Oh, you don’t know what Santa Maria is? If you’re reading this from the American continent, well, Santa Maria is the main cause you’re living there. 500 years back, a man called Cristofor Columb discovered what we all know today as America, with a fantastic sailboat called Santa Maria. It went from Spain all the way over Atlantic Ocean and found a New World.
Now, I can almost see it: left eyebrow slightly up, fingers ready to hit the keyboard and the lips slowly starting to move, ready to chew the following question: “well, let’s say I understand all this sailboat thingie and I heard about the guy… somehow… but what does that have to do with a blog, dude?”. Relax, let your eyebrow slowly descend in its place and join me, I will tell you how to blog like you’re sailing a sailboat. A fantastic sailboat.
How To Keep Your Blog Afloat
You may write the best content in the world, but if nobody can find you, your content will be as good as buried in your back yard. Subsequently, if you build a ship, but you won’t have a sea to sail on, your ship will be useless. I think you’re starting to see where I’m heading. And you’re right. Your content must find a way to sail. Your ship must find a sea to float around.
The water of your blogging ship is made by inbound links. That’s right, you heard me: inbound links. The more you have, the higher the level of your sea. If you have hundreds of links already pointing to your blog, you know what I mean. Sometimes, all you need is just some water and you’re just drifting away, effortless. Building inbound links for your blog is like creating a sea for your ship.
I always saw this activity as important as creating content. Sometimes, even more important. Being connected and inserted in this huge web of links has many advantages, not all pertaining to the current moment. Having a constant flow of links will have huge benefits for the medium and long term. There are tons of techniques on how to build inbound links, I won’t go into detail here, but if you want to know more, you can always check out 100 Ways To Improve Your Blog.
Rise Your Posts Against The Wind
If your incoming links are your sea, your posts are your sails. You are actually pushed away by your sails. Imagine you have a blog with a lot of inbound links, but with no content. Nothing really happens there. It’s like a ship stuck in the middle of the ocean. In order to move forward, you have to create constant, quality content.
The quality of your sails is directly affecting the speed, the maneuverability and the balance of your ship. Being constant is one of the keys here. A ship with sails filled with holes won’t sail as fast as one with huge, continuous and consistent headsails. A ship with partial sails won’t be very easy to sail either.
Writing good content is very similar to using good sails for a sailboat. Your posts have to be consistent, complete, balanced, time proof and effective. Of course, you can write whatever crosses your mind, but don’t expect something wrote just to fill in the gaps to behave in a same way a well crafted sail does.
Stay On Top Of The Content
Remember that place on top of the mast? The guy on duty? Ready to see every danger that could arise from the ocean? Well, that’s the place you have to be, as the captain of your ship.
Stay on top of the content, don’t lose your main course form sight, have a bird-eye of the map at any moment. It’s easy to get caught in a daily routine while blogging. Whenever you have these feelings of limitation or boredom, just climb up the mast again and look at the sea around. Look at your ship from above (having your blog into mind map will surely help about that).
Watch The Shores
They say a sailor has a wife in every port. Well, this is true. Except ports in this comparison are success stories for your blog. And the term “wife” is used in its general meaning of “fun’. So, if your ship is the blog, shores – and especially welcoming harbors – are your success stories. This is where you become famous and have fun. Lots of fun.
Every time you reach a new destination, your blog will become more valuable. Every port you anchor in is in fact a new level of your blog. Every shore you touch, is the end of a new travel. But a sailor needs sea. Enjoy your success, have your fun, but don’t stay too long in a port.
Anchors away. Don’t try to taste more than you can have, because if you stay in a single port too long (meaning, enjoying too much of your success) you’re going to lose the very ability which lead you there.
Watch Your Compass
Every skilled sailor needs a compass. You have to know every time where you are heading. Your highest place on the highest mast of your ship won’t be able to help here. A compass is a much more sensitive and deep tool.
In blogging, your compass will be your intuition. Find new trends. Or create them. Identify new opportunities. Or, again, create them. Find new partners, new ideas, new subjects every day.
Not using a compass can create this very awkward situation: you have a huge sea to sail on, good sails and a functioning boat, but you don’t really know where you’re heading. Or where you are. Or why are you there.
History tells us that Santa Maria ran aground in the Christmas morning 1492 and had to be abandoned. But it did that only after discovered a whole new continent and opened a fantastic chapter in the world’s history. The captain, Cristofor Columb, was still alive. And guess what: after this incident he chose other ships and continued his discoveries.
Don’t let your ship go aground before you use it to discover a great new world.