How to Build a Better Blog By Finding Balance (Link-up #6)

Blog with balance

A key to successful blogging is finding balance. Because of the work I do, I spend a significant amount of time driving. This provides me with an excellent opportunity to feed my pod-cast and audio-book addiction. Right now, I’m listening to On Writing, by Stephen King–A memoir of how Stephen developed into the writer he is, interspersed with the tools of the craft. As a quick word of caution, Stephen’s use of colorful language, and brutal honesty, means that this book is not for everyone–especially those with sensitive ears.

I’m also enjoying The Portfolio Life podcast by Jeff Goins, and Authority Self-Publishing Podcast, by Steve Scott. The more I learn about blogging, the more I am convinced that balance is necessary. Below are three ways to build a better blog by finding balance.

#1 Build a Better Blog: Balance excellent content with strong promotion.

“Content is king.”

“Focus on good writing and people will flock to your site.”

I heard phrases like these over and over again when I first began blogging. The problem is that I believed them. I focused solely on writing, but this created a problem. Although I had good content, few people were able to find that content on my site.

I don’t like the idea of self-promotion, so I wanted to believe that good writing was all I needed. Telemarketers and door-to-door salesmen had left with with a negative view of marketing. I was afraid of being spammy, and became overly cautions in sharing my work with others. Today, I know better and am working to build a better blog by balancing excellent content with strong promotion.

Being spammy involves connecting people with content they don’t want or need.

This is one of the reasons I love link-ups and started the Family, Friendship and Faith Linkey. Its one more way to connect your excellent writing to people who are looking for exactly what you and I have to offer.

Build a better blog by balancing awesome content with ethical and helpful blog promotion.

#2 Build a Better Blog: Balance giving to others with receiving help yourself.

Many bloggers I know are natural givers. The problem it is possible to get so caught-up in guest-posing, and helping others build their sites, that we neglect our own blog. Blogging is a social craft. It’s nearly impossible to run a successful blog in isolation.

Learning to say, “I’m honored that you asked, but I can’t right now,” is a must. Requests for:

  • Advice.
  • To guest post on someones site.
  • To help with someone’s book promotion, review, or latest project.

These are common blogging requests. It’s an honor to be asked, because it shows that someone cares about our opinion. It’s also perfectly OK to say “no.”

The other side of this is that it’s important to learn to ask others for their support. If we don’s ask others for:

  • Their advice,
  • To guest post on our site,
  • To help with our book promotion, review, and latest projects,

Other’s won’t have the opportunity to say “yes.”

Believe that those around you want to support you in your endeavors.

#3 Build a Better Blog: Balance your narrow niche with your broader passions.

“Find an narrow niche and hone-in on it.” This is more advice that I heard when I first started blogging. The idea is that a narrow niche will help a person find their tribe. While their is a lot of wisdom in this, today, I am learning to balance my narrow niche with my broader passions.

Author and Speaker Jeff Goins uses the phrase “the portfolio life,” to describe a life filled with numerous areas of expertise. Similarly, Emily from puttlylike.com, coined the term “multipotentialite,” to describe the multifaceted human nature. When I started Coffee Shop Conversations, I focused primarily on tools from psychology and the Bible. Today, while psychology and Scripture are still integrated into much of my writing, I am having a blast balancing my niche with my broader passions. In fact, these Friday posts–which provide insights into what I am learning about writing and blogging–are among my favorite to write.

You are a multi-talented individual and there is no rule stating that you and I have to write about only one thing.

These are some of the ways I am striving to build a better blog by finding balance. How about you: Are you learning to find balance in these areas? Are there other ways to build a better blog by fining balance, that you would add to this list? I look forward to continuing the discussion in the comments below! 

P.S. Coffee Shop Conversations is now listed in the Top Mommy Approved Blogs. Jenny and I would love it if you would help us increase our exposure by clicking on the icon below, and leaving a thumbs-up vote. Thank you for cheering us on!
Top Mommy Blogs

Family, Friendship, and Faith Link-Up

This link-up is an excellent place to meet new friends, network, and share your posts. Please feel free to include any family, friendship, and faith related posts. If you have time, please visit some of the other submissions, leave a comment, and make some new connections–after all, this is what teaming-up is all about!

Finally, I’d love it if you would grab a button for your site, or link back to the Family Friendship and Faith Fridays, link-up, in order to make it easy for others to join in!

Coffee Shop Conversations


About The Author

Jed Jurchenko

Husband, father, coffee enthusiast, hiker, beach lover, psychology professor, Christ follower, writer!

34 Comments

  • PatFenner

    February 5, 2016

    Right on, Jed! I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years, the last 3 pretty seriously, and it is only (fairly) recently that I’ve really honed in on the concept of promoting… (and to think I was so smart in school – LOL). I mean, it makes sense, but up until then, I, too was of the “just write it and they will come” ilk!
    Lovin’ your conversations over here…and happy to see you over at our own Coffee & Conversation 😉
    Oh, btw, did you see that I found some excellent voter’s guides? If not, I’ll add them to the last link party you were at…
    Have a great week! Off to pour myself another cuppa…
    PatFenner recently posted…Coffee & Conversation #79 – Your Voice, Your VoteMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 5, 2016

      Thanks Pat,
      I’m loving the Coffee and Conversation link-up you host. It’s been absolutely amazing how many new friends and connections I’ve been able to make over the past month. And thanks for remembering about the voters guide too–I have some catching up to do 🙂
      Jed Jurchenko recently posted…How to Build a Better Blog By Finding Balance (Link-up #6)My Profile

  • mmstreeter1

    February 5, 2016

    Inspiring tips here. I use to in the beginning struggle with my niche and then I realized, I have many niches really. As a mother to grown children, a teacher and a follower of Christ, I have much to say in all areas so why not just write from my heart. Yet, I do believe we have to self-promote much of the time until our audience builds. So many great ideas here to think about on how to grow our spaces. As always, I come away with something else to think about when I leave your blog. Awesomeness! Can’t wait till your post comes out Sunday. You both did an amazing job!
    mmstreeter1 recently posted…Thankful Friday 2/5/16My Profile

  • Kirby Ingles

    February 5, 2016

    I’m finding balance by asking for help and providing value to others. I also take small, bite-size chunks each week towards my ‘someday goal’ for my blog. Small actionable steps consistently is much more efficient than taking on large sweeping actionable steps which take me out of rhythm and sync with what I have already put into place. It is much like habit building, to build a new practice; you build off an existing pattern in small increments. These small steps allow you to test to see what works and what isn’t. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
    Kirby Ingles recently posted…3 Easy Steps To Making Strides With Your Goals And HabitsMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 7, 2016

      Hey Kirby,
      Such excellent blogging wisdom. There are many days when I would do better to pace myself more 🙂 Thanks for all of the value you add into my life. You do an incredible job of pouring into others!

  • Marva | sunSPARKLEshine

    February 5, 2016

    My challenge is probably the balance between niche and wider interests. I find that while I wear many hats, it’s sometimes better to put on just one and focus there. But there’s a risk in feeling unauthentic. It’s always a question of finding what works for me and my audience. Little by little, I think I’m getting there.
    Please keep the encouraging words coming!
    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine recently posted…True Identity: The Truth About Being Chosen and CompleteMy Profile

  • Pam Blosser

    February 5, 2016

    Great advice here. I’m currently struggling for a broader reach. Broadening my writing to include my passions is something I probably need to consider. Plus. I think I need some SEO tips … write about that soon!! Thanks again for the opportunity to linkup and for this post.
    Pam Blosser recently posted…Journey To Him Accepts The Liebster AwardMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 7, 2016

      Hey Pam,
      A post on SEO tips would be fun. I have a lot to learn about this myself. Writing post on SEO, would provide a good opportunity for diving into the research and trying some new things myself. Thanks for the excellent idea!
      Jed Jurchenko recently posted…Our Interview On Grammie TimeMy Profile

  • Paula

    February 5, 2016

    You have many great tips here! I’m not organized enough to put my blog into a particular niche so I’ve categorized myself as a “lifestyle” blogger…although who knows where I’ll be down the road.

    Thanks for hosting and linking up with my party as well 🙂

  • Heather

    February 5, 2016

    I could not agree with you more. I spend too many years putting it first even above family, and it was a big mistake. It was not the right thing to do and I’ve made 2016 the year to find my “balance”.

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 7, 2016

      This is such good wisdom Heather. Balancing blogging and family is something I struggle with, and I’m working to grow in this area too.

  • Sean Carlin

    February 5, 2016

    Jed,

    King’s On Writing is a really entertaining, very candid piece of work — I’ve read it several times. I think it holds more value as a personal memoir, however, than a story-craft instructional, as King offers very little in the way of codified principles or tools; he seems to be — by more or less his own admission — an author who writes intuitively (what they call a “pantser” — someone who writes by the seat of their pants — versus a “planner” or “plotter”). For basic mythic structure, Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey is invaluable, and The Successful Novelist by David Morrell (creator of Rambo) is the best manual I’ve ever read that applies strictly to the fine art of novel-writing — the advice is far more specific than anything King has to offer.

    Sean
    Sean Carlin recently posted…A Los Angeles Crime Saga/A New York Love StoryMy Profile

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 7, 2016

      Hey Sean,
      Thanks for the book recommendation. I agree, Stephen King’s book is an incredible memoir, and very entertaining. I never heard the term “panster” before, but have to agree. I notice that the second half of the book, dives deeper into the craft itself. However, much of the advice centers around allowing the characters to develop as the story progresses. I’m fascinated with how King will write without a definite outline or ending in mind.

      I love King’s passion and attitude toward writing, and although I’m not getting as many codified principles as I initially hoped for, I feel like I’m catching his passion for the craft. I’m stoked that you have a book with a more structured process to recommend too.
      Jed Jurchenko recently posted…Our Interview On Grammie TimeMy Profile

  • jwiebel

    February 5, 2016

    Jed, These are such great tips. I have heard all of the same things and I know they totally make sense but I feel like there is just a different aspect that can be approached and you outlined them all so well. We are multifaceted humans. God created us to not be one dimensional and I love to be able to share those different dimensions. I think it makes you real. One reason why I to love linkups is you can get all the facets of people and enjoy them for the gifts and passions that God gave them. Great linkup. Thank you for hosting. Have a great week. I hope Jen is feeling well.
    jwiebel recently posted…Great Glory and Sitting Among Friends Blog Party #10My Profile

  • Nicole

    February 5, 2016

    Why is it that balance is so key in every area of life, but not so easy to achieve? Your points are spot on, and a great reminder of that needed balance in the blogging world as well. Thanks for this!

  • chadgramling

    February 6, 2016

    Some great tips here Jed. I am not sure why, but I never got the Podcast bug… might have to give a few of them a go and you’ve provided some great suggestions if I ever do. Where I struggle right now is with the Niche. I think I have finally zeroed in on it, but I am may not be narrowing the audience for it enough.

    Keep up the great work here. I really enjoy the wisdom and insights you impart. Blessings

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 9, 2016

      Thanks Chad,

      I love what your doing with LUK focus this year. It seems like a fantastic niche to me, and if you ever start a podcast, let me know. I’ll be the first to subscribe 🙂

      • chadgramling

        February 9, 2016

        Thanks Jed. It’s been a wonderful new direction for the blog and I think it’s starting to show. I know I have grown a lot just in the 6-ish weeks since I’ve embarked on the “Year of Listing Up” series. It’s nice to have a little bit of a framework that I have to tie into as well. Blessings.
        chadgramling recently posted…Grow Up. And Then, Grow Up Some More.My Profile

  • Raising Samuels

    February 6, 2016

    Great advice! Thanks so much for sharing and for hosting this awesome link up party. Hope you all have a nice weekend 🙂

    • Raising Samuels

      February 14, 2016

      Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you all link up again this week. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family 🙂

  • Gayl Wright

    February 6, 2016

    I’ve only been a blogger for a little over 2 years and I really appreciate the suggestions you share here. I, too, have heard the same advice you originally heard that you share here, but I’m glad to see how you’ve expanded it to include more helps. Thank you! May God bless you and your family!

  • Heather @ Simply Save

    February 7, 2016

    It really is about balancing between producing good content and also promoting it. There’s a lot more to blogging than just writing! Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!

  • Inez

    February 7, 2016

    This was a great read for me. I have really been struggling with the niche thing lately. This is really great info. Thanks so much!
    Inez recently posted…Real Moms Talk: Losing the Baby Weight (Part One)My Profile

  • GinaB

    February 8, 2016

    Hey Jed & Jen, great post. Great tips. I too was told when I first started blogging if you have great content they will come and then soon learned that is not quite true, lol! Your explanation of content and promotion is great. You had so many great points in this post that rang bells for me. Thank you!

    I see you have a link up on Fridays. What time does it start? I would love to participate. Also, it would be great if you could join me at my link up Beautiful, Creative and Inspired Link Up on Fridays starting at 9 am.

    Lastly, I had been meaning to contact you. You mentioned in another of your posts about cultivating friends in link ups. Could you give some examples of that please.

    Yes, I had a lot to say, lol. Have a great evening.

    • Jed Jurchenko

      February 9, 2016

      Hey Gina,

      Thanks for dropping by. The Family, Friendship, and Faith link-up, starts every Friday, at 4am Pacific Time. Yes, I’d love to check out your link-up and will be sure to add it to my list.

      It’s amazing how many friendships are forming from these link-ups. Deb, at http://www.grammietime.com/ recently interview Jenny and I on her site. It was a huge honor, and our friendship began when I discovered her link-up. We’ll also be doing an interview with Alison from http://www.lifeofscoop.com/. I also got to know Allison from the weekly 100 Days of Happiness link-up that she hosts. Of course, I’m always looking for new ways to team-up with everyone I’m meeting on these link-ups too.

      It’s fun to see how these small moments of connection, are turning into friendships.

  • I love how you use balance tips to help with better blogging. I love that you talk about too the giving and receiving required in blogging. I started our Small Victories Sunday Linkup because I truly enjoy fostering a sense of community among the bloggers that link up with us. So glad you found us too lately! Thanks for sharing with us and pinned to our linkup board.
    Tanya @ Mom’s Small Victories recently posted…Small Victories Sunday Linkup {88}My Profile

  • Susannah

    February 10, 2016

    Thanks for these great tips! I’m going to try to take them to heart!!!!

  • Ana (@ANAWINSblog)

    February 11, 2016

    Great advice, as a blogger, homeschooling mama I’m always trying to find the perfect balance in juggling it all.
    Ana (@ANAWINSblog) recently posted…Italian Chicken – Crockpot RecipeMy Profile

  • Lindsey

    February 11, 2016

    Stumbled across your post again and agree 100%. Love these candid posts about your blogging journey. Thanks guys! Tweeting, pinning and stumbling this.
    Lindsey recently posted…3 Honest Ways To Get Rid Of The PacifierMy Profile

  • Pam

    February 11, 2016

    Hi!
    So glad to discover you as a neighbor at Whole Hearted Home today. Your post was a great reminder of some things I have heard. I read Stephen King’s book this summer along with Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, that I found helpful after attending a Writers Boot Camp early last summer. I think connecting via linkups has been a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and sense of connecting with this unique and gifted community we are a part of. I’m glad to also discover your linkup as well and will look forward to participating.
    Blessings,
    Pam

  • mackenzie glanville

    February 11, 2016

    Really inspiring post! I felt when I started blogging that I had to have a niche, but as I wrote I just found myself writing about many things, I realised my niche was just me being real and honest wherever that takes me along the way.

  • Tiffiney

    February 11, 2016

    Hey Jed & Jen!

    I found you and Jen through the 100 Happy Days link up! This is great info. I have a BIG problem promoting myself. Yet, I don’t want to write something I feel is inspired by the Lord and then not have it read by as many people as possible. That a problem. Anyway…love what you guys have shared here. Please keep up the good work and I will be back for a visit!

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com

  • Tiffiney

    February 11, 2016

    Hey Jed!

    I found you and Jen through the 100 Happy Days link up! This is great info. I have a BIG problem promoting myself. Yet, I don’t want to write something I feel is inspired by the Lord and then not have it read by as many people as possible. That a problem. Anyway…love what you guys have shared here. Please keep up the good work and I will be back for a visit!

    Blessings,
    Tiffiney
    WelcomeHomeMinistry.com