The Rule of 5 for Bloggers Paradoxically, nothing boosts the creative process like routine.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
I learned the concept of the Rule of 5 at a seminar, "The Rule of 5 for Leadership," by John Maxwell. Since then, I've heard the Rule of 5 for just about everything. The Rule of 5 is a list of the five essentials every day for our business or whatever is our main goal in life.
As an example, imagine you are standing on the back patio of your dream home. A tree that stands dead-center blocks your view of the glorious prairie hills behind your home. Your goal is to enjoy the prairie scenery but, to do so, you must get rid of the tree. You get your axe but this tree is massive, so you apply the "Rule of 5." You swing your axe five times a day until, one day, you have given that tree the final whack it needs to fall down. Now you can enjoy your prairie scenery. You fix a cup of coffee and enjoy your view in peace.
Related: 6 Strategies for Launching a Successful Blog
Your blog is that stubborn tree. Your goal is having thousands of people subscribing, buying your products and reaching out for your services. The five things you must do every day to achieve your goal are:
1. Create. Emphasize headlines and calls to action, as well as developing an editorial calendar. To begin learning the art of crafting persuasive headlines, read Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich (AFF) by David Garfinkel.
After the headline, focus on a call to action. Whether it is to comment on the blog, sign up to a newsletter, buy a product or service, every blog should lead the reader to an action step. Have a specific call to action for each blog post before you start writing. Knowing the action that you want the reader to take will inspire the content.
Finally, crafting an editorial calendar will save you time down the road. Have the entire month of blog posts scheduled on your editorial calendar. I usually spend the end of the month scheduling my editorial calendar for the next month. When next month comes along, all of my posts are filed away in the draft folder ready to be edited.
2. List hyperlinks and backlinks. Backlinks and hyperlinks direct the reader to an archived post on your website/blog, sales pages that you may have or to affiliate products that you promote. This step is very important for monetizing your blog effectively. Making a list of links to be added to the post will save time when you're ready to publish. Merge this with the first step.
Related: Bring Traffic to Your Site With These 4 Blogging Alternatives
3. Write. All you have to do is let the creative juices flow through your fingertips to produce valuable content your readers love. When you have completed the first two swings of the axe, writing the actual blog post is much easier.
The brain has a creative side and an editorial side. Which side is dominate varies by person. During the writing stage, shut off the editor side of the brain and let the creative side dominat, at least for the moment. Developing this skill will take some time but becomes second nature with intentional practice.
4. Edit. Editing is when you turn off the creative side of the brain and allow the editing side to take on the dominating role. Plug in those backlinks we talked about. Pay attention to your design and layout. Determine the best location on your blog for ads and other eye-catching promotions.
5. Publish. Now you are ready to publish your blog posts and share it with your raving fans. Provide a social sharing system on your blog so that readers can readily share their favorite posts with their friends. Don't forget to also connect your blogs RSS feed to your autoresponder email service provider (ESP) so that your blog post will automatically be sent out to your blogs loyal email subscribers.
Take these five swings of the axe daily and you will be well on your way to earning six figures directly from your blog.
Related: How to Get Paid to Blog