Have you ever thought of starting a blog? Successfully blogging can be more involved than you originally thought. Maybe you are scared or you think it’s the newest “get rich quick” plan. Do you enjoy the idea of sharing all of your thoughts and ideas? Do you have topics that you truly enjoy just talking to people about? Sometimes you just need a side hustle to help supplement your income. Maybe you are a stay at home mom and you need some kind of a challenge and purpose that will help you grown on a personal level.
Successfully blogging does not have to be as scary and overwhelming as most people make it out to be. Yes, there are ten million podcasts, courses, and articles just like this one that you can read online to get started. The problem is that there is soooo much information that it can scare people off.
Break. It. Down.
So, let’s simplify how to start successfully blogging without becoming overwhelmed. You need a basic guide to follow so that you don’t quit it two weeks in like the latest fad diet. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just take it one small step at a time.
Here are 5 basic rules for successfully blogging without becoming overwhelmed.
One. Listen and learn, BUT, make your OWN choices.
Like I mentioned before, there is so much free information out there from people who are already successfully blogging. Learn from them, hear their mistakes, hear their advice. Just don’t make all of your choices based on someone else’s results or opinions. You need to decide what advice you can tailor-fit to your own ideas and thoughts.
- Choose your own passion. Write about things that you enjoy and feel passionate about. No one likes to read an article by someone when you can tell they are simply bored and talking to talk. You would enjoy reading someone else’s work so much more if they were excited about it, wouldn’t you?
- What do you enjoy doing? We have covered what you are writing about. But, honestly, how much advice is there on your specific execution? It’s insane. How can you start learning something new when there are 20 million moving pieces. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Facebook Live, Youtube, E-mail, Podcasts, and the list literally goes on and on and on. Maybe you hate social media. Focus on your e-mail. Perhaps you truly enjoy engaging with people and you would thrive by starting a Facebook group or responding to every Direct Message (DM) on Instagram. Don’t try to do all the things at once, and certainly don’t focus and worry over the ones you don’t enjoy! The whole point of a blog is that you can work for yourself. *Insert Mel Gibson FREEDOM!!! Gif here.*
Successfully Blogging = Pressure Building
There are so many things that you “have to do” in order to start successfully blogging. This is a straight-up lie. I have read amazing stories of people successfully blogging. What did all of them have in common? They were all unique! People want to see something new and relatable. Not carbon copies or the same thing over and over again.
Anyone have kids or know someone that has kids? Yup, pretty much everyone at least knows someone. How many times have you seen people given unsolicited advice? Sometimes it is good advice, sometimes not. Sometimes it is from someone with experience and other times from people who “think” they know. The reality is, most new moms appreciate the advice because they are scared out of their minds. However, once all of the advice has been collected they have to choose what advice follows their own principles and values, which advice to try, and which advice simply doesn’t work because each child is so uniquely different.
Don’t fear the advice, but don’t forget about your own vision for your blog.
Two. Stop waiting, just START!
Stop stalling already! Yes, it is scary and overwhelming. If you want to start successfully blogging then you need to actually have a blog. Do you know what’s amazing about the internet vs. writing on a piece of paper? Editing!!! You can re-write things down the road if you change your mind. You can change the colors or themes later on. Just start.
- There are tons of free blogging startup guides and courses that will show you exactly how to get a domain name and start a blog (usually on WordPress.) These free courses are amazing and will seriously help you get going. Beware, oftentimes they try to get you to buy their full course after the free one. This is not a bad thing, but at least in my case, it caused me to spend way too much money and get overwhelmed instead of actually working on my blog. I could have waited until I had my blog started and was consistently writing before I spend a considerable amount of money on something that ended up adding to my stress and guilt over a lack of instant financial success.
- Just set up a blog and start writing. Pick a super-easy free theme. Figure your way around your blogging site so that you learn how to edit your title, picture, and headings. Start writing posts and actually publishing them! Don’t spend five hours re-editing and optimizing them for Google. You are just starting out. You need to focus on actually starting before you can refine it. My blog posts got seriously sidelined because I became obsessed with getting my website perfect before I would write anything.
- Just start blogging and settle into the new feelings that come with putting so much of your person out to the world for their criticism. It’s scary and exciting but it is more than enough to get you started without adding in a ten-mile long to-do list. Have you ever read a book and noticed a spelling error? Did you go return the book to the store or continue reading? When you finished the book did you even remember what the spelling error was or did you remember the storyline and amazing characters? Perfection will slow you down and ultimately take away from the people that could find your writing useful.
Stop stressing about having the perfect professional photos, logo, or theme. Don’t even worry if you are struggling to narrow down your topic. Chances are you won’t be able to decide what you are truly passionate about writing about until you have started writing. Some topics sound fun in theory until you start writing about it. Just start blogging and then you can narrow down your niche and topics.
Successfully Blogging is NOT about You
Just remember that perfection is really a reflection of your pride. You are worried about the opinions of other people and how people view you. If you truly want to start successfully blogging in the near future, then you need to start focusing on the people you are trying to help. You need to give your readers some kind of benefit that will improve their life or mental wellbeing. If you are focused more on creating the perfect post or website as a priority over actually blogging then you are focused on yourself, not your readers.
Three. Your Goals Need Action Steps!
Goals! Wait, what? Why is this number 3? Well, I would assume that you wouldn’t be reading this still if you didn’t already know your main goal was to start successfully blogging in the near future!
The other reason setting goals is the last on the list is that until you start blogging and set up your website to start writing, you may not know or understand what your goals are. How stressed do you get trying to write every day? Maybe you need to write once a week instead. Until you actually start to get a picture of the scope that is the vast world of blogging it is very hard to set goals.
Maybe you set a goal to insert some affiliates and adds onto your website which is the main initial source of income for some bloggers. However, did you know before starting that you oftentimes need a certain number of page views, subscribers, or ratings on google analytics before you can gain affiliates or adds? You need to gain a basic understanding before you plan the future and it is very hard to do learn until you actually try it.
Now that I have killed the topic of why Goals are number three, let’s actually talk about the real topic which is setting action steps!
I am a fan of writing goals down. I have been dragging my husband to what my sister Mary would call a “Summit meeting” to discuss and write down goals every year. Seriously, this is the first year in ten years of marriage that I realized we needed to not only make goals but write down how we plan to achieve them.
- Start simple. Write down your goals now that you have a basic understanding of what goes into creating and keeping up with a blog.
- Next, what can you do to work towards these goals? Do you want to start gaining a list of e-mail subscribers so that you are writing to a specific audience? Then you might want to set up and e-mail service and get it into your website. Maybe your goal is to rank on the first page of a Google search. Did you know Google actually pays attention to how old your blog is, how often you post, how many people link to your blog, and how many relevant keywords are in each post? For example, if your post title is “How to cook Coconut Curry Chicken,” then your actual post should probably mention Coconut Curry Chicken a few times. (I made this recipe from the Whole30 cookbook last night and it was absolutely incredible!)
- Make your action steps small! Small tasks that you can actually accomplish. Try to make one post a week. Maybe you need to brainstorm every Monday so that you have a great idea and outline to write your post on Wednesday. Chose very small steps and complete them consistently until they become routine. Consistency is the key to blogging. If you start getting overwhelmed and try too many things at once, then you start to lose the quality of everything.
Remember, make goals based on your own priorities and passions, then write down small steps to accomplish the goals. Once you have these goals accomplished and the steps have become routine, it’s time to make new goals and push yourself farther.
We discussed how to start successfully blogging without becoming overwhelmed. Here are the three basic steps:
- Listen and learn, but make your own choices.
- Stop waiting, just start.
- Your goals need action steps.
I want you to try the things that you are excited about and will make your life change. You can’t change your life unless you are committed. You actually have to start somewhere. It is exponentially harder to stick with something when it overwhelms you and stresses you out on a daily basis. It’s okay to feel this occasionally but you can learn to organize yourself and push through. Learn the difference between pushing yourself too much and pushing yourself just enough to make you stronger.
I was actually debating writing this post because I have seen so many articles written about successfully blogging. I truly almost stopped myself. Then I realized that although there may be many similar posts, there are none written from my perspective. There are none that address the specific problems I encountered when it overwhelmed me. Maybe someone can relate to my situation.
Guilt and Shame Be Gone!
Pay attention to me right now. There is no guilt or shame involved in trying something new. Maybe you started a blog and quit. Maybe you changed your mind about the topic, or you put off starting entirely. You can choose to start right now. You can log back into your blog or start an entirely different one. There is absolutely no guilt in admitting that you are learning from this new, exciting, and admittedly scary adventure. You will make mistakes and you will want to give up. Believe it or not, there is no failure if you continue to try.
Focus on the main event. Blogging. Start writing and the rest will come. When we overcomplicate things in life we tend to get a blurred vision of things instead of the clear picture we started with. Simplify things and get your vision back.