend hours on social media. But those hours can also be highly productive if you use the right tools:
Here are 17 great Instagram apps to help you improve your game – tools for editing, hashtag research, analytics, and post scheduling included.
ViralTag is an excellent platform for saving and scheduling all sorts of visual content for platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and others.
Building an email list should remain high on your to-do list at all times. Social media platforms rise and fall; organic reach can shrink faster than you blink, but people have been using emails since ’98 and will continue to do so for at least a few more decades!
So, if you are struggling to dedicate enough time to your newsletter, the next tools could be of great help to you:
- MailChimp – a freemium email marketing platform. Use it to design and send attractive newsletters and analyze campaign results.
- GetResponse – a premium tool for creating different types of email marketing campaigns, designing landing pages and automating routine actions.
- ConvertKit – build custom subscription forms in a few clicks, increase conversions through smart automation, create personalized email campaigns for different groups of users, and continuously learn more about your audience using the platform’s analytics.
Now you have the right tools to fully exploit the time you allocate for working on your blogging business. Try upgrading at least one routine first and see how many hours per week you can reclaim!