500 and something

It started with 1 then 50, 100, 300 and now 500.

A few weeks ago, I reached 500 followers on this blog.

I consider it an achievement because 500 is quite a lot of people. At the beginning of the year I wrote down that I wanted to grow this site and reach 500 followers, as well as a certain number of monthly views.

Yet, at the same time I’m aware that the numbers are not the most important thing. It matters to me more that you gain something from what I share

That’s something that won’t show up in my WordPress stats but it happens because I know how much of an impact words can have on someone.

I like what I share here, I’m passionate about it and I’ll continue to do it regardless of the numbers.

But at the same time, it’s nice to reach a milestone, so here’s to the next 500!

Writing for the moment

I recently realised that I enjoy writing about current events.

One of my most read posts is about Instagram guides, I think I published it a day after guides became available to everyone, it was a hot topic.

If I’d written the post a few days or even weeks later it would have no longer been relevant. Of course the post can be read at any time but it was written for a particular moment in time.

Yesterday, I published a post about Clubhouse. I first drafted the post over 2 months ago and at the time it was over 1500 words, significantly longer than what I would usually post. For various it took a while to make time to edit the post to something I was happy to share.

But, what I noticed was that each time I went through the post, things had changed. Things like the number of users and the other apps that had added an audio feature. I regret not publishing the post sooner as with any hot topic, sooner is always better than later.

I think it’s fair to say that Clubhouse is still very relevant and will continue to be for the months to come. However, the post I published yesterday is very much of the time. That’s the issue you face when writing about hot topics, they don’t always last.

In contrast, the posts I’ve written that focus more around life lessons, career and self-help are what I would consider evergreen. They will be just as relevant today as they will be 12 months from now.

Getting ahead and falling behind

The trick to getting ahead is to increase your work rate and never go below your usual work rate.

If you want to get ahead long-term then you have to make time to regularly increase your work rate, this gives you the ability to know that you’re always ahead even when you back to your usual work rate.

However, if you want to get ahead as a temporary thing, you can increase your work rate for a period of time and then you can take time time off from working. But before long that time will run out and you have to get back to work again otherwise you fall behind.

The way I work follows the second option, getting ahead temporarily. Every month or so I’ll have a period of time where my work rate increases. This gives me the chance to take time off completely or space to work without focusing on the end result.

When the numbers get you down

I try not to look at the stats very often because I never want to be too attached to the numbers.

Of course it feels great when the numbers are high, when you’re getting lots of likes, comments and new followers. But when the numbers drop and you’re not seeing as many likes or views than you were getting for previous months, it can be disheartening.

One of the only ways to avoid this is to stop focusing on the numbers. Don’t allow the numbers to get you down.

Sometimes it can feel like you’re trying really hard and dedicating time but the numbers don’t reflect that. But, I feel like so often we forget or overlook one of the most important things when it comes to creating something and putting it out.

You have control over how and what you create, then putting it out for consumption. Its the customers, viewers or readers that are in control of the numbers, consuming your work and choosing to pass it on. You might be able to encourage it but ultimately it’s out of your control.

1 simple way to make daily blogging easier

Write more than one post a day. Even if only one of them is worth publishing and the other one, two or 5 are just a few phrases.

Writing and sharing something everyday becomes easier the more you write.

And on the days when coming up with something from scratch doesn’t feel easy you can go back to one of your drafts and flesh out the 2 sentences you wrote last week.

When your readers hate your best ideas

If often goes that the pieces you put the most effort into, spent the most time writing and generally are the ones you put the most heart into are the least popular.

Turns out sometimes your reader won’t be as enamored with the work that you consider to be your best, in fact they may hate it.

And so you may now find yourself with the dilemma of whether you should continue sharing what you consider to be your best work when your readers don’t seem to like it.

For me the answer is yes, your work should be about so much more than simply pleasing the reader.

Just because something isn’t popular, doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good or that it isn’t appreciated.

4 ideas for daily blogging

Prior to starting a daily blog my biggest worry was figuring out what to write about.

Daily blogging might seem daunting but once you figure out the kinds of things you want to share it suddenly becomes much easier. Below are 4 ideas for daily blogging that are wide enough that you won’t get bored and narrow enough that you can explain it in a short sentence.

A photo a day

Each day take a photo and share it, that’s it. You don’t need to explain the context behind it, you don’t even have to edit it. The title of each post could be a name for the image or a title that says something about your day in 10 words or less.

Lesson learnt

Share something that you’ve learnt, each day. It could be a few sentences on how smiling at other people increases your happiness or maybe sumarrise a few key points from an interesting article you read.

Comment on the news

Make each post about something you’ve seen in the news and share your opinion. You don’t need to be an expert in the area you choose to write about but you do need to share something thoughtful that is worth reading.

Ideas

Each day share an idea. It could be related to one specific or just life overall and it doesn’t have to be new. Some examples are ideas on how to better care for the environment, fictional characters or improving your life.

Each of these daily blogging ideas are great starting points. Each one will force you to pay more attention to life as the moment you have to take a photo or comment on something, the more you start paying attention.

Commitment to the writing practise

My favourite thing about this blog is that I’m driven by my commitment to writing more than anything else.

If I write something that gets 1 view, I’m just glad that I committed to writing something another day.

If I write something that gets 102 views, I’m glad that a bigger number of people got to read my words. That is a bonus on top of me committing to sharing something for another day.

When I started this daily writing practice it was not only because I wanted to challenge myself and wholeheartedly commit to something new.

I’m committed to doing the work as a priority, anything that comes along with it is secondary. That mindset makes posting daily 101 times easier because I’m not focused on getting my numbers up or having the most likes, comments or views.

Out of office

It’s getting to that time of year when the Out of office goes on with an automatic reply that goes something like:

‘ Hi, I am currently on leave until 4th January and will respond upon my return. If urgent please contact name@company.com in my absence.’

However, for daily blogging there is no break or time off unless posts are pre-written in advance.

And sometimes that can be challenging when you want time to plan what direction to take things in the future or just want to take a break.

There is no out of office for daily blogging and once you start you commit to never being able to take time off.

It can feel daunting but it isn’t all bad because there is so much to gain from committing to a writing practice every single day.

Running out of ideas

When it comes to blogging, daily blogging in particular, there are endless ideas of what you can write about. But unless you’re keeping a journal it’ll be beneficial to keep what you share within a category, niche or even a few words.

However, it may even seem too difficult to narrow down what you write about. After all, how can you base 365 posts on the same thing and then keep on doing it year after year.

There are 2 problems with that statement.

The first is thinking too far in advance. The beauty of daily blogging is that you can choose to think about what you want write one post at a time. You don’t need to take on the burden of 365 days when you’ll probably forget what you write today in 50 days time.

Furthermore, there is next to no benefit in overwhelming yourself with the hundreds of posts you’ll have written a year from now.

The second problem is, if you choose to believe that you’ll run out of ideas, you probably will. It was Henry Ford that said “Think you can, think you can’t; either way you’ll be right.” and I agree.

People in the world have been writing about fashion, philosophy, personal development, marketing, creativity and so on for hundreds of years. So, what makes you think that you’ll suddenly run out of things to write?

There is no cap on ideas or inspiration, they’re infinite.