I’m really excited about this week’s guest post. Today Tristan from Blogging Bookshelf discusses eight core principles to building a successful blog. I enjoyed this post because it gives a number of lessons that you can use to combine blogging with a whole lot of passion. Take it away Tristan…
Having a blog as a business is the ultimate lifestyle-enabling goal for a lot of people, and it’s understandable. I mean, how great would it be to just write a post once a week, sit back, and let the traffic and dollars flow in while you’re relaxing on a beach in Thailand? Pretty great, right?
Well, while it’s true that there are some bloggers who manage to do just that, the reality is much harsher and doesn’t involve nearly as many sunny beaches.
Maintaining a blog can be a very stressful experience. You’re expected to write quality content time after time while trying to get as many people to read your blog as possible while building quality relationships with your readers and other bloggers. That’s a lot to juggle! But if you do it right, blogging can be more of a stress-free experience. Below are 8 tips to help you out.
1. Blog about what you enjoy
This is simultaneously the most basic and most essential point here. All of the work required for maintaining a successful blog won’t seem like work if you blog about something you love. As cliché as it is, if you aren’t blogging about something you’re passionate about, your blog won’t get far. You’ll have trouble staying psyched enough to write quality content. It’ll be hard for you to spend a lot of time promoting your site. You’ll lose interest and will end up quitting, having wasted a lot of the time in the process.
2. Have a list of topics to write about
“Crap, I haven’t written tomorrow’s post yet! What should I write about?” Sound familiar?
Scrounging around at the last minute for post topics is a sure-fire way to give yourself a hemorrhage. You can eliminate this problem entirely, however, if you keep an idea notebook.
Steve has stressed the importance of his idea notebook many times before and I couldn’t agree with him more. Having one centralized place that contains all of your post ideas is essential for a stress-free blogging experience because it means you don’t have to constantly be scrounging for ideas. Just have the notebook with you at all times and write down those sudden bursts of inspiration that you have. When the time comes to write a new post, you’ll have plenty of ideas to choose from.
3. Schedule posts for future dates
Write your posts ahead of time and schedule them to be posted at a future date (this is an option in all WordPress and Blogger blogs). This alleviates the stress of having to get something out the door fast for tomorrow. This also gives you time to think of new things to add to your posts. Even if you don’t add anything else, you should re-read your post before it goes live to catch any mistakes and make sure there’s nothing you need to change.
4. Have others work for you
You don’t always have to be the one doing all the work, you know. There are two main options for having other people write posts or promote your blog, and Steve does both of them here. The first is outsourcing. Steve has mentioned this multiple times before, so I won’t go into detail here (see below for some of Steve’s previous posts on the subject). It’s enough to say that you can have other people do the work you don’t want to do, whatever that may be:
Steve on outsourcing:
- Three Outsourcing Services I Highly Recommend
- 8 Tips for Hiring the Perfect Outsource Worker
- A Tale of Two Outsourcers
The second option for having other people do your work for you is having guest authors on your blog. Guest posting is great because it benefits everyone involved. It’s great for you because you get content for free and don’t have to worry about one more post. It’s great for the guest poster because he/she gets traffic back to his/her own site. And it’s great for your blog’s readers because they get to see a different perspective.
5. Take a break when you need to
If you’re feeling stressed, stop doing the thing that’s stressing you out! This applies as well to blogging as anything else. If you’re overwhelmed and overloaded from blogging, stop blogging for a week. Or if one particular task is stressing you out (if you’ve spent all day working on your ebook, for example), take a break for 15 minutes or 30 minutes or an hour or two and do something else. Go exercise or enjoy a nice meal. You’ll be ready to attack your task with renewed zeal when you return!
6. Do something every day
One of the biggest causes of stress is procrastination. Putting off that epic post till the night before you promised it is bad form, will stress you out, and will result in a sub-par post. If you’ve got big projects that are weighing down on you, chip away at them a little bit every day. This way you’ll get them done on time, you won’t be stressed, and the quality of your content won’t suffer.
7. Write a lot when you’re feeling it
Sometimes you’re just in the zone, are excited about your blog and you’re niche, and feel like you could write for ever. Great! Keep writing, then! When you’re feeling it, write as much as you can. Then you can schedule the posts (remember tip #3?) for a future date and time. Ta-da! Stress reduced!
8. Use passive traffic strategies
Some traffic strategies are better than others as far as long term traffic streams are concerned. For example, guest posting on other blogs is great for getting immediate traffic and building relationships, but you won’t get much traffic back from those comments in the long term. Some more passive (that is, do them once and forget about them but still get traffic from them) traffic strategies include posting videos on YouTube and articles on Ezine Articles.
Over to You…
These 8 strategies have worked well for me in the past, but they’re not the only ones out there that work. What has helped you reduce stress in your blogging? What additional steps can we all take to make our blogging lifestyle more relaxing-on-the-sunny-beach and less I-want-to-stab-myself-in-the-face?
Steve’s Note: Tristan recently launched Blogging Bookshelf, where he dispenses smart blogging tips for smart people. Be sure to subscribe to the Blogging Bookshelf newsletter to get your FREE copy of 101 Ways You’re Killing Your Blog.
Also, as a reminder I do a guest post almost every Thursday. If you’re interested in writing an article for this site, send a message to this email address: stevescottsite[at]gmail[dot]com.Take Action. Get Results.