I have read recently that the reason people stop reading blogs is because those who write them stop posting. Simple but true. So why do we stop posting? Well, there are of course a number of reasons, or better – excuses. I can think of a few for myself actually. However, no matter how good they are, it will not make up for lost readership. So we better keep it up.
Apart from the obvious benefit of having your own broadcasting platform helping us to connect with potential customers, blogging is excellent for accountability – and this works for anyone, even those who blog for themselves. When we give promises to ourselves without writing them down, they can be easily forgotten. If on the other hand we do write them down, we stand a much better chance of getting things done, since it has been recorded. Blogging gives us an extra benefit of readership – and responsibility. So those goals we proclaim – we better keep working towards them, and follow up with our action plan, to maintain our credibility – to ourselves and our readers. A lesson to myself and perhaps you can learn something from it too.
If you have not started writing a blog yet, do. Even if you keep your posts short. In fact, it is best to keep them short – to start with anyway. Consider it to be your diary and confidant. Make a post daily – write about your day, and what you have achieved, what you have learned, experiences and revelations you are comfortable sharing. Aim to make your blog post valuable not just to yourself, but to those you share it with. That is unless you don’t care if anybody else reads it, or just you. If you are in a business and your blog is related to what you do, then make sure that there is value in it to your followers who are your potential customers. If it is a personal blog – well, most personal blogs are just that, unless your readers know you already and are interested in what you have to say. Nothing wrong with just writing for yourself though.
Talking about accountability, I have just finished updating records for my solo business. You see, I started buying solo ads in December, and started diligently recording my purchases. However, at some point there was a slack in my system, and I stopped updating the records. Eventually I started wondering what on earth is happening with it all. Who was bringing me the best deals, who was not so good at delivering, which squeeze pages converted better than others, and so on. I had no idea about how much I had spent in total, per subscriber, what I had spent on buying related products… Well, my business went into a freefall.
So 3 days ago I decided to give my business a bit of a break, and started bringing my accounts up to date. And you know what – it was quite therapeutic in a way. It brought a feeling of control over my business back into my life. I have now updated the buying spreadsheet, and created 5 others as well – for selling solos, swaps, giveaways, clickbanking, purchased products. I will probably think of at least 2-3 more, but so far I am happy. I will aim to update my spreadsheets at least once a week, to keep me in charge of what is happening, and in the know about my progress. My suggestion is – whatever business you are in – keep those records up to date – don’t fall into a trap of thinking that you can catch up later, because later a lot of things get forgotten, information gets lost, and you simply don’t know what is happening and whether you are running a viable business.
I am now aiming to create a mind map of my business overview – goals and tasks for the next 3 months – to give me an overview of what I am aiming for, and tasks I need to do to get there. I am using a mind mapping software called Xmind – www.xmind.net. It has a free option which works perfectly well for me. There is another one called Freemind – that it totally free – www.freemind.sourceforge.net. Check them both out. I like both, but the interface of Xmind looks more attractive, so it’s my favorite.
Another point I wanted to talk about is organization. I am not great at organizing myself, and this results in wasting a lot of time. Recently I came across this wonderful website – www.astrid.com. I have looked at quite a few of them, and Astrid has been the best so far. It is easy to use, has a great layout, and is free to use. Ah, and in case you forget where your tasks are – it is such an easy name to remember, don’t you think? 🙂
So, to sum it all up:
1. Writing a blog post should not take too long – aim for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Blogging helps us to keep ourselves accountable and get those tasks done on time.
3. Establish your own schedule for posts – I aim to post once a week now. When I started writing my blog, I was posting much more often. See how it fits your day and reasons for blogging.
4. Business bloggers and those with the aim to create a following – think what value you are providing with your posts to those who read them.
5. Keep those records updated at all times – tomorrow you will have more stuff happening, and you don’t want to have to clear a pile-up of information and tasks. The obvious benefit is that your business (or personal stuff) is always clear and manageable, and you know where you are going with it.
6. Mind map bigger projects.
Well, I hope that you got some value from this post, and I will see you next time.