We’re breaking down how to find your blog’s focus, and how less is more using the 80/20 rule of blogging.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever
been personally victimized by Regina George felt overwhelmed by blogging. Ok, cool – as you can see, literally everyone reading this post probably threw both their hands up.
Let’s all just be honest and say that running your own blog, whether as a hobby, a side hustle or as a full time gig, can be overwhelming. Of course, it’s also incredibly rewarding, exciting, fulfilling, and all that amazing jazz. But trying to create something of value, that makes your reader’s lives just a little bit better, is no joke.
The simultaneously wonderful and exhausting truth of running a blog is that the internet is constantly changing. And by constantly changing we mean, the strategies that helped you succeed yesterday could be worthless tomorrow.
So with all of that said, finding focus is a constant battle. When we’re trying to grow and improve our blogs, often we head straight to our weakest points and try to fix them. You see everyone and their mom jumping on a blogging trend and start to feel anxious and like your already behind. So you dedicate time to becoming the expert in that trend, just in time for the next one to roll around. Pretty soon you’re a jack of all trades and a master of none.
Overwhelm also comes into play in our daily schedules. Have you ever spent an entire day working, only to realize at the end that you barely scraped the list of things that would move the needle? Girl, we feel you.
However, Christina and I both believe that rather than try to fix and fortify what you’re not great at, or constantly chase trends, you’ll be far more successful by doubling down on what IS working, and focusing on the few activities that make the biggest impact. These are also the activities that you have the highest potential to actually succeed at AND enjoy. Double booya.
Find Your Blog’s Focus Using the 80/20 Rule
By now, you’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. It means that roughly 80% of the outcome comes from 20% of the work.
This principle appears in business all the time. 80% of a business’s profit comes from 20% of it’s customers, while 20% of a business’s employees typically product 80% of the results.
This principle is also in play with your blog. Think about all the different tasks and activities you do for your blog? It’s a lot isn’t it? At the end of the day, however, only about 20% or maybe even less of what you do impacts the majority of your success.
For example, the time spent writing and shooting for blog posts might be less than 20% of the time you spend on your blog. However, those are the activities that really move the needle. It helps you create content, from which everything else stems.
So by now, you might be feeling the disconnect. The activities you’re you’re spending your time on feel a lot like the 80% that isn’t moving the needle. But what’s a blogger to do?
How to Find the 20% You Need to be Focusing On
- First, on a blank sheet of paper, write down the 5 biggest sources of traffic for your blog.
- Then, write down the 5 biggest “wins” you’ve had whether it’s a feature on a larger website, a partnership, or just a milestone you’ve been trying to hit.
- Next, look at those lists and write out all the reasons those things happened.
- Was it because you took great photos?
- Did a post go viral because of the topic or the way you wrote?
- Did a collaboration expose you to a new audience?
- Try to identify anything unique that stands out about the sources of traffic and the reasons you had those big wins.
- Now, on a separate sheet of paper, write down everything you do in a week for your blog. That includes email, social media, writing, photography, editing, engaging with readers and other bloggers.
- Look at both these papers. Do they have anything in common? Things that you do every day that are moving the needle. Are there areas of activity that haven’t made any impact on your successes?
- From these lists try to identify the 3-5 activities you do for you blog, whether it’s photography, writing, collaborating, or whatever it is, that have really made an impact on your traffic and your big wins.
- For the next 3 months double down your time and effort on these areas, while also letting go of at least 5-10 activities on your list that haven’t been making a big impact.
What Do You Think?
- What 2-3 activities do you think make the biggest impact on your blog?