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Love that – “thinking and trial and error.” Trial and error is great on a tactical level…but you want to make sure you’re learning things that work into your strategy! And now you’re killing it…thrilled for your success, Rachel.Reply
I absolutely enjoyed this post. I’m not a hop on the bandwagon kinda girl but I do have an issue with deciding what my strategy is although I’m sure my goal is money :). I was working with a business coach and learning as well from trial and error and I know what works or does not work. This has really helped with realising that I’m working with a whole load of tactics and not keying into a strategy.Reply
I was definitely confusing strategy with tactics and that led to burn out. One of the biggest challenges of blogging is shutting out the noise of “this is the next big thing to make you the best blogger ever”! Now that I have a defined strategy and list of tactics it is the filter which has calmed all of the noise. It is the filter that helps me work less but more confidently/focused. Thanks for helping me focus Jeni! You saved my blogging sanity.Reply
🙂 You’re the one doing the hard work, Jenn. Glad it’s going so well for you.Reply
Love this! Jeni helped me get off the blogging hamster wheel of 3 posts a week and endless social media – what a huge relief! She also taught me the value of doing some deep investigation into my target market to understand what it is that would really help them – and make them mad crazy for my blog! Yes, it is possible to Blog Smarter!Reply
I’d love to hear where you wind up w/ the Zoom and Pan technique for the next few months, Micaela. Keep me in the loop!Reply
I couldn’t agree more. Even though this school of thought rocks a lot of blogger boats, I ask you: Is what you’re doing really working? Like you want it too? There’s more than one way to reach your blogging goals and running on the hamster wheel of sharing threads and link parties is an area I’m glad to avoid.Reply
Be still my heart. Sounds like freedom, Rachel. Now on to developing that premium solution…Reply
Yes I’m trying to win the war! Need to let go and change some things up. Great points made in this article.Reply
Well, I expect that what you wrote here may ruffle some feathers, but as always you are wise and see the big picture. I can’t keep up with the next big thing and also nurture my family. It’s not possible to keep up with all the changes in social media and still write well and get any sleep. I’m a slow learner but am starting to come around to your ideas of thinking about what makes sense and not just chasing page views. (oh, and it’s working!)Reply
I saw the product launch you have coming up, Sharla! Cheering you on!Reply
Welcome, Barb. Hope it lightens your load a bit.Reply
Ah, Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding – who can forget them? Both ladies have gone on to do some very interesting things though I think it was tactics without a strategy, Jeni. What you’ve described is so true.
While we go scrambling for tactics off the internet, keeping our reader’s preferences in mind for absorbing our content is important too. For example, mine aren’t into videos – they want images and ebooks. Interestingly, I was having the very same conversation with another business coach earlier today about how noisy Facebook had become with videos and Live filled newsfeeds. 🙂Reply
Love your focus on the desires of your market, Vatsala. Sounds like you’re keeping your finger on the pulse of what they need.Reply
You hit it out of the park! Shared with my entire biz group!Reply
Thank you! Teamwork makes the dream work. 😉 I appreciate you, Vicki.Reply
Great thoughts, Jeni. I was just reading this morning about how business is really a big board game and the rules are constantly adapting, with millions of players affecting the game constantly. Why you play the game (strategy) is more important than how you play the game (tactics).
And by the way, the Kerrigan-Harding incident was at the US National Championships, not the Olympics, just to let you know. But you were close, timewise. Heck it was 22 years ago so I’ll give you credit. 😉Reply
I fell into your trap (what I tell people when they say they “stumbled” upon my blog) and agree wholeheartedly with your advice. Great post!
BTW, I took every ad [non]sense off my blog fairly recently. I realized for the pennies I was making, if I am going to use that valuable real estate to advertise, it should be for my own products! So far, it’s paying off.
My site is faster and I’m not subjecting my readers to ads for hemorrhoid cream!Reply
LOL so true. I’m one of the world’s biggest cheerleaders for women developing their own products and services to push out to the world. Sounds like you’re on a great path.Reply
Glad there are still some of us who remember it, David. Even the Internet wasn’t born yet. And now I feel old… 😀 Love your point on why vs. what. +1000Reply
Jeni, you just put into words something I’ve been struggling with for a long time. Increasing frustration with chasing numbers and trying to keep up with social media mood swings. Just a few months ago I started focusing on creating my own products and focusing on my life coaching services. I’m not making money, yet, but I am getting to know my customers better so I can provide what they needReply
…and that’s a great first step, LaToya. Get to know them, build those relationships, and products/services are just a natural outflow of your relationship. Cheering you on.Reply
Daina…first of all, I couldn’t love the sand snowman photo on your About page any more. It’s hard, but try to tame the overwhelm – don’t look at what the “experts” tell you to do, if their whole model is based on blogging 40+ hours per week. Instead, find role models with similar limitations as you have, and watch what people are doing who are knocking it out of the park. Excited to see where you go as you start reeling this in!Reply
Jenni, thank you! The sand snowman was so much fun to see when we were on Maui right before Christmas, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a pic! Great advice about looking towards leaders in a similar position as me. I do need to frequently myself that 40 hours of blogging is not in line with my life and that’s OK. Thanks for the encouragement and the reply 🙂Reply
Brilliant, as always, Jeni. This is such an important distinction and few people can put it so eloquently. Your advice on this path has long been an integral part of my success. I’m definitely always a work in progress as the ‘tactics’ sometimes pull at me. The key for me is to stay focused and keep on the strategy path. Thank you for writing this.Reply
Thanks, Danielle. Everybody is vying for our attention, including the latest SM platform. It’s great to use the tools – it’s just important to know what serves your strategy and what doesn’t. And you’re a great example of someone who’s leading the way. xoReply
Kind and supportive as always, Jeni. Thank you.Reply
Thanks for this. I think I knew it, yet didn’t. I’ve always felt that only if a strategy would help me to achieve my goals in a way
that fits with my ethics was it worth doing, so this point really resonates with me: “If your strategy doesn’t fit with the LIFE you want, then it doesn’t matter if it “could” get you to your goals…it’s a bad strategy for YOU.”
At the start of this year, I felt I needed a clearer strategy and some effective tactics to promote my blog and books, so have taken a few courses. I quickly dropped out of one course because the tactics would have left me exhausted, and the strategy didn’t fit with my own goals. Until I read this post, I hadn’t seen it in terms of tactics and strategies.
I think still I need to get clearer about what does and doesn’t fit with my goals so thinking about it in terms of tactics and strategies is helpful, thanks!
I’d encourage you to think it through on paper, Yvonne. Lots of clarity comes off the page when you finally put it all in one place. Excited to hear where you go with this.Reply
Still trying to wrap my brain around this concept! I feel like I am at a place where I realize the difference in tactics and strategy; however I am still gaining the focus I need. The Biz Mavens subscriber emails are certainly helping to point me in the right direction, though!! 🙂 thanks!Reply
Glad it’s helpful, Brittany. I’d encourage you to take an actual piece of paper and an actual pen and make an actual list of all the things you’re doing on your blog right now. Then really think about what kind of returns you’re getting on those time investments. The goal, if you want your blog to survive – and make a good profit in the meantime – is to cut out things that don’t translate to making money. Sounds a little mercenary, until you realize that dollars are what allows you to keep helping the people you serve, and not get burned out. Keep moving, Brittany! I’d love to hear how your list comes out…Reply
*Cry in the bathroom at blog conferences.* !!! Oh, how I have been there, except it was for business coaching conferences. Gotta love the challenges of being a super introverted, highly sensitive entrepreneur. Thank you for making me laugh today and for your refreshing take on tactics that are over-hyped these days. I’ve had to remind myself many times to ignore the latest shiny object being blasted in social media land and focus on doing what aligns with me and what I want my business and life to be like. Brilliant insights, Jeni. Thanks for sharing.Reply
HSP’s have it rough, Kristina! So glad you’re here. 🙂Reply
I feel lucky that I realized this early on, but sometimes feel the pull to fall back into the trap of chasing rather than paving my own way so this was a fantastic reminder. So glad to have you back in my inbox Jeni!Reply
Glad to be back, Corey. The decor space can be especially noisy – sometimes you just have to forge ahead, not look to the left or the right, and do what you know is best for your readers. Cheering you on.Reply
Very helpful, Jeni! I’m going to share with my small mastermind group. We all want to grow our blogs (and income, in the process), but are homeschooling mommas and need to keep our hours under control. Strategy vs. Tactics will make a great discussion, especially with the ever-changing (and can-never-win-at) game of social media.Reply
Ha ha ha – love your humour 🙂 Thanks so much for the hints…I mean tactics and strategies 🙂 Kylie
Ahh social media…how I love to hate you. I’m willing to try the new and shiny things but as soon as I start to feel overwhelmed or like I’m wasting my time, I have no problem breaking up with that latest thing (ahem Periscope).
However, I must confess that I’m not good at strategy or tactics. I want to be a good blogger but my real life comes first. If I become stressed at all I have to do and feel like I’m juggling the family and the blog, the blog has to be the first ball the drops. Know what I mean?
For sure. But also, Stephanie, there are seasons to family life…and just because things are chaotic now doesn’t mean they always will be. Just develop a good filter, so you know what tactics to drop and which ones to focus on, so you don’t have to throw the entire business out the window when things get busy.Reply
Hi Liza, I actually don’t use social media very much – mainly to get to know my readers and thank them. 🙂 Don’t worry about discovering some “secret key” to social media (like videos). Instead, focus on helping solve people’s problems, helping them achieve their goals on your blog. And get to know them. Building a strong business starts with real people first.Reply
Words of wisdom. Thank you!Reply
I had the biggest light bulb moment of my entire entrepreneurial career after reading this blog post! Thank you, Jeni!! xxReply
+1000 for light bulbs. Keep me in the loop about where you go with this…Reply
Focused. Simple. Strategic. Purposeful. SMART. Thanks for being a calming and smart presence in the CRAZY of blogging. I love my simplified blog and how it truly targets those walking my same journey. Building relationships and offering what they need regardless of numbers is a breath of fresh air. Thanks again for writing and teaching and helping us off the hamster wheel!Reply
It’s a “back to the basics” time in so many ways, Jenilee. Simpler = saner.Reply
Love this post! Not only because it references military history but because it encourages people to think like a grand strategist. Another good way to look at it: tactics are the arrows, strategy is the bow. Words of wisdom that I’ll definitely be mulling over for a bit.
This is great stuff. I’m on my second year of blogging for our farm market and I’ve found that keeping a calendar allows me to write more. It also allows me to stay ahead with my posting schedule!Reply
Wow, you hit it right out of the ball park here! I couldn’t agree with you more. If we only depended on social media to get the word out about our blog, then how great of a blog is it anyway? I’m not saying sharing a post we love is wrong, but let’s remember back to a time where social media didn’t exist. Peoples blogs were still being read. I think back then they were called virtual articles. Social media outlets are tricky, if they don’t like you for whatever reason, they’ll shut down your account, then where will you be? Where I am right now. Instagram shut me down numerous times for doing nothing wrong and I withdrew myself from Facebook because they own instagram and I don’t care for the platform. This leads me to find other avenues to promote my blog and you know what? I’m finding organic growth to be a lot more satisfying then social growth.Reply
A friend told me about your blog, and I’m SOOOO glad she did. After health issues, I haven’t been able to blog as much so I’ve had to decide to use my time wisely. PLUS, I’m tired of the social media rat race. It’s always changing and I can’t keep up. Needed to hear this! Thanks!Reply
great article jeni! your tactics are my “action items”. or maybe under the tactics are the action items. still can’t believe tanya harding did that. seriously how can you be a professional athlete (and figure skater to boot) with those morals?Reply
This article rocks. And I can say that this is beyond blogging as the teaching above can apply to anything in life.
I learn a lot. And am going to rethink my strategies and tactics.
Thank you for this insight.
I’m new to your family. But I like the way you think already.
Many website owners also aren’t aware social media slows down their website. Heavy web parts. Speed is part of user experience. (Speed doesn’t help your SEO. A myth. Just UX.)
Facebook is usually the worst social-speed offender. When it “misconnects,” the error adds up to a second –or more– to your page load time. That delay doesn’t sound like much. The “professional” goal is a two-second load time. So Facebook gobbled up half your performance budget.
You have a sane PDF tip. You’ve said: Facebook sucks away your audience into Facebook-la-la land. Great common sense. But people “go with the herd” mentality that social is always good. It isn’t.
So what about Pinterest? Examine the return on investment (ROI). For example, on your site home page, 10 percent of the page weight is Pinterest assets. Not bad. Yet, those have a potential cumulative delay of 800 milliseconds. That is relative to a worst-case-scenario of 6-second load time.
With a 2-seconds Pingdom best-case-scenario speed test then Pinterest is 40 percent “waste.” Nasty. But, your home page loads in about 4 seconds (WebPagetest.org).
The saving grace is most of your Pinterest assets load in parallel, making things faster. Still, potential connection failures exist.
Is LeadPage service indicating Pinterest is a “good deal” for you? Does Pinterest provide value?
And what about “that” invisible LeadPage? It’s only 3 percent of your page weight but adding almost 2 seconds and 12 requests. Wow! It’s the worst speed drain on your site. More than all images!
BOTTOM LINE: When you add “stuff” to your website, keep in mind the impact on speed. Do some testing to verify. Especially social media.Reply
This is such a great post! The Roman analogy is so good. Thank you for this encouragement!Reply
You are awesome! I have put off my blog idea for years because as blogging became popular it became so much WORK! The exact work you’re talking about, multiple social media accounts, constant posts, all these things I didn’t want to dedicate my time too. I just want to make things, talk about them, and maybe sell some. I don’t want to post live videos, or have an instagram or….. A few months ago i decided to stop putting off my idea and get started. Then recently decided it was time to stop playing and start getting serious, and thank God your blog was the first one I found!! You are speaking my language. Just being reminded that I can do it the way I want, people over posts, and accomplish my goals. You’re awesome. Thanks for inspiring me and keeping me from the blog I didn’t want but thought you had to have.Reply
I’m new to following your blog and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. You give advice that I didn’t even know I needed to hear! I’ve dabbled with my blog for 6 months, but decided to take it seriously in the past few weeks. I appreciate your differentiation between strategy and tactics-I’ve definitely been focused on tactics. That’s always my problem though, I am much more of a details person than a big picture person. (:
I will work on writing out my strategy and tactics this weekend. Thanks again for the insight!
Ha! Not enough people use European Conquerage as a metaphor for blogging! I’ve actually been thinking about this exact same topic ever since I started reading your blog Jeni (also sidenote, I sent you a message last week via your contact form – would a comment be easier?) . I’ve been concentrating on improving my authority, which is a necessary tactic at this point, by writing easily shareable blog posts… but those blog posts don’t necessarily attract the new beginner type people I want to sell products to. So I’m trying to get around that… maybe I need to alternate content, I’m not sure.
I’m also struggling with the relationship building part of my blog, I really want to create a community similar to what the US has, but it’s just so tricky, I’m not sure if my target market spends much time on forums as opposed to social media.
Anyway, the gist of my whole comment is; great post, really helps cut through the noise. Thanks!Reply
Thanks for your note, Adam. Still buried under email, so today comments are easier. 🙂
You’re spot-on to focus on the products you plan to sell. At that point, you’re not writing for just *anyone,* but to help connect you with potential customers. It’s worth doing the target market research to understand where your people hang out online, what their pain points are, and what types of smaller-scale problems you can help them solve in order to prove your authority. But all the viral posts in the world won’t help you if they’re attracting the wrong folks. Cheering you on!Reply
I needed this! It’s been awhile since I laughed so hard…I am definitely confusing tactics for strategy! You’ve given me a lot to think about.Reply
I’m in year one of blogging (bliss?…battle?…both!) I tried a lot of those tactics and one by one they have gotten me… nowhere. So I’ve decided to do what I did at my 9-5 to climb the ladder and that was to simply be helpful, be dependable and stay away from drama:] This post was confirmation on that decision. Thanks for sharing!Reply
This is a great post! So true! Yet so difficult though, to find your own special path – strategy – when most people you see are running in one direction. How did you decide on your strategy, Jeni?Reply
THIS. OH MY GOODNESS. Thank you for posting this! I feel like this is an answer for questions I had that I didn’t even know how to put in words.
I have seriously been researching, feeling like I was missing something. Somehow, the puzzle pieces didn’t seem to fit. Reading this has given me a lot to think about, a lot of clarity. Thank you for posting! So helpful!Reply
Every time I get one of your emails in my inbox I get so excited (and so so overwhelmed!) knowing that I’m about to learn so much more about what I am currently NOT doing at all! Haha! New to the blogging community, I feel like I am LIGHTYEARS behind the blogging train. But I’m working on it… day by day…Reply
Girl. It’s like you read my mail. I have tactics galore, but my strategy is thin. I need to fix that, and your site is a treasure trove. Thank you!Reply
Thank you Thank you Thank you! I’ve been working on my blog for years. I’m on the first page of Google for my Niche, under multiple categories, written 23 books on the subject and still not making any money! Arrggg! So glad I found your blog. Can’t wait until you have your next training session. I’m planning to be front and center.Reply
Well…this is simply the most brilliant post I have ever read on the topic of blogging. Thank you, so much.
I really only just found your website last week. (A friend referred me to you.) But I’m soaking in every email and reading everything you send to your list.
In a week, I tore down my blog and started all over again. I changed my strategy because of you. And I’ll be choosing more appropriate tactics, once my content is completed.
Thank you, so much! I can’t wait until your course next opens its doors!Reply
Glad you enjoyed it, Christi. Welcome. 🙂Reply
This is a complete mind-shift change, and I love it! “If your strategy doesn’t fit with the LIFE you want, then it doesn’t matter if it “could” get you to your goals…it’s a bad strategy for YOU. ” Wow. So thankful my friend, Lynna, shared your site, podcast, and emails with me! I can’t wait to learn more!Reply
Thanks, Amy! So glad you’ve joined us at Biz Mavens. Cheering you on!Reply
This was hilarious and so so true. I used to be in this “ahhh new thing everyone is doing… I have to do it” type of mindset and leaving that behind was so freeing. The hard part was figuring out what I wanted to be my strategy… but once I did that hard work of thinking and trial and error… it was the best thing I could have done!