If you’d like to build a better blog, finding a balanced rhythm is key. Because of the work I do, I spend a significant amount of time driving. This provides me with an excellent opportunity to feed my pod-cast and audio-book addiction. Right now, I’m listening to On Writing, by Stephen King–A memoir of how Stephen developed into the writer he is, interspersed with the tools of the craft. As a quick word of caution, Stephen’s use of colorful language, and brutal honesty means that this book is not for everyone–especially those with sensitive ears.
I’m also enjoying The Portfolio Life podcast by Jeff Goins, and Authority Self-Publishing Podcast, by Steve Scott. The more I learn about blogging, the more I am convinced that balance is necessary. Below are three ways to build a better blog by finding balance.
#1 To build a better blog, balance excellent content with strong promotion.
“Content is king.”
“Focus on good writing and people will flock to your site.”
I heard phrases like these over and over again when I first began blogging. The problem is that I believed them. I focused solely on writing, but this created a problem. Although I had good content, few people were able to find that content on my site.
I don’t like the idea of self-promotion, so I wanted to believe that good writing was all I needed. Telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen had left with a negative view of marketing. I was afraid of being spammy and became overly cautious in sharing my work. Today, I know better. I am working to build a better blog by balancing excellent content with strong promotion.
Being spammy involves connecting people with content they don’t want or need. [Tweet “Good marketing is helping people find exactly what they are looking for.”] This is one of the reasons I love link-ups and started the Family, Friendship, and Faith Linkey. It is one more way to connect your excellent writing to people who are looking for exactly what you and I have to offer. [Tweet “If content is king, good promotion is queen.”] Build a better blog by balancing awesome content with ethical and helpful blog promotion. I’ve since discontinued this form of blog promotion, but have replaced it with others. Of course, this is another good example to follow. To build a better blog, follow the CANI rule.
CANI stands for Constant and Never-ending Improvement. Some forms of promotion may go on for a lifetime. Other’s are good for a season. Build a better blog by taking risks, trying things out, experimenting, having fun, and learning as you go!
#2 To build a better blog, balance giving to others with receiving help yourself.
Many bloggers I know are natural givers. However, there is a problem. It is possible to get so caught-up in guest-posting, and helping others build their sites, that we neglect our own blog. Blogging is a social craft. It’s nearly impossible to run a successful blog in isolation. [Tweet “The best bloggers have learned to refine the art of giving and receiving. “]
Learning to say, “I’m honored that you asked, but I can’t right now,” is a must. Requests for:
- To guest post on someone’s site.
- To help with someone’s book promotion, review, or latest project.
These are common blogging requests. It’s an honor to be asked because it shows that someone cares about our opinion. It’s also perfectly OK to say “no.”
The other side of this is that it’s important to learn to ask others for their support. If we don’s ask others for:
- Their advice,
- To guest post on our site,
- To help with our book promotion, review, and latest projects,
Other’s won’t have the opportunity to say “yes.” [Tweet ” Build a better blog by balancing giving to others, and asking for help.”] Believe that those around you want to support you in your endeavors.
#3 To build a better blog, balance your narrow niche with your broader passions.
“Find a narrow niche and hone-in on it.” This is more advice that I heard when I first started blogging. The idea is that a narrow niche will help a person find their tribe. While there is a lot of wisdom in this, today, I am learning to balance my narrow niche with my broader passions.
Author and Speaker Jeff Goins uses the phrase “the portfolio life,” to describe a life filled with numerous areas of expertise. Similarly, Emily from puttlylike.com, coined the term “multipotentialite,” to describe the multifaceted human nature. When I started Coffee Shop Conversations, I focused primarily on tools from psychology and the Bible. Today, while psychology and Scripture are still integrated into much of my writing, I am having a blast balancing my niche with my broader passions. In fact, these Friday posts–which provide insights into what I am learning about writing and blogging–are among my favorite to write.
[Tweet “Build a better blog by balancing your niche with your broader passions.”] You are a multi-talented individual and there is no rule stating that you and I have to write about only one thing.
These are some of the ways I am striving to build a better blog by finding balance. How about you: Are you learning to find balance in these areas? Are there other ways to build a better blog by fining balance, that you would add to this list? I look forward to continuing the discussion in the comments below!
P.S. For more creative writing ideas, be sure to check out my book Ten Great Ideas for Authors, where you will discover creative writing prompts and strategies to jump-start your author journey. I truly believe you are only one great idea away from writing success!
#4 To build a better blog, find your work-life rhythm.
In my 6 plus years of blogging, I’ve discovered that blogging is definitely a marathon endeavor. There are seasons where I am able to focus a lot of attention on writing my blog. Other seasons are less focused. I’d call this section work-life balance, but building a better blog doesn’t necessarily mean having a balanced life. With four kiddos, full-time jobs, and an abundance of hustle and bustle, balance is not always possible. Fortunately, sticking to a blogging rhythm is.
Finding your work–life rhythm is all about making steady progress—even if that progress is just a few minutes a day. Helping couples find their rhythm is a serious passion. I love coaching writers on finding their unique rhythm. I’ve written posts that help couples find their connection rhythm. And I even wrote a series of conversation starters to help couples find their financial rhythm.
The bottom line is that habits matter. Whether your goal is to build a better blog, connect with your loved one close, or to better manage your finances, it’s important to get into a steady rhythm. So what can you do? Is it possible to write for minutes a day? Can you write for 20 or even 30-minutes on a routine schedule? To build a better blog put the tortoise principle into action. In Aesop’s famous fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, the tortoise wins every time. To build a better blog, be the tortoise, and find your blogging rhythm.
Build a Better Blog
Of course, this isn’t the final word on building a better blog. But these are for things that helped me move toward blogging success. For more great ideas, be sure to check out our post, Redefining Blogging Success.
Continue the Conversation
Let’s keep the conversation going. I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to build a better blog, I can help. You and I can dive into personalized, text-based coaching, here. Writers write! These two words, a steady writing habit, and a little accountability from some amazing friends allowed me to publish hundreds of posts, and well over twenty books in just six short years. So it’s probably no surprise that I loved helping writers write. Whether you’re looking to build a better blog, finally finish your rough draft, or get a social media group going, use this link, and let’s get started fast!
Finally, I’d love to hear from you! How are you building a better blog? What would you add to this list? And what else would you like to know about building a better blog? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below. Chat more soon!