How to Get Motivated for 2017
It’s time! It’s here! Every year seems to fly by faster and faster, and here we are staring 2017 in the face. Is there fear in your eyes? Fear in your heart? Or are you ready to tackle the shit out of 2017 like nobody’s business?! I’m hoping it’s that last option because that’s how I’m feeling and I want to take you with me.
Links with an asterisk* are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you purchase, but it costs you nothing extra. <3
What’s the dealio, yo?
The number one problem new bloggers come to me with is visibility. They say nobody is seeing their blog, nobody cares about what they have to say, and they’re getting zero interaction on social media. You’re being pulled in 100 different directions, you’re reading conflicting advice all over the place and you just don’t know who to believe or what to do first! I get it, it’s super frustrating too because most of the blog advice I’ve read lately is surrounded by affiliate links. The reason they say “do this” is because they make money off of you doing that. That’s not how affiliate links were meant to be used, and it’s sucky because it makes ALL of us leery of clicking or following any advice we read!
Get Back to Basics
Why did you start your blog or business in the first place? Most of the time, blogging starts out as a hobby and once you realize you can make a living doing what you love, you hop into business mode. That’s what I did, anyway, and that’s what a lot of folks are doing right now. There are so many blog posts about how to start a blog, but then those bloggers leave you high and dry, wondering what you’re supposed to do next.
My #1 piece of advice in this situation is just to create great content. You can worry about the details of everything else after you have content up. Yes, design is important. SEO is important. Social media is important. It’s all important, but it always comes back to content. If you’ve just started a blog, stop worrying about ANYTHING else. Make a list of 2-3 topics you want to cover, and then write down 10-20 blog post ideas for each topic. As you’re writing your blog posts, link them to each other so when I’m reading one of them, I can hop to another.
You want to move forward NOW, and you want to move fast, and you want to make that magical six figures, yeah? Take a step back right now and just.create.content. After you’ve written 20 or so amazing posts (I’m talking 700+ words, people!), then you can focus on the next steps and formulating a plan. I know this is ass backwards from the rest of the advice you’re reading, but it will work. Promise!
Appreciate Your Wins
A “win” can be anything from writing and publishing a blog post (hey, that’s a lot of work!) to setting up a new social media account for your blog. It can be taking a course (like my free Pinterest course!), or even outlining your own course to promote some day.
Did you get a few followers on Twitter? Win! Did someone comment on your Facebook post? Win!
It’s just as easy to get wrapped up in the “million followers” trap as it is to get caught in the six figure income trap. Yes, it happens, but it shouldn’t be your immediate goal because that’s going to be discouraging when it doesn’t happen overnight. Spoiler alert: It won’t. Nothing happens overnight. Well, unless you make a sex tape. But we aren’t doing that. 😉
Plan, plan, plan.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Or something like that. But seriously, you can crank out random content that is completely unrelated to each other or you can pick a few topics and stick to them. You can set up your social media and neglect it, or you can use tools like Grum.co and Buffer to schedule your content out so it’s out there and ready to be picked up.
Each of your blog posts should have a Pinterest-friendly (vertical) image with big, bright, bold text. They should also have a horizontal image for Facebook sharing. If you’re really on a roll, make a square one for your Instagram, too. Use PicMonkey*, Canva, or Stencil* to design images.
Don’t obsess over any of the details at first. Like I said, focus on creating amazing content because if you don’t have that, your efforts with everything else will be futile.
Go the extra mile when creating content and the rest will fall into place. Not magically, but it will be much easier to plan and execute if you have the main portion of your blog set up with a solid foundation. If you need help focusing on the important stuff (ehem, content!), create an editorial calendar.
Start tracking your stats right away, but don’t obsess over them. Looking back and seeing that on Day 30 you had 14 visits to your blog, but by day 90 you had 100 visits a day is going to be way more motivating than having that 100 visits a day and thinking, “Geez, I only have 100 visits a day to my crappy blog. What am I doing wrong?”.
Listen to Podcasts
… but don’t drink the Kool-Aid. What does this mean, exactly? It means listening to podcasts can be super motivating, but podcasts are sales tactics so they obviously (usually) have a sales pitch either in the accompanying blog post or in the podcast itself. You don’t need to buy into whatever they’re selling to get value from the podcast. Take notes each time you listen to a podcast, but don’t make any impulsive purchases that you’ll most likely regret. That damn countdown timer gets me every time.
My favorite podcast at the moment is from Kate at Simple Pin Media. I’ve listened to just a handful of her podcasts, but have been pleasantly surprised with each one. They aren’t overly salesy, she isn’t telling you to “do this” to get a million Pinterest followers. She does have a few courses but she doesn’t shove them down your throat. Overall, I’d give her podcast a solid 10 out of 10.
Amy Porterfield is one of those podcasters that you will love listening to, but it’s easy to get sucked into the hype so remember my advice from above! She trained under Tony Robbins and she is definitely a lot like him – which is great! and also not so great when you’re desperate to find the “fix” that makes your blog great. That’s not a dig at her or her podcasts, just an observation that I noticed when I was listening because I was like BUY ALL THE THINGS! But in reality, you don’t need a $1,000 course on Facebook ads to be successful. So listen to her podcasts, take lots and lots of notes, and hold off on any impulse purchases (even if there’s a countdown timer involved!). She still gets an 8 out of 10 for outstanding content.
One last podcast I love is by Gary Vaynerchuk. Why didn’t I list him first? Well, I didn’t want to give preferential treatment just because he’s gorgeous… and his podcast isn’t for everyone. I love everything he says, and I love that he doesn’t sell shit constantly, but he rubs some people the wrong way so if you’re overly sensitive, skip his podcast for now. You’ll come back to it eventually. 🙂 Solid 10 out of 10 of course, for Gary V.
Here’s the thing. There’s a difference in negativity and bluntness. I am very blunt, I’m honest, I’m direct and to the point. I’m not a negative person, but if someone is in a bad place in their life or throwing themselves a pity party, they’re going to say I’m negative (or maybe even a bitch.. ha). But the thing is, you’ve gotta be able to wade through the bullshit and how are you gonna do that if a more experienced blogger doesn’t help? It’s tough!
It’s so important to steer clear of Negative Nancy type people, but also stay grounded and realistic. Avoiding negative people will help you keep your head in the right place to blog successfully.
Phone a friend.
Ask for help when you need it! Get a blog buddy. Connect with bloggers who are just a few steps ahead of where you are, and on their way to where you want to be. Reaching out to bloggers who have a million pageviews a month can be disappointing because the time it takes to run a blog of that size and respond to emails is just overwhelming in itself. My other blog gets about 1/4 of that and I can barely keep up with my emails!
There are tons of blogging and business groups you can join, but most of the time they’re just filled with “chore” or “trade” threads (where you comment and they comment back).
Download Cute Freebies
New freebies always help motivate me. I’ll print them out, hang them around my office, and get to work. I wanted to create an adorable freebie for you guys, and it might just be my silly sense of humor, but I thought it’d be hilarious to have a lazy sloth calendar filled with motivational quotes. Enter your name and email in the box below and your sloth calendar will arrive in your inbox almost immediately!