GTD Cafe: How to Manage a Growing Blog
One of the key aspects of GTD is the role that our systems play in a productive life. Systems like having an in-box and using a calendar are vital to implementing GTD. Go a little further down the road and you'll find that something like blogging is actually a good extension of one's practice of GTD.
I started blogging in 2005 with a post on the spirituality of time management. Now a few years later, I use GTD-like systems to manage The Daily Saint, a growing blog that is not only climbing the Technorati ladder but maintains the respect of readers from around the globe. We're not the biggest blog out there but I use the following to keep things moving along:
- Post at the same time every day. As part of my morning routine, I post at around 6am every week day. I do this for my own sanity and I find that it's a good morning ritual.
- Provide 3 themes per week. Lisa at Productivity @ Home does a great job of this as well- providing daily content that readers know is coming. Readers like to have a sense that the blogger has a plan and my system provides three "hard schedule" days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and then two other days for "soft schedule" material.
- Give resources away. The best bloggers have way too much info to keep to themselves. I started the Monday Download series and it's been successful.
- Invite others onto the "team". Since TDS began, we've added writers for monthly spots on GTD, Public Speaking, Productivity @ Home, and the Organized Executive. This gives me a little breather but it gives those writers exposure and further builds the network of resources. I think it also adds credibility, letting readers know that you're not some weirdo in the basement just blogging to kill time.
- Don't be afraid to show your true colors. Folks who spend enough time on TDS know what I'm all about and what drives my passion. Be real and be yourself.
- Guest post on other blogs. I write for LifeHack.org each week and find this a great way to network and gain recognition.
- Be a balanced stat watcher. Watch the stats but don't be consumed by them.
- Join a network. The GTD Network via Feedburner changed the way I blog and drove traffic higher and higher. Look for other related networks that share your interests and views. A network also gives you a sense as to how fast other blogs are growing (or not). I watch to see the RSS growth rates of other blogs and then set goals to grow at a faster pace.
- Go out and get new business. Email other bloggers, submit articles and just ask for space on other's sites. The worst someone can say is "no" or "not yet"- I can handle either one. Any space on someone else's blog will drive traffic to your own.
- Correspond with subscribers and commenters. If someone is generous enough to post a comment or subscribe to your email blasts, have the courtesy of thanking them in a personal way.
- Keep things pithy. Be brief, proofread your text and get to the point. Take out unnecessary words and concepts.
- Keep things visually appealing. As a visual learner, I'm turned off by blogs that are inundated with ads that scream "cheesy"! If you're monetizing your site, don't assault your reader with obnoxious ads that dominate the visual landscape. The best example is Seth Godin's blog which is not only wildly popular but also free of ads.
"Spend the hour blogging, and you will discover many more free hours during the day.
" Mickey Kaus