People often ask me how I’m able to keep my sites moving forward and updated with (hopefully) good content as often as I do. I’ve actually talked about this several times over at my “flagship” site, Asterisk and I’m thinking about a book/site dedicated to the idea of successful content creation.

The thing is, I go to great lengths to keep my sites up-to-date, interesting and moving forward. My off-the-cuff answer is that I “write fast”, and that’s true, but there is a bit more to it than that. To be a productive content provider (blogger) you need to be organized, do your best to hold on to good ideas and know when to work and when to wait.

h2. Here are a few quick tips that might help:

* Set aside time for writing (or podcasting, etc.) and stick to it. Sounds simple, but life (and work) has a way of intruding on these times. You need to hold on to your creative times at all costs!
* Create (and stick to) a publishing schedule. I used to do this quite a bit when I was first getting started. It really helped keep me on track and motivated. Now I’ve got a loose schedule I use, but there are times when I try and plan out something more solid to help make sure I don’t fall too far behind.
* Keep an Idea Journal. I’ve taken to having one by my bed, one on my person and if all that fails, I’ve got idea pages set up in Backpack. You never know when you’ll need a good idea!
* Take advantage of creative highs. This is huge. There are times when I’m literally flooded with ideas, when this happens I drop what I’m doing, if possible, and write, write, write. During these times I can build up a surplus of good content to use when I need some time off. Which brings me to…
* Take some time off. There is little better for fueling your creative engine than a few well timed days off. As much as I create, there are many times when I just relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I need this time to keep me going.
* Read. A key to being productive is having things to talk about. Spend some time each day reading. And I mean reading, not skimming! This will often times give you small ideas that can lead to big things.
* Start with a title. Sometimes just coming up with that initial idea and writing down the title for your post will get the words flowing.
* Adopt a conversational tone and style. This helps your words flow more freely. It might not be the “best” way to write, but it’s served me well and it saves me time.
* Connect and motivate. I’ve found that community is a great way to keep your energy level high. Talk to people, create content centered around discussion. This leads to more energy and more ideas. As well, it’s very motivating to know that people are into the same things as you and dealing with the same issues.
* Don’t fear failure. Through failure comes some of the most profound learning. Fear can really put a damper on being productive. I’ve found that it’s best just to keep moving forward and tackle the mistakes as they come. And they’ll come, regardless of how much time you spend worrying about them.
* Don’t get too hung up on grammar (or pronunciation if you’re a podcaster). People aren’t perfect and while I’ve high respect for editors and hold great value in editing, you need to realize you’re going to let a few (or if you’re like me more than a a few) typos and spelling errors though. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s the message that matters most.
* Stay positive. ’nuff said.
* Try something new. If you’re finding that you’re falling into a rut, or talking about the same-old, same-old, get out there and try something new. This is exactly what I’m doing with To-Done and it’s not only opened up a whole new world for me with new friends and new things to discuss, it’s also got the creative juices flowing on other fronts. Write for a different audience, take up a new hobby or learn a new technology. These things all come with ideas and things to write about and they’ll keep your mind sharp, creative and ready as well.

I’d love to hear some of your tips on being a productive blogger (or writer, or podcaster) so, please, share them here if you’ve got any.

73 Comments on Be A More Productive Blogger

  1. DD says:

    Great post Keith!

    What are your suggestions as far as putting your blog out there and building up a group of readers?

    It’s harder and harder nowadays to make people aware of the content that you are writing with thousands and thousands of blogs out there to choose from when browsing for quality reading material.

  2. vishi says:

    I beg to differ from the previous comment. The main goal should be to provide awesome content like you do. All else will follow. Also, make sure that all content is of the best quality instead of best, mediocre, mediocre, mediocre, best.

    I empahise with a lot of points you point out. I use onenote to document my creative bursts. My email client is another place where I document my creative bursts. I organize them later just before the deadline and create the best output possible.

    Maybe your next post can discuss on the tools and process you use!

  3. vishi says:

    I forgot to say one more thing.

    You Rock! :)

  4. How to Become a More Productive Blogger

    D. Keith Robinson has an awesome post with 13 tips on how to become a more productive blogger. These techniques are great

  5. Darren says:

    Top post Keith – I love this list, very helpful for bloggers big and small. Thanks.

  6. eKapa says:

    i think it’s important to write about what’s important to you. don’t write for who you think your audience is, because that isn’t your “authentic” self coming through in your writing. your true audience are those who connect with what you genuinely have to share. be yourself and your ideas and readers will flourish.

  7. Shai Coggins says:

    ‘Just found your blog today, via Micropersuasion. I’m glad I did. I’ll definitely be visiting again. Thanks for sharing this post.

  8. says:

    How to be a productive blogger (writer)

    Keith over To-Done has dropped off a post on how to be a productive blogger. This is sort of post not only you can apply with his suggestions if you are blogging, you can also use them if are writing anything.
    There are 13 tips which Keith provided. …

  9. Allen Heat says:

    Thanks alot for these tips, really inspiring and helpful! :)


  10. Keith says:

    Vishi — You’re right. I think if you concentrate on the content you’ll have people stopping by. However, there are some ways you can help drive traffic and build a readership if that’s your goal. I’ll need a whole post to talk about that, and I’m not sure if that would make sense for To-done.

    eKapa — You make a great point about writing what’s important to you. Thanks for that.

    I’m really glad to know this stuff is helpful to people. Having been writing and blogging for a long time now it’s sometimes hard to sit back and realize that there are still so many people new to it and that it can be overwhelming and intimidating.

    I feel that in order to do something well, you’re best having fun with it and it’s my hope that, in the end, by making things easier and less intimidating, the fun will flow.

    Look for lots more on this subject. I’m in the process of working on a new “channel” (not sure what it’ll end up as) to address the needs and questions of bloggers and writers. And of course I’ll be talking about that stuff here as well.

  11. Ken says:

    Hi Keith,
    Thanks very much for a very helpful guide. Blog Block is one problem I, as a new blogger have run into. However, reading other blogs always seems to get me out of a funk.

    One thing I’d like to add is a conversational tone really helps with a medium like blogging.

    I was actually going to write about a book called, “If You Can Talk, You Can Write” talking about how just talking on paper will help you keep writing.

    Anyways, thanks again for a great blog and sharing. =)

  12. it also helps to feel passionately about what you’re writing, for example, it’s much easier for me to keep my personal site fresh than a “moneymaker” site that I might not care as much about.

    it’s a shame really, one day, i will find an area that makes money, that I’m that passionate about :)

    until then, thanks for the tips!

  13. Chris says:

    My biggest blog blocker is the feeling that I should be working on something more productive, like work or hobby projects. Blogging helps me clarify my thoughts and opinions, but there are only so many hours in the day. Like David “GTD” Allen says: you can do anything you want, but not everything.

  14. The notion that one should read in order to have things to talk about borders on shallow, if not perverse, and would have been ridiculed by every century up to this one. Reading is not a productivity tool, it is a way of life for the educated person. Read widely, read deeply, read along the curving trails of your obsessions and preoccupations, but don’t make reading a bullet point in a blogging pep talk.

  15. Yannick L. says:

    Keith you have done it again. You always seem to post about something that can be beneficial to people just starting out (or even people seasoned in this sort of thing). I am a young blogger and I think this post will help greatly.

    I don’t have any tips to offer at this time but who knows maybe another time if this kind of topic is brought up again I will be able to offer some tips.

    Have a great day!

  16. Hello Keith,

    First of all, felicitation for this great post. Everything is here and it was a real pleasure to read.

    You asked for new tips and tricks? There are some things I blogged about some months ago that I hope could be interesting.


    My first trick is to use a Personal Wiki. I use it as my digital idea journal. There is the post that explain what a personal wiki is, which one I use and how I use it:

    Personal Wiki: One of the best ways to create your daily journal.


    The second trick I use is a “Comments Blog”. This is a place where I put all the comments I do one other blogs (like this one). This is a way to check back at the discussion I had; to find new ideas.

    Follow the link read more about the concept.

    Fred On Something’s new comments blog


    What do I use as my paper idea journal?
    A Moleskine pocket diary!

    I hope these tips and tricks will help you being a more productive blogger.



  17. ChurchNerd says:

    How to Be A More Productive Blogger

    Keith Robinson has created a list of 13 steps on how to be a more productive blogger. Here are the ones the stuck out to me:

    Keep an Idea Journal. I’ve taken to having one by my bed, one on my person and if all that fails, I’ve got idea pages se…

  18. Be All the Blogger You Can Be

    Keith Robinson writes 13 ways to Be A More Productive Blogger.

  19. Rich Brooks says:


    Just discovered your blog with this post. (I also followed the Micro Persuation link.)

    I’ve found that ever since I fired up a newsreader my biggest problem is that there’s too much to write! I’m seriously considering splitting my current blog into two or even three blogs. (Kind of like when Steven King went all Richard Bachman…but less scary.)

    I use Ranchero’s NetNewsReader which comes with a “Sites Drawer.” (Maybe this feature is common among newsreaders, not sure.) Any time I feel that I’m reading the same old blogs, I just pick a new category and start reading.

    Thanks for the great list!

  20. Great Post! I have been reading Asterisk for about a year and have found it very useful when finding my way with CSS, I have a feeling to-done will be a regular stop. Backpack, tadalist and basecamp are amazing for organizing ideas.

  21. Productivity as a blogger

    Here is an outstanding post from D. Keith Robinson titled 13 tips on how to become a more productive blogger. I think you will find these tips very helpful. Here are a few in the post:- Set aside time for

  22. How to be a Productive Blogger

    I love getting my Bloglet updates every day.

  23. How to be a More Productive Blogger

    Do you feel overwhelmed by blogging?

  24. Lab notes says:

    Be a more productive blogger

    Keith’s To-Done blog has a collection of personal productivity and writing tips. I’m always on the look for better ways to get more stuff done and keep my sanity in check. His recent entry has great tips on how to be a more productive blogger:


  25. Bibi's box says:

    Be A More Productive Blogger

    Steve Rubel is right, Be A More Productive Blogger is and awesome article. That post has 13 useful tips for people that don’t have much time for blog take advantage of your free time. I think I will start to use some of this tips, like Take some time …

  26. Andy Lymburner says:

    I would imagine that you’re readership has gotten a nice bump after the article in the WSJ. Congratulations!

    I have another useful tip for your idea journal concept. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the idea since I found it in a gmail discussion in orkut – but here it is…

    Set up an ideas account in gmail ([email protected] or [email protected], etc.) and simply send yourself any ideas that you may have. Then, using the searching and labeling concepts in gmail, you’ll have no problems accessing, finding and categorizing your ideas when you need them.

  27. Kevin Poor says:

    Tips On Productive Blogging

    For those wondering how they might find the time to blog or how they could better manage a current blog, D. Keith Robinson has a great post listing 13 tips on more productive blogging. I particularly like the “keep an…

  28. As a new blogger, I find it frustratingly slow to learn some of the tricks and tips of blogging. When I look at the traffic on some of the blogs I am amazed. Thanks for the tip on being more productive. I set a goal to post to my blog everyday for 30 days. That was an eye opening adventure and one I failed at miserably. I found that meaningful content is much better than short filler posts.

    Hopefully some of your tips will help me become more productive.


  29. Keith says:

    John — I hear that alot and I think I’ve got lots more tips to share. Blogging is still pretty new to many people. I’m actually going to get a site up that is soley focused on Blogging Tips and such. I’m hoping to have that up soon and I really hope it’ll help some folks out. I’ll be sure and announce it here as soon as it happens.

  30. The J Spot says:

    Better Blogging from To-Done

    Personal productivity blog To-Done publishes tips on how to Be A More Productive Blogger

    Set aside time for writing
    (or podcasting, etc.) and stick to it.
    Create (and stick to) a publishing schedule.

  31. Link: Be A More Productive Blogger

    [Be A More Productive Blogger](
    The thing is, I go to great lengths to keep my sites up-to-date, interesting and moving forward. My off-the-cuff answer is that I “write fast”, and that…

  32. Rio Menajang says:

    Can I translate this post to Bahasa Indonesia (my mother tongue)? currently pasting part of it (in english) to my blog translation will help a lot of Indonesian blogger or blogger to be.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

  33. A Welsh View says:

    How To Become A More Productive Blogger

    Keith Robinson’s 13 tips on becoimg a more productive blogger. Great advice that includes many useful ideas. [via]

  34. You lost me at “Set aside time for writing (or podcasting, etc.) and stick to it.” I go to a job where I pick my nose all day. I’ve got too much time :o

  35. For All You Bloggers Out There

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  36. Links and News

    Tips for blogging productively. Here are some good tips, many of which I should consider. Most regular readers of this site are fellow bloggers. Check it. Some like it hot, and some don’t. Home prices increased in Florida, California,…

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  38. says:

    This is way too generic. The most important thing is – to be a smart person writing about something relevant that you really know a lot about. That’s it. The rest is just tactics and promotion techniques.

  39. Interesting Ideas on Productive Content Development

    One of the keys to good Web pages and sites that people want to return to is offering consistent, high-quality content. But trying to provide good content on a regular schedule can be taxing. Luckily these tips are helpful to…

  40. Cary says:

    Doesn’t seem generic to me at all : ) This is a great post…I’m fairly new to blogging, and trying to learn to keep up on my posts, etc. Your tips have given me some good ideas about how it’s done. Great blog…but then you knew that ; )

  41. How to Be a More Productive Blogger Part II

    Keith Robinson has done it again. He’s written a sequel to his very popular post on

  42. StratBlog says:

    Productive Blogging Tips

    Are you blogging or thinking about blogging? Keith Robinson has written two excellent posts on this subject:

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    He presents a mix of blogging/writing and time management ideas. Two of m…

  43. Thoughts on a Month of Blogging

    It’s been about a month since I started this blog, and I’ve been posting pretty regularly. I feel like it helps me think things through, and I don’t doubt it’s instrumental in me finding a unique style of writing. In other word…

  44. LateShow says:

    Be a more productive blogger!

    Be a more productive blogger! · This is a great piece written by D. Keith Robinson of Asterisk fame. I am doing my best to apply these principles to my own site / life / writing….

  45. Be A More Productive Blogger

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  46. Bibi's box says:

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