When I was starting my blog, I was blown away by all the free advice out there on how to be successful as a blogger. I read the articles on my commute and I was so excited to get to the next one. There was so so much to learn, but in a good way. I wished I could read faster as I read article after article, completely engrossed in the content. After reading a lot, I felt confident that I could start this blogging thing. It was always something I wanted to try, but now I felt ready to make it something I did professionally. 3 months later, I don't feel the same way about all that information out there for bloggers. Instead of feeling empowered by it, I feel discouraged. Seeing those headlines makes me feel like they're shouting at me. All those "What you're doing wrong on Pinterest" or "Mistakes Bloggers Make" type articles make me want to shut off my phone and hide! I've decided I WILL be successful at this, so I won't allow myself to hide from it. Here's my advice for staying sane in the sea of advice out there when starting a blog.
Be conscious of what you pin and who you follow. A lot of the content I was seeing was based off my pins and the people I was following. To prevent becoming completely overwhelmed with content, only follow the boards and users you want to be inspired by, not pressured into. This will whittle down the content you see and shield you from the flurry of articles that might make you feel like you're not doing enough.
Find a tribe leader. There's tons of articles out there about finding a tribe, but I think the most important thing you can do at first is find the right tribe leader(s). Find one or two people whose writing style you like and whose content is informative, and focus on learning from them. You can always search for advice on specific topics from others, but for general guidance, I recommend finding a leader and following their advice until you're comfortable branching out. I personally love Melyssa Griffin. She has a wealth of knowledge and she gives so much of it away on her blog! Definitely check her out.
Focus on creating great content. Yes, other things are definitely important. But your #1 priority should always be cranking out great content. If you start to feel overwhelmed by all the articles and advice out there, close your social media, ignore your inbox, and just write. Whether it's a blog post, a list of ideas, or your newsletter, doing these things will be useful for the success of your blog and leave you feeling empowered.
Create a to do list, an editorial calendar, etc., and stick to it. I find that feeling overwhelmed leads to not knowing where to start, which leads to giving up. Don't let that happen! Write a short daily to-do list, weekly goals, an editorial calendar, or whatever you prefer that lets you know exactly what needs to get accomplished. This will silence all those other tasks nagging at you and allow you to get something done. If you find yourself obsessing over another task, schedule it in somewhere and let go of that nagging feeling.
Focus on your own goals and not the ones everyone else throws at you. If you listened to every piece of advice, you'd be making daily blog posts, a weekly newsletter, growing your subscriber list, offering tons of freebies, have an active social media presence (and more) every day. That's a lot of work for one person to do, and it doesn't even include your other daily tasks! Are all these things great to have? Yes. In an ideal world you'd be Super Blogger, getting it all done, and more, all in time for dinner. But in the real world, you might be too busy for all that. Focus on a few things at a time and I guarantee that eventually you'll have it all down. A little bit of progress is better than getting burned out and stopping altogether. Starting a blog is a marathon, not a race. Doing too much too quickly could leave you abandoning the idea altogether.
Stop comparing yourself to others. A lot of bloggers have been doing this stuff for years. They've perfected their systems and are reaping the benefits of their hard work. If you're just starting out, it can be really easy to burn out. Don't let someone's else's "end" sabotage your middle. Learn from people, read their advice, and be inspired, but don't let their success discourage you.
Be a dreamer. If all else fails, just think about your dreams and what you want to achieve. Write down those goals and see if you can find the steps to achieve them. Sometimes just reminding ourselves why we are doing something is enough to get us out of our funk!
Phew! I know it's a lot to handle, but I thought it was important to let people know that you don't have to do everything all at once. I feel better now that I'm not overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, and I hope you do too.
What's the part of blogging that leaves you the most overwhelmed? How do you overcome it?
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Get Motivated