Every once in a while, we come across a belief that is so profound that used, can make a difference. It is true in blogging where propositions are as important as content strategy. One such fundamental truth is the Pareto Principle. By understanding and using it in blogs, bloggers can usher in a new era of excellence.
No one was born knowing how to blog. Even if it is easy to create one today, there was still a learning curve. In fact, the best bloggers in the world are the ones who strive to learn the most. In other words, the learning never ends.
Some are okay being mediocre, but most others continue to strive for excellence.
Being new, bloggers at best are average. As I often stated in the past, a blog is a reflection of its owner. In other words, the site itself and its content reveal the attitude of the owners.
In any profession, there is the elite, and then there is the average. For one to become remarkable, we have to go to the other end of the spectrum. It means that we start as mediocre and move on to become exceptional.
Blogging and Influence
A few individuals have expressed their dismay over the attitude of some bloggers. For instance, bashing and wild accusations are going on. Although these incidents are rare, they still occur. Be that as it may, it is not at all different from other communities.
At the root of the issues is a type of bloggers who think the world is in the palm of their hands. Of course, there are others including the opportunists and the crabs.
Being a blogger does not make one an influencer. It takes more than that to be a real difference maker.
An influencer is one who can influence the thought process of the audience. Such trait, in fact, is the hallmark of leadership. No one has ever become a leader by claiming to be one. In essence, people cannot be influencers because they blog.
Here is a little mental exercise. For a moment, think about the people you admire the most and why.
Are the same reasons for the admiration present on your blog?
Earlier, I mentioned how some fundamental truths are so profound. One of them is the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. Some call is the Law of the Vital Few while others refer to it as the Principle of Factor Sparsity. In whatever way people call it, they all sound nice except for one thing.
What the heck is the Pareto Principle?
Over a century ago, Vilfredo Pareto observed how 20% of peapods in his garden came from 80% of the peas. Using this observation, he was able to connect it to the economy of Italy. As noted in a paper the economist published, 20% of Italians own 80% of the land.
Since it became known as the Pareto Principle, people had used it in many ways. For instance, Microsoft once noted how 80% of their server crashes were due to 20% of the detected bugs.
In business, a chain store can say that 80% of its profit came from its top 20% of profitable branches. Within a large company, ownership cannot focus on the whole workforce. Instead, they nurture the top 20% of the management to ensure healthy growth. As for the rest of the 80%, that is why the 20% is there.
Influence is the currency of fruitful collaborations with brands.
For bloggers, Pareto Principle is one of the essentials of becoming successful. Needless to say, success leads to becoming a real difference maker. One whom others admire.
Using Pareto Principle in Blogging
Simplicity is a word designer Jony Ive often use in describing Apple products. Not only is he referring to the physical looks, but he is also referring to ease of use. In blogs, different elements make up the website. While some are essentials, others are useless.
As a general rule, we want the audience to focus on the content.
In fact, the only reason for people visiting is because they think we may have something of value to them.
If a blog has a lot of banners and other stuff, then they become a distraction. As a matter of fact, they also add to the poor page loading time.
Let me give you an example.
The main page of the Filipino Writer, on average, takes a little over 4 seconds to load. As you are aware of, it contains a slider and three sections. One of my pet peeves is the pop-up that appears asking you to sign-up for the newsletter. It takes around 38ms to load.
It is not even half a second so what is the problem?
Every little thing adds up. We have to take into consideration that most people here do not have a fast connection. As such, adding scripts (including advertising) slows down the site.
I still see a few blogs with visitor counters and badges. A lot of blogs use Adsense, some also use Infolinks. If the money generated is not enough, then why have them in the first place? In fact, those scripts could be the ones driving people away.
When it comes to design, think of the Pareto Principle. Have at least 80% of the page for content. As for the rest of the 20%, these can be the other essentials such as logo and menu.
2. Content Strategy
Separating posts by categories is not a content strategy. Without one, the result is a half-baked blog with random collections of posts. The worst offenders are the bloggers who only write about events and products. In other words, sponsored posts.
Such websites often have near-zero traffic and do not have loyal readers.
Who wants to follow blogs that do nothing but to serve as salespersons of brands?
In the end, such bloggers cannot establish trust among readers. As a result, they can never be influencers in its truest sense.
Let me share one content strategy employing the Pareto Principle. Using this concept, bloggers can establish their personal brand and increase their influence.
Is that something that you’d like?
Stop posting articles for the sake of publishing. Instead, work on blog posts that contain more depth or insight. Enough of the generalization and be more specific. These are the so-called evergreen posts that people will find informative. Furthermore, these are the articles that are likely to rank on Google.
I have nothing against sponsored posts. In fact, I may not be willing to do that on this site, but business is still a business. In other words, I listen to pitches.
For bloggers who do sponsored-posts, use the Pareto Principle. In essence, for every paid or compensated article, publish four in-depth related posts.
The idea behind insightful posts is to establish one as an authority. For instance, beauty bloggers can write about tips on use, health concerns, and more.
In time, more and more people will see the value of the blog posts that some of them become loyal readers. It then becomes the beginning of the journey towards becoming a real influencer.
Blogging is a fun activity. For many people, it is a means to be a part of a community. Of course, most are also thinking of the returns. In that regard, blogs are different from traditional businesses.
Monetizing a blog begins only after there is already a following.
Some of you have received this and that for this and that. Yes, I have nothing against that. I suppose one can go for instant gratification. At some future time, one has to think if what they have done is worth their time?
Is this all you can do?
No self-respecting person would ever devalue themselves and accept being mediocre.
Here is the truth.
The joy of blogging does not come from the perception of greatness. It comes from real people who find value in our thoughts and ideas. Being a successful blogger means people come to us because they believe in us.
Like I said, I found the Pareto Principle to be so profound that I used it in blogging. In using 80% of my time for value rather than instant gratification, the 20% later is worth more than its totality.