First 50 Days: What I Learned About Blogging
If you’ve been counting, I have posted over 50 blog posts in the last 50+ days. That’s one a day, without fail for over seven weeks. Creating a daily habit that sticks like this is not normal for me. I tend to try something out for a week or two and then get burned out and move on to the next thing.
The main driving force has always been to help people wherever they are in their life. My topics have ranged everywhere from personal finance and career development to facing fear and being productive. Through this time I have learned a lot about the art of writing online as well as a decent amount about myself.
Below I will hit on a lot of what I’ve learned from the first fifty days and what you can expect from the next fifty and beyond.
Easier than You Think
When I actually sat down at my computer and decided that I was going to buy a domain and start my blog it didn’t take very long. By using Wordpress.org as the framework and DreamHost to run my website I had a working blog up in about an hour. Yes, it was simple looking and nobody was reading it, but the foundation had been set. There are a lot of helpful tutorials out there on how to set up a self-hosted blog, so I won’t go into many details here, but I would highly recommend starting a blog to anyone. Pick something you are passionate and start writing. It can change your life.
Harder than You Think
It’s a lot of work to create a blog that stands out from others. Creating new content everyday is also hard work. Don’t let either of these stop you though as there is plenty of support and help out there for free. Any question I have had has been answered by a quick Google search, a simple tweet or an email to a blogger. I am having so much fun doing this that I don’t even think about how many obstacles I’ve overcome.
Stats are a Roller Coaster
I will be honest: I have checked my Google Analytics every day since I pushed publish for the first time. It has been really great for me to see the people visiting Pocket Changed from all over the world, see what they are reading and track my referral traffic. Has all this time been productive though? I wish I would have spent less time looking at stats and more time creating content. Another problem with stats is that some days they are high and some days they are not. There are too many influences on this to determine why there is change though and getting all worked up about it (either positively or negatively) is not worth the effort.
My Salary is Peanuts
I have made a grand total of one sale through my affiliate links. Granted, I haven’t really pushed them much, but my salary based on an hourly rate would be extremely low. I have put a lot of time into developing this website and producing content. It is not about the money though. I have been doing it to reach out to others and try to make a difference in people’s lives. I have also been doing it to help myself too. By writing how I feel about a certain topic I start to hold myself accountable to my beliefs. In the future I will be creating products and services to help people turn their lives into what they want them to be.
Distractions are Everywhere
It is extremely easy to waste time checking stats, going on twitter to see if anyone retweeted my post, browsing Facebook for “likes” or glancing at comments on my site. It is fine to do any of those things, but only when there is a purpose. Am I looking to see which posts people are reading so I can create more like them or am I just refreshing to see if Lifehacker or CNN linked to me and my visits spiked? I try to limit these distractions throughout the day, especially when I am creating content. I try to single task when working on my blog whenever possible.
Motivation & Support
Every time I get a response from someone that they read a post or like what I am doing here it gives me the motivation to keep going. Whether it is someone I know in person or just met online, I like getting paid in nice comments, tweets and emails. The best part is that these are always a gentle reminder to continue to create groundbreaking articles. You're the reason I'm here.
Just in Time Learning
This is a principle I have picked up from the guys over at the Internet Business Mastery podcast (in episode 113). Whether it is digital photography or speaking Spanish, when you are first getting started on learning anything new, focus on only learning what you need to know at that moment in time. For example, it might be interesting for me to learn about launching a first product, but until I have that product close to completion there is no point. What I do instead is file the book title, link to the website or email in a folder where I can always go back to it later. If you waste too much time learning everything, you will never be doing anything.
Quality Over Quantity
After posting everyday for over fifty days I have come to realize the truth behind this saying. I have posted some shorter articles on topics that I could have written a lot more on for the sake of not having enough time. There have also been times where my quality of writing has been quite high when I am in the “flow” and posts have been over a thousand words. I also have put off creating some time-intensive content such as my first manifesto, e-book and guest posts because I have been so focused on having a new post every day.
Based on these experiences and on my time reading The Power of Less by Leo Babauta I am going to be posting less frequently on Pocket Changed. Starting today I will be posting regularly on just Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I am going to do this for a number of reasons:
- To produce laser targeted, well developed and high quality articles.
- To create guides and manifestos to change the world and challenge the status quo.
- To develop the Pocket Changed community through connecting with like-minded people.
- To work with other world changers to get you broader content.
I have learned a lot over the past two months about myself, blogging, my readers and the topics I’ve written about. I can’t wait to look back in another 50 or 500 days and see where Pocket Changed is at then. Thank you to everyone who has ever read an article. You are the reason I am doing this.
Lastly, I will be doing a site re-launch in the coming weeks with a giant post about all of the people that have influenced me to improve my finances, develop myself, simplify my life and start this blog.