Even bloggers who profess a quality-over-quantity focus stress the need for regular posting, if only to keep the blog visible within a niche. The question is, how can a blogger retain focus for what’s admittedly a repetitive task? Here are five ways that have proven useful for yours truly.
1. Stop Checking Your Blog’s Traffic Every Other Hour
Many bloggers—especially new ones—check how much traffic their blog’s attracting multiple times in a day. It may be nice to see a certain post break out, or enjoy the fruits of social networking attention, but as any analytics expert knows, traffic stats become only useful when viewed over a significant period of time.
In other words, trends that show what works and what doesn’t only become clear over at least a week. Definitely not within a day. Less fretting over stats means more time to concentrate on producing content, quality- or quantity-oriented. This is not a call to ignore the benefits of blog analytics, but a reminder to prioritize the bread-and-butter of any blog: blogging.
2. Make Experiences Relevant to Your Niche
Aside from being a great way to come up with post ideas, staying aware of how experiences relate to a particular niche is a friendly mindset that makes it easier to turn those ideas into readable posts.
A tech blogger figures out that a particular denim jacket he’s trying out features gadget-friendly pockets that are roomy without creating unsightly bulges. A fashion blogger sees that a particular suite of gadgets is available in one particular, stylish color. The point is that this “blog-aware” mindset creates unique realizations that are easy to translate into words, which are exciting to share with readers.
3. Set a Content Schedule
Though relevant only to certain niches, determining the kind of content for certain days helps create the reader expectation that turns into repeat visits. The expectation works both ways too, letting a blogger stick to a theme that provides a framework for research.
For example: while readers know that tip lists come out every Wednesday, the blogger spends the rest of the week coming up with ideas to match the theme. A clear plan is always healthy for focus.
4. Establish Clear Comment Guidelines
Big blog networks like Gawker dedicate a staff to comment moderation, since their “editors want to spend more time providing new content and less time moderating comment threads”.
Solo operators don’t have that kind of luxury, but even the most basic of comment guidelines—prohibiting profanities—means less time managing comments and thus more focus on writing. Profanities stick out during any quick scan of moderated comments, allowing quick clicks on the Delete or Spam links with a reasonable degree of certainty.
5. Remember Why You Are Blogging
Blogging—like anything else requiring regular output—is a very tiring activity. Hopefully the tips above will make this reality more bearable, but nothing resurrects focus like remembering the reasons that drove a blogger to start blogging in the first place.
There are numerous ways to categorize those reasons, such as the nobility driving advocacy blogs, the help-others sensibility that pushes people to share useful tips with others online, or even the selfish need to make money for established bloggers. Whatever the case—if those reasons remain appealing—they definitely return the focus to any wavering blogger.
This trip down memory lane is also a great opportunity for a blogger to review the direction a blog is taking. Is it still relevant to the niche? Is it actually providing the information long-time readers are looking for? This approach has led to many bloggers returning to their roots so to speak, reestablishing the focus that created the content that was key to establishing a significant presence.
How do you remain focused on your blog? Feel free to share by hitting the comments below.