If there’s one thing that is for certain about my blog, it’s that I have wanted to give up on it numerous times. And it’s not because I don’t love working on it. And it’s definitely not because I don’t see the value in it. In fact, I see such value in it that after a full month’s hiatus from Hustle and Hearts, I’ve now jumped right back in with a new determination. But how did I suddenly go from zero to full steam ahead? Where did this new mindset change regarding my blog come from? Well, to put it simply, it’s all just been about simplifying my blogging strategy (pun totally intended).
Simplifying my strategy now allows me to be much more consistent with blogging. I feel more positive, and I’m definitely less prone to self doubt and blogger overwhelm. Do I have it all figured out? Nope. Do I no longer have the crippling fear of wasting my time on my blog? Not even close.
Self doubt still exists for me. I still have those occasional moments, as we all probably do, where I just stop and wonder why exactly I’m putting so much effort into this project. Case in point, this week has been particularly tough for me.
How am I getting through it?
Well, I now have a coping mechanism to handle that self doubt, and so far it’s been working like a true charm. This is why I wanted to share this little coping mechanism with all my fellow blogging babes out there. I know there’s many of us who deal with blogger overwhelm, burnout, and self doubt. I figured if this little change worked for me, it might work for you too.
Plus, it’s super easy to implement, making it even more of an attractive change!
Okay, let’s dive into this.
Why I Simplified My Blogging Strategy
So first things first, I want to quickly touch on why I simplified my strategy in the first place.
When I first started my blog, I had big plans for it. I felt confident and totally enamored by the idea of the whole blogging world. Although I had blogged before, this was a fresh blog, and I was excited!
Very quickly, though, all the feelings came rushing back. ‘Ya know, the feelings that every blogger is oh too familiar with: overwhelm, fear, and of course getting trapped in that comparison game.
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I didn’t want to let that beat me, though, so I went hard on my blog. And I mean hard.
For those of you who don’t know, my actual money making job is in freelance writing, but when I saw my blog not having the kind of success that I wanted it to, I put the freelance writing on the back burner, and instead put the majority of my time and energy into my blog.
Probably not the best idea when you don’t have any other source of income, and you haven’t actually monetized your blog yet.
It wasn’t until I was in Montreal this summer for 30 days that I realized I wasn’t making nearly enough money.
I was overwhelmed. I felt my blog was a big disappointment. I had reached a point where I figured I should just give up on it. At this point it was much more important that I go back to freelancing. If I wanted to do more trips like Montreal, I needed to.
I sat on those thoughts all through my Montreal trip.
I knew I loved the blogging world and I wanted to be a part of it, but I also knew that I needed to be making real, steady income. In order to do both those things without letting one take over the other, I needed to learn that I can’t do it all. I needed to learn to be selective with my time. I needed to learn to simplify my strategy.
How I Simplified My Blogging Strategy
I can pretty much guarantee that almost every blogger has gone through at least one instance where they were trying to do too much. Why am I so certain of this?
Well because, when it comes to blogging, there’s so many strategies that you could implement, it’s hard to resist not wanting to do them all. We all want our blogs to be successful, after all, so why wouldn’t we be doing everything that we can to get there?
Have you ever heard the phrase “being busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive”?
Yeah, this was me.
I was trying to implement so many strategies that I wasn’t actually doing any of them well. I was just half assing everything. Once I realized this, I sat down and looked at the things that were actually benefitting my blog.
And no, I’m not talking about the teeny tiny little things I could be doing. I’m talking about the things that really impacted my blog, my audience, and hopefully eventually, my income.
For me, those things included: being active on Pinterest, utilizing Tailwind and Tailwind Tribes, being active in Facebook groups, consistently posting on my blog, and writing a weekly newsletter.
I go on Twitter when I can, I post Instagram photos when I actually have something to say, and I’m only active primarily in 2 Facebook groups where I know like minded ladies hang out.
But for the most part, I know that building my audience comes through finding new people on Pinterest, and so I spend most of my marketing efforts there. I also know that cultivating the relationship I already have with people comes through weekly blog posts and my newsletter, so I’m also focusing on consistent content.
Focus on the things that really matter for your blog. Don’t worry about other people’s blogs. Stop reading about strategy. Stop trying to do everything. Just do the things that actually work for you, your blog, and your audience.Don’t worry about other people’s blogs. Just do the things that actually work for you, your blog,… Click To Tweet
The key is to be patient, and to take the time to figure out what works for you. It may take some experimenting, but when you figure it out, you’ll know.
How You Can Simplify Your Blogging Strategy
Of course there are certain things that most bloggers do to build an audience, but the point of this post isn’t to simply hand you the strategy. The point of this post is to give you the tools necessary to come up with your own strategy that suits your needs and your blog.
So if you’re overwhelmed by blogging and you’re ready to come up with a simplified blogging strategy that is customized to you, here’s what I want you to do:
1) Determine your blog’s mission
First and foremost, you need to decide what you’re actually trying to accomplish with your blog. This can change, so don’t feel married to the idea, but even if you are still in the development phase of your blog, you need a mission. A mission just basically means defining the point of your blog (i.e. how it’s benefiting other people, why people would want to read your blog, what you’re trying to communicate to your audience/what you’re offering).
2) Define your audience
Next, figure out who you’re trying to serve that mission to. Instead of trying to please everyone and anyone, think hard about who your content would most appeal to. Get specific. Even come up with an avatar for who that person is. Give her a name, decide what she likes, where she lives, how she spends her free time, etc. The more you know about her, the more likely it is that you’ll write in such a way that your content will serve her (and people like her).
3) Plan it out
Now that you know what your blogging mission is, and who you’re going to be delivering that mission to, it’s time to come up with a strategy.
As mentioned above, the first thing you need to do is write out all your top blogging activities. Be picky here. Don’t just list out every and any blogging activity that you could be doing. Really think about the things that you see direct results from. There really shouldn’t be anymore than 5 core activities on this list.
Once you have that list, it’s time to schedule out when you’re actually going to find the time to complete those activities. It’s extremely important that you be realistic with your time here. If you know that Mondays are a particularly busy day for you, then specifically don’t schedule any blogging activities for that day. If you know that Sunday you usually spend watching Netflix and lounging, fill your Sunday with blogging activities you love doing: take photos, mass write content, schedule Tweets. Whatever you have on that list from above, schedule it in for a specific day of the week that makes sense for you.
5) Stick to it
Now that you have your blogging schedule, you need to stick to it. Like I’ve said, one of the biggest problems I’ve faced with my blog is trying to do everything. By having this schedule, I now know exactly which blogging activities I’m supposed to be doing each day. I don’t have that overwhelmed feeling anymore because each day I know exactly what is suppose to be getting done. I don’t pick and choose the activities I’d like to do. Instead, just like any job, I do the things that are actually necessary to serve my blog’s mission.
6) Be flexible
This might seem a little contradictory considering everything I just said in the last point, but one of the things that I’ve found most useful for sticking with my blogging schedule is to be flexible with it.
By this I don’t mean taking on new strategies, only working on the things I want to work on, and being inconsistent. Instead by this I mean not beating myself up when things don’t go as planned.
Personally, for me this week has been rough, and really for no other reason than I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Because I write for a living, I sometimes face writing burnout, where I just can’t write anymore. And so, this week only one post is going up, and I’ll likely be adjusting my schedule to only include one post per week from now now.
I’ve realized that two is just too much for me. And you know what? That’s totally okay, and I’m not going to spend time beating myself up over it. It’s really not worth it. Instead I’m going to readjust my schedule to account for this new discovery, and I’m going to accept it and move on. Case closed.
7) Post it
And last but not least, I think the key component of simplifying your blogging strategy is ensuring you have it written down and posted. And no, I’m not just talking about scribbled down in a random notebook. Whether you prefer to type it out or write it out, take the time to really specifically make a whole page or two dedicated to your mission, your audience, and your schedule. And then post it somewhere that you’ll see it everyday. This ensures that when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can simply glance at your schedule and know exactly what you’re suppose to be working on. No guesswork involved. It’s right there in front of you, reminding you where your energy needs to go. Easy ‘peezy, right?
Here’s mine posted on by bedroom/office wall, so I can see it everyday while I work
And that, ladies is the gist of my simplified blogging strategy. While it may seem like a lot, it really does make all the difference, especially if you struggle with blogger overwhelm.
Let me know in the comments how you deal with blogger overwhelm. This simplified blogging strategy may be helping me, but I can definitely always use a little more help when it comes thriving in this blogging community.
Share your coping mechanisms below!