I’m going to teach you how to become a power blogger in the next five minutes.
Depending on how on fast you read. Succeeding as a blogger is pretty much like succeeding at anything else.
The Secret? Plan, work, leverage whatever natural skill and talent you have, and, yeah, work.
The first step to getting in shape is getting started.
You need to say, “Okay, I want to do this.” It’s not a commitment to going to the gym today, it’s a commitment to going to the gym regularly.
Starting a blog follows the same general mindset; you don’t become a power blogger until you commit to spending the effort and exercising the discipline. A blog is not a one-off project, it’s hard work to start, and then, at the very least, the result of careful maintenance afterwards.
We (the people at First Site Guide) could (and have) written entire books about how to start a blog/site, but given the venue, we’ll be focusing on the habits that make a good blogger.
Today, though, we’re going to focus on the commitment.
3 Quick Tips for Getting a Blog Started
- Do your research, don’t rush the planning stage!
- Clearly define your short and long-term goals.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many great resources out there.
Choosing a Blogging Schedule
To keep a schedule, you need a routine. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. One of the most common beginner mistakes when it comes to getting in shape is jumping in with so much gusto that they either hurt themselves, waste energy by not allowing time to recover, or making the workout so miserable they eventually just give up.
Bloggers do the same thing. They assume it will be easy to churn out loads of quality content, and that the gains will be instant. They won’t. Writing articles, running podcasts, and all the things bloggers do are skills, so they get easier with practice.
Pick a schedule you can meet, and stick to it to maximize your gains.
3 Quick Tips for Building a Blog Posting Schedule
- Consistency is more important than frequency; posting once a week is better than posting four times a week, one week a month.
- Put together a post bank before you start. Prepare for the unexpected.
- Be realistic, know you’re going to feel burnt out now and then, and plan rest days for recovery.
Focus on Gains, not Strengths
Any time you’re learning something new, you’re going to find stuff that works for you, and stuff that doesn’t. There a million ways to waste your time, and you need to avoid them. Automate everything you can, create a plan, and stick to it long enough to figure out if it’s working.
More than anything else, though, identify weaknesses.
Blog? SEO? Responsive design? Monetization? Oh my!
Look, we all like doing the things we’re good at. Me, I hate running, and I like lifting things. I’ve never been in better shape (and vice versa) than when I was training with a friend who loved to run for hours, and could barely press the bar. She pushed me to run, I pushed her to lift, and we both got stronger and faster.
There’s a place for specialization, of course, but our competence is, in many respects, measured by the level of our weakest important skills. So, in the beginning, it’s important to name weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
3 Quick Tips for Focusing Your Blogging Efforts
- Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses, do whatever it takes to make up the deficit.
- Have clear goals. It’s much easier to get somewhere when you know where you want to go.
- Remember that every expert started as an amateur. Believe in yourself.
Sticking To It
“Stick to it!” is the sort advice that’s easy to give, easy remember, and often painfully difficult to follow. Measured against the amount of hours in a week, maintaining a blog is a trivial time commitment. Life tends to expand to devour all available free time, though, so it’s often easy to let things slide.
Like most things in life, this is going to come down to discipline. Write enough to get ahead, so you can still post on a day when you don’t feel like writing. Or, if you don’t have spare posts ready to go, write one anyway.
One of the most reliable predictors of a blog’s success is whether or not the owner maintains a schedule.
3 Quick Tips for Sticking to Your Blog
- You don’t have to be the best right out of the gate, you just have to keep getting better over time.
- Never stop pushing yourself to get better. Complacency kills you slowly.
- At the end of the day, whether you succeed or fail is going to come down to how talented you are, how smart your plan is, and how hard you push. The first two criteria have innate limits, so guess where you need to make up the deficit?
Now Get to Work
And that’s it. Well, obviously there’s a lot more than I give you in five minutes. Hopefully this gets you going on the right path, but there’s no substitute for hard work. Knowing where to apply that hard work will take you a lot farther with the same effort.
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Anja Skrba has been blogging for over five years. You can find her at FirstSiteGuide.com where she shares tips on blogging basics and trends.
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I think you would agree with me and when I say: Social Media is incredibly important for Health, Fitness and Wellness Professionals.
With the masses of information out there on the web, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
It’s hard to know where to look and what information to consume and where to focus your time and energy with your time spent online.
My goal is to simplify things with this post.
I promise that, by the end of this article, you’ll have a blueprint that will allow you to create massive success with your social media game.
What is Social Media – and how does it work?
Wikipedia defines social media as the following:
Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks.
Social media is simply a new way of sharing information virtually.
It has affected our society dramatically and changed the way we do business.
If all social media got banned today a lot of businesses would struggle… not to mention the millions of distraught teens.
There are now close to 2 billion social media users worldwide.
Its reach and impact will only become bigger and bigger in the future.
Here's the projected growth trend for Social Media users (in billions!)
Why is Social Media so Important?
For a lot of Fit Pros, having a social media presence is not only essential, but it’s the main driving factor of their success.
Facts like this are amazing to hear, but unfortunately, a lot of Fit Pros that I’ve come across don’t even have their own Facebook page.
There’s no excuse.
Even if you don’t use social media yourself, most if not all of your potential clients definitely do.
In any business, you have to go where your potential customers are.
For me, I go where fit pros hang out and that’s Facebook, Twitter, and fitness conferences.
When social media first appeared, its users rarely made buying decisions.
If you want to drive sales and revenue to your fitness business, having a solid, effective and easy to carry out a social media plan will completely change the outcome of your fitness business.
Social Media: Coming up with a Plan and Strategy
Ok, now that you understand the importance of social media, you have to develop a solid plan that will allow you to help carry out your goals.
Most Fit Pros do not even recognize the importance of social media and have never spent the time developing a plan. Or, if they have, it's not always a plan that works.
They just waste time and complain about why Facebook changed its algorithm again.
What are your goals?
- More likes?
- Leads and sales?
- Business Relationships?
Before you develop a plan you must define what your goals are with social media.
So, ask yourself…
Are you trying to get more followers?
Are you trying to drive more leads and sales?
Do you want to develop relationships with the influencers in your field?
Once you know what your goals are, you can then work on developing a plan of action that will help you to carry out these goals.
3 Things You MUST Do for each of YOUR Social Media Networks (if you want to accomplish your goals!)
#1 – Batching
Batching is a productivity hack that allows you to dedicate a set time to do similar things.
When working with social media, it can be very easy to waste time.
Social media is arguably the most distracting place to be online. With the range of adverts, posts from people you know, messages and questions, you can often feel overwhelmed by the all the different distraction at once.
Facebook is a time suck. It’s designed to be addictive.
We live in a world full of endless distractions, and every time we get distracted, it takes an average of 15 minutes to regain our focus.
With discipline, a lot more is possible.
We can use the idea of batching to carry out our social media goals and to avoid distractions.
Here’s how batching works:
Step 1: Block off a set time of the day to focus solely on social media. For example let’s say Monday at 7:00am.
Step 2: Use that hour to come up with all your social media ideas, images, and posts.
Step 3: Once you’ve come up with all the ideas, simply record them in a simple spreadsheet like one shown here
This is sample of a batch template which you could use to manage your social updates and scheduling.
Step 4: Now that you’ve come up with a set of ideas, it’s time to start posting.
#2 – Automate your Social Media efforts
Fortunately for us, there are tools that we can use to automate everything for us.
These tools are designed to save us potential hours of time, day in, day out.
2 Social Media Automation Tools that will ROCK your world
Buffer is simple software that allows you to schedule posts to all of your social media accounts. I use it for Facebook and Twitter.
If you want to connect more accounts, you have to upgrade to a paid account which costs 10$/month.
This is screen capture from Buffer – a very robust social media scheduler
You can easily and automatically connect your social media accounts by signing in.
Once you sign in, you can start posting a set schedule.
I’ve just recently started using CoSchedule and I am very impressed with its functionality and ease of use.
It’s an editorial calendar that allows you to schedule blog posts and all of your social media accounts within WordPress.
There’s also a WordPress plugin available that you can download or you can use the app itself to schedule all your posts.
Screen Capture: Coschedule in action
A very common billion dollar question that's asked across the world of social media for business is:
How many times should you post per social account?
In response, Coschedule has a useful chart that I recommend you follow…
Sample chart of when to post on social media (this is an example and shouldn't be taken as gospel)
#3 – Consistency
Once you’ve learned how to use one of the two tools that I’ve mentioned, it's now up to you to make sure that you post to all of your social media platforms.
Too many businesses lose steam with social media by not being consistent.
It’s the most important factor in your social media success.
Any fans that you have spent time and energy building are going to slowly lose interest in your business and, in time, will end up completely forgetting your page.
Being consistent means to consistently share value on your social media and by engaging with your fans.
Where can I get ideas on what to post for each network?
Social Media Examiner came out with a great post on different social media ideas.
As you can see from that very popular blog post, there are probably more techniques that you can use and more types of content that you can post that you may have first thought of.
Now that you have some ideas on posts, we can talk about the different strategies used for each social network.