How to Do Less And Achieve More with Your Blog in 2011

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It’s 2011 and I’m sure you are gearing up to crush it this year.

If you are like most folks, you are planning to

  1. Post More
  2. Comment More
  3. Do More Video
  4. Add more platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Posterous, Squidoo, etc.
  5. Submit More Guest Posts
  6. Send More Newsletters

And generally work yourself into an early, burned out and dissatisfied coma.

I’m proposing you take the lazy route.

Write More – Blog Less

Although I am a cheerleader for frequent posting, I’m also a realist. Well thought out content has more impact on your blogs success than frequent posting.

So make a habit of writing something every day. However be extremely choosy about what you post.

Thanks @chrisbrogan for the tip.

Less Twitter Followers

Focus on @mentions rather than followers. This year measure your twitter performance by the number of people you talk with. Ask questions.  Survey your followers for new ideas. Celebrate your follower’s successes.  Twitter became an extremely fulfilling community for me when I started sharing and giving rather than “taking”.

By the way, If you are in the 20,000+ Follower club, talking to your group of high-achieving friends doesn’t count (unless that’s how you prefer to use Twitter)

Used correctly, Twitter will bring you a  never-ending supply of new ideas and content.

Pick One Outpost

You’re probably haunted by the thought that you need to be spectacular on every platform. Try this. Find the audience that fits you AND your audience and focus there. If that’s Facebook then spend 2011 working it. Set you your welcome tabs, update regularly, rock out Mari Smith and Tommy and do it RIGHT. It’s ok to spend less time on Twitter or LinkedIn. Remember we are going for quality.

Clean Out Your RSS Reader

Do you really need to keep track of 329 blogs everyday? Yep, It’s nonsense. Decide Why you are reading the blogs in your reader, then trim your list to the absolute best. I recently trimmed my reader to 3 blogs. It’s scary at first but It reminded me that I should be producing rather than spending ours consuming. Content.

Prune Your Twitter List

Time whack your Twitter list. Last night, I reviewed one of my private lists and realized that 7 out of 10 people spend 90% talking about themselves our that lasted product.

I don’t have a problem with that but my stream was filled with promotion rather than insight. I put them in a “time-out” private list and added a few new people to my daily list. It’s been awesome. Give it a try. I suggest you start off with @Tferriss, and @the99percent.

Comment Less

I’m afraid that many up-and-coming bloggers have become professional commenters. They are the first to comment on an A-List blog and seem to be on 20 blogs a day. Let me suggest something else.

Join a private forum and spend 2/3 of your time there helping and sharing. You’ll learn more about your readers. You will also enrich a community rather than adding to the clamor on the top blogs.

You can also spend your time sharing in a Tweet Chat. There are a ton out there that would welcome your brilliance 140 characters at a time.

Surf Less
If you are getting a better tan from your computer monitor than from natural sunlight then you need to get out more. Read a real book. Head to the library and surf the library stacks. Sit in the mall and people watch. Put Facebook aside and call your friend on the phone.

You’ll be amazed by how human-to-human contact gives your incredible stories for blogging.

Don’t Worry it’s Just the Web

If you’re hyperventilating right now then you are an addict. Your blog, Facebook, RSS Reader and Twitter will still be there. But you need to push back from the digital buffet to get some perspective. Once you do you’ll find that your perspective will change and your blogging will jump in quality.

Leave a comment and tell me if “Doing Less” is giving you the chills. What will you cut first?

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

31 thoughts on “How to Do Less And Achieve More with Your Blog in 2011

  1. Erica Allison

    Thank you for bringing this post back to light! I love it! Great insight into balancing what matters most with life, business and personal fulfillment! I’m a huge believer in that and in not being the 1st in to comment, post, and fill up the twitter stream. Thanks for a great Sunday morning dose of reality.

  2. Pingback: The #1 reason I will unsubscribe from your blog | Blue Kite Marketing

  3. Julie

    I have just started blogging and this is a great help. I was thinking I would probably blog once a week. I will think about upping that but really…I also don’t want to blog just for the sake of it. I need to have something to say worth sharing and sometimes someone else has already said it.

    Tell me: If someone else has already said it, is it tacky to write a quicky blog, quoting the other blogger, and essentially saying me too. Adding a little more opinion and insight of course but still….does is seem copy catish?

  4. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler

    Great advice! I don’t know where people find the time to tweet constantly and comment on every blog. I would rather spend my time creating. I’ve recently taken a step back from social media and have stopped worrying so much about how many comments I get on a blog posts. Once your blog is established, if you continue to create great content then the readers will come without so much force on your part.

  5. Clean Cut Media

    I like the “surf less” portion. but then again I am a youth teacher and I run a blog about media’s effects :)

    I sorta feel comforted that I don’t have the time to write enough blog posts :)

  6. LaTosha Johnson

    I have pruned my RSS reader and am almost done with my Twitter lists as well. I have to admit I fell under the spell of wanting to consume so much I completely wore myself out! Narrowing down what and who I subscribe to has enabled me more time to get away and remember what life was like without all the gadgets-LOL! :)

  7. Mark Harai

    Hi Stanford, all of these tips are obviously great – – however, it’s the one trait found in each point that strikes me – which is quality.

    It says in everything you do, only put your very best out there for anyone to see. That typically isn’t produced when you’re overworked and stressed out.

    Thanks for the insight and food for thought.

  8. Stanford Post author

    I believe you are making the right call.
    Bruce Lee said – I don’t fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks one time. I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10,000 times.
    Focusing and mastering one platform and then using what you’ve learned to move to other platforms is effective (and more rewarding).

  9. Felicia Hudson

    Outstanding post, Stanford! I only just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, but today’s post alone will keep you at the top of my post-pruned Reader list. :-)

    I just started my own freelance copywriting business. Having been in marketing, I know the relevance of social media and have been running myself ragged trying to create a presence on most platforms. I’m spending so much time trying to build a presence on all platforms that I’ve mastered none!

    This post has inspired me to just focus on what is most important right now, which is writing and building my clientele. The catch-22 is that, of course, you need to market to build your business. So I will pick one or two areas to concentrate on and cut back on the others for now. After all, we can’t all be Stanfords, Chris Brogans and Ginni Dietriches! :-)

    Keep the insightful posts coming!

  10. Stanford Post author

    Actually my suggestions reinforces and nurtures your passion:
    Writing More and Blogging Less gets you out of the hamster wheel of constantly pushing out content that you aren’t happy with.
    Focus on real interactions on twitter rather than chasing follower numbers.
    Picking one platform to pour your energies into instead of spreading yourself thin across the social media landscape
    Spending less time getting lost in the RSS reader echo chamber and more time refining your voice
    Taking the noise out of your Twitter list so you can uncover the signal – the core needs and aspiration of your audience

    I’m talking about concentrating what makes you great. I don’t care about boosting productivity. I AM insisting that you take away the clutter, rules, and guidelines to do your best work.

  11. Solo Biz Coach


    Great post here with tons of good suggestions for getting more done. However, I would like to raise an alternative point of view.

    I think that we need to remember why we fell in love with blogging. I know for me, I fell in love with e social aspect of blogging. I like to read other blogs. I like to comment on good articles. And, I want to be able to develop more complex thoughts that require more than 140 characters. So, while I agree that you method certainly increases productivity, if bloggers adopt is model, blogging will be forever changed. And, I would say forever changed for the worse.

    Fred Leo

  12. ayngelina

    My resolution was actually to be a bit more effective with my time. So I cut way back on Twitter deciding to only RT the stuff I really loved. I post 2-3 times a week but I have to say I love commenting. I follow 100 blogs and I really enjoy sitting with my morning coffee and going through my reader. I don’t read and comment on everything but I do comment on great work.

  13. Carolee a.ka. Blogging Biz Mom

    I know reading blogs and commenting takes up enormous amounts of time and the results (people visiting YOU and commenting) is really very small….

    lol- that is so true about all of the blogs we subscribe to…how many do we really get to read on a daily basis.

    The fact that I’m here must mean I really like your advice and I had a few spare moments :-)

  14. Deidre Brathwaite@PixlD Inc

    Hiya Standford,

    Thanks for assisting me in bringing things into perspective. Last week I was thinking gotta spend more time in LinkedIn and actually do something with that Quora profile. So much to do and so little time…lol

    Will definitely clean out my RSS as I read only a couple of blogs regularly anyways and try to prune the clutter in my other social networks.


  15. Jason Sokol

    Wow! Comment less? Really? That is definitely counter to a lot of the advice out there. I love the direction you recommend.

    You mentioned that time might be better spent in twitter chats or private forums. Do you have any that you would recommend?



  16. Gregory

    Write more and blog less is just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for that. Cleaning out my RSS Feeder is the second thing that struck a chord with me.

  17. Krissy Brady | Sell Crazy Someplace Else

    It was so funny that I ran across these posts, because I am planning to make the exact cutbacks that you have mentioned, especially in terms of how many lists I am subscribed to. To sit there and spend who knows how long sifting through a mountain of e-mails, when only a fraction of them have content that suits me is time that could be better spent elsewhere.

    I think, as a new blogger, you feel really enthusiastic and want to soak up as much information as possible, and ironically later on, as your blog grows, that could end up being your downfall, since your time isn’t allotted properly.

    I’m printing out your post as using it as my “checklist”–thank you! :)

  18. Marlee

    Hi Stanford!

    I’m loving these tips. I especially like the cut your feedreader suggestion. I’ve learned that many of the messages in blogs that cross industries is the same in different words. If you try to keep up with them all, you waste time and get bombarded by information overload. Like yourself, I decided to pick a few choice blogs that I really enjoy, respect and value as my one-stop resource for info in that area. I’ve found that I don’t seem to miss much.

  19. Stanford Post author

    Thanks Srini. I got caught up in the “comment-mill” my first time starting a blog. It was a bleak and sorry world. I’m pretty stingy with comments these days. The rule is add value to the conversation or don’t comment.

  20. Stanford Post author

    Fair Point. I think a lot of people share your point of view. That’s why we started #Tweetdiner :) Don’t kill yourself over this one though. If it doesn’t work for you – move on.

  21. todd

    Stan- my only gripe- Tweetchats are way tough to break in on.
    The times they are held are often prohibitive. The groups are often closed off.
    They often have too many or too much being said.
    It’s like trying to get involved in a conversation between 25 people that you don’t know.
    I haven’t found ANY of them to be particularly welcoming. They seem to have their crowd and that’s it.
    I probably haven’t tried enough consistently, but I can easily see how folks would give up on it in a heartbeat…

  22. Srinivas Rao

    I could write an essay about all of the things you’ve said here because they are spot on. I think you know my feelings on twitter since they are well documented :). I write every single day, but I only publish 3 times a week. I’m a huge proponent of this. It just builds your writing chops. Sometimes what I write is garbage. Actually the majority of it is, but since I write everyday, the odds work in my favor.

    Comments: I’m with you on that my friend. I may comment on 3-5 posts all week, even if I share more than that on twitter. In fact I only comment if I really feel like I can further the discussion with the comments. Commenting on 20+ blogs is a lousy approach. Personally I think you’d get more out of commenting on a completely unknown blog that you really like and building a relationship with that person. In your own famous words when you comment “kiss digital babies.” I still consider that the most brilliant thing you said in 2010 and emerging talent is the most undervalued asset in the blogosphere.

    As far as worrying, right on. There’s no need to rush through it. Some people are so stressed out about blogging that they don’t have any fun with it.

  23. Laura Click

    I just wanted to take the time to say BRILLIANT post, Stanford. Not to suck up, not to be the first to comment, not to be wasting my time spewing comments all over the internet, but to thank you for pushing people to do what makes MOST sense for their business, not what they think they should be doing.

    I wrote a guest post a couple months ago about the power of saying no. I think it applies to this as well. I’m working hard to say no to more things so I can say “yes” to the things that really matter. And that’s not just from a business perspective, but a personal one as well.

    Thanks for the reminder and letting people know it’s okay to say no.

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