Blogging reminds me of being a mum and running a busy household. Just like the shopping, cooking and cleaning, the work of blogging is never really done.
If you’re a parent you’ll know what I mean. No sooner have you dumped $200 at the supermarket, carted the food home and served it up than it’s all gone. No matter how often you shop there’s always something essential missing (most often milk or toilet roll) and no one else seems to take responsibility for writing it on the eternal shopping list, never mind actually going out to get it.
That’s what blogging’s like too. It’s a never-ending story. There’s always a blog post waiting to be written, a tweet to be sent, a blog update that you haven’t got round to yet. There’s always a book that needs to be finished, a service that needs to be updates or a special offer you should promote.
It’s exhausting if you think about it too hard and sometimes, just sometimes, the constant work of maintaining a blog can get you down.
But bold, brave, bodacious bloggers adjust their mindset when that happens and either take a break – we all need one sometimes to prevent blogger burnout - or just accept that’s the way blogging is and get on with it.
“Bodacious: adj. 1. Remarkable. 2. Gutsy. Probably from blend of bold and audacious.”
The Free Dictionary
One thing I do love about blogging is the variety. Sometimes I’m hanging out on Twitter chatting, other times I get inspired to write and sometimes I’ll be choosing and editing photos. But those are just three of the many different jobs I do to maintain my blogs.
So here’s a bloggers checklist to help you keep track of what you need to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can use this to create your own personal checklist if you like once you’ve worked out what the most important jobs are for you.
Things Bodacious Bloggers do to Maintain and Grow Their Blogs
Before You Start Blogging
1. Establish a clear goal – if you don’t know what you want to achieve from blogging you won’t get there.
2. Choose a topic or niche you’ll be able to write about for years to come.
3. Pick a blogging platform – if you haven’t done it already I recommend WordPress.
4. Decide on a blog name and domain.
5. Pinpoint your ideal readers and making sure your target audience isn’t too wide or too narrow.
6. Choose strong branding and design a blog that appeals to your target audience.
7. Write at least five blog posts before you start promoting your blog and start with the most relevant posts to your audience, not the back story to your business or creative ideas.
8. Unless you’re tech savvy you’ll need to find a great and responsive blog designer like the Successful Blogging team. You’ll be working with your blog designers for years to come so chose carefully.
Maintaining Your Blog
One off tasks:
9. Join forums where other bloggers and readers in your niche hang out.
10. Set up an email newsletter with MailChimp or Aweber. You may want two newsletters – one which simply sends an email when your blog is updated and another you can use to send other news or special offers.
11. Design and print business cards with your blog address. Show the world you mean business.
12. Tell your friends, family and colleagues or clients about your new blog and ask them to share it with their friends.
13. Registering with social networks like Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. There may be specific social networks for those interested in your niche so work out what they are.
14. Set up Google analytics so you can track your blog statistics and analytics.
15. Set up Feedburner for those who’d like to follow blogs in RSS readers.
16. Register with blog directories like Blogcatalog.
17. Learn about search engine optimisation so you can make the most of your blog and get search engine traffic.
18. Create a free giveaway such as an ebook to encourage people to subscribe by email.
19. Create a series of emails on auto-responder for new subscribers.
20. Make sure you have a mobile friendly blog design.
Regular tasks you can do weekly or monthly depending on time, personal priorities and blogging goals.
21. Create an editorial calendar.
22. Write hundreds of posts over the course of a year – assuming you post twice a week. You can batch process for speed and write daily, weekly or monthly depending on what works best for you.
23. Find images to go with the posts.
24. Leave comments on other blogs.
25. Write guest posts for other blogs. Guest posting is the best way to grow your blog.
26. Look after your core readers and faithful followers. Nurture your first readers, reply to their comments, thank them for their Facebook shares and retweets and leave them a comment if they have a blog.
27. Start using those social networks and building a network with strong relationships. It’s better to join a few networks and master them than to dabble in many but never really get a foothold.
28. Check your statistics to see which posts are the most popular so you can write more like them.
29. Optimise any posts that are getting traffic from the search engines, either to improve their search engine ranking or to encourage new readers to subscribe.
30. Publish new blog posts regularly according to a schedule that’s realistic for you.
31. Promote your latest blog posts on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media outposts you’ve chosen to be active on.
32. Reply to your blog comments.
33. Network with other bloggers, start a Facebook group and get some blogging buddies so you can support each other.
When your blog is established and you’re ready to make money blogging
34. Find relelvant affiliate programs if there are any in your niche.
35. Join the best affiliate programs and review the products on your blog. Be honest, you need to keep building trust.
36. Create a media kit.
37. Approach advertisers.
When you have time
Don’t laugh. You may just have some extra time on your hands one day or need some mindless tasks to do when your creativity and motivation is low.
38. Clean up your Twitter account to remove all the non-followers and dead accounts. Manage Flitter is great.
39. Look at your blog with fresh eyes to see what needs updating or improving and take action to do that.
Maintaining a positive mindset
40. Be creative and keep experimenting. Blogging is still in its infancy so you’re a pioneer. Keep trying new things to see what works best.
41. Have fun. If you’re stuck with nothing but an endless list of jobs like the one above you’ll probably throw in the towel. You’ve got to be passionate about your blogging topic, really love what you do and keep having fun with it if you want to maintain and grow your blog.
Silly little things like slipping unusual words or lovely alliteration in headlines work for me. If I can manage both that’s even better.
So be a bodacious blogger too. Like being a mum it may be never-ending work but the excitement of your kids growing up makes parenting worth it.
Blogging is worth the work too because there’s nothing quite like the thrill of watching your blog grow and evolve.
So now every blogger can experience what it feels like to be a proud mum – even if you’re not a woman and don’t have any kids. Your blog is your baby. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
What did I miss? What are the essential tasks and what should we bloggers be doing less of? We’d love to read your comments. I always find them so valuable to help me learn how best I can help you in future blog posts.
Like these blogging tips? Check out my workbook and audio book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps. Read and loved by hundreds of other bloggers it’s guaranteed to help you succeed faster.