Can you remember the last time you went in to an arcade to play games?
Most of us will have spent time at the seaside when we were kids, attracted in to the arcades by the bright lights and exciting sounds.
For me, the best part of going in to the arcade was the pinball machines.
Spurred on by The Who, I loved putting the money in the slot and pulling out all the stops to make the flippers fly and the ball race around the platform.
Pinball is a great game for hand/eye co-ordination.
It’s not such a brilliant approach for blogging
Playing pinball is all about hitting the flippers backwards and forwards as quickly as possible, getting bemused by the bright lights, and panicking when it looks like the ball is going to drop through one of the wrong slots.
In many ways, this is exactly the kind of behaviour some of us tend to apply to the art of blogging.
We rush about putting hundreds of articles up, forgetting keywords and backlinks in an attempt to keep the blog going at all costs, and get sidetracked by the bright lights of get-rich-quick scams, new software packages and laughing at spam.
We need to treat blogging as a business to be successful
Running a blog is great fun, but if we really want to get somewhere with it as a business tool, we need to re-think our approach and become a little more strategic.
When we set out with our blogs, it’s a pretty interesting time.
We get to pick themes and images, craft our vision in real terms, and press the button to make it go ‘live’.
It’s a huge thrill to see our site joining the ranks of the search engines and feeling that first rush of achievement when the new comments start to come in.
Oh No…the shiny stuff is pulling me in
However, it’s pretty easy to get seduced by the shiny side of blogging, and kind of forget along the way why we are actually doing the whole activity in the first place.
Unlike pinball, blogging has a definite purpose and benefits which go far beyond the thrill of seeing our company up in lights for the first time.
The best way to approach blogging is to have a clear strategy in place, a strong structure and a great routine.
Try the following tips:
- Know where you are headed. Plan out what you want to achieve three, six, nine and twelve months from now. Scope out your ambitions for your blog, and then track back measurable milestones for reaching them
- Have a firm routine in place by scheduling in posts, spending a set time each day on administration and commenting, and further time to learn more about how to optimise your blog
- Keep things structured. Only choose subjects which will further your business and attract more customers
- Ask yourself, before you undertake any activities: Will this bring me more revenue? Is this in line with my strategic direction? Will it bring a firm return on investment in terms of time or money? If the answer is no, don’t do it.
By taking this approach, you’ll manage to avoid the pinball effect of blogging, and instead turn your site in to a lucrative, rewarding and successful aspect of your overall business strategy.
How do you stop the pinball approach to blogging?
Please share your views in the comments below.
Image by The Consumerist
Some days it sure feels like that – playing pinball and seeing what works. Other days I write down lists and make sure everything gets down no matter what comes at me. Love your analogy!
I am very similar. I do make an activity list the night before but some things just ‘appear’ and need to get done during the day.
Perhaps the key is to add some contingency!
Good post. It is very easy to fall into the pinball method of blogging. I agree that blogging should be treated holistically as there are many bases to cover.
Andrew, I write three different blogs, two about freelance writing and one about hiking. For each I have a definite strategy, and for my main freelance writing blog, a set posting schedule.
Readers need to know that a blogger will generally stay within a specific topic range; if the blogger wanders all over the place, readers will likely drop away.
Nice to see you. I hope all is well.
When you are a natural writer like you…it makes it a little easier right?
I don’t think I oucld cope with keeping 3 logs alive.
Dear Andrew –
When you are writing like a pinball machine, your readers may enjoy the ride –
But after a while blogging, I realized you have to tell them what to do about your post.
You want comments.
The best way I found was to challenge them with a question.
It works. People answer.
I agree, Corinne…asking a question does increase the comments!
I try and ask a question at the end of each post.
Focus! Focus! Focus! That is so true with blogging you need to be the sniper rifle and not the shot gun scattershot. You need to remember the basics and embellish at a rate that you can handle without watering down your content.
Focus and do not allow yourself to get distracted. It’s hard but then if it was easy we’d all be successful, wouldn’t we?
Hi Andrew…You know bloggers are really into writing different contents and even those that which people can relate to…It helps people to comment more…
Actually Andrew it all makes sense. It’s not that easy to avoid the shining lights but if we’re into having our own domain then blogging as a business it’s correct, even if in a relaxed way and without being blinded by the “make money overnight” thing. Otherwise it’s better to go with a free blog platform; but given the economic crisis a couple of bucks more are always good to have in our pockets. 🙂
I would never recommend someone goes down the free blogging platform if they are serious about their blogging and want to make it into a business.
When you first start a blog it’s easy to put various forms of content out there to see what sticks, but that isn’t going to get you a loyal following. A business blog should have a clear purpose and concentrated content. Routine is key, since a blog needs to be active to find success.