My own blogging practice has evolved over the last three years into a pretty solid rhythm. It took me a while to find it (mostly because I was listening to all the “experts” and trying to follow “best practices”).
Don’t let that happen to you! Yes, you need to have some content on your website in order for people to find you and decide whether or not they want to work with you. BUT, you get to decide how much content and what format to put it in.
Words. Audio. Video. Even just pictures. It’s all content. Pick a format that you enjoy, and you’ll make it that much easier on yourself.
I like to write. So I do. And I find that if I aim for at least one blog post each week, it keeps my writing muscles and rhythm in good shape. When I take a break (for vacation, illness, etc.), it definitely impacts my ability to sit down and find my flow again. In those cases, I make a pact with myself to go easy. I commit to working in 20-min increments (minimum). Twenty minutes is often what I need to reconnect with that part of my brain that holds all the words.
If you find it hard to start a blog post, it could be for one of these reasons:
- You don’t have a content strategy mapped out. In that case, revisit the content strategy module and do the mind-mapping exercise.
- You haven’t set aside a regular time for your content creation. Choose at least 30 min a day that works for your schedule. Quiet time when you won’t be interrupted. Put it on your calendar so you don’t schedule anything else there. Keep it sacred and show up — even if it’s just to brainstorm.
- You’re a better talker than you are a writer. Time to get yourself some voice recognition software. I love Dragon Naturally Speaking. Get your draft out of you and onto a page where you can then begin to edit and polish.
- You’re expecting perfection. ALL writers edit and polish. Even those with a lot of confidence and practice. If you can’t tune out the critic in your head, you’ll never get the first draft out of your brain. Give yourself permission to suck. Allow your first (or even second, third and fourth) draft to be what it is: the very beginnings of something that will — eventually — be worthy of publishing.
Once you’ve got a draft that you feel might be ready to publish, show it to a trusted friend or colleague. A second set of eyeballs — even on just a few of your posts — can really help you see where your strengths and weaknesses are. And knowing those, you’ll be able to make the next posts that much better.
The important thing is to notice when you’re in a procrastination spiral and find ways to NIP IT IN THE BUD. Just start. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Tell yourself it’s okay and you’ll just work on brainstorming crappy titles or something. You’ll be amazed at what happens once you push past the 10 minute mark. You might even begin to enjoy yourself!
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to share in a comment below.