When starting a blog, you not only need to know the mechanics and the technical aspects of it but also a way to keep you motivated. If you are not motivated, you are someone like me, who gets easily bored, you need a way to keep going.
Starting a blog is rather simple. Keeping on writing, and keeping the momentum, that is rather hard.
Find your why
First things first, why do you want to start a blog?
Do you know why?
Be clear in your mind of the “why” that will allow you to stay focused and not get distracted.
For me it is simple, I adore the content I create, no matter the quality. And I want to make money.
Write down all the motivations for you to start a blog. Make a list. This will allow you to dig deeper and be clear with your intentions.
Why start and why not start
So many experts! so many conflicting opinions! Different people say different things – “Don’ start a blog to make money initially, just blog… and the money will come”
Others say you need to start thinking of making money from the start. Some others say you can’ start a blog just to make money, to that some others respond that you totally can.
One thing is for sure, nobody knows! It seems to me, they all start, and somehow when things start to work, they identify certain patterns that work for them. And then they put the patterns out as blueprints and become experts. What worked for them, may not work for you. And it is a surefire way to get motivated easily.
You might think – “I am doing the same things as they are! why does n’t it work for me?”
Use popular methods as a starting point and adjust to what is working for you. That being said, there are certain things that will bring certain results consistently. But these can only be guidelines and will serve as a good starting point. They might not work, because the market, what people are interested in might have changed, depends on the season of the year and so on.
I think you need to find your pattern. Of course, use other’s opinions and tips and tricks as a base to execute, but always be attentive to what is working for you.
Build trust with your audience. Blogs need time and energy put into them. People need to see your brand and see what you are bringing to the table consistently, thus slowly building trust.
Above all, create helpful content. Pair that with marketing to reach the right people, you have the secret sauce. Well, it is only logical, so it appears to me.
Complexity is the enemy of execution
Compulsive planning is really, fear of getting started. Planning gives you a false sense of progress. You can plan and plan and plan. And never execute. Know that planning is good, but does not take you far. Execution does. Compulsive planning is really fear of getting started with something.
Simple things get done. Keep decision making to a minimum, so you don’t get paralyzed during the process. Too many options, you go into analysis paralysis.
Choose a simple platform to blog, a simple writing style, and a simple and minimalist theme.
Keep it simple stupid (KISS). But, initially keeping it simple, you develop momentum in creating content. Planning for the perfect execution almost often overwhelms us and paralyzes us. So quantity in the beginning and quality will come later. In fact, there is a study done about this.
Too much effort in getting something done before you have some momentum will put you off. And you will soon give up. Note down specific points, get your point across, do some simple editing, and hit that publish button. Don’t take days to write, edit and publish
Get better with each blog post. You are going to create a lot of bad writing before you write a good one. Aim to write better with each blog post, and not try to perfect the one blog post you wrote and being hesitant to publish because it is not perfect.
Start with the end in mind
Get started and figure out as you go along. To me, you need to start with the end in mind. It is not just me who says this, Tim Ferris has said this in his 4-hour workweek book, so have several others. You may not get there straight away, but you will.
Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t compare yourself to others, that is one way to get demotivated fast.
Certain decisions about your blog depend on where you want to get to.
Do you want to sell your blog? Don’t create content around your personal experiences, but create content that can be bought.
Naming your blog – Don’t brand the content with your name in it.
Reaching the right audience – think about what kind of audience you want to be reading your blog and keep that in mind while making key decisions.
Keep your involvement to a minimum if your intentions are to scale and eventually automate the whole thing. How involved you want to be in your blog? If you are thinking about passive income, you want to keep your involvement to a minimum. This will help you make it passive as well as to automate and scale it, should your business take off. Creating a business model with a whole lot of ‘you’ in it may not be the wise thing to do here.
This part to me is more about effectiveness than doing random things that seem like progress.
Find 20%. The Pareto principle suggests that your 80% success will come through 20% of the things you do. So find that 20%.
Do more of what brings results. To do that, you will have to have some key metrics, indicators for progress. Whether the progress is more traffic or conversion, the number of followers on Pinterest or likes on a Facebook page, and so on.
Take traffic for example. May be Pinterest pinning is getting you that 80% of traffic. So it is only logical to spend more time promoting on Pinterest.
Ask: What can you do today to move in the right direction? So as you’ve identified, some potential activities to grow your blog, (that 20%) say to write quality content, and to post on Pinterest, and to engage in communities, etc. You may end up with a huge list of 20%.
Too many tasks can overwhelm you.
Ask yourself what can you do now, at this instant, today to move towards your goals. And do that.
Prioritize simpler tasks to do first to build a sense of achievement. To get you moving, do the things that take less than say 15 minutes first. This follows the ‘make your bed‘ philosophy. Achieving a simple task will give you a sense of accomplishment and will feed into your energy, that you can use to do the next task. And the next task and so on.
Just make sure that you are still doing things that are relevant, in that 20%.
Batch tasks if possible. Batch repetitive tasks into a timeframe. Do them consecutively. For example, pinning your images. Use a scheduler to pin images, or use Pinterest’s publish later feature. The same can be done with activities like responding to comments and emails and so on.
Seek help to save time, automate, and to execute faster. There will come a time once you have a system, even if a manual one, that you have figured out, is working for you. Or even in the beginning, when you start out if you want to save time it is a good idea to outsource the work.
For example, data gathering for your article, editing your draft, or even the whole writing.
You can find virtual assistants, graphic designers, and content writers, Pinterest marketers and so on various sites like
- Fiverr and
It depends on if you can afford it.
When it comes to outsourcing for scaling, my recommendation is to figure out how to do things yourself first and then outsource it. If you don’t have an effective system, you will simply multiply the ineffectiveness of your system if you jump into outsourcing and delegation. Again something I learned from Tim.
- Know your why
- Find your 20%
- Write quality content and share with the right audience
- Consistency beats perfection