How To “Grow” Your Blog

How to prioritize your workload as a business blogger.

Admit it, it’s a bit mind-boggling to try and keep ahead of all the things you have to do when you first start blogging. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and working out how best to approach the daunting task of keeping up to date with everything. There are so many things to consider – designing your blog, keeping it current, adding plug-ins, commenting, and driving traffic to it from other areas.

I’ve had some ideas…

Think about running a successful blog in the same way as maintaining a garden. This might seem a weird analogy, but the principles are the same. The successful gardener doesn’t jump in and plant everything all at once – they step back and consider how to keep the space current all year round, and work accordingly. So, using this analogy, here’s how to prioritize your workload and keep your blog fresh and current…

Landscaping

You can save time and effort in the long run by planning the design of your blog carefully. Scope out what you want to achieve with it. Think about things like who your readers are likely to be, what they might want to see, and what will prove to be eye-catching and interesting to your potential audience. Just like a landscape designer, you need to keep the purpose of your blog in mind throughout the planning process. By establishing these simple elements from the outset, you can reduce time and effort later as your blog takes shape.

Planting seeds

Sprout

Just like gardening, blogging takes careful preparation. Ideas that you sow early on may take time to flourish and ‘take root’. Sowing seeds such as customer engagement, good communication and great service may seem fruitless initially, but these are the cornerstones of great blogging. The work you put in at the beginning will reap rewards in the end. Don’t forget these softer elements when it comes to running your blog.

Manage your time, manage your workload

Like a gardener has a diary, so you need a set routine to commit to blogging well. Think about the times of day you are most creative, and when you produce your best work. Keep this time separate, dedicated to your posts. From there, you can work out a schedule that suits you. For example, set down half an hour a day for posting comments to other sites, half an hour for networking and driving traffic to your blog, and half an hour for design and optimization. If you were working in a garden, you’d pick afternoons for easier tasks, and tackle the more onerous jobs first. Blogging is the same – you know your own work rhythm, and can work around this to make the most of your time.

Bring in the experts

The online world is full of brilliant people who know more than you do about specific parts of your new business. Just as a gardener outsources some elements of their work (such as bricklaying, design and architecture), so a blogger needn’t be afraid of leaning on other people.

If you’re not keen on writing, get a reputable person or company to undertake that part for you. If the thought of doing technical enhancements makes you run for cover, bring in an expert to do it for you. You’re not expected to be brilliant at everything in the blogging mix – so, be brilliant at delegating, instead!

Have you found anything that helps you to stay ahead of the competition, and use your time wisely? Let me know!

11 thoughts on “How To “Grow” Your Blog”

  1. Yaro Starak, who coined the term Pillar Article, usually suggests around 1,500 words for a Pillar Article. They can be as long as you like really but often around 1,500 will be enough time to explain your article fully and provide enough content to be a valuable resource on your blog.
    Indexing is a difficult question, I've literally seen it happen in 15 minutes, and other times days. It all depends on how well optimized your post is, do you have sitemap and pinging plugins setup in WordPress and finally on how important the search engine thinks your content is.
    I'm not an expert on article directories I'm afraid, I don't use that method of marketing myself (perhaps I should start) so am not aware of any trusted sources of info on them I'm afraid.

  2. I agree with Andrew, it won't be classed as duplicate content but will be classed as non-unique although personally I have a feeling you are penalized slightly for that. Some of the reading I've done is that some people believe it shares out some of the “link juice” between the articles and waters down the ranking of the original article.
    So as Andrew says, changing the article would be the best idea, this is often what article spinner programs do, some are terrible but apparently there are a few that produce great results – you choose which words to replace and what selection of words to replace it with and then the software will change it for you. Never used them myself but a lot of people ask me about them so I might investigate for another post.

  3. I have added the page “Articles” this morning to my team fund raising website http://www.teamboosters.com. I will hyperlink my best Pillar Blog posts on this page (not all of my posts) Three new questions for the experts; How many words should a Pillar Article contain at a minimum? and assuming my post get indexed pretty rapidly, how long do I need to wait? and finally, is there a good article directly list that comes from a trusted resource?

    Many thanks,
    Jeff

  4. I'm sure Joel will respond but I wanted to share my thoughts…it's not a mistake and it is not classed as duplicate content but make sure the blog post is indexed on your blog in the search engines before you do it…that way your blog post is indexed first. The only thing is Google won't see it as unique…they will know it is published elsewhere but you are not penalised.

    SO…it is better to change the blog post before you submit it to the article directories. Change the title, first and last sentences – at least and that will help.

    Andrew

  5. Joel,

    Re: Managing my time. My best investment has been a whiteboard. I write on the board what I want to achieve each week and each day and tick them off as I go. It helps me focus.

    Andrew

  6. Joel,
    I first found you in Yaro's forum. I have a question about duplicate content and article marketing.
    Would you ever take the same content that you use in your own post (like this one) and release it to the article directories pointing back to your blog? or is that a mistake and duplicate content?

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