Following our #BloggerCourse Twitter chat last Tuesday about Blogger Challenges it was obvious that one thing most bloggers struggle with isn’t something techy or advanced. It isn’t monetization or working with brands or SEO or photography (although all of these things can be tough at times too).
The main blogger struggle is simply getting started.
Whether you’re a beginner blogger and you’re struggling to launch your blog or you’ve been blogging for a while and you’ve got a whole list of blog posts you need to write. Maybe you need to do some blog updates or get cracking with your media pack. Perhaps you have a whole folder of photos that need editing or you haven’t logged into your Pinterest account for months.
So you clear some time in your diary and think, ‘Right, this evening I’m going to get that done.’
You sit down at your laptop with a cup of tea and a biscuit and you’re immediately sucked into the black hole of the internet. It’s a powerful force that pulls you in like a magnet and once it’s got you there’s no letting go. It eventually spits you out at midnight after hours spent procrastinating, watching videos, chatting on Facebook, trawling through Twitter and doing everything you can do except that one thing you were really meant to do!
Ahh, well it’s too late now. You’ll have to do it next week…
And next week rolls around and the same thing happens again and again. Until months have passed and you still haven’t started the blog you’ve been meaning to start for years.
It’s time to put a stop to this! It’s time to give yourself a kick up the arse and begin.
Ask yourself why you’re really not starting
Sometimes you just can’t be bothered and have better things to do, but there’s often a real reason as to why you don’t want to get started.
Are you scared of starting and not being very good? If you never start, you can never fail, right?
Is there one thing about your task that is really difficult and you don’t want to do it? Do you not understand how to do it?
Whatever it is, think about your reason and address it. There’s no point in ignoring it because it won’t go away.
If you’re scared of failure remind yourself that everyone had to start somewhere. And let’s be honest, you probably won’t be very good to begin with – no one is! You can’t expect to log into WordPress and one month later have a superstar blog. You need to learn and develop your skills and the only way to do that is to begin and start practicing.
Are you comparing yourself to others and feeling intimidated? If so, it’s time to stop! Remind yourself that they’ve probably been blogging for years and years and you don’t know what they’re doing behind the scenes to hone their blogging skills.
Use them as inspiration, not intimidation.
They were probably in your exact position a few years ago so remind yourself that in a few years time you can be in their position. There’s no such thing as an overnight success!
If there’s one part of the task you don’t want to do then break that into little chunks and get that out of the way.
For me it’s always photo editing. I hate photo editing but I force myself to do huge batches of it and I’m so pleased with myself when it’s done. (I might need to reward myself with ridiculous amounts of cake and biscuits while I’m doing it but at least I’m doing it, right?)
If you don’t understand how to do something then you need to sit down with your laptop and some YouTube videos or online tutorials and learn how to do it! We live in an age where the internet can teach us virtually anything so use this to your advantage! It seems daunting at first but once you’ve begun you’ll thank yourself for it.
Tips to get started
Set yourself a time limit
Before I had my son I used to spend 40+ each week sat at my desk working on my computer. I’d be doing all the behind the scenes stuff like admin, emails, pitching, editing, researching, online networking and maybe even some actual writing!
But since having my son I don’t have the luxury of 40+ hours of laptop time per week. These days I’m limited to 15 hours, if I’m lucky.
But do you know what? I still manage it. I still get all my admin done and I still reply to all my emails. I post just as many blogs as I did before and my income hasn’t suffered at all.
I lost 25 hours of laptop time each week and it had no effect on my blog! That’s kind of worrying.
This tells me three things:
- I’m now much more efficient with my time
- I used to be ridiculously inefficient with my time
- When you have a short deadline you sure as hell get it done
When you have a limited amount of time to get your tasks done you don’t have time to procrastinate. The adrenaline in you keeps you going past your bedtime and the fear in your will stop you logging into Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest!
Have an accountability buddy
One of the problems with blogging is that there’s often no one breathing down your neck or encouraging you to get your work done. You’re working on your own schedule and that’s the beauty of blogging. But it’s also the hardest part!
If you have an accountability buddy it’s easier to stay on track. Working with a blogging buddy keeps you motivated and helps you work to deadlines. Say to your buddy, ‘I’m going to write a blog post tonight. Please could you read it tomorrow and let me know what you think? If you write a post tonight I’ll do the same for you.’
Then you have to get it done because your buddy has promised to be there in the morning to read your post.
Focus on one thing at a time
We all want instant success but Rome wasn’t built in a day! Many blogging courses promise quick results and overnight success but blogging doesn’t work like that.
The Blogger Course takes you through the main elements of blogging step-by-step. You’ll be learning and developing new skills on a daily basis to make sure you have all the foundations to run a successful blog.
I’m sharing tips, tricks, advice, lessons, expert opinions, case studies and personal experiences to help you save time by avoiding the mistakes I made. I learned a lot through these mistakes but they were time consuming and slowed me down. I’m giving you the chance to bypass the trial and error and get straight to the strategies that work!
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