Bloggers in the “how to blog” space and marketers in general love to pontificate about all the meaningless, time-sucking, tedious tasks you can do to grow your online business.
It’s the curse of the listicle.
It’s also the curse of the Google algo.
The longer the list, the better it ranks.
Admittedly, I play ball and publish stupid long lists. It works.
It’s too bad though, especially for online marketing.
The fact of the matter… less is often more.
Do you really need to flip your content on Flipboard? Post to Twitter? Bookmark it?
How’s that working out for you?
For me, I get nothing from it.
Because I don’t work those platforms.
I’m not saying Flipboard is useless. If you work it, it can drive traffic.
Same with Twitter.
I’m not so sure bookmarking has any merit any more (if it ever did) but marketers still mention it.
How else can you get that unhelpful list to 25?
I’ve talked to enough online publishers to know we all struggle with the can vs. should dilemma.
We can drive ourselves insane with little tasks that might have a tiny impact. The question is whether the impact is worth the effort?
It’s 80/20. So cliche.
20% of what we do drives 80% of the results.
For me, my Flipboard accounts are not part of the 20%. Same with Twitter or FB or IG.
I know what some of you are thinking.
“But Jon, it only takes 3 seconds to flip to Flipboard.”
But there are more to 3 seconds of work than merely 3 seconds of time.
That 3-second task takes up mental energy because it’s on the task list.
To-do lists drain energy. At least for me.
It’s a dark, bleak cloud.
Long to-do lists littered with low-impact tasks are energy vampires.
They prevent me from doing more of the 20% that actually matter.
You only have so much energy.
Protect it. Conserve it.
I try to.
My to-do list is short.
Here are a couple examples.
Fat Stacks videos and podcasts is one example.
I’ve been derelict in producing these despite their moderate popularity.
Actually, I think people give much nicer feedback than warranted. I don’t think my podcasts and videos are all that good.
I’m not saying I’ll never resume but I have to admit I have far less fun producing them than writing emails. It’s how I’m wired and it definitely shows.
Should I continue with something that’s mediocre at best?
While the exposure is good, is it worth the aggro?
I just can’t get myself to do them consistently so for now I guess the answer is no.
I sure as heck don’t want to spend my days editing, which is admittedly part of the quality problem.
An influencer I am not.
Another example – payment processors
Paypal hoses all of us with high fees.
There are many cheaper options. Some offer no fees to pay folks if both parties are on the platform.
Sounds great until you realize you’re now on multiple platforms which becomes a monthly accounting headache.
Not to mention all the time spent setting up the accounts.
Why does Paypal hose us?
Because it can.
And it can because it’s good. It works.
Paypal syncs with Quickbooks. This one feature alone is worth all the fees because it saves me time and a ton of bookkeeping fees.
Most people can send/recieve money with Paypal.
Most affiliate merchants pay out with Paypal.
It’s won the online payment processor platform war.
To the victor go the spoils which in this case is high fees.
I now refuse any request to join some other platforms unless I have no choice in order to RECEIVE money.
I sure won’t join another platform to make it easy to send money. If they want the money, they’ll join Paypal.
It’s that pesky golden rule again – those who have the gold, rules.
At the end of the day, Paypal makes my life easy. It’s not an energy vampire. In fact, it saves me a ton of time.
And so I pay.
Business success is often about choosing what not to do instead of what you should do.
Pick your battles
Which battles should you pick?
Ideally, focus on doing things you’re good at, you enjoy and gets results.
If starting out, it may take time to figure this out and to build things up to have the luxury to choose.
But once there, do more of what you like, you’re good at and get results.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.