In his book Get in the Van, Henry Rollins, frontman for the legendary punk band Black Flag, talks about how he would destroy his voice on stage every night giving it his all. He mentions that his bandmates would encourage him to pace himself by working smarter, not harder, on stage. The idea was that by pacing himself, he could last longer on their rigorous touring schedule and perform better during shows.
When reading this, I couldn’t help but think of how perfectly this applies to blogging. Like touring, blogging is a non-stop, year-round activity. Sure, there might be some days off here and there, but you can’t stay away from it for too long or you’ll lose momentum and people will begin forgetting who you are.
With that in mind, you have to learn how to work smarter as a blogger. If you want to keep growing your blog and stay passionate about blogging for years to come, you need to learn to pace yourself. You need to learn how to get more done in less time.
How can you work smarter, not harder, for better blogging results?
- Know what you’re going to write about ahead of time—When I first started blogging, I wasted so much time staring at the monitor trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. These days, I write down post ideas as they come to me. That way, whenever it comes time to start writing, I have some ideas already laid out. All I have to do is choose one and run with it.
- Get feedback regarding future topics from your readers—Who better to tell you what to write about than your readers? Ask them what topics they’d like to see you cover. This will generate a nice list of ideas you can pull from, and it ensures your readers are getting content they want.
- Build up a strong promotional network—Promoting posts is one of the most time-consuming parts of blogging. You may be able to crank out a post in 20-30 minutes, but to drive traffic to it could take several hours of hard work. That’s why I’ve built up a strategic network of people who can help me promote my content when I ask for it. I help them whenever they need it, and they return the favor. By aligning yourself with social media influencers, you can spread your message much further with a whole lot less effort.
- Realize that every piece isn’t linkbait gold—You can’t go all out promoting every single post you write. It’ll take too much effort, and frankly, people will start to get sick of you. I mix in some evergreen content here and there to carry me from one piece of linkbait to the next. This way, I don’t wear out my promotional network, and we can put a more concentrated effort on promoting the true pieces of linkbait every couple weeks or so.
- Utilize guest bloggers—I’ve written quite a bit on the subject of guest blogging in the past, including a post about reasons to accept guest posts on your blog. One of the best reasons is that it gives you a break from writing content.
- Set specific goals for your blog—Blogging without goals is like wandering around aimlessly not knowing where you want to go. Goals keep you focused, preventing you from wasting time on things that yield no results. And they give you something to measure your efforts again to see how effective your hard work really is.
What are some of your tips for being a smarter-working blogger? Share them by leaving a comment.