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How to Keep Momentum Going on Your Blog with a ‘Points System’

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of July 2007 Writing Content 0 Comments

Jason left a comment a couple of weeks ago on my previous post asking how many posts readers have posted on their blogs in a week that caught my attention.

In his comment Jason talks about a ‘points system’ which he’s developed for helping him to keep his blog achieving the momentum that he wants it to.

His daily goal is 50 points and different tasks get him different amounts of posts. I’ll let him explain (note – I’ve slightly reformatted his comments):

“I work full-time on the side as well. The way I get things done is by using a point system.

Some days I don’t feel like writing, some days I don’t feel like commenting, some days I don’t feel like networking, or whatever… I have to reach at least 50 points per day.

  • 10 points for a long blog post
  • 5 for a short one
  • 2 points for a comment on a blog I’ve commented on before
  • 5 points for commenting on a site I’ve never commented on before
  • 1 point per comment on my own blog
  • 10 points for installing a new module/plug-in, etc.

Works well for me. I think I may have created the system, or sub-consciously remember reading about such a thing somewhere.

I just know that the point system keeps production going while I also work a full-time job.”

What a great idea. I’m sure some readers will find it a little too complicated for their free flowing style – but if you’re in a dry patch and need a little self discipline, or like Jason have limited time to throw into your blog I think that this is a great plan.

I’m sure there are plenty of other tasks one could put on such a list. Here’s some off the top of my head (feel free to add more):

  • 2 points for emailing another blogger with a link to a relevant post
  • 3 points for an IM conversation with a blogger in your niche
  • 2 points for answering a reader’s question via email

What would you add?

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.
Comments
  1. 20 points for writing a plugin a friend wanted to help monetize her blog.
    2 points for letting other bloggers know you can know use the Kontera Control plugin to keep Kontera ads off your newer blog posts and out of your sponsored posts.
    -5 points if you get accused of link dropping in the process.

  2. A really great idea!

    Perhaps you should also reward yourself for preparing posts or coming up with ideas for new posts.

    That’s two points for me!

  3. I like it–I think it’s pretty good as-is, not much adaptation needed. (2 points for me!)

  4. Submitting your best posts to blog carnivals would be well worth a few points

  5. Great one Tejvan! I am making up an excel sheet now to start using this method, I really like it! Great post Darren!

  6. Sounds like a great idea to me. I have certian things I try to do daily to help expand my reach with my blog, but never thought of assigning a points system to it. Kind of an unique aproch to the situation

  7. Wow – I LOVE it!

    Being a one-man show who does every single thing related to the growth of my blog, I could use a point system like this to keep me on track.

    One thing that I would add is points for linking out. You could even have a range of points for that as well:

    1 point for linking to a blog that you have linked to in the past
    2 points for linking to a blog in your niche that you have never linked to before, etc.

    Great stuff!

    – Aaron

  8. If you like pretty worksheets to tick things off on, you could use the editable version of DavidSeah.com’s Printable CEO.

  9. Nice idea, might be useful for me. I’m often short in having self discipline ;-)

    Well, since you asked, here’s my input:

    10 points for partnering with another blogger (like guest blogging, promoting each other’s blog, etc.)
    10 points for sending out a prepared and well-written e-mail to relevant niche websites with some goodies (best thing I’ve done yet, the post (a celebrity contest) went viral and got around 15k poll votes and 1500+ comments)
    5 points for creating promotional stuff for your visitors to use (I’ve created badges which a lot of my visitors posted in forums, signatures, sidebars, myspace, etc.)
    5 points for tweaking/customizing the design template

    Well, that’s all – for the moment at least… :-)

  10. Great strategy!

  11. Great system, it lets you keep track better of what needs to be done. I’ll do the same as Eve and create a spreadsheet for it (not excel though… sorry).

  12. Simple, but excellent! What could I add?
    20 points for creating a plan for a blueprint or series of articles
    20 points for each of the articles or chapters
    1 point for submitting a post to Digg
    etc.

  13. Danilo, if you come up with something first, let me know, I am not very good at making them interactive LOL. And Mary-Ann, I looked at the Printable CEO you mentioned and the web based one is almost perfect, but you can only complete each ‘task’ once a day, not multiple times (like for comments and such, without adding the task to the list multiple times. But I love the site, thanks for mentioning it!

  14. * 3 points for making a new connection (friend) on a social network.
    * 2 points for adding somebody’s article to digg, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, etc.
    * 1 point for voting on a social network article within your niche
    * -2 points for each time you check your site stats

  15. I love it too. Personally I work well with timers and point systems like these. It is a great idea I am going to try.

  16. Great idea! I tend to procrastinate a lot when writing posts on my blog. Hopefully I can use this points system to help motivate myself to do more than just surf around.

    What I’d love to see is if someone could make some kind of service or WordPress plugin that would allow you to mark off things each day as you do them.

  17. Though it’s classical conditioning it sure can work for most of bloggers. I wonder though if those points could translate into something more tangible other than keeping your blog going.

  18. Sounds like a great idea. I’m going to try this myself.
    Thanks Mary-Ann, I’m going to check his site out too.

  19. This type of point system is suggested by leaders in my offline business. We prioritize points according to income producing levels, e.g. marketing/holding classes/sales/customer service/recruiting are IPA’s (income producing activities) that receive the highest points, ordering/shipping/receiving/letters/emails/notes/mentoring receive the next level of points, and administration receives the lowest level of points.

    The idea is to not only keep us focused on working our businesses daily, but also to prioritize our time and focus on the most direct income producers first and foremost. It works well for many, too.

  20. “Reaaal men of genius…” Kidding.

    I can’t wait to see how the list expands, everybody, giving me yet more to add to my original system.

  21. 10 points for setting up your profile on MyBlogLog or one of the many social networking sites.

    20 points for setting up a Squidoo lens. 50 if you do it right. :-)

  22. Use Joe’s goals to keep track of it. I think you can give weight to different goals…

    that’s what i’m going to do…

  23. Here’s another: 2 points for each RSS directory you submit your blog to.

  24. I’m using a point system to encourage my readers to comment more, and it’s working well. They’re awarded points for good comments, etc. Here’s an example of a user profile:
    http://www.kineda.com/profile/jules

  25. 10 points – Securing a partnership with a new advertiser relevant to your content?

  26. MM..this is good, but you need to have self discipline to this.

  27. Great way to motivate myself, and keeping up with several sites.
    I think i’ll make myself a check off list with the point system.
    Maybe a reward system too, say Ice Cream for every 100 points?

    Thanx for the idea

  28. I love the idea! Although being married and working full time, 50 points is a heck of a lot to do, especially when I have a 100 year old house I blog about. Ive got to do SOME restoration work on it to be able to blog about it :) so for me I’ll definitely use this system, because I think its excellent, but I may have to drop my daily goal point to 30 or 40. At least I follow a guideline and thats probably the most important thing. Readers come to expect certain things from us bloggers, a good post daily, or 3 short bursts, or 3 awesome posts a week.. whatever it is, they are connected to us (or soon will be) and following this cool tip will certainly help out. Thank again Darren!

    Im still hoping you write up a workflow chart on what you typically plan for each day of the week and even a daily workflow would be cool.

    Thanks! Dave & Anna over @ 1916home.net

  29. If long blog posts are a 10, then I’m so in the lead!

    Everyday writing for me is long, and drawn out. Then again, I’m not making a living blogging.

  30. Not throwing the computer out the window = 50 points.

    Done.

  31. 3 points – post a comment on a forum.

  32. It is a great concept. A few of the online social networks such as ActiveRain are using the same concept. It is a great way to generate a bit of competition and a lot of traffic.

  33. I don’t think with a full time job, I could reach that. I’d lower it a bit so I don’t fail. I will say I just need just 30 points for a day and stick to it.

  34. Tagging someone in MyBlogLog: 3 points

    Writing a long post with graphics: 10 Points

    Getting mention on ProBlogger:

    Priceless

  35. Well i certainly agree that jasons 50 points per day is really a great thought. I would say as growth is always progressive i think that when one has a new blog you should start of with a post every day. view other blogs and comment in other blogs.. this would increase knowledge and awarness among other bloggers..

    second after a month one could increase the no of posts to 2 or 3 per day as traffic or good crawl is dependent on how frequently you update the website.. increasing the number of posts does increase google crawler rate and at the same increase traffic to your website

    So the key i think is it progressively increase the number of posts to increase the traffic steadily

  36. As soon as I read this it felt like this would be a great compliment to all GTD:ers out there. I use GTD a lot but it doesn’t work very well for blogging, at least not for me. I have a lot of ideas but I can’t really just write on my to-do list “write blog post about blahablaha” because it doesn’t really motivate me that much. Definitely something I will try.

  37. Great system. I recently started blogging and already have about 15 blogs mostly with my own content. Some days I just don’t feel at all like writing anything. Maybe implementing a point system will help me get through it!

  38. This is a super idea. I think it’s just what I need to keep myself motivated, I just started a new blog and some days I already feel a little burnt out.

    (+5!) Long time reader, first time commenter!

  39. Even i face the problem of going out of interest to post. I’m finding very tough to keep posting good content. Let me try your tip.

    Gopinath M
    Tech Thoughts

  40. 10 points for setting up a newsletter.
    5 points for sending out a newsletter.
    100 points for creating an e-mail course.

  41. “Perhaps you should also reward yourself for preparing posts or coming up with ideas for new posts.”

    Martin, if I come up with a killer idea or something I’ll reward myself a couple points. Also, if I do some research to learn helpful new things/market research.

  42. LISTS!! That’s my wife. Me, I’m motivated by the following two things:
    * Staying at least one week ahead on my posts
    * Seeing an upward trend in stats.

  43. anonymous coward says: 07/05/2007 at 1:40 am

    Seems like every day is weekend strategy recently.

  44. What a fantastic idea. Sometimes a couple of days can go by where I feel as if I haven’t done anything. Here’s a great way to demonstrate that I have. :)

  45. Great idea. You’d want to make sure you don’t allow yrself to ‘carry over’ excess points to the next day.
    You could also reward yourself with a nice coffee or sticky bun if you get 100 points, or a new personal best..

  46. Nice way to quantify effort. I know some days I feel like I’ve done so much, but just can’t see what I’ve spent the hours on. By giving some points for the smaller tasks throughout the day, it helps me not feel like such a big slug just because I didn’t write 3 original articles that day. Some days I’m just not creative, and fiddling with plugins or reading other peoples’ blogs just fits with the character of that day. (5 points)

  47. Hey gizo – I think 100 points should be worth a trip to Starbucks ;D

  48. I have had this problem of trying to organise my site and how I can work on it for a long time.Thanks for that great idea and I will surely be implementing it on my site.

  49. Very neat idea! I don’t know if I could implement it. I will have to give it a shot though.

  50. The best aspect of running your days on a point system like this is to help quantify what you do every day.

    For a blogger or anyone who freelances or works for themselves, it is very easy to go through an entire day and get the feeling that you didn’t actually do anything by the end of it. The reason this happens is that you don’t always have major tasks with tangible results to do everyday. There are days when you only do maintenence stuff and tie up loose ends. These kind of days would seem more fruitful if you had a system like this, I guess, because now you could rest easy in the knowledge that you completed your quota of tasks for the day — Even if you don’t have a shiny new piece of finished work to show for it.

    The worst aspect of a point system like this, like all “systems”, is that the mechanism can take over your life, and the numbers become more of an obsession than the objective. As long as you don’t take it too far, it’s a great idea.

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