Do you have that niggling feeling that you really ought to be blogging?
Everyone else seems to be doing it.
You know that there are some really good reasons for doing so (even if you can’t quite articulate what they are).
BUT… so far your blogging has at best been… sporadic.
At the start of every week you think: “This is the week that I will get my blogging backside in gear!”
At the end of the each week you think: “Oh well, there is always next week”.
You are PROCRASTINATING.
At no point has the procrastination actually made you feel good. Quite the opposite, each week that you don’t quite manage to get that blog out there you are left with a sense of disappointment. Wouldn’t it be lovely to put all that behind you and kick your procrastination habit?
Here are 5 Simple Strategies to Stop Procrastinating and Start Blogging
1. Understand your why
There are many tasks that lay claim to your time. You can select those that you give your attention to according to how urgent they are or how important they are. If you aren’t blogging regularly with an audience who will notice when you fail to publish then you are probably lacking urgency. Therefore you need to focus on why a blog is (or could) be important to you.
Blogging has many possible benefits. How many of the following resonate with you?
- Build your authority with your readers.
They can see that you really know your stuff.
- Build your brand.
A logo, a strapline and a consistent set of colours will get you a long way in branding. Your blog will build upon that vibe but take it so much further conveying your tone, your approach, your YOUness (yes, that is a word).
- Drive traffic
New content to put out on social media, etc creates new reasons for new users to visit your site.
- Improve your Google ranking
As you build an archive of blogs, each one generating slightly different keywords, you will be increasing your chance of having the right keyword combo for any single search.
- Build a relationship with your audience
Potential customers want to get to know you and to see that you are consistent & reliable. They want to be able to build the know, like & trust factor.
- Guide your readers towards buying from you
Blogs can remind readers of their pain point, gently nudging it up their priority list. A well thought out sequence of blogs can guide readers through a thought process so that at the end of it your product seems like the most natural solution in the world.
Which of these resonate with you? What other reasons can you think of that would be important to you? Which of these create a compelling why for overcoming your procrastination?
2. Clarity: What do you need to do
Whenever blogging crops up on your list of things to do if you are unclear as to what your next step is there is the temptation to think ‘I’m not sure what I need to do, I’ll come back to it later.’ As if magically when you get back to it later it will have suddenly become clear. Not surprisingly this is rarely the case and you get stuck in this repetitive cycle where you never actually work out what you need to do and you constantly put it on the back burner.
It is only by taking the time to work out what you need to do that you will be able to escape this loop. With blogging there are 2 key areas for getting stuck:
- What am I going to blog about?
- What steps do I need to take to create a finished blog?
So rather than waste time going in circles use that time instead to get clarity. It might not feel productive in the short term as you aren’t taking direct, visible action but don’t let this fool you. These will be some of the most productive minutes of the process.
- Brainstorm topics
What are your audience’s pain points and what advice can you give to solve them? What personal stories can you share from your last week? What case studies could you share?
- Break it down – what are the individual steps you need to take
Decide the topic… write a first draft… leave it 24 hours… re-read it with fresh eyes… create an image to go with it… upload to website… email it out to your list… add it to social media.
Once you can visualise what the very next step is then it is much easier to take that one individual action. But each action builds into the bigger task.
3. You don’t have the right skills/tools
You question your writing ability; you are unsure whether you can create a graphic to go with your blog; you don’t know how to upload to your website. All potentially valid points. However you will only need to learn each of these skills once and then you will be able to draw on them for each and every blog going forward. This is investing in yourself and your business.
Until you solve these stumbling blocks you will always have an excuse to not blog ‘this week’. Identify what you feel your weaknesses are. Create an action plan to nail these. Watch a YouTube video. Ask for course recommendations. Outsource it to someone for whom it is in their zone of genius.
4. You aren’t in the ‘right mood’
There is a temptation to believe that our feelings lead to action. However it is often the other way round. Taking action creates the feeling.
Don’t wait for the muse to strike. Make a start. Just that… a start.
Set yourself a small, manageable target. If you tell yourself that you have to complete the blog then it can become big and scary. The pressure can send your mind into a funk. You can barely write your name let alone a 500 word blog.
Tell yourself you will write for 30 minutes. If absolutely nothing flows in this time then you haven’t wasted hours. You feel that you can throw a few ideas around and if none of them come to anything it doesn’t matter, it is only 30 minutes.
Reality check: 9 times out of 10 at the end of 30 minutes you are in ‘the zone’ and the words are flowing. Suddenly you ARE in the mood. You can then choose to keep going and before you know it 500+ words have magically appeared.
5. Schedule it
When you have a doctor’s appointment if someone asks if you can do something at that time you tell them ‘No, I have an appointment’ and you work out an alternative time. You need to create a similar appointment for your blog. Make it non-negotiable. Put it in your calendar. Then when someone asks you will be able to say ‘No, I already have an appointment at that time’.
If you have been procrastinating about blogging for a while it has probably blown up in your mind to be an ominous task. So schedule it for first thing in the day. You will have more willpower to crack on with it. You will have more energy to find your focus. You will have a sense of achievement when you have completed it that will carry over into the rest of the day boosting your confidence and motivation.
Procrastination Tips… They’re not just for blogging you know!
Whilst these 5 simple steps have been considered in light of blogging they can equally apply to any other aspect of your life where you feel yourself procrastinating.
So stop using reading this blog as a reason to procrastinate. Work out what task has been sitting on your to-do list for a while (yes, that means you have been procrastinating about it). Work through the 5 steps to see which ones resonate most strongly and then take action.