The other day, I was exchanging emails with a fresh-out-of-the-box blogger who had reached the outer edges of overwhelm and was just about to enter Meltdown City.
Boy, could I relate.
The more she shared about her ‘in-over-my-head-and-can’t-keep-up’ feelings, the deeper I was drawn into my own memories of the first chaotic weeks of blogging when everything was complicated and seemed sure to blow up if I made the slightest misstep.
And then it hit me. No, not a blast from something I blew up, Smarty Pants!
What hit me was the realization that I was remembering that sense of overwhelm, but I was no longer experiencing it.
Somewhere along the way, when I was fumbling along without having so much as two clues to string together, blogging got easier. And by easier, I mean waaaay easier:
Here are a few things that have moved to my “easier” list:
- Posting. Writing and publishing posts took me just a hair shy of forever when I first started blogging. I hadn’t found my blogging voice yet, so the writing process was clunky, and navigating the WordPress Dashboard made me twitchy. A few posts in though, I settled down, found my voice, and actually started looking forward to writing posts (yes, I’m a sicko). And, the more times I published a post without setting off any alarms, the more I relaxed about that too.
- Managing my time. I had no clue how much time blogging would eat up before I started. Lucky for me, because the truth would have sent me running in the opposite direction. While part of the reason blogging took me so long was my lack of knowledge (aka cluelessness), the bigger reason was that I lacked focus and direction and avoided working with a schedule. Somewhere along the line, a clue-beam penetrated my noggin, and I started working with a schedule, setting daily action steps, and using a timer on days when I’m easily distracted.
- Prioritizing. I about drove myself and half the world crazy when I was trying to learn and do everything at once. I didn’t even have five posts up yet but I was checking stats, reading up on how to set up membership sites, and downloading ebooks on product launches. It took me some time to understand how blogging is a marathon and that some things are better left to learn when I get to mile market 16 than right now. These days, I focus on writing, promoting, and building community, which is easier, more effective, and reduces the number of crazy people in the world.
- Making friends. My friends and family don’t get the ‘blogging thing,’ so aside from a couple exceptions, I was totally on my own when I started. It was lonely going for awhile there, but finally I quit moping and did something about it. I joined some forums and visited and commented on other blogs even though it felt strange talking with strangers online. It didn’t take long though before I realized that online relationships work pretty much the same as offline ones. Now, every day is filled with sharing, encouragement, and laughter, and my online friends are a continuing source of joy.
- Chilling. I had more than a couple freakathons in my first weeks of blogging, like the day I accidentally took my blog offline installing a plugin. Be glad you weren’t here to witness that drama fest Fortunately, my hosting company fixed my self-induced problem in short order (thank you, Bluehost), but I learned a lot from the experience. As icky as it felt to be staring at a white screen where my blog had once been, the truly nasty bit was the state I put myself into by wigging out over the problem. Since then, stuff still happens, but usually I can just chill about it, breathe, and move on.
- Promoting. When I first started blogging, I looked at marketing and promotion through the eyes of someone who had been spammed by one too many sunglasses-hot-car-internet-marketer types. No way did I want to be lumped in with that sleaze-monkey crowd, so I didn’t promote my posts. Yeah, that was helpful Later though, I was hanging out at a forum and someone had a question one of my posts would answer. I realized that by not promoting my posts, I was essentially hiding something of value to others. Since then, I’ve gotten active on Twitter, have been an active commenter on other blogs, and have some guest posts in my future. While I won’t be winning marketer of the year anytime soon, I no longer hide my posts under the nearest rock.
There’s a lot of unfamiliar territory waiting for me up ahead, but knowing that so many things have gotten easier just by hanging in there gives me hope. Hopefully, it will give you confidence too because if I can do this, anyone can!
Your turn: How has blogging gotten easier for you by ‘just doing it?’
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