Today’s post is by Kevin Sanders of Strong and Fit.
Do you ever have those moments when seemingly random, unrelated thoughts kind of merge together in your mind? This happened to me a couple of weeks ago.
I remembered a documentary I watched on the space shuttle years ago. Something was said about the percentage of fuel it burns within the first two minutes of liftoff. It stuck in my mind and I tried to find the information on Google. No luck. Then I remembered that one of my family members (Dale Hutchens, Ph.D.) works with NASA. He is a chemical engineer who was directly involved with developing the shuttle’s solid rockets. He gave me a quick estimate:
For launch, the solids provide the vast, vast majority the total LAUNCH thrust. The solids burn out in 2 minutes and 12 seconds, if memory serves. Each solid holds 1.1 million pounds of propellant. Therefore, in the first minute, you probably burn something more than 50% of the solids, or 41-ish % of the total fuel. A more certain number is that in 2 minutes and 12 seconds you have burned all the solids (2.2 million pounds) and close to 380,000 pounds (out of 1.6 million pounds) of the liquid, for a total of 67% of the total fuel.
The space shuttle burns most of its fuel within the first two minutes of flight! The science geek in me thinks this really cool.
What does this have to do with blogging? Stay with me.
I began thinking about some things I’ve learned on this blog. A few weeks ago Darren said problogger.net is kind of in maintenance mode (my paraphrase). In other words, it doesn’t require the same amount of work it used to. John Chow said something very similar in his video seminar—he now works about two hours a day.
But both bloggers spent a lot more time and energy getting things started.
In some ways, blogging is like the space shuttle—a great deal of effort is required to get it “off the ground.”
Think about some of the steps a typical blogger would take during the first six months of creating a new blog:
- Choosing a topic (big one).
- Choosing a platform and design.
- Choosing a name/domain.
- Writing/creating a hundred posts (assuming an average of four posts a week).
- Registering with digg, stumbleupon, twitter, etc.
- Participating in forums.
- Leaving comments/backlinks on other blogs.
- Writing guest posts for other bloggers.
- Registering with directories (such as blogcatalog).
- Spreading the word on social networks (facebook, etc).
- Developing a core of followers.
- Setting up a newsletter.
- Printing business cards with your blog address.
- Telling your friends about your new blog.
- Finding appropriate affiliate programs.
These are just a few steps that come to mind. When you think about the cumulative effort, it’s a lot of work.
Maybe this is one reason some blogs never make it very far—some bloggers just don’t realize the initial effort that’s required on the “front end.” Or maybe they don’t realize things will get easier (or at least more productive) over time as their blog gains momentum.
As I’ve mentioned before (both here and on the forum), it took about six or seven months for me to see significant traffic on Strong and Fit, my fitness blog. It still requires effort, but I’m now seeing more results with less work (in terms of traffic and income).
OK, I’ll admit it—blogging isn’t really rocket science. But we sure can learn from it.