Contrary to popular belief that blogging is an easy thing to do, it actually requires work… a ton of it. That’s why many people dabble into it and quit easily. (Trust me, I’ve done it many times before until I found the reason to stick to it — see how your why is so important?! — and how to sustain it on top of the bajillion other things I need to do and fulfill.) So, how do you blog and achieve your blogging goals without wanting to scream at your computer every chance you get?
Planning is your pal.
No, really, it is. I’ve come to learn that preparation pays. Sure, there’s fun in spontaneity but when it comes to achieving goals and getting things done, planning really is your friend. Your plans, of course, will depend on your goals and how soon you want to achieve them.
After you’ve figured out your why, it’s time to focus on the HOW.
First off, set actionable goals.
What’s actionable? Something you can act upon or really do. It could be anything depending on your why. Publish one video a month? Sure. Improve your photo-taking or writing skills? Great!
Next, set up a system.
Okay, I know that may have made your curl your nose up. We were just talking about goals and now systems?! It’s really not as complicated as it sounds when you try to look at it this way: A system is how you design to work on achieving your goal. It’s your game plan broken into different tasks. This is gonna help you not only in staying organized and on-track to achieving your goals but also give you peace of mind.
When you work with intention and know what exactly you need to do, the less time you run around like a headless chicken and panicking about what would happen next or why things are not happening in the first place.
Make a blogging calendar
Yes, it really does work. We all know that blogging is self-publishing. And as a publishing insider, I can tell you firsthand that, yes, we use calendars. In fact, we make ones way ahead of time before the actual publication. (Fun fact: The annual calendar for 2018 for the online publication I work for was finalized in October. Yep, last year.)
Now, you don’t have to work super ahead of time when it comes to your own calendar. Depending on your blog and how you intend to write it, a theme for each month may not be suitable. But my tip is to plan weekly.
- Make your calendar for next week this week.
- Decide on how many stories you can write for the coming week.
- Lay them out and schedule when you intend to post them.
That way, you know exactly what target you need to hit.
It will happen. You know? The time where you rack your brain for ideas but you just can’t seem to get any. Trust me, it happens to everyone. But instead of wallowing in the thought of nothingness, take action. I’ve a few tried-and-true tricks for when I can’t write. Sometimes, in between those steps, I would look for inspiration.
Now, this can be tricky. It’s so easy to get sucked into the hole of “Oh, I’m doing this for research” when you’re really already wasting time on sites you know you shouldn’t be on in the first place. That’s where mindfulness comes in. Remind yourself of your why and what you need to do. Personally, I have a few favorite writers who really inspire me to write. I suggest looking at your favorite websites and taking note of pieces that have stuck with you. Remember the byline and look for that person’s other works. You can do the same for blogs you love, of course!
Track your progress.
It’s good to have a clear sight of your goals, but I think it’s more important to celebrate the little things while you’re working on your goals. Sometimes, we might get too focused on achieving and getting and accomplishing that we lose sight of what we’ve already achieved, gotten or accomplished.
No matter how small, celebrate a win. Whether it’s fulfilling your self-imposed weekly quota for blog posts or trying out a new way to lay-out your blog posts, give yourself a pat on the back. Remind yourself that every small step is important in getting to your desired destination.
I’m also highlighting this because the world of social media can be a tough place to circle. Everyone and their mother seem to be focused on getting followers, likes and expanding their clout. So you’re still stuck at 200 followers but you did get 50 likes on your most recent post. That’s still a good thing!
Now, I won’t tell you to be overly positive because that’s just not realistic. I’m sure you want to level up or progress in some way, that’s why you created your blog in the first place. But my take is: Track your progress, and I mean really track it. Take note of trends or rises and falls when it comes to your progress. That way, you know which parts you can improve on and which ones you need to completely let go of.
After reading this, I’d like you to start your calendar for next week. You can start small, no pressure! Thinking about doing two posts or one? Go ahead and get planning!