So, you have finally found what you are passionate about, you blog about it regularly, you love to write and come up with new ideas, but nobody ever told you all the other bits that were involved in blogging. The guest posts, the commenting on other blogs, the social media requirements, the eBooks, the eCourses and that’s not including the other job you may be holding down.
So how can anyone become a productive blogger with all these tasks to perform daily?
- The Writing
- The Reading
- The Commenting
- The Marketing
- The Stats Checking
The cornerstone of what blogging is; writing. Bloggers have different schedules, some like to post once a week some more often but even if you just post once a week, we know that’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to writing. Bloggers need to guest post, others regularly contribute to fabulous sites like Lifehack. Bloggers also regularly write free reports, eBooks and eCourses to help their readers fulfill their dreams and passions.
Bloggers regularly read large amounts daily, they read content from other blogs, they research the latest trends in how blogging is progressing and they openly read what the competition are writing.
They also read lots of blogs so they can comment on these blogs and spread their wonderful opinions around the blogosphere. Or rather they look for blogs with similar topics and comment regularly. When blogs use plugins like CommentLuv this helps drive traffic to their site as the last post will show up at the bottom of the comment.
Online and offline. Social Media helps to build connections and create relationships. Engaging readers in conversation can help to create a following necessary to grow a blog. Offline marketing can also help to drive traffic from other sources that you wouldn’t normally have access to online.
The Stats Checking
A killer habit in the first year of blogging. It’s so motivating to see that people are actually reading and even better subscribing to your blog, but how much time are you spending watching their actions? Yes, it’s good to know which posts are popular, but it’s also important to breathe and let it go.
Now we know some of the tasks we should all be doing as a blogger but the question remains, “how do we fit them all in?”
I know you know the answer to this one. Yes, you guessed it: we pull out the calendar and schedule time for all these tasks. But before we do that, let us look at the 80/20 rule and see how much time you are currently spending on these tasks and which ones are actually helping you grow a successful blog.
List out all of your daily blogging tasks and write down (honestly) how much time you spend on each one. Now look at all the tasks and critically assess which tasks are growing your blog. Which ones actually get you followers and subscribers? Which ones suck your time like a nasty time vampire? Could your work week in fact be reduced to a Four Hour Work Week?
Focus on the Writing
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits would tell you to ditch the things that aren’t important, to focus on the writing, and that if you produce good quality content the traffic will come. While that may be true it’s important to note that when Leo started he wasn’t just writing one good quality post a week he was writing 10 of them. Although I do believe with Leo’s tactics, I also believe that a little of the other factors can help the rest of us carve out a space for our blogs on the internet. So if you want to follow Leo’s tactics of focusing solely on your writing you want to check out this post which will tell you how you can write lots of content in short periods of time.
Focus on Your Passion
What keeps most bloggers motivated and productive is the reminder of why they are doing what they are doing. Most of us started out with a mission. A vision to share our skills, knowledge or experiences with the world in the hope that they can make a difference in the lives of others. Reconnect with that passion daily, write it up over your desk if necessary and when you realize you have gone off track look up and get back to writing that good content that will make not just the most productive but the best blogger on the block.
(Photo credit: the word blog written with old typewriter via Shutterstock)