Thursday, October 22, 2009

8 Secrets of the 80/20 Blogger

There's this thing called 'the 80/20 rule' (or Pareto Principle). It states that in many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. It also applies to business, where 20% of the clients will bring in 80% of the sales. I decided to apply the same rule to blogging, and this post is all about the 8 secrets of the 80/20 blogger. I hope that it brings you value.

1. 80% of your posts are meaningless.
80% of what you post is going to be absolute rubbish. But those posts are still important, 'cause without them, your regular readers will go somewhere else. If they're regular, of course. Who'd be regular though if you don't have any posts? Those regular fans you have, they're there for the 20% of your posts that are meaningful to them. And of those fans, 20% of them will link to 80% of those meaningful posts on their own blogs.

2. Your blog is a valuable resource.
If you can work out why only some of your posts are linked back by your fans, you can begin to increase the ratio. Start writing more of what they find interesting and meaningful. And if you can't do this, then you're probably just not bound for success, so you might want to start knitting instead. Maybe you could blog about that? Try to aim for 80% of your posts being talked about by 20% of all your visitors.

3. Be Unique. Don’t be like everyone else. That is so Web 1.0.
You should be tired of looking at your stats and seeing that 20% of your traffic is return visitors. You want 80% returns! If you want more people coming back, you have to be unique. You have to find topics that no one else is talking about, and you have to talk about them yourself. People need to hear things in a new way, and you're going to have to be new if you want them coming back.

4. Become a Google Wunderkind. Delete your archives.
Review all your posts. Clear out the ones that either aren't popular, or are not a good reflection of how you want your blog to be. If you have less content but more of it's linked from other blogs, guess what? You become an overnight Google wunderkind. Google doesn't want you knowing this, but it works.

5. Drop all the advertising bullcrap. Simplicity is betta.
If you have advertising that's not making you money, get rid of it. Now. If you remove 80% of the advertising that's not making you money and optimise the 20% that is, your readers are going to visit your site more, and make your more money in the process. What better reason to do it, right?

7. Quit feeding at the trough.
Spend more time on your blog and less time reading websites or RSS feeds, and any other feeds you might be accessing. It's wasting your time! Quit feeding at the trough and do some creative writing of your own, instead of using other people's content. That's what people feast on, and that's where the success is.

8. Don't TRY to be one, just BE one!
To be one of the 20% of blogs that 80% of people are going to come back to, you have to be one of those 20% of bloggers that 80% of bloggers wish they were. Do more writing. Care less about the crap, and more about the quality. I have a saying sticky-taped to the top of my screen: "combine quality with consistency." Don't try to be what you THINK you should be, just do it and BE it.


  1. I agree with 80% of this post. ;)

    I disagree strongly with #4. To me the archives should be left intact as they form a history of what you have been doing and blogging about. There must be some other way to become a "google wunderkind" without slash and burn.

  2. I was supposed to be making money from this?

  3. Concerning point 2, if your post got linked on a popular website or blog that can really skew the view. It might be a really good post and that is why it got featured, but even if it isn't it might get a lot of clicks because some people on that site are at least going to click it and have a look. If you don't know this is where all your traffic came from it might seem that post was really popular because of how good it was.

    Point 8 is in my eyes the most important point.

  4. Write good stuff, be friendly with other people, and the right things will happen.

    Deleting posts? Terrible idea. But I agree with Myrhial: #8 is good stuff.

    Aether has a great response at

  5. I disagree with a few of your points.

    (1) Wrong. Depends on the blogger as to how often your posts are going to be quality... and why would you encourage people to post just for the sake of posting? That's awful advice.

    (4) Ugh. What? Who cares about Google?

    (5) Does anyone blogging about Eve really care about making money? Even CK probably doesn't get enough traffic to make a significant amount off ads.

    (6) Wait... there is no number 6!

    (8) What the hell does that even mean? Is this some sort of Disney sports movie and I just didn't realize it?

    I'd like to add a rule #9 to your list if you don't mind:

    (9) Don't write a blog because you want to get readers. Don't make posts simply because they're abrasive/opinionated and you're trying to get attention and hits. Write blog posts that you enjoy writing about things that you enjoy writing about and if people come to read, then great. Don't whore yourself out to get hits so they can click on your Google ads.

  6. I ate it :(

    It was tasty though.

  7. My blog is strictly under Point 9 courtesy of Spectre. I may have written something of interest to others, and if so, wonderful. If not, so what. It's my dime.


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