Every blog starts with two essential things: passion, and ideas. That is, passion for a particular subject, and ideas of how to present it to viewers online.
But after a few months, every blogger begins to feel flustered with all the tasks he or she must do in order to build up readership and maintain a successful site. What began as a freight train with a full head of creative steam has morphed into a golf cart trying to motor its way up a steep mountain.
In order to gain back momentum and push your blog up into the stratosphere, it is necessary to manage your time wisely and create a working schedule. Not only should you have a distinct plan for when to publish things on your blog, you should also devote times to other things that will help you elsewhere on the internet.
As long as you follow these 5 tips, your time will be scheduled in a way that will allow your blog to grow into the position you hope it to be in.
1. Content is King
As I’m sure you’re well aware, your content is the most important aspect of your blog. Never, under any circumstances, should you neglect your content in order to do other blog tasks. You can engage in all the promotional techniques in the world, but if you don’t have intriguing content, there will be no reason to read your blog.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to be blogging equivalent of Ernest Hemingway. You just need to make sure that you’re publishing worthwhile posts, and that your content is coherent and well written.
To ensure that your content is top-notch, leave yourself however much time you need in order to produce excellent blog posts. Your writing should always take precedence over any other blog obligations, so don’t worry if this leaves you with less time for other tasks. After all, your intentions when you started your blog was to write meaningful blog posts about something you care about, so don’t lose sight of that when you try to build up your blog’s readership.
2. Schedule Publication Time Wisely
While it may not be obvious, the actual timing of when you publish a post goes a long way in determining how many people will read it. Whenever you publish a post, it will be broadcast to your blog’s followers at that very moment. If your blog is published while everyone is sleeping, it may be buried within their inbox, RSS, or Twitter feed by the time they would be able to read it.
Make sure to schedule the publication of your content around the time when most of your readers will be at your computer. I usually strive for early afternoon publications, as it is a time when people get back from their lunch breaks and like to poke around on the inter webs a little bit before they get back down to business.
There are also distinct times when you should not publish, like on Mondays, due to the fact that this is usually the day when people are catching up on weekend emails and looking to get a jumpstart on their workweek. Weekends are also undesirable, as most people are away from their computers on their time off from work. If you realize you’ve published at a bad time, a good way to help give your post a shot in the arm is to re-tweet your article to your twitter followers, giving them an extra chance to see your awesome content.
3. Post-Publication Upkeep
Once your post is published, you should devote a good chunk of time to responding to comments on your post. No matter the platform, be it Facebook, Twitter, or the blog itself, make sure you always engage in conversation with the people who comment on your articles. This will not only give you the appearance of being an involved blogger, but it also can develop very useful relationships with other people in the blogosphere.
In your schedule, make sure to block out at least 15-30 minutes a day checking in on your content and responding to comments. A little upkeep can go a very long way in the blogging world.
4. Relationships Take Time
This can be a weird concept for new bloggers to understand, but it is one of the best ways to build your readership. Look around on the internet for blogs that are similar to yours. Become a regular commenter on their content, and eventually offer to do a guest post on their site. This will not only show readers in another audience your skills as a writer, but it will also provide them with a link so they can see what your blog is all about.
This link also gets analyzed by search engines and increases their opinion of your blog’s importance, which means your blog will have an easier time showing up in people’s search results when they enter relevant terms.
In short, building up readership is extremely difficult without engaging with other bloggers, so make sure you take a few hours each week developing your relationship with others in the online community.
5. Don’t Waste Time With Images
So you’ve written a great blog post, and you have an idea of what the perfect accompanying image should look like. You spend the next 45 scouring the depths of Google image search for that ideal picture of a smiling Rhinoceros, but that perfect grin seems to be eluding your grasp. Next thing you know, you’ve wasted 45 minutes that you could could have spent doing more important tasks.
Don’t let this happen to you. While it is essential to include an image with each of your posts, it doesn’t need to be immaculate. Just pick an image that is related to your content and will grab the eye’s attention. If your image can be humorous, that’s a bonus. But your search shouldn’t last more than ten minutes.
As long as you follow these 5 tips, the seemingly endless amount of time you can spend on your blog will become a lot more manageable. Remember: content is the most important, so always focus on that over any other aspect of your site. Happy blogging!