Thursday, 20 March 2014

Avoid the Cardinal Sin of Over Production

                                Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I read somewhere a great way to grow your blog is by producing new content every single day for a whole year. So I set out a couple of months ago to do just that. At first I was charging along like gangbusters, and then slowly my production trailed off. It was Every other day. Then a couple of times a week. I just couldn't maintain the pace.

For me this little thing called life keeps getting in my way, mostly my day job, but the family keeps on insisting on getting in the way as well. Pretty soon what started out as an exciting form of expression became an overwhelming burden. It just wasn't fun anymore.

Then I stumbled upon an article by Derek Halpern called Why Bloggers Fail and it was like a huge weight was lifted off my back. Apparently you don't have to die of exhaustion to create a successful blog. Who knew?

Derek talks about three common time wasters that suck the life out of Newbie bloggers. Can you guess what time waster number one is? You guessed it! Too much content. Granted you have to have a significant amount of content to attract visitors in the first place, but once you've got to this point it's time to spend more time on effectively promoting your existing contenting, rather than churning out article after article on the blogging conveyor belt.

I've got to say, this article really reinforced what I was already starting to believe. There really is such a thing as too much. This isn't to say you suddenly stop posting and the readers will come. This isn't field of dreams, and  I don't know about you but I'm not Kevin Costner. 

But you need to produce valuable content that contributes something new. Don't just keep producing the same old stuff with a new coat of paint. Pretty soon you'll come across like the teacher in the Snoopy cartoons (Wa, Wa, Wa, Wa, Wa,WAWAWA) and no one will be following you.

Work on producing quality content and only publish your posts once you've taken the time to do it right. Would you rather produce sub par blog posts every single day, or two or three posts a week that really capture your readers attention? The answer is obvious, and I for one am adopting this new approach.

So as you're now taking two or three days to work on each article in order to produce better content, what do you do with the rest of the time you normally devote to your blog? As Derek suggests, put more time into promotion.

Not through Twitter or Facebook, but by engaging with others in the Blogging community. You know you've got valuable content, now it's time to introduce yourself to other like-minded individuals. Read other blogs, especially within your niche, and leave comments on a regular basis when you have something relevant to contribute. It all makes so much sense!

"Oh Brave new world that has such things in it!" Onwards and upwards and all that. Think about the Mom and Pop Hamburger joint. It might have the best food in the area, but if no one knows it's there it will be a complete failure. They've got all the major things they need on the menu, now it's time to get the word out. Adding Poutine, or Chili fries won't grow their business, promotion will!

So now that you've developed a decent menu of blog posts get out there and promote yourself. If you're going to add a new menu item, take your time and do it right. Good luck, and please let me know how this works out for you. Don't forget to check out Derek's article, it really is an inspiration.