By now, you probably already know that building a blog can benefit your internet business. Whether your blog will be your primary site or simply add a more personal touch to an established website, there’s no doubt that blogging will help you to expand your personal brand, establish yourself as an authority in your industry and even encourage more sales.
But just because something has the potential to hugely improve your business doesn’t mean it’s easy to implement. Blogging, in particular, often requires a significant investment of time and effort before it delivers results – a fact that leads many would-be bloggers to quit before they’ve ever had a chance to succeed.
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Don’t fall into this trap! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the daunting task of building a successful blog, take the following steps to help you stop procrastinating and start blogging.
Step #1 – Develop a Game Plan for Success
Runners don’t simply wake up one morning and decide to run a marathon. Instead, they develop detailed training plans that outline the steps needed to go from couch potato to mega-miler. Then, using these plans, they complete each and every training session – step-by-step – until they reach their goals.
In fact, you’ll likely find that the most successful people in the world follow this approach – they identify their goals and then map out a concrete plan of the successive steps they’ll take to achieve them. And yet, so many bloggers think that overnight success will come as the result of a few good posts and some backlinks…
Anyone who’s ever owned a blog will tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. So to maximize your chances of success and give you a framework that will help you avoid procrastination, invest some time in developing a game plan for your blog’s success. The following are a few of the factors to include in your plan:
What steps do I need to take to launch my blog?
For most people, this will involve purchasing a domain name and hosting package, installing a blogging platform and customizing the look and feel of the site itself.
How often will I post?
Posting regularly is the key to building an audience of repeat visitors, so it’s important to set a publishing schedule and stick with it. Most bloggers get the best results from posting 1-3 times per week, although posting more or less often may be appropriate for your industry.
Who are my target audience members?
Taking the time to identify key characteristics about your target visitors will help you to develop a clear voice and craft consistent content from the beginning of your blogging career.
How will I get visitors to my site?
Most beginning bloggers use guest posting, blog commenting and forum posting to generate interest in their sites, but you’ll want to spend some time identifying the traffic generation methods that make the most sense for your business.
Step #2 – Take One Tiny Step Forward Each Day
The reason developing a game plan is so important in helping to avoid procrastination is that it gives you a framework for taking action. While many wanna-be bloggers get hung up wondering what to do first, the site owners who have taken the time to create an action plan have a very clear path for moving forward.
Of course, knowing that you have a plan and actually putting it into action are two completely different things. In fact, many bloggers get hung up in the planning stage, as it’s very easy to convince yourself that strategic planning *is* taking action – even if you have no content on your blog to show for it!
Others may find that the plans they’ve developed seem overwhelming. Since we know that blogging is a long-term game, staring down a seemingly endless to-do list may make some people feel incapable of taking even the smallest step forward.
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The solution to both of these dilemmas is the same – take at least one teeny, tiny action each day.
Business strategists sum this up with the joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time, of course!” The key is that small actions add up over time and build momentum that lead to even greater productivity in the future.
So if you’re struggling to even get started with that great game plan you laid out for yourself, take one small action right now. If you feel motivated to do more, then by all means do so. But even if you only spend 10 minutes working on your blog each day, reward yourself for making this effort. Over time, you’ll be amazed by what you’ve accomplished!
Step #3 – Find Accountability Partners
If you’re struggling to take even the smallest actions to move your blog forward, you might need to find some backup to help you avoid procrastination in the form of accountability partners.
One of the most difficult things about blogging is that there’s no one else you have to answer to when it’s just you, sitting alone in your office and typing out content. There’s no boss peering over your shoulder to make sure you stick to your publishing schedule, and you’ll find that the time you should be spending on your blog often loses out when compared to hanging out with friends or other fun activities.
So to ensure that you stay on track with your blogging game plan and publishing schedule, one of the smartest things you can do is to find accountability partners who will check up on your progress to make sure you’re not procrastinating. These accountability partners can be anyone – from your spouse to your friends to other bloggers or business contacts that you meet online. The key is to schedule regular times to check in with these people to catch up on each other’s progress – whether in person or online using free services like Skype – to make sure you all succeed with your business goals.
Blogging isn’t easy, and if you’re prone to procrastination, you’ll find that the uphill battle is even harder. However, by taking a few steps designed to work around this impulse, you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought possible when it comes to building a successful, profitable blog.
Guest post by Pawel, the owner of Affhelper.com, a secret place where he talks about stuff related to making money online and content marketing. Hope to see you there.