Are You Majoring on the Majors?

by Derek

Do you currently run a blog of your own? What do you spend the majority of your time doing? Do you ever wonder if some of your efforts are a complete waste, while the actions that you keep putting off are entirely essential? Even if you don’t own a blog, there are still events in your life that take up your time. Are they worth it, or are they just a waste of your life as well? I suggest that you major on the majors and minor on the minors.

Major and minor triads on white piano keys

Managing That Valuable Resource

Have you ever spoken to an old man that’s on his deathbed? He might only have a few days to live, and he’s been reflecting back on his life – trips that he wishes he’d taken, relationships he wishes he’d developed, and words that he’d take back if he could. If this man was given the option to have anything in the world, you know what he’d choose? Time. You may not realize it now, but time is your most valuable resource and you should cherish it every day you’re here on earth. This is why I believe in and practice the 80/20 rule.

What is the 80/20 Rule?

I’m sure everyone has their own definition, but for me, I know that 80% of my efforts yield only 20% of the results, whereas, on the other hand, the other 20% of my efforts result in 80% of my entire work.

I believe that the 80/20 rule relates directly to blogging. One person could spend 40 hours on their blog each week, but hardly yield any more results than the blogger that works on their site for only 20 hours. How can this be? Well, it’s simple really. The 20 hour blogger has discovered which 20% creates 80% of the results. By focusing only on what’s important, they can yield almost the same results as those that are seemingly working 2 or 3 times as hard. The 20-hour blogger chooses to major on the majors, while the 40-hour blogger unknowingly decides to major on the minors.

What is Important When It Comes to Blogging?

If you own and operate a blog, you know that there could be a million things that you could do on any given day, but which ones are the most important? In my eyes, nothing is more important than content. If you do nothing else right, but you have amazing content, you will be a successful blogger. Another major (in my opinion) is the ability to build online relationships. If you keep a tight relationship with your readers, they will without a doubt keep coming back to your site. Respond to every comment, email, and link to your site, and you will do well in the world of blogging.

Leave That 20% Alone

There’s no sense in putting 80% of your work into a project and only seeing a 20% return on those labors. Do your best to spend the least amount of time on these tasks! If, with your blog, you are spending the majority of your time altering your web design, but not finding the time to write articles, guess what? You’re currently putting yourself in a position to yield minor returns from your hours of effort! Are you constantly changing the look and placement of your Adsense box? Sure, it might make you an extra $5 in the end, but in the grand scheme of things, all of your efforts essentially amounted to nothing!

Are you majoring on the majors? Or are you just wasting time on the next worthless project?

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Jai Catalano March 14, 2012 at 6:17 am

Very well said. Actually from my photographic content I have gotten work and strangely enough I have gotten logo design work from Yakezie and I don’t even blog about it. So I agree content content and more content… Oh and once in a while make em laugh… 🙂

Derek March 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Yep. You’ve got it. Focus on that content, and the rest will fall into place.

krantcents March 14, 2012 at 7:48 am

I like think I am productive and efficient most of the time, but this is a good remonder of what is important. I have started to cut back in time and concentrate on what is important. Thanks Derek.

Derek March 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Great! I need a little reminder once in a while too. In fact, I just checked my keyword rankings on Google about 5 minutes ago. Yep, that was a complete waste of time – especially since I do it every day….

Maggie@SquarePennies March 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I spend most of my time on content and my traffic keeps increasing. However my Alexa rank keeps rising. It was as low as 138,000 and now it’s up to around 190,000. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I spend time commenting on other blogs, but not everyone returns the favor. I’d like to know how much time bloggers with low Alexa rankings put in on content vs. commenting on other blogs. I see some blogs with an under 100,000 Alexa rank that seem to have no new posts for over a week at a time. I also interact on Twitter and have over 4,000 followers there.

Derek March 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

It’s tough to know what to do to keep that Alexa rank down below 100k. For me, I continually commented on 5-10 blogs every day (some of the same ones, but mostly different) until I was down to about 75k. Then I just got overwhelmed with projects and stopped commenting. The funny thing is, I had already captured the attention of my readers and they kept coming back. My Alexa is now consistantly under 60k.

Maggie@SquarePennies March 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Thanks, Derek, that’s helpful. I guess I haven’t been commenting enough. I’ll start spending more time on that. I’ve only been leaving 3-5 comments a day.

Max March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Totally agree. I’ve got like a million ideas and plans for my blog, but the one thing I know I have to do each day is produce new content, as that’s my lifeblood, or blogblood as it were.

Derek March 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

You’ve got it Max. I understand completely what you’re saying too. It’s tough to focus on the majors, but in order to achieve consistent success, it just has to be done.

Maggie@SquarePennies March 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Max, I hear you. I put up a new post almost every day. Perhaps that’s too much? I try to make it quality content and that takes time.

Derek March 14, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I shoot for every other day. It seems to be just the right formula.

Maggie@SquarePennies March 14, 2012 at 8:08 pm

That sounds doable. Thanks!

ImpulseSave March 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

Thanks for the great tips and conversation here! It’s hard to tell sometimes when you track your metrics over time: sometimes they seem to change so much even though you are not doing anything differently. Do you have a suggestion for how often you should check some metrics (Klout, Alexa, etc.) to get an accurate reading of your progress?

Derek March 17, 2012 at 5:32 am

I would limit checking your metric to once a week (which is actually extremely tough for me). This way you won’t see the insignificant ups and down that just might happen, but there should be a solid trend from week to week.

Dr Dean March 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Derek, Good post that makes us think about what we’re doing. Thanks.

Derek March 17, 2012 at 5:33 am

No problem Dr. Dean! I always love writing posts that make people think a little bit harder about what they’re doing! 🙂

Jackie March 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

By far, I spend the majority of my blogging time actually writing. While that’s obviously important, I think I could benefit from putting in a little more time on the other things too.

Derek March 17, 2012 at 5:33 am

That’s actually pretty rare – to write the majority of the time. There are a lot of distractions that could use up your time. Good job!

Paul @ The Frugal Toad March 17, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Great message Derek! It is so easy to get distracted by all the mechanics of blogging and lose track of the reader. I am looking at getting rid of some plugins that are slowing my site down. It’s a good example at how one can lose track of adding value for the reader!

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