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Efficient Blogging – Lessons from Elite Athletes

Posted By Darren Rowse 20th of March 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Asafa-PowellTangent Time: Here in Melbourne the Commonwealth Games have been on for the last 5 or so days and I’ve been fortunate enough to get along to three sessions so far (Rugby 7s, Hockey and last night the Athletics). We’ll be heading to another Athletics session later in the week. Of course I’ve also watched my fair share of the coverage on TV as I’m a bit of a sports nut.

One of the things that I’m always fascinated with when it comes to many elite athletes is how effortless they look when they are performing at their peak.

We saw Asafa Powell (current 100m world record holder – pictured left) run last night (twice) and while other athletes strived and strained to keep up with him he almost seemed to jog past them.

I noticed this same thing as I watched a number of Australian swimmers on TV yesterday – their strokes allowed them to almost effortlessly glide through the water in an incredibly smooth manner.

As I’ve been pondering this over the last few days I’ve come to the conclusion (after a few conversations with friends and after listening to a few insightful commentators) that what seems to set these elite athletes apart from those a rung below them is their efficiency and ability to make each exertion of energy translate into maximum power.

In a sense it’s an incredibly finely tuned focussing of energy into the things that will lead to maximum output.

As I watched the athletics tonight, pondering these thoughts, my mind wandered to blogging… just for a few moments… as it does. I wondered what I could learn from these elite athletes efficiency and focus.

As I look at my own experience of blogging (as well as what I observe of others) I can see that one of the traps that many aspiring Pro Bloggers fall into is to focus heavily upon elements of blogging that don’t bring results.

My own philosophy of blogging for profit is a holistic one where a blogger needs to work on a range of areas simultaneously in order to build a successful blog. These areas include the writing of content, blog design, promotion, interacting with readers, interacting with other bloggers, Search Engine Optimization, finding and optimizing the right ad and affiliate programs etc etc etc. From what I know of talking to friends that are athletes – they do a similar thing by working simultaneously on strength work, reflexes, diet, flexibility, endurance etc…

All of these elements of blogging (and more) add to the potential profitability of a blog but concentrating on any one of them exclusively, ignoring the others, can hurt a blog’s ability to earn money. Fine tuning this balance doesn’t just happen (any more than getting your body to the point of being able to run 100m in under 10 seconds) – but as you do tune your blogging you find that your efficiency levels get better and better and the ‘effortless glide’ that many elite athletes seem to have begins to take effect.

That’s not to say that good bloggers just glide and don’t work hard (It’s a lot of hard work) – rather what I’m saying is that as you get the balance and focus of your blogging right you begin to see greater results from your efforts.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Darren, what a great metaphor you are using. I totally agree with you that building a blog is just like an athlete trying to train up his body to win the match.

    In blogging, first of all we have to train up our writing skills, then we must build a blogging rhythm that suitalble for our time management. Last but not least is marketing – how we get readers to our blog to read what we written. In marketing, there really a lot to do and there are no such thing like right or wrong. Maybe certain strategies work for others but not for us. So we must test until we find the results that work best for our blog. In all these processes, we need perseverance and passions like those athletes to keep us going.

    Blogging really change my life. After blogging, everyday I spend at least 30 minutes for jogging which I never do before. After jogging I feel fresh and I have a lot of idea for my blogging. I really like the feeling. I think this is because I have the PASSIONS in blogging.

  • This is a very important post Darren and something I have been very conscious of myself the past couple of weeks. Perhaps you could expand on this in further posts.

    By the way what happened to Aaron Brazell being a regular columist on Pro Blogger?

  • Pingback: Can You Become Good at Everything? - Erik Vossman tries to find the answer »Blog Archive » Problogger’s Efficient Post()

  • Declan – he’s done one post per week since I announced it – that’s the level we’re starting him off on. He’s set this week’s post to go live on the site this Wednesday.

    His posts are here and here

  • Thanks for that Darren.

    Looking forward to his next post along the lines of what you have alluded to. I seriously need a ‘personal trainer’ to whip my blog into shape.

  • off topic, I’ve been watching a lot of the commonwealth games from the comfort of my sofa over the last week (combination of the time of day its broadcast here in the UK and the fact that I’ve been unwell) but I’ve not managed to spot you in the audience yet! :D

    Glad to hear you’ve been able to get along to some of the events, my wife and I tried to get tickets 4 years ago when the event was held in Manchester, but only got tickets for the opening ceremony. It was something of a lucky dip as to how the tickets were distributed across all those that wanted to attend.

    Nice post btw, you are the master at being able to go off on tangents and then pull it back into focus.


  • Hi Darren,
    Having been a personal trainer for over 12 years now, I am still fascinated when top level athletes “show their stuff”. What you and I see are the cream of the crop, and their training has progressed to a point where they are now “peaking” for this event. They have spent years “tweaking” with their training, diets, recovery, and possibly supplements. Experience has paid off.

    So how does this relate to you? You have spent hours modifying your sites, “tweaking” and “testing”. You have learned what works and what doesn’t, plus you continue to learn like the athlete trains.

    If I could blog as well as I train…I’d be a champion money maker.

    Take care…and go exercise!

  • Amazing how you can relate blogging to athletics. We Jamaicans are very proud of Asafa. There’s a post on my blog about Melbourne 2006 for those who wish to read.