Why do you blog? What drove you to start? Are you still following that goal?
I only ask because I seem to have lost sight of mine. Once I started researching blogging, and monetizing blogs, I started concentrating on that too deeply. It’s so easy to do. You start thinking about all of the money you can make selling other people’s products, and you forget that you have your own. I wanted to write for local non-profits and charities. I wanted to share the stories of the people who devote their lives to helping others. But, since I started my site, I have not taken one step in that direction. Everything has been about the blog, and nothing has been about my goals. Not just career goals either. Everything has fallen to the wayside for the sake of this site/blog.
There are many of us out there that started their blogs explicitly for advertising. Then there are people like me who started as a way to market their business or products. I got caught up in the advertising and completely lost sight of the business I wanted to build. So let’s try to get back to that. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be plenty of advertising and marketing, and I will still try to demonstrate the steps I have taken for the people following along, but I am also going to try to actually build the dream that brought me here in the first place.
The first step in that direction is keeping my mission statement in mind. If you don’t have one, I suggest you write one. Your mission statement is the “why” of your business. Why do you do what you do? Do you blog to make money in affiliate marketing? Do you just love to travel and want to journal your adventures? Me, I just want to help people. Your mission statement will help keep you on target. If you make it public it will also inform your readers, and possible clients, of your goals. I don’t have a full statement posted, but the rough idea is on my Home page under “Project Charter.”
You also really need to have a plan written down. You don’t necessarily need a full business plan, as they can be dozens of pages long, but some people may find that helpful. You really just need to have the gist, what you want to accomplish and how, on paper. Writing it down solidifies it, and makes it real. It gives you something to refer back to if you ever start to feel lost. You can get as detailed as you want, or flesh it out as you go. It’s your plan after all. I am writing a full out business plan, and will use it to help demonstrate how I can help my target clients. But for now I just have something quick jotted down on paper that I wrote immediately after I finished typing this sentence.
There was one thing I read recently that I haven’t been able to let go of. I put it into practice this week and it has made a hell of a difference and tied together everything else I have been talking about in this post. It was a post from a fellow blogger, 5 Practical Techniques to Boost Personal Productivity.
I modified the Kanban Board and the Pomodoro Technique to better fit my personality, and needs. Well actually my girlfriend made the Kanban Board, and we kind of merged the two techniques. Everything on the Kanban Board is broken down into 1 hour increments. When I am working I set an alarm on my phone for an hour. When the timer goes off I move the slip representing that hour to the done column and get up and walk around, and/or play with the dog for a bit. The bottom box contains long term goals to help me stay focused on the big picture, or are the finished product of many of the smaller slips in the day columns.
There are a hundred different ways to keep your focus. This is just what worked for me. The most important things you need to remember are have your goals and a plan on paper, and refer to them often. Don’t let the business of running your business get in the way of your business. And if you find yourself getting lost, lean on your support system. Sometimes just voicing your fears puts them in perspective and allows you to get back to work. If you can’t find someone to talk to, email me. I’ll do whatever I can to help.