Ah, the feeling of good 'ol overwhelm.
Perhaps you want to start a blog, but have no clue where to start? Or maybe you've already started your blog, but now you feel lost and/or totally overwhelmed? I mean ... there's so much information and so many things to do and so much- SQUIRREL!!!!!!!
(Name that movie!!!!)
No but really, I get it. The feeling of total and complete overwhelm is real, yo.
This post is for you if you want to start your blog from scratch and make it SUPER AWESOME but are currently frozen with a mega case of the overwhelms, or if you want to start making a living with your blog. Hang in there- we will tackle the overwhelm beast TOGETHER.
(This post assumes that you already have your blog up and running. If you're still in the pre-blog planning stage, I wrote this post on how to start your blog in a day. It's a list of step-by-step instructions on how to pre-plan and get your blog up and running- you should start there! Once you've gotten your blog up and running, come on back here!)
First, let me just say that this list on how to conquer overwhelm might be a tad overwhelming in and of itself. DON'T PANIC.
In order to make this list on how to conquer overwhelm NOT overwhelming, here's how you should tackle it.
- First, print off the handy list below! OR write down these list items on a sheet of paper.
- Second, check off which items you already have/do. Okay, so now that you've gone through that list above and have checked off which items you already have/do, it's time to read through this lovely list that's full of resources and tutorials! Woo hoo! I've created this list in order of what makes sense to do first, so while you can certainly jump around on the list a bit, in general try to complete these items in semi-order.
Ready to conquer overwhelm and take your blog to the next level? Here's a list of things you should do (in order!)
1. Grab the From Blog to Business workshop + workbook combo and watch it (for free, of course!)
Watch the epic 1.5 hour workshop + workbook combo that is going to walk you through many of the things on the checklist above with short, specific action steps that you can start implementing right now, baby! Show that overwhelm whose boss.
2. Second, stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparison is a nasty beast and totally wipes you of your creativity, inspiration and good feelings! I wrote an entire post on how to get over envy and comparison right here!
3. Get a planner and start using it.
(Whether it's a tangible one or on your phone, you're gonna need one for your blog in order to take it to the next level!) And as you're going down this list, actually schedule all of the tasks that you need to do that you haven't done already. (Because you aren't likely to complete them all in a single day!)
(Psssst, I may or may not have designed colorful and quirky planners specifically for bloggers and online course creators which you can check out right here!)
4. Get clear on your blog's purpose- very clear.
If you're not super clear, it's gonna make everything else really difficult. Strong blogs have a strong, clear purpose because then they can create their design and content around it in order to attract the right people! (Psssst, that workshop + workbook combo in step one will show you how to do this!)
5. Make sure you know who you're talking to.
Your content, your blog design ... everything should be catered towards your ideal reader. If you don't know who exactly they are, then you're going to have a very hard time attracting them, serving them and marketing to them. (Remember that workshop in step one? Yep, it's gonna show you how to get clear on this too!)
6. Come up with a business plan for your blog.
I wrote a detailed post on HOW to do that here, including a free editable template! Having a business plan will keep you focused, give you actionable steps to get you where you want to go, measure progress and help you to achieve your goals! PLUS it will make you feel super official. Just say'in.
7. Make sure your blog design is awesome and is branded for your purpose and your ideal readers.
Do you have any website shame when you think about your blog? No bueno. Your blog's design needs to be clean, clear and it needs to fit with your brand. Check out this post on how to create a style guide for your blog if you haven't created one already!
8. Make sure your brand is clear.
I LOVE branding, that's no secret! Yes, I realize that this task alone might seem overwhelming. If you already have a brand but aren't sure whether or not it's clear and consistent, be sure to check out my Strong Brand mini course (it's free!) to make sure that everything in your brand is strong, consistent and totally awesome! If you need to create or revamp your brand, take some time before moving on down this list to schedule in the necessary tasks to make that happen. You can see those necessary tasks in this post on 10 steps to create a kick-ass brand, and then this post on 18 ways to make your brand stand out.
9. Get a professional, kick-butt photo of yourself like ... yesterday.
Not to sound like a snooty photographer but ... NO LOW QUALITY PHONE PICS!!!! (Yes I totally just yelled that at my computer screen.) The photos of yourself that you put on your blog will be most people's fist impression of you. You want them to be high quality and totally fit your personality!
10. Refine your blog's categories.
Your blog's categories should appeal to your ideal audience and be things that you love talking about (while also being in line with your blog's main purpose!) Make sure that they are easy to navigate and that you are leading people to your most juicy posts, too.
11. Make sure your "about me" page is totally awesome.
Showcase your unique personality and tell people what you're all about! You want to make sure to tell people right from the beginning what you're all about and what they can expect to get from your blog + website. You can check out mine as an example if you'd like!
12. Come up with an editorial calendar.
Preferably for the next month. Having an editorial calendar for your blog posts will make your content stronger, more consistent and will relieve you from the "ohhh crap what the heck should I post today?!" feeling. Check out this post on how to keep coming up with great content.
13. Schedule your blog maintenance tasks.
I've got a free printable of daily, weekly and monthly blog maintenance tasks that should be completed right here. Take a moment to write these tasks down in your planner!
14. Schedule your blog post related tasks.
Print out these blog post before and after checklists to make sure that your content is strong every time! Oh. And. Write them down in your planner. Right now. (Sorry being totally bossy.)
15. Get better photos for your blog.
People are visual creatures, and if you want to take your blog to the next level then you need to be using high quality photos. (Plus, high quality photos will get pinned more on Pinterest!) If you want a list of places that you can get free and inexpensive photos online, check out step 11 of this blog post. And, being that I'm technically a professional photographer (ehem), I've got several posts on how to take better photos if you'd prefer to DIY.
16. Make templates for your blog and Pinterest images.
This will save you tons of time in the future and is a great way to make sure all your photos stay consistent with your brand! (Because you will be sure to use your brand's specific colors and fonts, riiiiiiight?) My favorite place to do this is over at Canva.
17. Schedule your marketing and promotion ideas.
Take a moment to brainstorm some ways that you can market your blog and actually schedule some of those ideas in your planner! (As Marie Forleo says ... if it isn't scheduled then it isn't real!) :P
18. Get on Pinterest.
Do it now. (I know I know, I sound really bossy. But DO IT!) Using Pinterest strategically has been hugely responsible in my blog's ginormous increase in traffic and engagement! So, my little sparkly unicorn, you should check out the 28 Pinterest steps I used to massively grow my blog's traffic!
19. Get on Instagram.
Do it now. (Sorry, sounding super bossy again.) But if you've got pretty photos to share, it's a great platform for engagement, showing off your brand, showing off your work AND promotion! I wrote this post on 11 ways to grow your Instagram account like a boss.
20. Decide what other social media you will use.
Social media is super important for businesses now adays, but you don't have to do it all. In fact, it's better to choose a couple of platforms to focus on and do them really well! (Quality over quantity, I always say!) Check out this post on how to avoid social media burnout!
21. Read an awesome SEO tutorial.
Like this one by Regina. Go on and show those search engine optimization robots whose boss!
I swear that SEO isn't as scary and confusing as it sounds. :P
22. Take a moment to breathe ... (one step at a time!!!)
Remember, these are all things that you can do over time. Take things ONE step at a time. An important part to conquering blog overwhelm is to not only have a handy checklist of steps like this, but to take things just ONE step at a time.
23. Start growing your e-mail list.
Create a freebie, add an opt-in, and get going! The workshop I mentioned at the beginning of this post is going to help you with growing your email list, so go watch it! If your goal is to make money online, then you absolutely need to focus on growing your email list.
24. Lastly: schedule, schedule and reschedule.
If you don't complete something on time, don't fret. Simply reschedule it! Push it back a week (or 2) if you have to. Just WRITE IT DOWN again.
One of the biggest keys to conquering overwhelm is to make lists, schedule things, and conquer items one at a time. Oh, and coffee. And ice cream. AND TAKING TIME TO KISS A CAT!!!!
There now, that wasn't so bad was it? Make sure that you've scheduled all of the above items that you haven't done yet and you will be well on your way to a much stronger blog!
Do you have any tips that have helped you conquer blog overwhelm?
And now, time for a second cup of coffee.