Six ways to blog when you're short on time

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Certain things are just hard to squeeze into your day. For some of us, it's exercise or doing laundry. For others, it's blogging. You want to do it  almost every day, but you can't seem to find the time. If you're one of the bloggers or would-be bloggers trying (and sometimes failing) to squeeze blogging into your day, try one of these tips to knock out a post today:

  1. Re-use presentation content. Did you speak at a conference recently? Or present to customers? Or colleagues? How can you take one or two slides from that presentation and quickly turn them into a blog post. If you look closely at your slide deck, I bet you'll find a few quick ideas.
  2. Talk about what you don't know. This idea seems crazy to a lot of us who are blogging primarily to share what we know. But we are all still learning. If you can admit this and discuss what you're researching or what you want learn more about, you'll probably hear from readers who can help you learn more or from others who are researching the same topics.
  3. Promote your archived content. What did you blog about on this day last year? What were you most popular posts last month? What did you write a few years ago that still resonates today? Link back to that content and add a few excerpts to encourage new readers to check out your archives.
  4. Leave your headphones at home. Dedicate your run/walk/bike ride to thinking about a blog post. Normally, I listen to podcasts when I run, but if I really want to put my thoughts together for a writing project, I'll run without my headphones on and outline the idea in my head. Running clears your mind to come up with ideas, draft titles and even write lead paragraphs in your mind. Then, when you sit down to write, the post practically types itself.
  5. Do an email interview. Write three to five questions. Send them to an expert you know or would like to know better. Edit and publish their responses. Voila! You have a post and a new blog friend.
  6. Get ideas from a friend. If you're out of ideas, call or email a friend or fellow blogger and ask them what you should blog about. Ask specifically for ideas that you could write up pretty quickly. The idea for this post came from fellow SAS blogger Rick Wicklin, and I just wrote it in about 30 minutes. Thanks, Rick!
Now it's your turn. Tell us your hacks for blogging when you don't have much time. Or use one of these ideas, and tell us about it in the comments (with a link to your post, of course!).
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About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

4 Comments

  1. All great tips Alison! Here are a few more time-saving blog posts ideas:

    1. Download the WP app and photo blog through your smartphone. It's caveman easy and a wicked quick way to generate great content!
    2. Check your sent folder in your email. I can't tell you how often I have re-purposed emails into blog posts!
    3. Check your Google Analytics and see what city is a driver of site visitors? Have a blogger from that city city guest post on your blog.
    $. Conduct a writing contest at a local school and award prizes to the best posts. Of course, you'll want to coordinate this through the school's principal's office and an English teacher. Nothing better than content created by others. Plus, it's garner's instant site traffic from the moms, dads, friends and other relatives who rush to the blog to read what "Johnny wrote"!

  2. Rick Wicklin

    This is a brilliant post! All in under an hour? Fabulous.

    Here's a trick I use. Sometimes I get an email from a customer or collegue who asks me a question. If the answer would be interesting to readers of my blog, I craft an "exceptionally complete" response, which becomes 80% of a blog post. I have to answer the question anyway, so why not add a little context, background, and description to make it into a blog post? One example of this is my response to a question regarding how to draw a graph that shows several statistical curves.

  3. Often I find it easier (and quicker) to write a post after I have left a comment on another blog. The comment can serve as the basis for a new post. When thinking about quick content generation, always remember the "Ying" and "Yang" of blogging. The more post you "read" posts, the more inspired you'll be to "write". :-)

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