Angela’s Note – Laurie Pawlik-Kienlin (@QuipsandTips) is a prolific writer having published many articles with me at Suite101.com, in addition to print articles for Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day and more. She is also a very successful blogger and the Quips and Tips for Writers is well worth subscribing to – I enjoy getting the emails in my inbox. 🙂
Whether you have one baby blog or multiple blogging projects on the go, to succeed you need to focus your efforts – and stay focused. I’ve a full-time writer and blogger, and I’ve learned several things over the years about focus, drive, and determination. And, I’d love to share what I know with you!
To get and stay focused as a blogger, you must…
One of my favorite quips is, “The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago. The second best time is right now.” It’s an ancient Chinese saying (I think) and it applies to everything from deciding on a blogging schedule to searching for better-paying advertisements for your blog. Don’t postpone what you need to do, my friends; if you let things slide, you start the habit of procrastination and avoidance. It doesn’t matter how far you get today – or what you need to do – as long as you start. Remember: taking action builds confidence.
Develop habits that keep you focused on your goals or intentions.
Everything you do every day will take you one step closer to your goals, or one step further away. Take a good hard look at your daily habits, for they form the routine that will help you build a sucessful blog (or hold you back!). Your habits help you stay disciplined to stick to your goals – and good habits will save you from regret in five or 10 years. But go easy on yourself, because learning to break your bad writing habits takes time and effort.
Set – and stick to – a blogging schedule.
I created and maintain five blogs; without my schedule I’d be wrestling with frustration and paralysis! Here’s what works for me: on Mondays and Fridays, I write for Quips and Tips for Achieving Your Goals. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers. Tuesdays and Thursdays is also scheduled for Quips and Tips for Couples Coping With Infertility. On Wednesdays, I write for Quips and Tips for Spiritual Seekers. Mondays and Fridays is See Jane Soar. I stick to this schedule like white on rice, and it makes it easy for me to stay focused.
Remember that success is a process that you can enjoy.
Think of published authors you love to read, or the successful bloggers you’d love to emulate. As you admire them, let their characteristics of perseverance, faith, discipline, and constant effort motivate you to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Since achieving goals rarely happens overnight, you need to get comfortable with the fact that it will take time to get where you want to be
Fellow scribes, remember that building a successful blog isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. (Is that hokey? It just felt right!)
To get started on “getting and staying focused” right now:
- Figure out what top two or three things you need to do to improve your blog (eg, set a blogging schedule? plan a series of articles instead of one post at a time? increase your readership? find guest authors?); and
- Break down those general goals (eg, set a blogging schedule) into specific action steps (eg, figure out what days work best for you, for blogging; put it into your daytimer so you actually stick to your schedule; ask a fellow blogger to be your “accountability buddy”).
I welcome your feedback – what do you do to stay focused on your blog?
See more tips for focusing your blog efforts, and then click over to Ten Habits, Day 11 to learn how to market yourself. Or learn more about how I manage writing for multiple blogs and websites.