We have all seen it before. A friend tells you to check out his new site. He or she is talking about big dreams for the future, about all the plans and even about the goals of making money. Couple of weeks later you see the same friend, ask him or her about how the new project is doing, and you hear that same old excuse of not having had enough time to work on it.
Starting is not the end, it’s the beginning
Actually starting to do something is where you hit the reality and see that maybe the plan you had has to be changed, or the dream you have will need a lot of time and effort to be reached. After starting that site or after publishing that first post you realise that the work is only starting. Visitors won’t just come after you publish, you will have to go out and get them. None of this should discourage you from trying though.
Starting a site is not the end as many people see it, it is just the beginning. You cannot expect just to launch your site, publish the first post and have visitors come to you in any numbers. It does not work like that. The real work actually starts after you have launched. That is when you need to put in the effort and time to get something out of your project. Without that your project will surely fail and you will not be giving it much chance of succeeding.
It is a smart move to manage your expectations better. We have all heard too many success stories about people starting sites and making products and then selling them and earning tons of money. We have all heard about people that started posting content online and ended up with book contracts and best seller books. We see people traveling the world and having great lifestyles thanks to their blogging.
These stories are possible but they only happen to a small percentage of people. Keep this in mind in order to have a more realistic expectation of your project. This will keep you grounded and will help you motivate you and will help you put in the effort when you need to. You will certainly need to put in a lot of effort over a longer period of time before you start seeing any progress.
It is a marathon, not a sprint
The real work is about performing consistently day after day and building an audience few people at a time. It takes time to become a successful blogger. It is a lot of work, takes up a lot of your day and is hard to get away from. Blogging is a marathon, it is not a sprint.There is a long road ahead of you and your first post is just the start of your blogging journey. Don’t just give up after couple of weeks if you feel like you have not reached your high expectations. And do not restart your blogging with a post apologizing for not posting in a while. Nobody cares. Just get on with it.
- Keep creating great content, the best content you can think of
- Keep posting regularly and consistently
- Keep connecting to people in your target group
- Keep promoting your content wherever you can
- Keep networking with other authors, entrepreneurs and influences
- Entertain people, inform people, educate people… make them love your content and share your content
Slowly but surely your site will grow, your reputation in the industry will increase, you will be growing an audience and you will start seeing the benefits of having a successful site.
The fear of starting
This is a very common problem for people. They are unsure on what will happen when they post something. They are shy thinking about what their friends and family will say. They are insecure about the quality of their content. They think that nobody will read them. What people need in situations like these is a bit of a push, a bit of motivation to click that publish button. Because when you do click on that button and your first post is online and available for the world to see, you will realise how silly it was to have any fears and how you should have published the post a long time ago.
Just go for it really, close your eyes and post that first post. The more you think about this, the more time it will take you and the less probability you will do it. Don’t fall into the analysis paralysis. You can figure the details as you go along. Some spend weeks on research, on planning, on the design and other small details. I do not find this a valuable way of spending so much important time on. These are weeks and months spent without writing, without creating content, without marketing that content, without connecting to your audience, without building a name and without testing things in the real world.
Your first post will suck
Be realistic. Your first post will most probably suck. Only your mother might like it. Your Google Analytics report might say you had two visitors only – one from your laptop and one from your smartphone. No one would click on the Twitter share button or the Facebook like button. This may sound a bit harsh to you now but even the biggest bloggers published posts that sucked early on in their blogging careers.
What separates them from the rest is that while writing these awful posts the bloggers were learning the fundamentals of creating immersive content. And this is what counts. Getting experience, learning how to write better, improving the way you present your content, getting more comfortable about reaching out to people and promoting your content. All these skills are key skills to have in order to build a successful site.
Focus your time and efforts on learning the craft of blogging. Learning how to create great content is the most important lesson for you to become a successful blogger. The content and the way you present and promote that content, determines how well your project will do. It takes a lot of time to get all this under control and to master all these activities. It is natural that you will be starting from almost zero and building your way up, learning from all the bad content you put out there and all the experiences that you gain.
Stop planning, start doing
Don’t get depressed by this though. This advice is here not to stop you from trying to start your site but it is here to help you manage your expectations better and get you motivated and ready for the road ahead. Keep blogging, keep putting in the time and the effort. Even though your first post might be bad, it will help you get better and you will know much more about what it takes to write a great post.
Forget all the details now, get the basics setup and start writing content and get the message about your content out there. After a while, if your site grows, the natural progression will be to improve the design and the technical aspects of it. Dreaming about building a large readership and dreaming about building a name for yourself is not enough. To give life to your dreams, you must start doing it now.
But taking that first step you will already achieve more than most people do. Other people keep talking and dreaming and you see that you are not one of them. You have published that post despite being fearful of the feedback, you are actually in the field working. Only doing the actual work can help you, it will improve you, it will teach you what works and what doesn’t. You will see great benefits, you will not stand still like you would have if you were only talking about it and thinking but not doing it.