Wowza! This is the 50th blog post!
Big thanks to you, the Next Generation Catalyst tribe, for making it a reality. Since the start on Oct 23, 2012, we have accumulated over 15,300 page views (and growing) from every U.S. state, 89 countries on 6 different continents! The Internet's reach is truly amazing! I've done my best to serve up fresh and relevant content every Monday and Friday. It's my sincere hope that you have learned as much as I have over these past 6 months. (And for you new readers, there is plenty more to come!) I thought the 50th was a solid benchmark to spend some time in reflection about what I've learned from blogging. I hope it serves you well.
Top 10 Things I've Learned After 50 Blog Posts
- Inspiration requires sweat. Often it takes me hours of reading, researching, listening, thinking and tinkering before I am confident with the message and content.
- Comprehensive content catching. It's crucial to have a universal tool (or system) that catches all of your thoughts and ideas. If you write 1 idea on a piece of paper, another in your phone and another on a whiteboard, you'll be less likely to revisit those thoughts due to the lack of structure. I put all ideas, pending and finished posts in Evernote. This allows me to throw in ideas from my iPhone or iPad in one central location and then pick up where I left off on my laptop.
- Routine is paramount. If you're going to blog you have to do it consistently. The power of a routine has allowed me to carve out specific times (every morning I'm up at 6am) to write and think and create. If I didn't have this predetermined time, it would be too tiresome trying to fit it in the cracks of life…plus y'all deserve more than that :)
- Systemize or stall. If you are constantly trying to recreate the wheel for every post, it will be too time consuming and unsustainable. For me, it took some patience, experimenting and hours of YouTube watching to systemize many of the processes involved in the writing, editing, posting, emailing, SEOing and marketing of the blog.
- Resistance is inevitable. No matter how much you love what you do (and I love me some blogging and speaking), there are days and times the Resistance will be strong. The Resistance is the invisible, destructive force that opposes you any time you try to start a new project or make an improvement in any area of your life. I've had to rely on my routine to push me through the Resistance of self-doubt. I refuse to allow the Resistance to keep me from shipping.
- Curiosity is cultivated. Having a blog as an outlet for expression, thoughts and ideas keeps me curious and asking questions in every discussion and life experience. It's refreshing and invigorating to have a platform to share and extend value.
- Batching is baller. It takes large, uninterrupted blocks of time for me to get into a creative mode so I have to be very intentional with my time and batch my tasks. On a typical day I first focus on email and social media (15-20min), then research (30-40min), then writing & posting (50-70min). I do not switch between those tasks as it creates focus leaks. On my Mac, I leverage the multiple desktop views to keep me distraction free. I have Safari (email, social media, blogs, news and of course music) open in #1 desktop, Evernote in #2 desktop, Wordpress and blog editing tools in desktop #3 and desktop #4 is open for random projects. Shifting between windows serves as a mental shift to the batched task.
- Boosted brand. Probably the most surprising aspect of my blogging experience has been the opportunities presented and the connections made because of my blog. A committed blog communicates trust, passion and expertise. Becoming an authority in a subject draws attention and boosts your personal brand.
- Tangled thoughts untangle. Blogging has served as a ripe environment where my thoughts begin to untangle through my fingertips on the keyboard. I've created greater clarity in my niche through consistent blogging. Still a ways to go though!
- Satisfaction in serving. Serving my tribe is top priority. I hope every post packs catalysts for your future success. I'll continue to dig in, tweak and sweat to serve you because there is no greater fulfillment than serving others.
Heck…it's all relative. My 50 is a drop in the bucket for some bloggers but celebrating even the smallest of achievements is important to keep this gravy train rolling.
Here's to 50 more!
Question: What topics would you like covered in the next 50 posts?