In this post Mara Rogers of http://www.SecretsForMoney.info shares a reflective exercise to help you grow your blog.
To be objective about his or her blog tends to be a challenge for most bloggers.
Often bloggers are in love with the ‘idea’ of their blog, so taking an impartial look at the overall ‘health’ of their blog is difficult.
Yet for continued blog growth and success a blogger must have consistent clarity!
You must take an account of where your blog has advanced and where it has declined—its strengths and weaknesses—and review it often.
At http://www.SecretsForMoney.info I am relentless when it comes to taking a cold, hard look at my blog so I encourage its successful growth. Sometimes my strategy has to change and I have to re-prioritize my action steps several times during each day, depending on what has been working and what has not during a specific timeline.
And no, that doesn’t come easy, it is tough-love.
So, I have a game to share with you that will make your time of it easier and more fun! It is a tool that life-coaches give to their clients when the client needs to gain perspective in a specific area of his/her life.
I have used this game very successfully with bloggers. You too will be surprised by the variety of answers you will come up with, and after all, bloggers are typically extremely creative.
Many of the bloggers felt it was as if they had looked into a crystal ball and were given a glimpse of their past and present, and a prediction for the future of their blog.
Try this game that will give you a neutral and accurate analysis of your blog, so you know what your next strategic action steps should be to grow your blog more efficiently and faster.
Take a leap of faith—this game is an analytical tool that works!
Here we go: Picture your blog as a rose garden and you are the gardener of this garden.
- What does your rose garden look like?
- What are you doing or experiencing as the Gardener?
Depending on what you answered to these important questions, I will then give you some strategies to grow your blog during nature’s seasons.
Do not read further until you type or jot down what specific images you got in your minds-eye when you answered these two questions above.
Let yourself have a stream of consciousness, do not edit your responses. Be detailed, draw a picture if you want, no one sees your answers or picture but you.
Remember, all the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday.
Now, you can read on—
(1) What does your rose garden look like?
If you answered this question with any of these following answers:
- There are not many rose plants in my garden.
- There are rose plants, but they are not very tall or full with roses.
- The rose plants are withering and/or drooping.
- There are rose plants but not many rose blossoms on them.
- There are rose plants with blossoms, but the blossoms are tightly-closed none of them are open.
- Some of the rose plants look diseased.
- My rose garden seems to be too much in the shade/too much in the sun so it isn’t growing well.
Then my advice to grow your blog is:
It is time to break new ground!
In general, your blog is not growing now.
Cultivate your blog so that it flourishes.
Here are some ways to grow your blog that when done consistently over time yield successful results.
Stats: First you must know what you have planted and monitor its growth. In other words, on a daily basis review your blog/site stats.
The stats reveal to you what steps you must take—what is working to gain interest for your blog from visitors and what traffic and stickiness does your blog have—and what is not working — what you need to work on.
The stats should show you:
- What are the top posts and pages.
- What are the most active posts.
- Who are your referrers (what links were clicked to get to your blog).
- What search engine terms did people use to get to your blog.
- What are your incoming links.
- What links people are clicking on within your blog.
- What are the total views of your blog.
- What are the number of views today of your blog.
- What is the busiest day to-date for your blog.
Content: You need to increase the amount of content you have. From your stats and comments from your visitors you can glean what people visiting your blog resonated with. Whatever that is, do more of it!
And if they are asking for topics in their comments and emails to you that are topics that are appropriate for your blog niche then write those posts too.
You can also check-out the subject of your blog and your blog posts against the “2008 Google Zeitgeist” http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2008/ to read about the highlights of Google searches from around the world, which sheds light on emerging trends and much more.
In addition, “Google Trends” http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends tells you what keywords people are searching for on a daily basis.
Promotion: To increase traffic to your blog I am going to share some steps that for the front-end amount of time you have to put in, the back-end results are very good and effective. Please know that these are just a few, always be on the lookout for way to promote your blog and keep a running list so that you stay accountable for improving your blog’s visibility.
(a) Distribute online videos to multiple sites. Be certain that your Blog name and URL is in the accompanying text description and in the video too of course. I have heard very good feedback on the free service “TubeMogul” http://www.tubemogul.com though at the time of this article pub date I have not personally used it yet.
(b) Submit some of your articles to “Article Directories”, also called “Article Banks.” If you Google the term you will find lists of such sites. There is even software available nowadays that you can use that help in the submission process. Do some due diligence before buying any software first though, you may decide to do it manually.
(c) Look for automatic ways for promotion that work while you sleep. One example is creating a page for your and your blog on “Facebook” http://www.Facebook.com and import your blog posts as notes. You will see the “how-to” behind this once you are a Facebook member.
(2) What are you doing or experiencing as the Gardener?
If you answered this question with any of these following answers:
- When I walk through my rose garden, it seems that there are thorns everywhere.
- When I walk through my rose garden, all I see are weeds, they appear to be strangling my roses.
- Too many leaves are falling of the rose plants, I don’t know what is wrong.
- The roses are growing so quickly I can’t keep up with their care.
- The weather forecast looks bad for my rose garden.
- I work the soil of my rose garden all the time and take great care of my roses constantly.
- I don’t know what variety of roses to grow, or what colors.
- I am not sure how much to water my rose garden.
- I am not sure how much sunshine my rose garden needs.
- I am unhappy with how my garden looks. Maybe it needs more variety of rose plants, or more colorful rose plants.
Then my advice to grow your blog is:
Be land-rich not poor as dirt!
Overall, you are probably a little overwhelmed with the demands and upkeep of running a blog. If your blog is monetized, then you have a business. And grooming a business for success is no easy task.
As the saying goes, you are digging yourself into a hole. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the turn-of-phrase).
You need to take a pause, a breather—not only to re-energize your self, but also to have a chance to re-evaluate the direction your blog is going.
If you are moving at warp speed there is no way you are making clear decisions, and you may be wasting a lot of time on tasks that are not top priority, that is the slow way to grow a blog, and the slow way to wealth of any type.
To that, you will probably say “I can’t even take ½ hour off today Mara—there is too much to do!”
Yes, I know, there is always so much to do with a blog, but you are now on a path to what I call a “blog-oholic” and if you continue at this pace you will have ‘burnout’ from overworking.
You must avoid this! Achieving work-balance is tough especially in this creative, and ever-changing field.
Here are some pointers to keep your sanity, avoid stress and have fun and success while you grow your blog successfully:
- Systemize: Create systems for as much as possible to reduce your workload. At http://www.SecretsForMoney.info I try to implement as many automated systems as possible. Not just the obvious such as an Autoresponder, but also for smaller tasks. One of many examples is that I wanted all my blog titles to be in green colored ink. Now that facet is automated. This saves countless hours for the infinite lifespan of my blog, I don’t have to type in color code for each blog post title. Maybe doing this manually only takes 1 minute, but if you multiply that by the number of posts…I just saved a tremendous amount of my precious time. And my time cannot be replaced.
- Partner: You may feel married to your blog, but you can also partner with other bloggers so that you are not the only Author on your site/blog. This will create more time for you, not to mention open-up more opportunities.
- Prioritize: Label your tasks, but only a few realistic tasks per day, so that you always feel that you accomplished something. Then bask in the victory of that.
- Gain Perspective: Listen to your own “pace”—schedule what days and which hours you will work, do so in smaller chunks of time. Such as Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 2 hours each day to just write posts. Then schedule time for blog maintenance, administration etc.
But make sure to also schedule relaxing time to do what else you love to do, such as a power walk outside or a jog to clear your mind, rejuvenate and gain perspective.
It is a fact that the more relaxed a person is the more creative and productive they can be, and of course happier.
Cultivate the garden within my friends.
So there you have it blog-gardeners, you have already put down the roots, now it is time for you to bloom too!
Copyright © 2009 by Mara Rogers of http://www.SecretsForMoney.info
Mara Rogers is the Founder of http://www.SecretsForMoney.info where your capacity for all the wealth currencies: money, time, health, and love is increased through Secret For Money’s personal development and financial articles. Subscribe to the free Secrets For Money blog at http://www.SecretsForMoney.info