The Secrets to Long-Term Blogging Success [Part 2]

Okay, we’re going to continue our discussion of how to build a blog that has long-term success.  In yesterday’s post I covered the process of creating content for your website.  Specifically, I described the importance of having a strategic mindset when it comes to regularly publishing articles on your blog.

So what are we covering today?

Well, in this post I’m going to reveal the productivity tactics I’ve used to build two successful online businesses.  While I haven’t technically achieved “success” with this blog, I’m currently implementing the following techniques to grow my business and move a little bit closer toward this goal.

So let’s talk about productivity…

#6- Time Blocking

Right now, I want you to get out a piece of paper and write down the time you spend on your blog each week.  I know it might be varied, but it’s important to get a rough estimate of your work output.

Once you know this figure, you should get out another piece of paper (or open an Excel file) and create a weekly to-do list.  To help you out, I recommend you check out this video post on how to make a to-do list.

I know, I know…You’ve probably tried this before.

What’s different about my to-do list is the concept of “time blocking.”  Here, you’re going to create a task-based list of the things that you need to do for your blog.

For instance, I separate my time into 45 minute time blocks.  And depending on what’s happening in my life, I’ll do anywhere from 20 to 60 tasks in a given week.

It really doesn’t matter how much time you designate towards each individual block.  The important thing is to pick a number and stick with it.

Now once you have a set time length, go through the tasks that you do on a regular basis and group them together into basic tasks.  All of which should add up to the total amount that you spend working on your blog each week.

As an example, I block out my time according to a few basic categories:

  • Content creation
  • Twitter/Blog Commenting
  • Outsourcing Activities
  • Weekly Tasks
  • Long-Term Income

Each of these requires a different strategy and mindset.  That’s why it’s important to separate them into specific sections.

Again, I want to recommend using a weekly to-do list.  This is one of those techniques that’s helped me stay focused enough to create a six-figure income with my online businesses.

#7- Limit Your Time

It’s taken me five years to realize something…

Success doesn’t come from working harder.  It comes from working smarter.

Yes, I know the world is full of people who bust their hump and make tons of money.  But I would rather work really hard for a brief period of time, then sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

As you’re creating your weekly to-do list, I want you to keep something in mind- Limit the time you spend on your blog. By putting a cap on your time you’ll become more efficient in what you can achieve.

Look at it this way. Let’s say I told you to write a 1,000 word article in one week.  Most people would wait to the last minute to finish it.  On the other hand, if I asked you to finish it by the end of the day, your average motivated person could easily do this.

With this example, I didn’t magically create more time.  Instead, I simply lit a fire under your ass and created a situation where you didn’t have the chance to procrastinate.

My basic point is this.  Limiting your time is a way to make sure that you focus only on the critical tasks that help grow your blog.  By strictly following this technique you’ll become a lean, mean, blogging machine.

#8- Focus on Long-Term Profits

One of the traps I’ve fallen into with this blog is spending too much time on content creation and not enough on growth activities that produce long-term profits.

Like I mentioned before, you want to set aside time blocks dedicated to long-term growth.  What do I mean by this?  Well, there are a number of individual tasks that can help you take a ‘hobby blog’ and transform it into a ‘success blog.’

To get started, I recommend you take another piece of paper.  Then find a quiet place somewhere isolated and brainstorm different ways you can grow your blog.  (Here’s an article where I discuss my method for brainstorming.)

I know this can be challenging for a lot of folks.  So I’ll help ya out a little…  The following are a few projects and tasks that are on my list of long-term growth activities:

  • Creating a dedicated sales pages for an affiliate product
  • Writing and submitting autoresponder emails
  • Outsourcing a graphic I’ll put at the end of each article to increase RSS feed subscriptions
  • Outsourcing a “lightbox” that promotes my Life Mastery eBook whenever someone first visits this site
  • Researching and implementing various WordPress plugins
  • Creating a strategic battle plan for increasing my web traffic
  • Writing an opt-in page for my Life Mastery eBook

Now this was just a brief sampling of the activities I’m using to build up this blog.  The basic gist of this list is I focus on three activities:

  1. Building a loyal list of followers
  2. Increasing web traffic
  3. Turning this traffic into profit

Don’t skip this step.  In fact, I highly recommend that you continuously add tasks to this list and look for different ways you can grow your blog.

Overall, I recommend you dedicate at least 25% of your time toward growth activities.  Obviously, you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of your content to reach this figure.  But you should spend a lot of your time on fundamental activities that produce long-term success.

#9- One Project at a Time

I’m going to throw another rule at you…

When it comes to your blog, focus on one project at a time.

For instance, let’s say you want to create a lead magnet to increase your newsletter subscription rates.  My advice is to spend all of your “long-term tasks” on this one project.  Then when it’s finished, you move on to the next one.

There’s a reason why I recommend doing things this way.  It’s human nature to try doing everything at once.  The problem is it’s really hard for most people to handle many tasks at the same time.  By focusing on one project, you’ll be able to finish things in an extremely efficient manner.

#10- Task Blocking

In a previous section, I spoke of time blocking.  Now I want to discuss the concept of “task blocking.”

With this technique, you’ll group similar activities together in a logical format.  The idea here is you’ll save a lot of time by doing routine tasks all at once.

As an example, I task block a number of activities:

  • Brainstorming content ideas for the upcoming week
  • Doing keyword research on Google Adwords for each article
  • Selecting and uploading images
  • Creating blog content (Usually this is separated into 3 or 4 weekly task blocks)
  • Organizing and scheduling my posts for each week
  • Coming up with additional tasks to pass on to my outsource workers.

When it comes to personal productivity, task blocking is a great way to maximize your time.  Instead of spending five minutes each day doing a routine task, you could spend 15 or 20 one time a week to finish this “mini-project.”

Final Thoughts…

It’s taken me more than five years to come up with these techniques.  And in all likelihood, these will drastically change in another five years.  For now, I can honestly say these tactics help me work in a relatively efficient, productive manner.

The one thing I hope you’ve learned from this article is it’s incredibly important to create a strategic plan for your productivity.  In my opinion, the reason most people don’t succeed with an online business is they’re simply unable to create a blueprint that mixes day-to-day activities with long-term growth.

I can honestly say that I’m not that smart.  And I don’t work that hard.  Really, the only difference is I’m pretty good at making plans and taking massive action.

Now with that said…

In the next lesson, we’re going to cover a topic that was suggested by one of the readers of this site- How to Make a Blog Business Plan.  In particular, I’m going to explore the concept of mind mapping.

As I close out this lesson, I want to hear your thoughts about this article (and the one I’m about to write).  What are your secrets to personal productivity?  Did I miss anything here?  Have you created a blog business plan?  If so, what did you include in it?

Please comment below…

Take Action. Get Results.

6 thoughts on “The Secrets to Long-Term Blogging Success [Part 2]”

  1. Great article, Steve. I’ve actually already discovered some of the inout there for myself over the years (#’s 6, 9, and 10, specifically), and #’s 7 and 8 are indeed top priority goals of mine at the moment. Really great suggestions throughout as well.
    .-= Fitness Philippines´s last blog ..UFC 114 REVIEW PART 3: THE PRELIMS =-.

  2. Time management and Discipline! There’s so much to say about these principles, isn’t it?

    The “One Project at a Time” very much applies to me. I’m thankful for the fact that I get a lot of ideas, but the downside of that is that I land up jumping into too many ideas at one time.

    I fully agree with you that a blueprint that mixes day-to-day activities with long-term growth is so very important. I think it is the #1 factor towards success. It’s all about seeing the big picture first!

    .-= Mark @ Secrets of Success´s last blog ..Snore away to success! =-.

  3. Thanks Noel! All of these have helped me develop this blog to this point and will hopefully really work now that I’m focusing on the process of monetization.

  4. Awesome! I have learned a lot already!

    If you have clicked through to my blog, you might have discovered that my blog isn’t exactly professionl or monetizeable. I gues it is because I’m focsing more on inspiration and art, than teachable subjects. I want to move more into the area of personal development and self-realization. I hope to learn a lot from your next post! 😀

    If I could ask for one thing in return; can you give me some advice? Should I continue with the current blog and trasform it (I have around 200 followers and 100 hits daily), or should I start completely over with a new URL and blog?
    .-= Marthe´s last blog ..Sensing Owls =-.

    • I honestly enjoyed a lot of the stuff on your site. I think it has some excellent content, especially some of the photographs that you’ve showcased and used from your travels.

      Now take my advice with a grain of salt… I think you should keep the blog that you’re using. People want to connect with “real people” and you have a lot of your personality on your site. But I would find a way that you can focus on something that’s monetizable.

      There’s nothing wrong with having a site about your personal experiences. But if you want to earn money with it, then a lot of time has to be spent on the “business” sides of things.

      Hope this helps!

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