Or, are you already struggling with your bold January 1st plans?
Don’t beat yourself up. You can still save this year and turn your blog into a favored destination for your readers.
But first, you should reevaluate some sacred cows that are hampering your success.
These sacred cows, or rules of thumb, can have a long-lasting impact. They wrap themselves around every post and design decision you make. It can be tough to identify, evaluate, and abolish them. That’s why you shouldn’t be too quick to adopt a new rule-of-thumb until you are sure it will work for you.
2011 “The Year of Heresy”
I decided to break a few of my sacred cows this year.
Although it’s scary, my heresy has doubled engagement and traffic on Pushing Social. I’ve listed them to give you a few ideas starters.
Sacred Cow: Controversy and Debate doesn’t solve anything.
New Rule: Debate More
Nothing is cut-and-dry in this world. We grow through crisis, challenge, and adversity. It’s in your best interest to poke, prod, and provoke your audience.
Challenge your readers to take action for themselves and community. Dare your peeps to invest in themselves. Your post will take on a sense of authenticity and urgency that will get you noticed.
Sacred Cow: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel. It isn’t efficient or effective.
New Rule: Reinvent the Wheel
Our world is hungry for anything unique. You can’t get by just doing the same old thing just marginally better. That’s called being a commodity. Hate to say it my friend but you must break the mold and offer something new. That’s ok, because you are uniquely talented to do just that (when you stop listening to everybody else).
Sacred Cow: Intuition is all you need
New Rule: Test More
I make dumb mistakes when I rely on my “intuition”. I confuse assumptions with intuition and run half-cocked into bad situations. For example, I thought stacking my sidebar with cool promotions made sense. It didn’t. I thought an opt-in pop-up would kill my email list. It hasn’t. My “intuition list” is stocked with failures based on bad assumptions
Try testing instead. Google Analytics and various WordPress plug-ins make it easy to investigate every detail of your blog. Install them and start reading the reports. Then start running some experiments. Put your assumptions to the test and watch your performance improve.
The Things That Stay The Same
People want quick, cheap, and easy answers to their problems. Deliver those answers and stand out from the crowd. This is the underlying truth in blogging, business, relationships, parenting, spirituality, finances, and more.
If your blog is barely pulling its weight then it it’s solving the wrong problems.
Give Your Best Away:
Listen to me. Guest post your ass off this year. Open your fancy editorial schedule, create a new column and give away at least 12 posts. Aim for the top of your niche, find blogger’s email address and send them ready-to-post articles.
There is absolutely no reason not to guest post. If you are the top blog in your niche then start looking for complementary niches to conquer.
Study Your Reader
Understanding your reader is the key to writing spectacular posts. Imagine that you are a FBI profiler studying the motivations and intentions of your reader. Write down your observations. Next, check your blog posts and decide if they speaking to your reader. Do this every 6 months. It’s an eye-opener.
Get Started Now
Insanity: Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results – Albert Einstein
Which one of your sacred cows are you going to examine this year? What rules of thumb are delivering good results? Are you slavishly following someone else’s rules? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think.