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!