Using The Pareto Principle to Increase Your Efficiency as a Blogger
I wrote this post after having an interesting discussion with one of my friends during an MBA class. We were talking about another crazy student who was going for A+ in every single class. She was studying days and night, taking so many notes she could write a book and trading sleep for more coffee to survive her day job while doing the MBA. One thing was 100% sure: she was heading directly (to a burnout!) to get the best grades in the class.
So while she was asking a question and taking more notes as the teacher shared his thoughts with us, I was scribbling as fast as her. However, my friend noticed that I was not taking down marketing notes. I was actually working on my blog and my other online projects. He asked me how I thought I was going to perform in this class while I wasn’t even listening. I smiled:
– The Pareto Principle, I replied. Also known as the 80-20 rule, the Pareto Principle states that, most of the time, 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort. Therefore, in marketing, you will earn 80% of your income from 20% of your clients.
When I was younger, I decided to put this principle to the test; I started to study less and do other stuff instead. I noticed that most of my mark was earned from the very first hours of study. Since that day, I decided to not study much, and work more on projects instead. Therefore, I was able to get much more accomplished within the same time frame and with similar result to most people. I know I can average 90% in all my courses. Actually, everybody can. In fact, if you work hard enough, you can do pretty much anything. It all depends how hard and for how long you want to work. But why trying to get 90% when you can get 80% with almost one fifth of the effort?
How can you apply the Pareto Principle to your blog or your online business?
We all hear about several people working hard all day long for several years and not getting much out of it. Well this is probably because they were focusing more on the 80% of their work that will get them only 20% of the reward instead of working only on the 20% that will bring them 80% of the expected results.
Therefore, when you are working on your blog or any other websites, you have to determine the difference between what will really bring your site to the top compared to all the other tasks that will give some results but will burn an awful lot of time and energy at the same time.
You should already work on something where you are stronger than the average bear in your market. If you focus on the 20% that matters, you will never become the best in your field, but you will become one of the most efficient. Hence, one of the most productive and high gainers.
Here’s a good example
While reading about how to build a better blog, you will find advice such as “content is king”, “comment on other blogs”, “participate in forums”, “work hard”, etc. It is true that you need to work hard to increase the visibility of your blog. However, there are ways to concentrate your work to give you maximum reward.
This post is a good example. I could have take an hour to read posts on great sites like John Chow or ShoeMoney and try to write interesting comments in order to get a few more clicks to my main blog (The Financial Blogger). However, chances are that I would have posted my comment in the 23rd position and nobody would have read it besides some “evil” Googlebots. Instead, I sent an email to John Chow offering to write about this topic and took about an hour to write the post. I will have the same link juice but with much more exposure as thousands of people will hear about The Financial Blogger today. They may then decide to check out my blog and get some quality financial advice or find out how a 27 year old guy can have a full time job, do a MBA, run a blog among many websites and have time to play with his two kids at the same time 😉
I would go even further with the Pareto Principle
Blogging requires a lot of skills such as writing talents, technical skills, SEO knowledge, etc. It is very hard to become a pro in everything. So why don’t you focus on what you do best (your 20%) and get other people to do the rest (80%). This way, you will be able to accomplish much more with less time and energy!
I actually use this principle in every aspect of my life; at school, at work, on my blog, everywhere!
This post was guest blogged by Mike Heroux of The Financial blogger.