I have a farm. Not a link farm or a blog farm, a real farm with plants, trees, and animals (goats). For a time, when I first moved here, I worked with my father on the farm and while I liked it, eventually I found blogging and that’s what I’ve been working to grow ever since. As I work to become a better blogger, it’s not lost on me how similar blogging is to farming. Not quite convinced? Well here are a few farming concepts that may seem familiar to you as a blogger:
Tip #1: You reap what you sow This is the simplest rule and probably the most overlooked. If you plant cucumbers, you get cucumbers not pumpkins or bananas, or beans. What you put in the ground, you get.
Blogging Perspective: This is where “GIGO” comes into play. GIGO is a prominent acronym that means Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you have not-so-great posts then you’re going to get not-so-great traffic which yields not-so-great commissions and the not-so-greats go on. Creating a quality post doesn’t mean being Shakespeare or Einstein; it means having some little take away for your customers/visitors.
Tip #2: …More than you sow One of my favorite things to plant (and eat) are tomatoes. It’s amazing to me how just one tomato seed gives you a plant loaded with multiple tomatoes each with hundreds of seeds. Wall Street can’t even match those kinds of returns.
Blogging Perspective: I wrote a guest post on how Facebook ads help with exposure that sparked a lot of discussion on Google vs Facebook. Now, that wasn’t my intention but the amount of feedback, traffic and social shares was the highest I had gotten from any guest post. That post made me realize just how valuable guest posting was and how many people had wanted to try Facebook ads but were hesitant. Not bad for just one simple guest post.
Tip #3: …Long after you sow it There were plenty of times when I put a seed in the ground, checked on it over a period of weeks and saw nothing. Then when I stopped checking and much later than I anticipated, it started to sprout. What I planted did give me a yield but sometimes it was further down the road.
Blogging Perspective: Just because you’ve created this killer post and nothing happens immediately doesn’t mean that nothing will happen. Over a year ago, I created a post on one of my other blogs about bullying bosses. About nine months later I got an email from someone who was dealing with a similar issue and needed some advice. I helped her as much as I could. Not too long ago I checked my Amazon account and was shocked to see 4 sales of books about bullying bosses were sold through my link during the last quarter of 2012. Again, more than a year after I wrote that post based on my own experience, it yielded me a few sales and contact email.
Tip #4: Weed Your Farm When I got the land it was overrun with weeds. My Dad and I worked to get rid of them so that we could start sowing seeds. After we did that we left it alone and were surprised how the weeds just took over again and stifled the seedlings that were just starting to pop up. We had to really keep an eye and weed out the unwanted plants so that the new plants would have a chance.
Blogging Perspectives: We work hard on our blogs and that means a lot of late nights. Taking a break is necessary to avoid burnout but leaving a blog unattended for months and years without periodic maintenance could leave it vulnerable to many things including hacks. Every day I get emails alerting me to attempted intrusions and had one of my other blogs completely hacked. Lucky for me it wasn’t fully operational and just required a quick restore but imagine if it was a site that was a money maker. Keep an eye out for people/things who want to stifle your growth for their own gain.
Tip #5: Trouble Doesn’t Set Like Rain How do you know that it’s going to rain? That’s easy! You look up at the sky, see some really dark clouds and realize that the weather report you heard this morning may actually be right. Rain tells you it’s coming but certain things like drought, animals getting wounded or sick aren’t necessarily forecast. A farmer’s income is adversely affected by all of these unexpected factors.
Blogging Perspective: With blogging, the same principle applies. You never know when a server will go down, files will get corrupted, Google will Panda/Penguin you or even when you’re going to be hacked. This is where having multiple streams of income and creating that “rainy day” plan comes in handy as a blogger. If your blog is down, how much income could you lose, how long will it take to get it back up
Tip #6: You Can’t Grow Everything When I first started this little farming adventure, I brought a lot of seeds with me. We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, peas, pumpkin, watermelon…While they all blossomed, we only got good yield from one or two of those crops. The soil was great but the environment wasn’t ideal to grow all of those crops so we stuck with what worked.
Blogging Perspective: There are a lot of bloggers who believe that if they fill their blog with links to every affiliate program they belong to, the money will just roll in. Overwhelming your site will only scare visitors away. The best practice is to slowly test different types of links to see which work and which don’t. Stick with what works best for your blog site and leave the rest for another opportunity.
Just like farming, blogging is about planting seeds, waiting for something to grow, coming to terms with what just won’t, protecting your yield and reaping the harvest whenever it decides to come. Simple…just not easy.
Agree or disagree?