Marla Cilley, also known as “The FlyLady” has helped over a half a million women (and a few good men!) get their homes under control.
While housework and blogging may seem to have little in common, I believe that the principles taught by the FlyLady that help women who are messies to create homes they can be proud of can also help bloggers create content that they can be proud of.
Here are a few principles from FlyLady that apply to blogging.
1. Take baby steps with your blog.
FlyLady is a firm believer in baby steps. Women with messy homes often get tripped up because they wear themselves out when they all of a sudden go on a cleaning frenzy – only to quit later in exhaustion or frustration. Understanding this “all or nothing” trait of many messies, FlyLady wisely starts women on her program off with only one task – shine your sink. Yes, only one, very manageable task to focus on each day.
Bloggers can apply this same principle by setting one simple and small goal to accomplish each day or week. As a blogger you may have great plans and feel like you have so many things to do, but start small, with one simple blogging goal that you know you can accomplish consistently before adding more tasks.
2. Have a blogging plan.
One way that FlyLady helps people succeed with housework is by helping them to gradually create a plan. There are morning routines, before bed routines, and a different focus for each day of the week and each month of the year.
It’s also important as bloggers, to have a plan. The plan can be as simple as publishing a blog post every Thursday, publishing particular types of posts on certain days of the week, or creating a detailed editorial calendar. Plans help remove overwhelm because much of the thinking and decision making is done ahead of time, and you simply have to follow the plan to make it work.
Plans can also include ways to keep track of blog post ideas using something such as OneNote.
When creating your blogging plan, take another cue from FlyLady – start small (e.g. “shine your sink”) and once you have the small thing under control, add something to it, such as a new routine.
3. Build your blog following by giving away a lot of free stuff.
FlyLady offers a lot of great material totally free of charge. People can get a tremendous amount of help for their issues with housework by following the free plans on her website.
She does monetize her blog by having a shop on her site, but the free stuff brings a lot of traffic to her site and keeps people coming back for more.
Bloggers can follow FlyLady’s example in this way as well by making quality content and free materials such as eBooks, spreadsheets, reports, and so on the foundation of their blogs.
Promoting products and services on a blog can be done much more effectively when people have good reason to come to your blog regularly. Get them, and keep them there, with quality free content.
4. Look for ways to make blogging fun.
The Motto of the FlyLady shop is “Make it fun, it will get done.”
Let’s face it, any of tasks that have to be done regularly and in a disciplined manner – whether that be housework or blogging, is not always fun, but the more fun we make them, the more likely we are to do them consistently.
As a blogger “fun” can be as simple as fixing a cup of your favorite tea every time you sit down to blog, playing enjoyable music, using software or other tools you enjoy, setting up a challenge or contest for you and other bloggers, and so on.
5. Admit and embrace your blogging imperfections.
Another popular FlyLady motto is, “housework done imperfectly still blesses your family.”
Perfectionism can keep people from accomplishing , or even attempting, all kinds of things. Stop worrying about creating perfect content, and just get out there and do it. Yes, we all want to do our best and strive to improve, but don’t let perfectionism keep you from getting out there and doing it.
Additionally, be real with your readers. It’s okay to admit that you don’t have all the answers and that you’re not an expert on everything, and that you’ve had your share of blogging failures.
FlyLady is in large part successful because she herself had a problem with keeping her house clean. She shares her imperfections, and how she has overcome them, with her readers. The readers of your blog will love you if you do the same.
Which of the above principles do you find most effective in your blogging strategy? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share that help you in your blogging endeavors? Leave a comment below to ask questions or let me know your thoughts!