Working in technology has taught me so much, but rarely do I get to connect what I do in my day job to what I do on my blog. Today, I can finally do that. If you do project-based work, you may have heard of the Agile movement. It's basically an incremental and iterative approach to getting work done instead of taking too long to perfect a product. You actively release then test a product and make changes as necessary. I've found that working in an Agile organization has taught me more about blogging than I had anticipated, and wanted to share! When you take the Agile approach toward blogging, you get better, faster. Who doesn't want that?
THE 12 PRINCIPLES
EARLY AND CONTINUOUS DELIVERY
If I come up with a content idea, best believe I'm going to deliver it very soon from conception. There's no use in keeping good ideas in your head. Execute. Just do it.
WELCOME CHANGING REQUIREMENTS
For me, changing requirements might be the changing needs of my audience. If my audience is looking for content related to one subject based on the season of their life, then my content will change with it (if I want to remain useful).
DELIVER FREQUENTLY AND ON A SHORT TIMESCALE
I try to put out blog posts twice a week and other forms of content every single day. Our attention spans our short and we like shiny, new things. The more often you see my stuff on your timeline, the more likely you are to click on it.
PEOPLE MUST WORK TOGETHER DAILY
For me, this is "working" with my audience. Through social media like Snapchat and Twitter, I pose questions, take part in conversations, and exchange advice.
BUILD PROJECTS AROUND MOTIVATED INDIVIDUALS
Without me, there is no blog; energy radiates. I remember to be inspired every single day and I try to keep my energy high. I surround myself with beautiful people and things and that's what keeps me motivated.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO COMMUNICATE IS FACE-TO-FACE
Your online presence can only take you so far. People like reading blog content, watching videos, looking at pretty pictures, but they love you too. I try to attend events, meetups, and go as many places I can with my best blogger face on so people will never forget who I am. Behind every brand is a person.
WORKING SOFTWARE IS A KEY MEASURE TO PROGRESS
So obviously, as a lifestyle blogger, I'm not pushing out software. Let's replace "working software" with "useful content" and measure from there. People are actually re-creating your recipes? Good. People are putting your advice into action? Good. If you're not getting some feedback or people aren't using your resources, then maybe they just aren't that good.
MAINTAIN A CONSTANT PACE INDEFINITELY
When one week you put out a blog post every day and then another week you don't put out any content at all, people are going to start looking at you funny. One of those weeks, people are going to find you annoying, the other week they're going to miss you. I try to pace myself and for the time being put out no more than 2 posts per week, but that may change with time. It's all on your own time and what works for you. Being consistent is the key.
GIVE CONTINUOUS ATTENTION TO TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE
Just because you're putting out content often it doesn't mean it should be lacking. The point of Agile is to get better as time goes on, and taking a step back to audit yourself and see what you can improve is OK.
SIMPLICITY IS ESSENTIAL
A big part of Agile is maximizing the work that is not done. One of my favorite -isms is "work smarter, not harder". Using tools and apps to automate my work and keep me on track has made for a simpler life as a blogger. I'm grateful for that.
It's pretty simple. If I don't want to get my shit together, people aren't going to want to read my shit. Feel me?
ADJUST AND TUNE BEHAVIOR AT REGULAR INTERVALS
Every week I look at my website metrics to see what content is hot and what's not so hot. Every month I set goals for my blog and then I assess those after a month has gone by. If something is working, I keep doing it. If things aren't progressing, then something must change.
So what exactly did we learn here?
- Software developers are on to something with this whole Agile thing
- Consistency is key
- Feedback comes in many forms
- Practice makes perfect
- When in doubt, just do it
- Just keep it moving
- You and your blog are a work in progress