If you've done some research on blogging, you may have run into this topic before. Sure, it's not necessarily a new topic, but I thought I'd talk about how I approach blogging priorities, as well as how I make them work with my general life priorities. It certainly can be a balancing act, and more so some days than others! You could really almost call this post "How I stay organized and keep myself from going insane (sometimes)." That would be a good title too. So, let's talk blog priorities!
What do you prioritize?
The thing about blogging priorities is that you have to begin by accepting that you can't do everything. That's why it's called "blog priorities" and not "how to do everything blog related ever." We're only human, and if you try to cover too many things, it's going to be hard to do them all well. So what gets priority when it comes to a blog?
You've probably heard it before, but content is king. You can't build a good blog without good content. That doesn't mean that it always has to be something completely new and innovative, but it should somehow contribute to the (internet) community and be useful to your readers. Another part of good content has to do with good writing and good photos. If you feel like you need improvement in any of these areas, this is where you really want to start. "If you build it, they will come," applies to blogging, too, but only if it's done well!
Ok, you've got your content and it's good content. Step one: check! But unfortunately to have a successful blog, you're going to need more than just good (or great) content. With all of the content available online today, it can be hard to get readers to see the stuff your writing about. You could have the best content EVER, but without some promotion, no one would ever see it. Kind of sad, I know. So here's the thing about promotion: there are a lot of ways to promote your blog. I mean A LOT. You could drive yourself crazy trying to get to all of them. This is where prioritizing comes into play. I would recommend picking, say, 5 ways to promote your blog and focusing on those.
How I promote my blog
So now that I've told you that you should choose somewhere around 5 ways to promote your blog, I'll talk what my 5 are. Some of them are specific to food blogging, but you can apply the general idea across any type of blogging. My 5 methods of promotion are:
- Food porn sites (mostly Foodgawker, Tasteologie, Fridgg)
- Social media (Facebook and Google+)
- Pinterest (this one is time consuming enough that it gets its own category)
- Link parties
- Guest posting
A few notes about these previously mentioned forms of promotion: You'll notice that even some of the broader forms of promotion have only a few sites under them. That's because I could spend all day updating all of these sites, but that kind of misses the point of prioritizing. So pick a few, and pick the ones you like. This is where you get to be picky. When it comes to Pinterest, I'll admit that I make my life a little easier by using a scheduling service called ViralTag (it allows you to schedule things to be pinned at a specific date and time to Pinterest). It's not free, but the plan I use costs only $12 a month, so for me, it's worth it. I also participate in link parties and guest post on occasion. The thing that's helpful about link parties is that getting featured means a link back to your post. This is good for two reasons: 1. whoever follows the blog that featured you isnow likely to click on that link and look at your blog and 2. having other sites link to your own increases your rating in Google searches (this means that you'll rate higher in searches for that topic). Guest posting is also a good (although often slightly more time consuming) way to promote your blog. In exchange for writing something for another blogger, they promote you and your blog. It's a good way to get a little extra press and, more importantly, a way to start building some relationships with fellow bloggers. Having blogger friends is kind of invaluable.
The other stuff
Obviously content and promotion don't cover all aspects of blogging, but they are the big 2 that will apply to most bloggers. Depending on your personal needs, there may also be business priorities or long-running tasks. And, of course, there's "real" life. You know, all that boring stuff like eating, cleaning, and working that gets in the way of the fun stuff. So how do you juggle it all? My preferred method is lists. Lots and lots of lists and the occasional spreadsheet. I find keeping myself organized makes me much more productive. If I know exactly what I need to get done, when it needs to be done, and I have all that laid out in front of me, I can budget my time more effectively. Although I can't make those "real life" lists for you, I have made a daily blogging priority checklist. Not all of these items will need to be done on a daily basis, but they're things to think about (at the very least). Feel free to print out a copy of the daily blog priorities here.
TL;DR... The quick summary!
I know this is another long post (funny how the topics about blogging always tend to be kind of long winded) so here's the super duper quick summary of everything you need to know:
You can't do everything (unless you're super human), so pick a few things to do well.
Your content is the most important part of your blog. Make sure you do it well!
Promoting your blog is your second priority after producing great content. But again, you can't promote it everywhere because there are simply too many places to do that! I recommend picking out 5 methods of promotion so you have a nice balance between exposure for your blogging and keeping your sanity.
Download my blog priority checklist here!