The Pareto Principle in Business Blogging

Just one of the 49 secrets and shortcuts Geoffrey James shares in his book Business Without the Bullsh*t is how to use the Pareto Principle to prioritize your to-do list. (You remember Pareto’s concept – 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.)

Couldn’t help recalling the Say It For You video I’d recorded about time management for blogs. Allowing 120 minutes total per blog post, I’d allocate 40 for research and “reading around”, learning others’ opinions on your topic and gathering information.  50 minutes should be used, I advised, for the actual writing and editing of the business blog, with 10 minutes for finding photos, charts, and clip art for illustrating your points, and 20 minutes for the actual posting on the site.

The reason most time management systems don’t work, James points out, is that the less important actions are given the same priority as the more important ones when it comes to making a schedule or to-do list.  A more productive planning system would come from following these steps:

  • Prioritize each item on your to-do list by the amount of effort required, numbering the item from #1 (least effort required) to #10 (most effort required).
  • Then make a second list, numbering the items by expected positive results of each action.
  • For each action, divide the effort number by the potential number. The result is “priority ranking”.
    Now, follow your list in order of priority ranking, doing the tasks with the highest priority rankings first.

So, how did my blog content writer’s allocation work out under the Geoffrey James system? Almost entirely on target:

Reading around:                                    #2 effort, #2 results.
Writing/editing content:                    #1 effort,,#1 results
Actual posting                                         #3 effort, #4 results
Illustrating                                                #4 effort, #3 results

Yes, it’s always nice when someone more famous than you confirms what you’ve been saying for a long time. Distilling your own experiences in your business and profession and gathering wisdom to share with your business blog readers are the two tasks that take the most effort and, over time, the ones that make for long-term blogging success.


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