It's a new year — time for a fresh start. Welcome to our 15-day series on how to fall (back) in love with your blog. The series is all about stepping back, re-evaluating things and making sure you're still connecting with your blog. Here's what you won't find in this series: articles on analytics, plug-ins, sponsored content, ad networks and the like. What you will find is tips and strategies to stay inspired, motivated and pushing your own boundaries, all while loving what you do.
One of the biggest things we see holding so many FBC members back is something that almost all of them aren't even aware is affecting them:
Time and time again we see it in the questions they ask and the hesitation in their actions. And so often we resist the urge to yell out to them, "Stop worrying so much ... just try it, do it, take a chance!"
You see, here at FBC we sit slightly on the outside. Every week we view hundreds of blogs. And what most of our members don't realize is ... they're really really good at what they do. So many of them are so much better than they think they are. The one thing that holds them back from being even better is fear.
Fear is a natural emotion but it is the one emotion that can paralyze us and stop us from growing and truly experiencing life. So how do you work through it as a blogger?
1. What's The Very Worst That Can Happen?
Every time you worry about making a blog-related decision, ask yourself what the absolute, very worst-case scenario would be. And then ask yourself how likely it is that it will actually happen.
Every day almost all of us do something that has a potentially catastrophic worst-case scenario and we don't think twice about it: we get behind the wheel of a car and drive somewhere. And yet, we agonize over choosing and installing a WordPress plugin!
We don't want to minimize the impact a thoughtful blog post can have on the world or an individual, but the reality is most of the daily blog-related decisions we make are not going to bring about an apocalypse. In short, if you try something new and it doesn't work, it's likely the only one who's going to notice is you and it's very likely that nothing bad is going to happen to you at all. So ask yourself what the worst-case scenario is and then manage the potential risk (which is probably very, very minimal).
2. Take Small Steps Instead of Giant Leaps
Giant leaps are not for everyone, although making one or two in your life can be very rewarding and exhilarating! So take small steps instead. Small steps will still get you there in the end!
A small step can, and probably should, still nudge you a little out of your comfort zone bit by bit.
Don't do a massive redesign if that terrifies you; start small with a new font or logo and build from there.
Not sure if you want to, or are ready to, work with brands? Test the waters with a small project or by going to a small event.
Feeling overwhelmed by SEO, keywords, plug-ins, analytics? Don't learn them all at once; pick one and work on just that until you're comfortable, then move on to the next.
Pondering moving your blog in a different direction but scared to do a 180? Start small with one post and see how you feel about it and how your audience feels about it.
3. Don't Worry About Failing - Get Excited About Learning!
There's really no such thing as failing — it's a mindset you must leave behind. Yes, sometimes things don't work. But that's simply a learning experience.
Maybe, in order to mix things up on your blog and inject something new, you decide to invite a different blogger to guest post each week. It could be amazing: new readers, new viewpoints and it helps you grow your blog. Or, you could get bogged down by managing all the guest bloggers and maybe your readers don't really warm up to people who aren't you. You won't know which it is until you try it. If it's successful, you've learned something: your readers dig this kind of thing!
But what if the second scenario plays out and it doesn't go as well as planned?
You have two options: you can tweak it and see if it improves or, you just stop the series. No biggie. If people weren't warming to it in the first place, they won't even notice it's gone — only you will.
And it might be a bruise to your ego but it shouldn't be. Because, again, you learned something. You learned that managing other people is hard work and that your readers really come to your blog because they connect with you. Both of those are very valuable pieces of information. Getting valuable information is hardly a failure! It helps you learn what might work better when you try the next new thing.
Trying new things is how you grow as a person. Some of them won't go as planned, but that's also how you grow as a person.
On Day 2 we talked about following your own path and not trying to keep up with other bloggers. The most successful and happiest bloggers we see are the ones who've figured out how to work through their fears and try new things. So take those steps, even if they are just itty bitty baby steps. They're still propelling you forward!
The Rest of the 15 Day Series: