Have some of your more recent decisions backfired? Perhaps if you were a tad more systematic, a bit more analytical, you'd make better choices.
MY decision process is a distillation of my 10 years as a blogger. It is simple:
- Gather the facts.
- Create a "probabilities array".
- Listen to what the Inner Voice says.
If you think that listening to one's inner voice negates the first three items of the protocol, think again!
(Information + Analysis) X (Pros + Cons) = Decision
Let's break it down.
FACTS! Collect your data. If the decision involves widgets for services, consider how these widgets have helped (or harmed) your weblog historically. EXAMPLE: if, for the last several months, your tagboard has repeatedly been spammed and people are leaving you insults, it may be time to get rid of it.
If the decision involves taking over another blog, do your homework! Check that blog's PR and backlinks. Can it be parlayed into an additional income stream? Evaluate what you might do if you took it over. How would you go about improving traffic, pagerank and SEO? Calculate whether you will be able to devote the additional time needed to properly tend the new blog. Consider the merits (and deficiencies) of cross-posting.
DELIBERATE! Jump brain-first into the information. Pencil your thoughts on index cards, NOT on the computer! That forces you to confront information "analog-ically".
ARRAY! Using a notebook, create a "vision board" of possible outcomes that come as a result of any sound decision. Use a variety of scenarios. Draw upon your own experience as well as the experiences of others. EXAMPLE: You are trying to decide between using cmf ads or adgitize on your blog. Where will you place the widget? How mcuh time can you or will you have to devote to the new service? Google each service on blogsearch - include terms such as "why I like cmfads" and "leaving adgitize" so you read the experiences of other bloggers. You want to give yourself a crystal clear picture of the benefits and drawbacks .
DECIDE! It's all about YOU! Ask yourself, "can I make this work?" If you think you can, you most probably will.
Lastly, keep in mind that not all decisions work out perfectly. Don't beat yourself up or lose hope if things fail. Rinse and repeat! Your ratio of good vs. bad decisions will improve over time,and you WILL be successful! Good luck!
Tags: better blogging, weblog better
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and Dave Lucas are properly cited. Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Dave Lucas and staff.