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17 Jul 2009

Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success

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Today’s guest post is by Mike CJ, a friend of the Webrepreneur Blog. You can read more about him at the end of the post. Make sure to let him know what you think by submitting a comment below.

Time is one of the biggest issues we bloggers deal with on a daily basis. Even as a full time blogger, there often simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. And this becomes compounded for those blogging part time around a “normal” job.
For all bloggers, the most important element of our work has to be driving traffic to our blogs. Everything else we do becomes secondary if nobody is actually reading our work or looking at our pages selling products. In my opinion the top traffic drivers are:
  1. Consistently writing good content for our blogs
  2. Publicizing our blogs online (Twitter, Facebook etc)
  3. Commenting on other blogs
  4. Guest posting on other blogs
  5. Promoting our blogs offline (press, PR, word of mouth)
The trouble is, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of relentlessly pursuing the one or two of the above that you enjoy, or are good at. I love working on Twitter and writing for my own blog, but I don’t really enjoy guest posting or pushing my blog offline. So, when faced with an 8 hour workday, it’s very easy for me to spend the whole day doing the things I enjoy, and not bother with the others. It’s a classic marketing mistake! So how do you avoid it? With planning.
I tend to plan every blogging session at the start of the day. Each one can vary in time, but generally I work in two hour bursts, then take a break. So right at the beginning, I decide how many two hour sessions I’m going to do, and usually I do four. Across the four sessions I’ll plan an equal amount of time for each of the above key activities.
Here’s an example showing today’s plan:
Session One
  • Write xxx post (Activity 1)
  • Go through RSS reader and comment where appropriate (Activity 3)
  • Sort out Clickbank affiliation
Session Two
  • Finish guest post (Activity 4)
  • Twitter catch up (Activity 2)
  • Email catch up
Session Three
  • Facebook catch up (Activity 2)
  • Write interview with Island Connections mag (Activity 5)
  • Write xxx post (Activity 1)
Session Four
  • Second RSS read and comment (Activity 3)
  • Plan subjects for two more guest posts (Activity 4)
  • Twitter catch up (Activity 2)
  • Email catch up
Now please don’t use that as a template, it’s just an example for one day. But, the key point is that there is balance – I’m doing a little of everything, and that’s important. You can become a Twitter superstar and focus all your energies in that direction, but you will be missing out on the many (yes many!) people who don’t use Twitter yet. You can become the best and most prolific guest writer in history, but you won’t attract people who aren’t reading the blogs you’re guesting on.
And that bring us back around to the title – Balance is the secret to blogging success. You don’t need to adopt my method, or even my key tasks, but do ensure that you balance out your own key tasks in your day to day work.

Mike CJ is a full time professional blogger. His blog is designed to help new and learning bloggers, with a passion for writing, to achieve a long term sustainable income from blogging.

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  • Nathan Hangen

    Great post Mike. It is easy to get distracted by a single project and forget about everything else. I try to remember to focus on that which already makes me money, followed by that which will. It is definitely a tough balance to achieve…still working on it!
    .-= Nathan Hangen´s last blog ..Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success =-.

  • Mike CJ

    Ohhh! My guest post is live on @nhangen ‘s site. Please say hello there.

  • Mike CJ

    Thanks for the opportunity to guest post on here Nathan. I’ll be around if anybody has any questions or comments.
    .-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..How to Connect with your Audience =-.

  • Kevin Tea

    Mike, interesting post, I guess you are saying we have to be focused, yet flexible, what the old Tao masters described as Wu Wei! Challening but inspiring post as usual.

  • Robert Bravery

    Mike, You hit the nail on the head. We DO tend to concentrate on those things we are good at or enjoy. Couple that with any other responsibilities you might have. I do website design and development, as well as custom programmin, and support. I need a 36 hour day. It is just too easy, with a larger work load or tight schedulle to drop those things you don’t enjoy. WE, I, use the BUSY excuse to justify.
    Commenting on other blogs and guest posting is the tough one for me. Being so busy it is easy to let those balls drop. Because we THINK they are not drectly connected to us or directly influence us. But they do and they will.
    Here is to better blog planning.
    .-= Robert Bravery´s last blog ..If restaurants functioned like Microsoft…. =-.

  • Robert Bravery

    Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success from: @nhangen

  • Zemalf

    Good tips Mike – I like planning and scheduling my own activities too, as that keeps me focused. I don’t have hourly or daily targets thou, as I don’t want/can’t commit myself on a hourly level. But I do plan a monthly and weekly schedule into Google Calendar based on the long-term strategy I have set out for myself.

    I do a weekly review and break down the the upcoming week to a task list, a bit like your list there Mike, and I go through that task list on flexible schedule, but always targeting to get’em all done during that week.
    .-= Zemalf´s last blog ..Why Most Blogs Look Butt-Ugly! =-.

  • Antti Kokkonen

    @mikecj Liked your guest post here: Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success from: @nhangen

  • Devon Dudgeon

    Very interesting. This approach applies to more than just blogging. You are right, it is very easy to spend more time on the things we enjoy or are good at. That probably explains why I’m behind on my invoicing!

    I think this post is also shows the hard work that goes into full-time blogging. I use my blog to support my business, rather than as a source of income in and of itself, but this is still very useful for me. Thanks!
    .-= Devon Dudgeon´s last blog ..The importance of tone of voice =-.

  • Mike CJ

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Here’s another little tip for you:

    “Reward” yourself for time on crap jobs, with time on good ones!

    Devon – an hour’s invoicing gets you an hour on Twitter! How would that work?
    .-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..How to Connect with your Audience =-.

  • Mike CJ

    Ohhh! My guest post is live on @nhangen ‘s site. Please say hello there.

  • Tschet

    Good tips, thanks. I’m working on one of those projects that deserves a very big reward.
    .-= Tschet´s last blog ..The Ironically Named =-.

  • Roberta

    Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success from: @nhangen

  • Roberta

    good advice– moderation and balance are the keys– neither one of which is my strong suit I am afraid–I tend to get very passionate about what I do like and to just procrastinate and put off what I don’t–I like the part about dividing the day up into two hour sessions with breaks in between– ok I guess it’s moderation, balance and self discipline that are the keys. I’m workin on it:-)
    .-= Roberta´s last blog ..My Experience With Socialized Medicine =-.

  • Nathan Hangen

    #Webrepreneur Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success: Today’s guest post is by Mike CJ, a friend ..

  • Gordie Rogers

    Wow! Mike, you sure do get around the blogosphere. Between, interviews and guest posts on top of your own blogs, you seem to be doing a pretty decent job of balancing your time.

    How many comments on other blogs do you leave on average per day/week? Do you think it has a significant affect on traffic directly or indirectly?

    Welcome to Twitter12, brother!
    .-= Gordie Rogers´s last blog ..Interview: Brian Armstrong Talks About His Newly Launched =-.

  • Roberta

    RT @lyleses07: RT @pinkpackrat: Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success from: @nhangen

  • Frieda Babbley

    RT @pinkpackrat: RT @lyleses07: RT @pinkpackrat: Balance – The Secret to Blogging Success from: @nhangen

  • valentina

    Hey Mike,

    Great post. I like how you parsed the different types of activities/tasks that typically a bloggers needs to pay attention to. I like to write so find myself guilty of leaving most of the others out. It is easily done as for me at least, writing takes up the bulk of my time allotted to this business. Also, I am still very much a student of blogging/internet marketing so schedule time for studying/course implementation and so on.

    Continued success …………valentina
    .-= valentina´s last blog ..Time Managment =-.

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