Blog with balance

How to Build a Better Blog By Finding Balance

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:

  • Advice.
  • 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 worklife 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!

– Jed


Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

34 thoughts on “How to Build a Better Blog By Finding Balance”

  1. Right on, Jed! I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years, the last 3 pretty seriously, and it is only (fairly) recently that I’ve really honed in on the concept of promoting… (and to think I was so smart in school – LOL). I mean, it makes sense, but up until then, I, too was of the “just write it and they will come” ilk!
    Lovin’ your conversations over here…and happy to see you over at our own Coffee & Conversation 😉
    Oh, btw, did you see that I found some excellent voter’s guides? If not, I’ll add them to the last link party you were at…
    Have a great week! Off to pour myself another cuppa…

    1. Thanks Pat,
      I’m loving the Coffee and Conversation link-up you host. It’s been absolutely amazing how many new friends and connections I’ve been able to make over the past month. And thanks for remembering about the voters guide too–I have some catching up to do 🙂

  2. Inspiring tips here. I use to in the beginning struggle with my niche and then I realized, I have many niches really. As a mother to grown children, a teacher and a follower of Christ, I have much to say in all areas so why not just write from my heart. Yet, I do believe we have to self-promote much of the time until our audience builds. So many great ideas here to think about on how to grow our spaces. As always, I come away with something else to think about when I leave your blog. Awesomeness! Can’t wait till your post comes out Sunday. You both did an amazing job!

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Thanks again for thinking of us. Jenny and I can’t wait for Sunday to get here too. Were honored and had a blast answering the questions. Thanks again for all of the encouragement 🙂

  3. I’m finding balance by asking for help and providing value to others. I also take small, bite-size chunks each week towards my ‘someday goal’ for my blog. Small actionable steps consistently is much more efficient than taking on large sweeping actionable steps which take me out of rhythm and sync with what I have already put into place. It is much like habit building, to build a new practice; you build off an existing pattern in small increments. These small steps allow you to test to see what works and what isn’t. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

    1. Hey Kirby,
      Such excellent blogging wisdom. There are many days when I would do better to pace myself more 🙂 Thanks for all of the value you add into my life. You do an incredible job of pouring into others!

  4. My challenge is probably the balance between niche and wider interests. I find that while I wear many hats, it’s sometimes better to put on just one and focus there. But there’s a risk in feeling unauthentic. It’s always a question of finding what works for me and my audience. Little by little, I think I’m getting there.
    Please keep the encouraging words coming!

  5. Great advice here. I’m currently struggling for a broader reach. Broadening my writing to include my passions is something I probably need to consider. Plus. I think I need some SEO tips … write about that soon!! Thanks again for the opportunity to linkup and for this post.

    1. Hey Pam,
      A post on SEO tips would be fun. I have a lot to learn about this myself. Writing post on SEO, would provide a good opportunity for diving into the research and trying some new things myself. Thanks for the excellent idea!

  6. You have many great tips here! I’m not organized enough to put my blog into a particular niche so I’ve categorized myself as a “lifestyle” blogger…although who knows where I’ll be down the road.

    Thanks for hosting and linking up with my party as well 🙂

  7. I could not agree with you more. I spend too many years putting it first even above family, and it was a big mistake. It was not the right thing to do and I’ve made 2016 the year to find my “balance”.

  8. Jed,

    King’s On Writing is a really entertaining, very candid piece of work — I’ve read it several times. I think it holds more value as a personal memoir, however, than a story-craft instructional, as King offers very little in the way of codified principles or tools; he seems to be — by more or less his own admission — an author who writes intuitively (what they call a “pantser” — someone who writes by the seat of their pants — versus a “planner” or “plotter”). For basic mythic structure, Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey is invaluable, and The Successful Novelist by David Morrell (creator of Rambo) is the best manual I’ve ever read that applies strictly to the fine art of novel-writing — the advice is far more specific than anything King has to offer.

    Sean

    1. Hey Sean,
      Thanks for the book recommendation. I agree, Stephen King’s book is an incredible memoir, and very entertaining. I never heard the term “panster” before, but have to agree. I notice that the second half of the book, dives deeper into the craft itself. However, much of the advice centers around allowing the characters to develop as the story progresses. I’m fascinated with how King will write without a definite outline or ending in mind.

      I love King’s passion and attitude toward writing, and although I’m not getting as many codified principles as I initially hoped for, I feel like I’m catching his passion for the craft. I’m stoked that you have a book with a more structured process to recommend too.

  9. Jed, These are such great tips. I have heard all of the same things and I know they totally make sense but I feel like there is just a different aspect that can be approached and you outlined them all so well. We are multifaceted humans. God created us to not be one dimensional and I love to be able to share those different dimensions. I think it makes you real. One reason why I to love linkups is you can get all the facets of people and enjoy them for the gifts and passions that God gave them. Great linkup. Thank you for hosting. Have a great week. I hope Jen is feeling well.

  10. Why is it that balance is so key in every area of life, but not so easy to achieve? Your points are spot on, and a great reminder of that needed balance in the blogging world as well. Thanks for this!

  11. Some great tips here Jed. I am not sure why, but I never got the Podcast bug… might have to give a few of them a go and you’ve provided some great suggestions if I ever do. Where I struggle right now is with the Niche. I think I have finally zeroed in on it, but I am may not be narrowing the audience for it enough.

    Keep up the great work here. I really enjoy the wisdom and insights you impart. Blessings

    1. Thanks Chad,

      I love what your doing with LUK focus this year. It seems like a fantastic niche to me, and if you ever start a podcast, let me know. I’ll be the first to subscribe 🙂

      1. Thanks Jed. It’s been a wonderful new direction for the blog and I think it’s starting to show. I know I have grown a lot just in the 6-ish weeks since I’ve embarked on the “Year of Listing Up” series. It’s nice to have a little bit of a framework that I have to tie into as well. Blessings.

  12. I’ve only been a blogger for a little over 2 years and I really appreciate the suggestions you share here. I, too, have heard the same advice you originally heard that you share here, but I’m glad to see how you’ve expanded it to include more helps. Thank you! May God bless you and your family!

  13. Hey Jed & Jen, great post. Great tips. I too was told when I first started blogging if you have great content they will come and then soon learned that is not quite true, lol! Your explanation of content and promotion is great. You had so many great points in this post that rang bells for me. Thank you!

    I see you have a link up on Fridays. What time does it start? I would love to participate. Also, it would be great if you could join me at my link up Beautiful, Creative and Inspired Link Up on Fridays starting at 9 am.

    Lastly, I had been meaning to contact you. You mentioned in another of your posts about cultivating friends in link ups. Could you give some examples of that please.

    Yes, I had a lot to say, lol. Have a great evening.

    1. Hey Gina,

      Thanks for dropping by. The Family, Friendship, and Faith link-up, starts every Friday, at 4am Pacific Time. Yes, I’d love to check out your link-up and will be sure to add it to my list.

      It’s amazing how many friendships are forming from these link-ups. Deb, at http://www.grammietime.com/ recently interview Jenny and I on her site. It was a huge honor, and our friendship began when I discovered her link-up. We’ll also be doing an interview with Alison from http://www.lifeofscoop.com/. I also got to know Allison from the weekly 100 Days of Happiness link-up that she hosts. Of course, I’m always looking for new ways to team-up with everyone I’m meeting on these link-ups too.

      It’s fun to see how these small moments of connection, are turning into friendships.

  14. I love how you use balance tips to help with better blogging. I love that you talk about too the giving and receiving required in blogging. I started our Small Victories Sunday Linkup because I truly enjoy fostering a sense of community among the bloggers that link up with us. So glad you found us too lately! Thanks for sharing with us and pinned to our linkup board.

  15. Hi!
    So glad to discover you as a neighbor at Whole Hearted Home today. Your post was a great reminder of some things I have heard. I read Stephen King’s book this summer along with Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, that I found helpful after attending a Writers Boot Camp early last summer. I think connecting via linkups has been a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and sense of connecting with this unique and gifted community we are a part of. I’m glad to also discover your linkup as well and will look forward to participating.
    Blessings,
    Pam

  16. Really inspiring post! I felt when I started blogging that I had to have a niche, but as I wrote I just found myself writing about many things, I realised my niche was just me being real and honest wherever that takes me along the way.

  17. Hey Jed & Jen!

    I found you and Jen through the 100 Happy Days link up! This is great info. I have a BIG problem promoting myself. Yet, I don’t want to write something I feel is inspired by the Lord and then not have it read by as many people as possible. That a problem. Anyway…love what you guys have shared here. Please keep up the good work and I will be back for a visit!

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

  18. Hey Jed!

    I found you and Jen through the 100 Happy Days link up! This is great info. I have a BIG problem promoting myself. Yet, I don’t want to write something I feel is inspired by the Lord and then not have it read by as many people as possible. That a problem. Anyway…love what you guys have shared here. Please keep up the good work and I will be back for a visit!

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

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