Results Only Blogging Environment

By Nick Stamoulis

Sometime last year Best Buy received a lot of buzz for changing their work policy to what they called ROWE: Results Only Work Environment. Instead of requiring certain hours from their employees throughout the week, their success was measured by their results.

Besides the fact that the next generation of working adults is (probably) going to demand exactly this philosophy (or even a more extreme version), this is the mindset that bloggers should have.

Switch out the words Best Buy employees with bloggers and you’ll see what I mean:

In practical terms, ROWE lets Best Buy employees get up and leave in the middle of the workday to attend a matinee or Little League game. Workers pulling into the company’s headquarters at 2 p.m. aren’t considered late. Nor are those pulling out at 2 p.m. seen as leaving early. There are no schedules. No mandatory meetings. In short, work is no longer a place where you go, but something you do. As long as the work gets done and get’s done well, it’s okay to take conference calls while you hunt, collaborate from your lakeside cabin, or log on after dinner so you can spend the afternoon with your kid. — JDBliss

Are you enjoying a ROBE (Results Only Blogging Environment) or are you under the impression that you need to spend lots of time hunched in front of a screen to have any sort of effect?

Use the following exercise to try and determine where the results are coming from in your blogging life, and where nothing but work is coming from:

  • Log your time. Keep track of what you do, throughout your blogging time. If you spend half your time writing and the other half commenting on other blogs, write that down. If you spend a lot of time redesigning your blog or using social bookmarking sites, write that down.
  • Keep track of achievements. When was the last time something great happened with your blog? Why did that happen?
  • Cross reference. Check your log with your list of achievements. Which things that you did had direct impact on the achievements you saw?
  • Rank according to impact. Now you should be able to form a list of the most beneficial things you’ve done at your blog to see good results. Using this you can prioritize your time and, if needed, cut out certain aspects which only add to your work and not to your results.

You would be surprised how effective this sort of self evaluation can be. I went through this process myself (analyzing only a few months worth of blogging efforts, across both personal and professional blogs) and ended up with the following list of priorities. I’ve found that by doing these things I’ve seen the most impact across all of my blogs:

  1. Writing solid, informative, and creative content.
  2. Offering information that wasn’t available elsewhere (conference notes, for example).
  3. Reviewing content or creations by others (WordPress themes, plugins, and tutorials, for example).
  4. Contributing as a guest blogger.
  5. Responding to comments on my own blogs.
  6. Commenting on other blogs, especially to take part in a conversation.

And this is only a beginning list. I suggest keeping track of all milestones, as you accomplish them, and regularly taking a look at what is bringing in the best results for your efforts. A results only blogger will be much happier than a hard working blogger, if only for the amount of time that will inevitably be saved.




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20 Responses to “Results Only Blogging Environment”

  • Better Blogging with Michael Martine

    I think ROWE is the idea many people have in mind when they consider blogging for a living or going freelance. I like that last list about high-impact activities. Sometimes, we’re just sitting in front of the screen wondering what to do next. Networking with others is just as important as writing great content. That’s a great list to put some fire under our butts.

  • Ryan Imel

    Thanks Michael! It’s interesting how ROWE may be what people have in mind when beginning, but without focus it can drift from that into another painful, confusing job. Weird, eh.

  • Daniel

    Sometimes I spend 1-2 hours in front of digg or stumbleupon, and then I remember that I should write some posts instead :).

  • Chuck

    Fantastic post.

    I’ll give your readers a clue to help them get started: hitting refresh on Google Analytics or StatCounter is not what actually causes those numbers to go up ; )

    -Chuck
    http://www.ihateyourjob.com

  • Danielle B.

    I just wanted to de-lurk and tell you how much I have learned by reading this blog. I am sure that you will find this out but I linked to you on today’s post..I just can’t keep you a secret any longer 😉

  • Skellie

    I’ve seen another blogger manage this by assigning a point value to certain tasks – once he collects 50 points he can stop working on his blog for the day.

    That way he’s not being guided by an arbitrary time but by goals achieved – undoubtedly more productive and a nice way to let you know when your work is ‘done’ in a results-only work environment.

  • Emad Ibrahim

    Thanks for this very helpful post… I found you through ProBlogger where my post on blogging tips
    made it to the list 🙂

  • Ravi

    Thanks for the nice work you are doing. Keep the good work.

  • Daniel

    Skellie, yeah I remember seen that post where the guy talked about using points.

    It is good, but you could also feel the 50 points with 50 1 point tasks, and I am not sure if that is good :).

  • JTPRATT’s Blogging Mistakes

    another great post and tip! I really need to be paying more attention to what results I’m getting (and where I’m not).

    thanks!

  • medyum

    thank you
    nice article
    ….

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