Monday 25 May 2009

Speed Blogging and Efficient Blogging

If we are to “succeed” (and this is a personal and subjective concept) on the internet with blogs we need to consider not only search engine optimization and all its facets but also how to put it all to use efficiently. Speed blogging and efficient blogging is more a necessity that a luxury and this is why.

First, lets get the concept of “success” out of the way. In this post success is deemed to mean getting the maximum number of visitors and page views and therefore revenue. For some people, though (and rightly so) it will not mean that.

As you gradually progress up the Alexa hill to the lofty ranks of the bigger established wiz kid sites you find yourself in the first division and you have to raise your game if you are to keep on going up that slippery slope. Sometimes these sites have more than one person creating the content and there will be a geek of a computer person who gets a head start on the likes of me and thee. We have to compete against this.

Provided you turn out quality, original content, the faster you do it the better; that is a no brainer and the best way to compete against sites where more than on person creates content. So, what does that mean? We have three major sources of knowledge from which we create content:

  1. Our heads (experience)
  2. Books
  3. Internet

If everything we write comes straight from our heads and no where else this is the fastest way to create. That is extremely unlikely and people who are looking for quick fixes can sometimes fall into the trap of doing just that; waffling on in a conversational way churning out unchecked information that is simply poor quality. So we need to fall back and rely on the internet. And books should, where possible, be used to supplement internet information for the sake of fresh information and to check the internet, which can be unreliable (but can also be extremely reliable).

Our Head

I find the old clich├ęs are true. I have small windows of what I call “enlightenment” on problem solving and ideas when (a) in the shower and (b) after about half a glass of wine – absolutely true. These should be used where possible. Memory though is gradually damaged by excess alcohol consumption! Ideas should be jotted down as they are fleeting and can disappear as fast as they arrive. And they should be left to mature for a day to check if they are as good as first thought.


I would guess that these are often ignored. I wouldn’t ignore them. Old books can provide new content under fresh circumstances and also stimulate new thoughts. Often book material will overlap with internet material but there are often small pieces of new information in books that are not readily found on the internet. Working with books is also easier than using information from the internet as it is a hard copy avoiding the need to jump from tab to tab or window to window when using websites for research. When you get to know a book you know where things are and working fast becomes a breeze.


Perhaps this is where the great savings in time can be made. I recommend these ideas for speed blogging and efficient blogging:

  • Use Firefox or Google Chrome. Firefox is the best. It loads quicker and is more reliable and;
  • Use tabs for new web pages (press Ctrl T for a new tab). This allows a series of tabs to be opened from various sources to which reference can be made as the blog post is being drafted. This is more efficient than new windows that blank out the other windows.
  • {note:I currently use Windows Live Writer for blog posts. If I am using images that I want to be stored on a Google server I use the compose window in Blogger and upload from there. If I want to draw tables I use Google docs and copy the table from the web (published table), not the code to the compose window, see these posts (a) Google Docs to Create Blogger Posts (b) Writing Blogs With Windows Live Writer (c) Creating Tables for Blogger Blogs.}
  • If you have been to a site before and want to find it again, you don’t have to search history or use Google search. In Firefox and Google Chrome all you do it click once on the URL in the address box at the top of the browser window, which blue highlights the web address. Then type in the first few letters of the website that you are searching for; Firefox finds the site and a list of alternatives. Click on the chosen one. You can scroll down the list and press enter if you wish. This saves time. In fact, in Chrome the URL box is the search box.
  • When writing articles, when I find the information that I want I copy it (wait, this is not breach of copyright – read on) and drop it into the page I am using (Google Docs, Live Writer or Compose mode in Blogger). I drop it in about 5 lines down. From there I can use it more conveniently as an information source before deleting it. If it is heavily formatted and is creative commons material, I go into html mode (Edit Html in Blogger) and drop it in there, which produces entirely unformatted clean text. You can also use the unformat button (an eraser) but I prefer the former method as it is more controllable and cleaner.
  • If you use similar pieces of text each time in every Blogger blog post and work in the compose window, use the template function. This reproduces the text in the compose window each time you make a new post. You can do this by going to Dashboard>Settings>Formatting>look at the base of the page “Post Template”. Type in there the links and text that are to be part of your standard page.
  • Pictures: Use Flickr creative commons images. Comply with the license to the letter. Download to desktop and upload to the page using Google Blogger image uploader or in Google docs or Windows Live Writer using the facilities in that software (very easy).

Speed Blogging and Efficient Blogging -- Further reading:

  1. Delete Images With Caution
  2. Google Image Search Builds Traffic
  3. Pictures With Captions in Blogger
  4. Speed Up Blogger Load Times

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