Getting started with a new habit is always a bit daunting. We want to do it, we know we can do it .. but we tend to face two issues: getting started and sticking with it. Let’s address each of those issues to for one to participate in some sort of 30 Day Blogging Challenge.
Behind the “Getting Started” phase of blogging, there are some consistent issues (a.k.a. complaints, excuses) that I hear.
- I don’t know that to write about: This is pretty common so don’t think that you are all alone in the universe with this.
- I don’t know how to use WordPress (or Blogger, etc.):
- Who is going to read what I write? You’d be surprised. Don’t bypass writing about a topics because “everybody knows that.” Trust me, everyone doesn’t and that piece of information that you possess is one step closer to establishing you as an authority. Plus, there are still people on the internet who are looking for the answer to a question they have .. and your post may be just the one that helps them out.
So .. don’t wait for everything to be perfect .. just get started. If you don’t keep progressing, even just a little bit, then you will stop. Make yourself a goal to keep moving forward, each and every day.
Don’t allow yourself to never get started.
Sticking With It
This is much harder to tackle. Once you commit to starting a blogging habit, your adrenaline is going, you are psyched to be writing and you get your first few posts out and then … you tend to wane. That’s pretty normal. So how do you stick with it?
Build a habit of writing into every day.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Trust me. It took a long time to really get into the swing of things and I still have times when I fall off the wagon. Don’t dwell on those times; simply get back on the wagon and get back to writing.
Keep moving forward.
As a virtual administrative professional, you know when you are at your prime during the day. I call this the Prime Productivity Time and I protect it like a jealous lover. That’s where I am the most productive and utilize my time most effectively.
During those hours, I can crank out a ton of client work and can tick off one task after another. That makes me happy, so there’s all those awesome endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine chemicals coursing through me. It is during those hours, that I take no calls, schedule no meetings, hangouts or chats. Before the “afternoon slump” hits me, I still have plenty of energy and creativity left. That’s when I sit down and write for 15-20 minutes.
If it takes me an hour to write a good blog post, then if you do the math, I can get one post completed each week. That works!
If you aren’t in the habit of reading, then I would strongly suggest it. First, if you stay current with the news and trends, you will see headlines that will provide you with fodder for your posts. Second, it will subconsciously help your grammar. If you see how the professionals write, you will ultimately emulate them.
Find some feeds and slap them into Feedly, or whatever RSS feed reader you prefer and read them every day. Personally, I prefer to read first thing in the morning as I wake up, while I know others who read through their feeds during the afternoon slump.
Tagging allows you to save articles in an organized manner .. so use them wisely. Some great examples (hint: BF is short for ‘Blog Fodder’ in my universe):
- BF: Business Tips
- BF: Entrepreneurial
- BF: Finance
- BF: Social Media Tips
- BF: Time Management Tips
- BF: Virtual Assistance
Ultimately, it is you, and you alone, who will determine your success in starting and maintaining a writing and blogging habit. However, once you have committed and ingrained the habit as part of your work day productivity, it will be just another task on your to do list that you can check off at the end of the day.
Wishing you success!