At the start of this month, I began releasing details of this year’s ProBlogger Training Day.
This is a big event for me and my team, and there’s a lot to organize. The Training Day won’t take place until October, but already we’ve spent months organizing speakers, booking venues, releasing earlybird tickets, and so on.
Around the same time I put out a call for alpha testers on the new ProBlogger Marketplace we’ve been working on.
Something that occurred to me as I was busily preparing these announcements was just how much work goes into the products and services we bloggers offer. While these kinds of tasks don’t need to be overwhelming, they do take time, and energy, and planning.
Not that simple…
For those who are merely testing the waters with their audience, or want to get something out the door and into the market quickly, getting a new product up and running might be a relatively straightforward task.
But once you’ve been blogging for a while, and you get to know your niche and audience well, you’ll know that your products need to meet certain standards if they’re going to have any chance of success.
At that point—and beyond—every new product requires more work from you. You need to consolidate the constant research you’re doing as you engage with readers, make sure your product ideas fit with your overall blog strategy, plan or conceptualize the product itself, and maybe do a “proof of concept”—some kind of test-run that gives you some idea of the audience’s interest.
And that’s before you’ve even got into the process of building the product (or service offering) itself!
So there is a lot to do, and I think bloggers can put themselves at a disadvantage by believing that making blog products is simple. That can lead them to become overwhelmed, disillusioned, and disappointed before they’ve really given products a go.
…Nor that difficult
That said, once you’ve got your head around what’s required of a project, completing it really is about grunt work: sitting down and getting it done. Not just putting in hours, but putting in effort. Working hard, but also working smart—and knowing when the time you’re dedicating to completing something won’t pay off.
I think one of the more overlooked aspects of being efficient as you create products (or in any aspect of efficient blogging) is keeping an eye on your strengths, and playing to them as much as possible.
Don’t outsource something just because you can get it done cheaply, for example. Outsource the things you don’t do well. Don’t choose to build a product just to keep up with the others in your niche, if some other approach to monetization would suit your unique talents better (there’s a reason why I don’t build blog software products!).
While we may overstretch sometimes, and that may lead to a failure or extra hurdles that need to be overcome, they’re problems that can be worked through. The important thing, really, is to make the effort.
What products or services are you working on?
But what product or service ideas are you working on? And what challenges are you facing?
You don’t have to give the game away, but we’d love to hear of your efforts in the comments, so we can build up a picture of the hard work we bloggers are doing behind the scenes on our blogs.