So, I’ve gone and done something stupid.

I’ve promised to write a blog post every day throughout the rest of August.

I seem to end up talking a lot about the benefits of blogging – in our workshops, our training, and elsewhere.

Blogging can be a powerful marketing tool, and one that can both attract new customers to your brand, as well as demonstrate your authority on a topic.

Plus, it makes you a better writer. It forces you to focus, and gain clarity of thought.

It’s a way to answer clients’ questions before they’ve even been asked.

It can be a way to introduce new ideas, products, and services.

A good quality blog post can call customers to take action – to take the first steps towards becoming a brand advocate.

They can be the top, middle, or end of a funnel.

They can demonstrate social proof, share case studies, or provoke discussion.

And we haven’t even mentioned the way it can boost your Google search rankings, increase your domain’s authority, and get you ever closer to that coveted “first page of Google” spot.

And yet, despite all this great stuff, I absolutely hate writing them for our own site.

And so, the August Blogging Challenge was created.

My main distractions with blogging

For me, the main problem has always been focus.

We don’t struggle for material – there are thousands of things I could happily write about and publish.

It’s the discipline of actually sitting down, getting rid of all distractions, and writing.

The second I have to write a blog, I can guarantee – almost EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD becomes irresistible.

Blogging Tools for the Non-Blogger

So, if you’re like me, here are some tools that REALLY help:

1. Focuswriter

Focuswriter - Impact August Blogging Challenge

Essentially, a distraction-free word processor. Focuswriter clears the screen of clutter, leaving you to place all your attention on your words.

Also lets you set daily goals, timers, alarms, and customise themes to find what works best for you.

Plus, it’s FREE (and we LOVE free!).

2. Pomodoro Technique

Pomodoro - Impact August Blogging Challenge
Pomodoro Technique

If you ever struggle with productivity and motivation, then you NEED to learn the Pomodoro Technique.

It’s a simple concept – a “pomodoro” is a period of 25 minutes. During that 25 minutes, you only focus on the task at hand – and absolutely nothing else.

That means: no picking up your phone to check for text messages; no switching browser tabs to see if you’ve got any Facebook notifications; no staring out of the window absent-mindedly.

Just a pure focus on the task at hand.

After each 25 minute session, you take a 5 minute break – where you can do anything *except* the task at hand.

The key to making this work is finding a decent timer – one with a ticking sound is perfect. This website does a great job if you don’t have an egg timer to hand.

Trust me – this REALLY works.

3. StayFocusd (Chrome Extension)

StayFocusd - Impact August Blogging Challenge

We’re only human. And sometimes we’re just not that good at self-discipline.

So, install this Chrome extension – it blocks your access to the internet, or just to certain websites, for a period of time.

Once you’ve set it running (let’s say, for a 25 minute pomodoro – or 0.42 hours), it will run to the end of the time – there’s no cancel button. It’s the ultimate way to make sure you’re not tab-hopping when you should be working.

It’s brutal. I love it.


Chains Impact August Blogging Challenge

If you’re trying to build a habit, then check out this site – the idea is to build an unbroken chain of your tasks. It’s gamification for habits.

So, for us, we’re writing a blog post a day – so, if we miss a day, we break the chain. And that puts our counter back to zero. It’s absolutely gutting.

5. Spotify

Spotify - Impact August Blogging Challenge

And a final essential – there was a time when I needed absolute silence to concentrate, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve found that music helps.

And, weirdly, different types of music help me write different types of blog post – which means Spotify’s library is absolutely essential.

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David has worked with countless UK charities, businesses, and schools - with a brilliant track record of helping them with their biggest challenges. David is the founder of the Impact group - including Impact Charity Advisors, Impact Business Advisors, and Impact Education Support.