“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” — Mark Twain Click To Tweet
This is a summary of my 10 favourite concepts from the book “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy and how I’ve used them to improve my blogging.
Along with my actual goals and targets, I review these rules and principles regularly to make sure I have a great overview of my project and I actually make progress.
The strategies I’m presenting here have proven very efficient for me, and they keep consistently working for me as I move forward. However, everyone is different. Most of the advice and strategies given in any field of expertise usually needs to be adjusted for every person. As always, take out what you don’t want, and apply what you need. What matters is the results.
1. Plan Every Day in Advance
Every minute you spend in planning can save you five or 10 minutes in execution. You need to find the right balance between planning in a way that will contribute to your productivity and planning too much just to kill time because you’re afraid to start. As Amy Chan says, perfection is procrastination in disguise. It’s easy to hide behind trying to perfect something and using that as an excuse to not launch, to not put yourself out there. Eventually, you need to go and do it.
Planning in advance when blogging
- Content calendar
- Email outreach
- Tech time, spent on maintaining website
- Work on freebies and lead magnets
2. Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything
20% of activities account for 80% of results in hundreds of areas in life. Focus your efforts on that top 20%. A great way to do that is to identify the elements of your life that are part of the 20%, write them down, and memorise them. Every time something comes your way, analyse whether or not it contributes to that 20%. It will help you prioritise.
The 80/20 rule applied to blogging
- 20% of your content production will account for 80% of your traffic.
- 20% of your readers will account for 80% of your audience loyalty.
- 20% of your loyal audience will account for 80% of your income.
3. Use the ABCDE Method
My favourite way of rating priorities is actually on a scale from one to four. But the principle is the same. Again, it’s super handy to have your priorities on paper, because you just know right away what needs to be done and what can wait. That’s the power of the list.
The ABCDE method applied to blogging
It’s so easy to get bothered by small things that don’t look right on the homepage of your website. It’s so easy to find one more thing to do to justify postponing your launch by one more week.
Sure, that button would look better if it was this colour. Sure, it would be better if you weren’t missing that one page. But at the end of the day, you know what is vital and what isn’t. You CAN’T launch without A and B, but you CAN launch without C, D, and E, and so stop obsessing over the last three.
4. Focus on Key Result Areas
Identify and determine those results that you absolutely, positively have to get to do your job well. When talking about this principle in the book, Tracy refers more to a professional work environment. But it also works for blogging.
Key areas in blogging
- Consistently putting out content and not stopping.
- Interacting with your audience as much as possible.
- Growing specific metrics related to your blog. Views, subscribers, followers, downloads — those will lead to more business.
5. The Law of Three
Just like the 80/20 rule, this one applies to many areas in life. There are usually three top things you have to do that will account for 90% of your contribution to any project.
The top three things you will do a lot when blogging
- Writing, all day every day.
- Interacting via emails, comments, newsletter s— putting yourself out there.
- Generating freebies and products for your audience.
6. Prepare Before You Begin
Have everything you need at hand before you start, whether physically or digitally. The more you’ll have to stop your flow to look for something, the more likely you’ll be to stop for a long period of time before going back to the task. The point is to avoid interruptions as much as possible.
Preparing before blogging
Research papers, resources, numbers… You should have everything ready. From a logistical point of view, make sure you have all you need on your desk too: paper, pen, laptop, headphones, glasses, coffee, snack, etc. Make it as pointless as possible to leave your desk until you’re done.
7. Leverage Your Special Talents
If you want to get into blogging, you have to be at least good, and ideally very good, at something. Not only because you will have to throw your whole heart into doing this thing, but also because you need to be an expert in your niche if you want credibility and the opportunity to live off your passion. The competition is tough out there.
Leveraging your talents in blogging
The ways you’ll leverage your talent and expertise in that niche will be through what you have to offer: your resources, webinars, articles, premium content, videos, how-to guides, etc. The better quality they are, the more you’ll grow your platform.
8. Slice and Dice the Task
Breaking large tasks into small actionable steps will help you move faster. You have to find the good ratio between the size of the task and the amount of time and energy you have. If you have a hard time getting to work, a very small task will make it easier for you to take the first step. But you’ll also make less progress. Find the optimal task size for you.
Slicing, dicing, blogging
The number one big task in blogging is writing articles.
Here is how it can be sliced:
Six smaller tasks, maybe one for each day of the week.
If it’s too much work for you, you can slice each task in more sub-tasks:
- Draft first half
- Draft second half
- Write Part 1
- Write Part 2
- Write Part 3
- Write Intro and Outro
- Outreach Phase 1: email
- Outreach Phase 2: social networks
It’s all about the amount of work you can kill at once. If you need more steps, then make more steps. As long as you do the work, you’ll make progress.
9. Upgrade Your Key Skills
When you become more knowledgeable and skilled, you don’t just execute faster. You also have a better overview and understanding of all the underlying processes. You become a lot more aware of what needs to be fixed, what’s running smoothly, and what could be running better.
Upgrading your key skills in blogging
- Read books on what you write about on your blog. Become an expert in your niche.
- Network, network, network. Go to events, meet inspiring people who are doing it better than you are, and learn from them.
- Watch videos and webinars about your niche.
- Learn how to use certain pieces of software that can optimise your productivity.
- Stay on top of trends in your niche.
10. Develop a Sense of Urgency
We all have deadlines at work, and most of us deliver on time, no matter how hectic the process was. But very few people set deadlines for themselves.
You’re a lot more likely to get your work done if you set a hard deadline for yourself and treat it as a professional task. Don’t stress yourself out too much — be realistic with the deadlines. But once you put it in the calendar, don’t lose sight of it and execute.
Urgency in blogging
It usually goes through the content calendar.
- Once you put an article in your content calendar, don’t think back on it. Execute and deliver on time as if this was your day job.
- Once you put an email flow on your to-do list, execute on it.
- Once you plan on reaching out to this person on Tuesday, send that email on Tuesday.
Practice makes perfect. The more you train, the better you’ll get. Keep everything in check, fix what’s not working, and most importantly, never stop moving. Every day you keep going, so many people quit.