As a blogger, we keep building new habits so that we can be more productive. Sometimes, we end up embracing the habits that are not only counter-productive but can be detrimental for our cause. In this post, I talk about some of the counter-productive habits for the bloggers.
There are so many stories available on the internet which talks about bloggers achieving extraordinary success. These are the motivations which encourage more and more people to follow the path and achieve their dreams.
But, that’s not the end of it, there are so many untold stories of failures which usually doesn’t come in front of the readers. The failures are more in numbers but we still choose to get motivated by the success stories.
What a key factor to differentiate between a success and a failure?
Usually, it’s the person and the rigorous which he has put in the work to achieve that success. We usually look at the success but miss the small habits and dedication which the person has shown to achieve that success.
As there are small habits which helps in achieving success, similarly there are counter-productive habits which can lead to a downfall. Most of the people do not recognize if they are falling in a trap of unproductive habits and wasting a lot of time which can be used to achieve success.
Counter-Productive Habits For Bloggers
I have a habit to read something daily. It can be a book, blog post or any other source but I make sure I spend 15-30 min daily on reading something new.
Here is one of the quote from a book which I am reading currently:
Good habits are important, but it’s often our bad habits that prevent us from reaching our full potential. Think of it this way: You’re only as good as your worst habits.13 Things mentally strong people don’t do
How true this statement is?
You don’t achieve the success based on how many good habits you follow but you restrict your success based on your worst habits.
Every blogger is guilty of falling for these counter-productive habits one time or another. So here are some of the counter-productive habits which you should avoid.
Obsessing Over Data And Metrics
This is one of the easy ones, as most of the bloggers try to keep track of so many things. Social Media Network engagements and growth, Google Analytics, Paid Advertisements, Affiliate Incomes, etc are some of the things which we try to keep track of.
None of us realizes that when we make a habit of checking the stats too many times, sometimes multiple times in a day. This is such a waste of time which can easily be converted into a productive effort.
Just try to remember when you have checked your stats last time? How frequently are you checking those stats? If the answer is daily or multiple times in a day, you are also part of this group and need to do something.
Schedule a Time for Analyzing Data
So what can you do to overcome this habit? The First step would be to make a schedule for checking the stats.
Like for Affiliate income stats, you will not earn more money by checking it multiple times. So there is very little gain by checking it multiple time in a day.
If you would like to know when you have made a sale, most of the affiliate network provides notification subscriptions. You can use those services to get a notification of the sales.
Google Analytics and Webmaster is a little different as they can provide good insight into your audience and content. So you would be tempted to look into that data but usually, the insight can be only gained with data over a period of time.
You should have a habit of checking the data of Google Analytics and Webmaster once in a month or a fortnight. The idea should not be checking the data but generate insight and create actionable items from that insight. Like, you can generate content promotion plan for next fortnight with the help of Google Webmaster report of SERP rankings.
Keep Checking Pending Tasks List
Creating a pending task list and use it as a guideline to complete things is a good habit but it can quickly become counter-productive. You need to keep a check on how much time you are spending on the pending task lists.
It may happen that we are spending way too much time on managing the pending task list and checking the pending tasks rather than completing those pending tasks.
The idea of creating a pending task list is to get those tasks done rather than manage the list. So spend more time completing the tasks and stop managing the list too much.
Use Tools To Easily Manage Task List
There are many tools available which can help you in organising the pending tasks and manage it easily for you. One of my favourite tool for task management is Todoist.
If you have a small team to collaborate with and only a few projects to maintain, you can use the free plan of Todoist. You only need to pay in case you have to create many projects in Todoist.
Just keep adding the items in the list and assign a priority for each item. After that, your job would be to pick the highest priority item and complete it. Don’t worry about finishing the list, just keep completing item by item.
There will be few items which will always fall at the end of your list and you might never reach them but that’s okay. These few items are the one which offers very minimal gain and might not even worthy to spend any time on them.
Don’t Plan For Anything
One of the worst thing to do is go unplanned, keep doing random things and expect better results. Doing things randomly will only give you random results.
In the end, people are not judged by the effort they put in but with the result, they generate. For gaining a good result, you should be more calculative in terms of how you want to spend your time.
The above tip of using tools to manage the pending task list is one of the examples of better managing your time and plan your efforts intelligently.
Content generation is only one part of Blogging. You may be writing a good article but if it’s not promoted correctly, it will not bring any gain. In my initial days of blogging, I use to believe that content is the king, write a good quality article and the audience will follow. So, I use to have only one task – Write Content.
But after writing the content regularly also I wasn’t able to generate enough audience. That was learning, Write content but also spend a good amount of time promoting those articles also. That’s when I started doing guest posts and ended up doing a few guest posts on blogs like – ProBlogger.
How To Plan Your Blog’s Growth
The idea should be to create some long term and short term goals for your blog. Collect some of the metrics about your blog like the size of your audience, earning, etc. Now go ahead and create some goals like how much you want it to grow in a year’s time.
Once you have a defined your goal, you can try to break it into short term targets like to reach your audience goal in a year, how much you need to grow in a quarter or six-months. These can be short term targets and will drive your daily activities.
The goal should never be to write these many articles rather than audience growth, earning growth, engagement growth extra. Goals should be the one which matters in the long run and will be regarded as a success for your blog. Just publishing some number of articles does not become a success unless you have an audience to appreciate those articles.
Do It All By Yourself
Are you the person who thinks he can do everything for your blog? No worries, initially most people think like that. I am one of those persons who like to do things in a certain way, so if someone does the work for me, I will never be satisfied.
But the truth is that no one can do all the things for the blogs. There are so many things to do nowadays like content writing, marketing, social media profiles, Blogger Outreach, etc. It practically impossible for a single person to do all those activities. You should look for things which can easily be outsourced or can easily be done with the help of tools.
Use Tools And Outsourcing To Manage Workload
There are tons of tools and services out there in the market which can help you in managing your tasks for your blog. You should always keep looking for tasks which are time-consuming and repetitive in nature. Those should be your prime candidate to either outsource or use tools to reduce your efforts.
SocialBee – Social Media Profile Management
One of the big work for any blogger is to manage social media networks. You have to constantly engage your audience and keep growing your accounts. I prefer using SocialBee for help in managing my social media account.
SocialBee allows you to manage your social media activities with category-based content management. You can define the categories to create different publishing schedules for each category. Each content added to the category will follow the publishing schedule for that category. Once you define and create schedules, the only thing you need to do is keep adding content to the categories. Rest will be done by the tool.
SocialBee also provides an option of evergreen content and multiple variations for content. This will help you in creating repeating posts which can pick different version each time it got posted to your social network. One of the best feature to promote your evergreen posts and giving them extra exposure.
Looking For Perfection In Everything
Once you publish a post or content on your blog, it will be in front of a huge audience. No one can control the audience and the kind of feedback he or she will receive in today world over the internet. So taking a detailed look and being thorough is good while creating your content.
But this does not mean that you should look for perfection in everything. Creating a perfect content takes a huge amount of time and research which might not be worth the gain. The amount of effort which is required to turn good content into a perfect is substantial which can easily be spent on creating additional content on your blog.
The Pareto Principle
While creating content always remember The Pareto Principle. The principle states that 80% of the effect comes from 20% of the causes.
So your content should cover that 20 % of the causes and you should be able to serve 80% of the audience. The effort which you should spend is in identifying those 20% causes. You should be looking to create a content which can be good enough for your 80% audience and improve it over time to serve additional audience.
If you wait for the content to be ready for your entire audience, you might waste a lot of time before you can publish it. And, based on the principle, you gain may only be around 20% from all that effort.
So stop looking for perfection in everything and make intelligent choices to serve most of your audience.
Big Wins Are A Way To Go
One of the big counter-productive habits for Bloggers are always looking for big wins. Bloggers will always be in a lookout for keywords which can bring huge audiences to their blog but always pursuing those big-ticket items can sometimes waste a lot of time.
You need to understand that if the keyword has a potential to bring a good number of people then many other blogs will also be targeting it. There will be big blogs or media houses, which will have more resources and marketing teams who can convert it easily. Going up against that competition will need a significant effort and resources from your part.
Combine Multiple Small Wins
Rather than looking for one big win, start looking for many small wins. Small wins should be easy to gain and you won’t get much of the competition. Build on those small wins and you will get your audience.
You can work hard and rank for a keyword which has the potential to bring a thousand people on your blog or can look for ten keywords which can bring a hundred people each. Both will have similar effects on your blog but the second option will need a less effort.
Also in the second option, if after some time you lose ranking for some keywords, you will still have other keywords bringing the people on your blog. The first option, all your eggs are in a single basket and you can’t let it slide down.
WordPress Design And Themes Configuration
I am in the software industry for almost twenty years by now and most of my initial years I was working with Mainframe Computers. We had a saying – If it ain’t broke, It doesn’t need a fix. The same is true for most of the work which we do on our blogs also.
We as a Blogger, spend a good amount of time tweaking the themes and design of our blog. The main work of the themes or design is to present your content in front of the audience. If it’s serving its purpose, there is no need to change it.
Spend Time On Things Which Matters
Design of your blog is important and will need some changes from time to time but that time needs to be controlled. We can’t keep spending most of our time in tweaking the blog design when we can spend it on other important activities which can result in the growth of our blog.
While you are creating a list for pending tasks, assign them the priority. Also, create a recurring schedule for some of the regular tasks like revisiting the old posts, blog design changes, email replies, comment replies, etc. Once you start spending the scheduled time on regular tasks, you will see that you have so much extra time for the other activities.
The idea is to spend most of your time in doing things which can grow your blog rather than the regular maintenance activities.
Only Work, Work And Work
Have you ever thought that putting unending hard work is a key to success? Think again!
Blogging is a creative work which needs a good state of mind and motivations. Putting unending hard work can create success but also can wear you down. It can become monotonous and unmotivated to keep churning out the work like that.
You should be looking to find new ideas or topics, understand or experiment with new methods. All those are possible if you are in a good state of mind and motivated to get the work done.
Take A Break
Taking a break and spending some time with the activities which you enjoy can help you rediscover the motivation and fill your energy levels.
Spending the time with your family or taking time-out for things you enjoy will fill you with positive energy. This in turn can make you more productive for your day-to-day blogging activities.
So make sure you are keeping some time away from the work and spending it wisely to recharge your batteries.
Respond To Each And Every Emails
One of the most time-consuming time for every blogger is to check emails and reply to incoming inquiries. It looks nice that you are able to respond to each and every email which you get but have you noticed how much time it consumes?
Try to send a few emails to some big names from your industry and check how many of them reply. If your email has a genuine query, you might get the reply but what you will learn that they are very selective in terms of whom to reply.
You should choose to reply to people with a genuine interest in your blog or topic. Otherwise, spend the time on doing the productive activities for your blog.
Learn To Ignore
Once of the best art of blogging is – Learn to Ignore
You need to identify activities and people who take a lot of time from your blogging activities and learn how you can ignore those. This way that time can be used productively for your blog.
When I work with a freelancer, one of the prime criteria for me is the ability to work independently. If the freelancer needs a lot of guidance or keeps looking for direction for everything, I would skip that freelancer.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to look for instruction when we start working. But once we have done the exercise two-three times, I would like him to take over and start doing the work on his own. Otherwise, I will keep spending time and will lose the benefit of outsourcing.
Write An Article and Forget About It
Writing and publishing articles are one of the basic tasks of Blogging. All the research, analysis, writing efforts needs to be translated into a useful article for our audience. But once the article is published, what after that?
That’s where most of the blogger fail. Once the article is published and promotion is done, we forget about that article. We all talk about creating evergreen content but in reality, no content is evergreen.
Make An Evergreen Article
You need to make an article evergreen by constantly updating it. There are so many changes which happen or technology gets upgraded. You need to make sure your article offers a piece of relevant information to your users.
This is only possible if you understand the topic and keep updating your article for the changes. This means that your users will always get up to date information rather than some outdated few years old information.
When you are planning your monthly activities, keep time for checking old articles and updating them. This will help in ranking them better and will be able to grasp audience attention.
So these are some of the counter-productive habits which a blogger can acquire while working on their blogs. Keep those in mind and make sure to observe if you are starting to build any of these habits.