So you want to hit the ground running in 2022. You want to finally get your blog out of obscurity and start publishing like a champ.
You also know that something must change, but sadly, you feel overwhelmed by these changes and all the work that lies ahead…
So, what can you do to change your bad blogging habits when everything feels insurmountable?
First and foremost, you must truly believe the following:
Success isn’t optional. Period.
It doesn’t matter how much you want to blog consistently if you don’t get rid of toxic, limiting beliefs beforehand.
Most people start something with a winning attitude, but gradually lower their standards to something like, “Let’s see how it goes” as time goes by.
That, right there, implies uncertainty.
And we all know what happens once the reality of blogging hits us in the face. It’s repetitive, it’s research-intensive, and immediate results are unlikely to happen.
This is why many bloggers have trouble remaining consistent, and a part of me can’t blame them…
But that’s not a reason to simply let go of your blogging goals.
Let’s put it this way:
Do you think Jon Morrow stopped blogging after initially realizing just how tough it was?
What about Michelle from Making Sense of Cents, who started her finance blog against all odds in a hyper-competitive market?
Thanks to their ongoing efforts and solid habits, these people are now paying their bills and going on vacation thanks to their blog.
Needless to say, you *must* start this journey with a winning mentality, or else there is simply no place for you in the so-called blogosphere.
Repeat this to yourself every morning: Success IS NOT optional. It’s a must.
Ready to continue? Great, let’s examine a series of intangible and tangible things that will help change your habits and (ultimately) your life.
Determine When You’re Most Productive
While some people suggest doing everything earlier in the day, the reality is that productivity largely depends on your lifestyle and personal circumstances.
I personally get a lot more accomplished in the morning, but I also know people who have done better late at night (when the kids are in bed, for example).
Listen to your mind and body and ask yourself, do I feel a slight rush of energy right now? Leverage this time to skyrocket your blogging productivity.
Once you pick an ideal time, it’s time to move on to the next step…
Prioritize Blogging (And Build a Habit)
Reassess your free time, as well as the things you do to sabotage your success.
Sometimes I find myself stalling or doing less important things in favor of anything that truly matters. We’ve been conditioned to seek comfort, so it’s “normal” to dread anything that gets us out of that comfortable state.
In cases where blogging feels like an absolute chore, this is where discipline comes in.
In other words: Dedicate time to blogging whether you want to or not. It takes an average of 66 days to build a solid habit, so stick to blogging until it becomes second nature.
Always prioritize it by adjusting the less important things you do throughout the day.
Cut Netflix / gaming time by a decent portion, or wake up 45 minutes earlier than usual. Do what you have to do in order to prioritize your blog.
Improving your discipline is only half the battle. Now you must make things as easy as possible to ensure nothing gets in the way of your publishing routine.
Eliminate Blogging Hurdles
Install an image-search plugin: Every blog post needs images, so pick a good image-search WordPress plugin to insert them directly into your content. This eliminates the hassle of visiting an image website, downloading a desired picture, and then uploading it to your blog.
Suggested image plugin: Pixabay Images.
Bookmark the WordPress post editor on your browser. Reaching the post editor requires a few steps, so why not save a shortcut for easy access? Google Chrome is especially helpful in this regard.
Even if you rely on Microsoft Word or Google Docs to write content, you should still bookmark the WordPress post editor and make it easy to publish later.
Install a post auto-sharing plugin. There are plenty of plugins that automatically share your posts on social media as soon as they’re published. The more you can automate, the better.
Suggested social plugin: Blog2Social.
Come up with title ideas in advance. Having to come up with a new idea in real-time is quite painful. Think of multiple topics over the next several weeks/months, and tackle them when the time comes.
Word count is subjective, so don’t feel obligated to write exhaustingly long articles every single time. Yes, search engines tend to favor longer content, but shorter articles do extremely well in niches that aren’t oversaturated.
Let’s also remember there are other ways to bring traffic – mainly through building an email list and/or social media. This means overly long articles are not necessarily “a must.”
Outsource small, annoying tasks. Having trouble coming up with post ideas? Or maybe proofreading? Think of anything that may hinder your focus and pay someone to handle it for you.
This doesn’t have to be expensive; you’d be surprised where $25/month gets you depending on where you look (Upwork and Fiverr being prime examples).
Doing all of the above requires that you routinely analyze your progress and results, otherwise it all feels like an aimless task. Be sure to stay on top of the following:
Did you reach your content writing goals this month? If not, what stopped you? Can you adjust your word count or whatever prevented you from reaching said goal?
What about traffic and/or social media-related goals? Aim to gain a certain amount of followers each month, but keep this number realistic.
If you plan to guest blog on other websites, can you outsource your email outreach efforts or even have someone write the entire article for you?
Building good blogging habits takes work, as you can clearly see. That’s why it’s crucial to change your passive attitude and take massive action while also removing obstacles.
Where else can you improve and what else can you automate? Think of additional improvements as the year goes by, which will only strengthen your blogging habits and help establish you as a credible, authoritative blogger.
First published January 2021; updated December 2021