Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
There are two parts to writing a blog: the actual article writing, and the maintenance that goes into the blog. Both of these can be simplified. Here are my “secrets” to simplifying:
Make Articles Out Of Comments and Links
I started making my Open Loops posts when I found a bunch of articles that I wanted to consider further, but didn’t want to write a whole post about. The first few Open Loops were received with enthusiasm, so they have been a fixture of the blog every since.
As I read blogs, I bookmark articles for this segment, writing the blurb up at the time I read it. When I assemble the post, I simply copy and paste from my bookmarks.
Sometimes an article requires a bit more of a response from me (like How To Know When To Quit – A Response). In that case, I set aside the time and treat it like any other article idea.
One thing you might not be aware of is that some blogging platforms out there allow you to pre-publish your articles. It was this feature alone which caused me to move from Blogger to WordPress several years ago. I can set up the date and time for the article to go out, and WordPress automagically sends it out at that time.
This frees me from having to remember to post every day, allowing me to produce articles consistently and on time without hogging my schedule.
I am heartily sorry to disillusion any of my readers who thought I actually got my carcass out of bed at 5:00 every morning to publish an article!
Using Plugins to Automate
One of the features of WordPress-on-my-own-site is that I can use plugins to extend and automate my blog. These are the four that save me the most time.
Akismet Spam Control
Akismet, built in with WordPress, goes through the comments and puts certain comments in for moderation. In all the time I have been using it, I never saw a real comment get flagged as Spam.
Delete Spam Daily
This plugin goes in and deletes the spam from the blog daily. It also packs up the database table to make the tables run faster. Since I average 50-100 pieces of spam daily, and in 3 years of manually examining spam never saw a false positive, I am comfortable letting this plugin clean things up for me.
WordTwit for Twitter
Since I joined the social media realm with Twitter, I wanted to announce my posts, but I didn’t want to have to remember to do it. WordTwit takes care of that for me, and sends out a tweet when each post goes out.
WordPress Database Backup
Backups are key to my sanity. I can’t tell you how many times I have been saved from utter disaster (not just on the blog) by a good backup. I can automatically backup my WordPress database and have it emailed to me, automating what would otherwise be a rather long task.
By recycling content and using features of WordPress, I am able to simplify my blogging greatly.
Photo by John Althouse Cohen