Can You Believe It's Day 249?
On December 31 of 2020 I decided to start hitting the blue “Publish” button again. It's not like I hadn't blogged at all in 2020. But I had written 28 posts in the whole year. And I'm pretty sure that was better than 2019. So I decided to go back to daily blogging.
Today marks 249 days in a row of daily blogging and I thought I would share 6 insights. This post is inspired by my buddy Cory who just wrote his summary of his own daily efforts to press publish.
Six Lessons from Daily Blogging
One: You will get better at anything you do daily
Let's be honest – nothing you do will be great when you get started. Even though I had written daily before, it had been years. So it's no surprise that my first efforts sitting at the computer were harder than they are today.
But the good news is that with time, with effort, and especially with repetition, things get easier and (hopefully) you get better over time.
For me the time it takes to write an article shrinks. Even for articles like yesterday's, where you have to set things up to take screenshots so that you can write a longer “how-to” post, the time it took was less than what it had been back in February or March.
Two: You will still get stuck. There are no shortcuts.
Another key lesson from daily blogging is that there are still days when you stare at a screen and wonder what to write about. Thankfully, I've started working on a solution to make this easier – for you and for me. But that's for a different day!
What doing something daily does is help you know that things will be fine.
I remember practicing daily for a high school musical. I had a lead part and the entire musical started with me singing after a single chord was played. I had done this tons of times. Then the opening night came, I stepped onto a large rock where the spotlight would shine and the chord would play. I was supposed to open the show and I couldn't remember anything.
Nothing. Mind totally blank.
Then the chord hit and I acted more out of routine than anything else. I didn't even realize that I had forgotten everything because I was running on auto-pilot.
When I sit at the computer, feeling stuck as I open up the browser to start writing, there are days where I feel that feeling all over again. Lost. Mind totally blank.
Then I start going thru the motions and suddenly, I'm able to start writing again.
Daily blogging doesn't make all the fears or stress disappear. But it gives me a set of tasks to start working on that always result in a post.
Three: Always be helping (instead of closing).
When I sit down to write, I choose a person I'm writing for. Every time. One person. I don't write for crowds. And as I put that person in my head, I then write conversationally – as if we were sitting across from each other at a cafe.
In that posture, my focus is not to promote or pitch. I don't sell on this site. Instead, every post is meant to help you. There's absolutely nothing wrong with sales. And sometimes when I write about a product I include an affiliate link. But the point of the post is always to help you instead of pitching you something.
The benefit of doing it daily is that you'll read more than one post and start to catch the notion that this blog is to help you. It comes over time and eventually you'll trust that we're on the same page – that I want you to win.
Four: Your blog is your platform.
I have told you and everyone else, over and over again, that writing helps you with your thinking. And it does. It helps me tremendously because it gives me space to figure out what I think, what I mean, what I believe, and all that good stuff.
You knew that was coming. My blog is more than a journal. My blog allows me to communicate publicly. It is me doing my work in public with an audience. And that makes it my platform.
Sure, I use it to share my insights but also to work out my work challenges and more. When I needed to pick a product for our admin efforts at work, I evaluated all the plugins. Then I wrote about it so my team could read my review and go from there.
Also, the benefit of pressing publish is that I get to put more of my thoughts out into a place where others can read it. A natural result is more requests to speak, more requests to coach, and more requests to partner.
I love that!
Five: Blogging isn't dead.
I know the rage right now is newsletters. I get that. But blogging isn't dead. In fact, you can write any post you like in WordPress and have it sent to people using RSS, using RSS-to-Newletter features in marketing automation tools like ConvertKit (like I do), or even using native Newsletter plugins for WordPress.
Plus, like I mentioned above, my buddy Cory is doing it. So, come on, what more motivation do you need?
Six: It helps your thinking.
I mentioned it above but it deserves its own item. Writing daily helps you think better and more clearly. There's nothing like sitting down with an idea and as you start typing you realize that you actually have a completely opposite opinion by the time you're done.
It's happened numerous times this year.
The more you write, the clearer you get about what you think. And that, in and of itself, is a great reason for daily blogging.
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