Blogging: How to Stay Productive
You’ve taken the plunge and decided to work from home and become a professional blogger and your home office is the nerve centre of your burgeoning online empire. You’re publishing; the metrics show that people are clicking through to your site. Your twitter following is up and the comments section of your blogging is bubbling with opinion. Things are going great.
The early stages of professional blogging is an adrenaline rush. You’re bringing a vision alive and seeing how people react to it. The buzz of interaction alone is enough to keep the ideas coming. In time, adrenaline fades and so begins that tough slog of churning out content that will keep your readership as interested as the first time they clicked through to your site. While it may feel like a dip, the hard work you put in and the habits you establish now will pay off in the long term, especially given that this is now your livelihood.
Listen and Learn
There are two parts to this technique: listening to your readership and listening to the trends that flow through your particular niche.
The litmus test for how well your content is doing is reader response. And it doesn’t have to be positive response either. You may wish to attract traffic to your site by being controversial. High traffic levels equal high advertising revenues. It’s a fiendishly wicked plan.
What you need to watch out for is content that produces little or no response. People are busy and if they’re not busy, there’s always something else happening online to capture their attention. Readers post comments when they feel strongly about what they’ve just read. Polarise them in one direction or another, but never leave them silent, or sitting in the middle.
The second part of this technique is looking at the trends within your niche. Let’s look at technology. As I write this, everyone is raving about the iPad 3. Well, not everyone. There are a few lone voices pointing out that Apple are slowing down their own development process and releasing stunted products because the name itself will make money, rather than creating the best possible device at each release. Whatever your thoughts on Apple, the fact that some bloggers are saying ‘Hey! There’s another side to the story y’know!’ gets them traffic at a time when there is a frenzy around one single story.
Is there a trend happening in your niche you could argue the hell out of? If so, it’s worth doing also because it will give your site a more rounded feel.
The listen and learn technique is one you’ll use throughout the life of your blog.
Research and Development
Bringing a strong, and hopefully unique, voice to your blog is important. Equally important is the information that voice expresses. Hiring a researcher can be a good idea if you’re struggling with your workload, but in order to express the point you wish to make, it’s important that you fully understand the research that goes in to constructing that point.
Spend ten minutes trawling the web for poorly written blogs in which the author has no idea what they are saying and you’ll understand how important it is to be at the head of your research and development team.
Know your niche. Know where it’s headed and be ready to write the hell out of it.
Today a Blog. Tomorrow the World!
Most professional bloggers set up several blogs in the knowledge that some will prosper, while others will wither and die. You never really know what will make money until you test it for real and while you’ll feel great about some blogs and less so about others, it’s important to understand that it’s the ones making the money that you need to service.
The more you listen and research the profitable niche’s, the more you will understand what will work and what won’t. Put in the work and you will have your empire.
Guest post contributed by Sally Shaws, a freelance writer who also regularly blogs about ways to boost your income and earning extra money online. She is also currently writing about the process of volunteering for paid medical trials and joining a volunteer panel as a means to raise your income.