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How to Keep Momentum Going on Your Blog with a ‘Points System’

Jason left a comment a couple of weeks ago on my previous post asking how many posts readers have posted on their blogs in a week that caught my attention.

In his comment Jason talks about a ‘points system’ which he’s developed for helping him to keep his blog achieving the momentum that he wants it to.

His daily goal is 50 points and different tasks get him different amounts of posts. I’ll let him explain (note – I’ve slightly reformatted his comments):

“I work full-time on the side as well. The way I get things done is by using a point system.

Some days I don’t feel like writing, some days I don’t feel like commenting, some days I don’t feel like networking, or whatever… I have to reach at least 50 points per day.

  • 10 points for a long blog post
  • 5 for a short one
  • 2 points for a comment on a blog I’ve commented on before
  • 5 points for commenting on a site I’ve never commented on before
  • 1 point per comment on my own blog
  • 10 points for installing a new module/plug-in, etc.

Works well for me. I think I may have created the system, or sub-consciously remember reading about such a thing somewhere.

I just know that the point system keeps production going while I also work a full-time job.”

What a great idea. I’m sure some readers will find it a little too complicated for their free flowing style – but if you’re in a dry patch and need a little self discipline, or like Jason have limited time to throw into your blog I think that this is a great plan.

I’m sure there are plenty of other tasks one could put on such a list. Here’s some off the top of my head (feel free to add more):

  • 2 points for emailing another blogger with a link to a relevant post
  • 3 points for an IM conversation with a blogger in your niche
  • 2 points for answering a reader’s question via email

What would you add?

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Excellent post, Darren and great technique Jason!

    I think I’ll implement this technique into my site. :-)

  2. GREAT idea! I’m gonna try it, but not just for by websites – for all my computer work :-)

  3. Loretta says:

    I definitely need to implement a system like this one. Sometimes I get caught up in my free flowing typing and forget to post in certain places or get other things done, a points system will definitely make things smoother and more organized.

  4. MattK says:

    This sort of system is interesting as it can bring about measurable results. I like blogging just for the heck of it, but successful blog management requires some sort of quantifiable measuring tool. Sounds like you have one.

  5. I like this idea. It is also important not to create a big list of deeds for which you will receive points. List of 5-9 items is enough. If you have more ideas, it is better to combine some items. Otherwise you will soon be bored with accounting or will more count than blog :)

  6. Brian says:

    Love the system, but I’d turn the final point on its ear to read “10 points for uninstalling a new module/plug-in.”

    Kudos to you, I say, when you cut clutter and achieve a quicker load time.

  7. dave says:

    This is a really good idea. I’m going to implement this into my blogging and also see how it translates into other facets of my life.

  8. eve says:

    I made a excel worksheet for this- you can track each blog seperately and it auto-tallies your totals and lets you know how many points you have left for that day and that blog. Completely editable. I have it posted here- http://dillydesigns.com/2007/07/09/the-blog-points-system-excel-sheet/

    Enjoy!!

  9. kathryn says:

    When I first read this post, I dismissed the idea as too structured for me. However, it’s been marinating away and I’ve come round.

    I love blogging, but it’s only one part of what I do and I often find it hard to balance out the blogging and social networking, with the other things I do. Hence I tend towards inconsistency – spending too much time on my blog one week and then neglecting it the next.

    So, I like this idea of having a points goal for each day. It gives a boundary to my blogging, but also a sense of daily achievement. Thanks for this.

  10. Mark says:

    How about 2 points for revising an earlier post?

  11. Laura says:

    This is an excellent idea, and works well – I know, because I use almost the exact same system, set up in an Excel spreadsheet, for keeping track of all the daily bullshit I have to do around the house and with my kids. I get bonus points for going out somewhere like the park or on a walk or a playdate or even McDonald’s. I lose points for watching talk shows. Ha! I get HUGE points if I manage to work out. It’s a fun little motivator, and helps me get stuff done I might ordinarily blow off, like vacuuming or whatever. When you’re up to your armpits in small children, you have to trick yourself into thinking you’re winning a game. Haha!

  12. x3r0_bug says:

    Wow, this post has opened my eyes to something that is very useful, yet very… simple. I can’t believe I didn’t think of something like this before. I don’t think its the fact that I’m getting points that motivates me to get things done, but it allows me to make fully sure than I’m contributing a substantial amount of work into my blog…and not second-guess myself at the end of the day feeling like some kind of slacker.

    I just started my blog, so there is practically nothing there yet, but this point system will definitely help out a lot. I will start on it tomorrow. I just built a basic list of points that tailor to my website specifically, but it will grow as I think of them.. or as I do things that aren’t within the list.

    I’ve ran a blog before, and I think anyone who has can agree that there is a whole slew of things that should be done in order to have a ‘successful’ blog (write posts, comment on others, build relationships, links, etc. etc.) and its hard to keep track of them all. The point system allows you to have a list of all the possible things to do to keep your blog alive, thus taking away whatever stress it causes trying to remember what needs to be done!

    Another great thing about it is the fact that it can be used with many other things besides just making sure to keep your blog updated. Like I said, I can’t believe something this simple I haven’t though of before, mainly because of the fact that for me personally, something like this will work really well.

  13. Jason says:

    Hey Darren, you can read this post in Arabic today. You do speak Arabic don’t you?

  14. josh says:

    It’s in Russian.

    It is a free translation of this post but author is linking to problogger and Jason’s page.

  15. Jason says:

    Ah. I see.

    I think I’m going to start going by Джейсона.

  16. Eternity says:

    That is a really good idea, thanks. I am definitely going to start using it myself.

  17. Jeff Sargent says:

    Just found this – this is a fantastic idea, I think I’ll try it. Thanks for sharing!

  18. ryan says:

    since i’m always online reading someone’s blog using something like this helps me pay attention to use all the time i have well, besides if you find something insightful you should let people know. so…

    I enjoyed this post and found it practical.

  19. Zane Dickens says:

    I have just started to use this method and already I have gotten more done in the last 20 mins than the last two hours…

    One small change I minus points for bad habits, in order to correct behaviour.

    Currently:
    -5 for tweaking visuals
    -5 for adding or tweaking ads

    I’m insanely competitive so I have be going for 50+ everyday. Really awesome idea, these are the ‘little gems’ I’m looking for filmmaking-related for my site…

  20. Pinyo says:

    I think this is a good system. I have been posting once per day and still feel that something is missing. May be this will help.

  21. David says:

    Great idea, now im making 2 points :D

  22. Dave Origano says:

    What a great idea. Actually I’ll improve this further and put it into my guide for bloggers and coaching students.

    This kind of things really helps people stay on track, especially when you combine this with your strategy, short- and longterm goals.

    Yes, two points for me!

    -Dave

  23. Gopher Girl says:

    Love this idea!!…. Although I’m not happy to admit, I know I’ve neglected my blog over the past few weeks. This system makes it simple enough to maintain dedication towards your blog.

    Other ideas I have:
    15 points for writing a tutorial
    5 points for posting a video
    10 points for writing a review of a website or service

    You could also set rewards like for every 1,000 points take a day off!

    So I’m going to try it and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing

  24. I am going to start this immediately. This is a great idea!

  25. A great idea. I am thinking for me I would want to add points for podcasting and for twittering. Something like:

    1 point per minute for an edited podcast
    .5 points per minute for a stream of un-edited podcast

    1 point for a twitter with content
    .5 for a twitter about what I am doing
    .5 for a twitter reply

    Hey cool, this would get me 2 points!

  26. Vidyut Kale says:

    Fantastic idea. I will start using this immediately. My blog had been badly neglected and now I’m trying to scramble my way out of the mess I brought to myself.

    This will go a long way in helping me find direction.

  27. OK, now that I have been trying this for a while I may need to get more realistic. Doing blogging/podcasting as a part time job I may have to be satisfied with 30 points a day on average.

  28. Brilliant :D
    In several years I’ve tried a lot of things but i definitely missed this one.

  29. ep says:

    Love this idea. This is perfect for competitive, busy types like me.

  30. Ryan McLean says:

    This is a great tip I will implement this for my financial blog today!

  31. Dice says:

    This is such a good idea – you could apply this to almost every aspect of living!

    Give yourself points for exersize, how you treat other people, how often you shower, etcetcetc – and then try to beat your own score

    It’s like good spirited competition with the you-of-yesterday

    I’m doing this for everything.

  32. I think it’s a good idea that way on days your not doing so well you still feel as though you accomplished something. I hadn’t put points on anything but rather have a list of what I must do each day. This is a minimum.
    * 3 tweets per day
    * write 1 article
    * post 1 recipe
    * 3 wall posts on facebook
    * 10 comments on other blogs
    * 20 emails a day
    I’m just starting out so this is probably way low

  33. Chris Dark says:

    I find this system really works. I’ve even wen’t as far as creating an Excel Spreadsheet to work out the points for me , all i need to do is enter in the amount of things i’ve done on my blog and it works the score out for me.

    Its a great system , really helps to keep the motivation up.

    Ps. If you want the My Daily Blog Score Spreadsheet you can find it on my website.