Running a blog can be really great and it has a lot of perks (doing what you love, practicing your creativity, meeting awesome people…). But it can also be a pretty tough ride. And kind of lonely. Especially when you’re just starting out.
That’s why the start of a new month can be so empowering.
You don’t just have to wait for January. A new month means a fresh start and a fresh perspective. You’ve got loads of determination and there’s a big sense of excitement about the opportunities that might happen.
Then comes the next new month. And the next. And that sense of excitement you used to feel starts to get gradually smaller (in a similar way to the beginning of our blogs).
The truth is, there’ll be many moments when you’ll want to give up on blogging. No matter how much you love it.
Setting up and maintaining your blog (or business even!) takes a lot of hard work, real effort and determination.
It involves experimentation, isolation and number stress, and for some of us, pressure from other people who say that we’re “wasting our time”.
There will be moments where you feel like you’re on your own. There will be moments where you feel like no one is reading your posts except you. And there will be moments when your workload becomes so insane that you go straight to burnout faster than you can say #flatlay.
This is why (in my opinion), anyone who doesn’t share the struggles of building a blog alongside a job/family/life is not being transparent enough and not being truthful to their community.
But there’s something important I want you to remember. Even when it feels like you’re never going to reach the top of the hill and it seems like nothing you’re doing is working - chances are, you’re still making progress with your blog.
Chances are, you’re still moving in the right direction.
And as one of my favourite sayings goes, progress is better than perfect.
Yeah right, Holly - I can see your eyes rolling from here, friend!
Well, I’m going to prove it to you.
These are twelve signs that you’re moving in the right direction with your blog and actually doing a fab job. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
#1 | YOU’RE ACTIVELY DEDICATING TIME TO WORK ON YOUR BLOG
By showing up every day to do the work, you’re already doing better than a huge percentage of other bloggers.
No matter whether you can dedicate five hours or five minutes per day, or what’s going on in your life - taking action every day is the most important thing. That’s more valuable than doing nothing. Whatever it is that you’re doing for your blog, you’re doing something.
The fact that you’re reading this post right now, and you posted to Instagram last night - these are signs that you’re moving in the right direction. Even if you’re taking small steps forward (they’re still steps!)
#2 | YOU HAVE A VISION FOR YOUR BLOG THAT YOU BELIEVE IN
Believing in yourself and being inspired by the vision you have for your blog is crucial. Not just for you, but for your readers and your community too. Having a vision that is bigger than yourself will push you to keep going, even when it gets tough.
I recommend writing your vision on a sticky note and looking at it daily. I’ve got a sticky note on my fridge reminding me of why I want to run my own business. But you can do whatever works for you.
Every time you look at it, you will remember that you have a clear idea of your future. This will inspire and motivate you and is a big piece of the puzzle to help you keep moving forward. You’re doing great!
#3 | YOU LOVE YOUR READERS
Are you a number one fan of your readers? Would you happily hang out with them at the weekend? Would you be able to see yourself reflected in them? Or support them if they’re going through a tough time? Then you’re going in the right direction.
One of the biggest battles every blogger faces is discovering who their right people are. If you’re all good with that, you’re streaming ahead!
If you’re not, start interacting. Communicate with your audience and get to know them. That’s the only way to do it.
#4 | WHEN YOU’RE WRITING CONTENT FOR YOUR READERS OR INTERACTING WITH THEM YOU LOVE IT
For instance, I’m sat here writing this post now (in my garden, it’s 20 degrees say what?!) and I’m loving it. I’m feeling so hyped about delivering this valuable information to you.
Or let’s say you’re a fitness blogger and you’re getting ready to film a workout for your audience. You’re super pumped to get going.
You get where I’m coming from, right? Wherever you fit in, you love what you do for your blog. You don’t feel like it’s sucking the energy out of you. Instead you feel so motivated when you’re doing the work. That’s a sign you’re doing good.
#5 | WHEN YOU LOOK BACK OVER THE PAST 3-6 MONTHS YOU CAN SEE PROGRESS
Checking in with your goals every three to six months can be really valuable when it comes to how far you’ve progressed. This time period is just right - you don’t feel rushed, but it’s long enough that there’s no sense of urgency either.
Most days it might just feel like you’re plodding along, but a lot can change within that amount of time. Look at the post I wrote last week - in four months I doubled my pageviews.
If you started something three months ago, you’re still determined, you’re still taking action AND you’ve seen progress. You’re totally on it!
#6 | YOU SET YOURSELF SIMPLE GOALS
Let’s keep talking about goals here for a minute.
Having a large set of over-complicated goals is in no way going to lead to your success. No one needs to have a huge list of really complicated goals. It’ll confuse you and you’ll get frustrated because you won’t see the impact of them.
Here’s what to do instead (and what we love to do around here) - keep things simple.
Give yourself clarity. You want your goals not only to be easy to explain for you, but you want to be able to easily explain them to others too. Now, go ahead and reevaluate your goals for the month and give yourself a little clap, because you’ve got this.
#7 | YOU HAVE KEY SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE YOU CAN COUNT ON
It doesn’t matter whether your pals are virtual or online. What does matter is having key people behind you who can act as your cheerleaders. They’re there to support you, push you forward and cheer you on.
There are a few reasons why this point is so important.
Firstly, they can help broaden your network by introducing you to more people (hello new opportunities!). Secondly, they can answer any questions you have, help you solve problems and even plan for the future of your blog. Plus, it’ll make your whole blogging experience much more fun!
#8 | YOU ARE FOLLOWING STRATEGIES THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
For instance, if you’re trying to get more engagement and grow your community on Twitter, you might be following the step-by-step schedule I share in this blog post. You could be following a proven strategy from me or from someone else. What matters is that you’ve made the decision to follow one.
You don’t have to feel like you always need to come up with a new way of doing something. When you’re first trying to carve your way with your blog, the fastest and best thing to do is to follow a formula that’s worked for others. This might not mean it’ll work for you in exactly the same, but you’ll definitely be taking the right steps forward.
After a certain amount of time, you’ll start learning to do things your own way. Then you can teach people about what you’ve learnt. But starting off with a proven plan or a step-by-step strategy you can follow is definitely a step in the right direction.
#9 | YOU’RE TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
This could mean that you’re taking part in yoga every morning, or you’re making more of an effort to focus on yourself more in the evening by reading or cooking. Or it could mean that you take time to journal when you start your day, or make time every week to meet up with your family.
As a blogger or a business owner, it can get lonely sometimes. It’s also super easy to put our own self-care to the bottom of the to-do list. But like I always say, it’s not about being an overnight success.
Focus on the long term goals instead of the instant gratification. If you want to build something intentional and sustainable, you’ve got to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself. Nothing runs right unless you do.
If you already make time to include self-care into your life, you’re already doing brilliantly!
#10 | YOU PRACTICE GRATITUDE EVERY DAY
I believe it’s so important for each of us to practice gratitude in our daily lives. And the best bit is that there are so many different ways of doing it.
I love The Happiness Planner. In each daily spread, you’ve got a section to write down good things about today as well as another section for what I’m grateful for. Looking back fills me with so much happiness!
There’s also The 5 Minute Journal which is very popular, but you don’t even need a journal to do it. Any notebook you’ve got will serve the purpose, as long as you’re writing it down.
I prefer to practice gratitude last thing at night before I go to bed so I can reflect on the day. It’s a great way to appreciate your life a little bit more. You can remember happy things, moments that made you laugh and also remind yourself that yes, you are doing well.
#11 | YOU’RE WORKING TOWARDS A SPECIFIC GOAL
Like I mentioned earlier, I recommend, monthly, 60-day or 90-day targets. These timelines are short enough to allow you to work for planning the future, but long enough for you to achieve really great results.
Setting and tracking goals is a clear sign you’re doing well with your blog or business. Not sure how to go about it? Get a whiteboard and make a colourful chart, or use a spreadsheet. The fact that you’ll be looking at it every day is enough to motivate you to move forward!
And if you need a few ideas for goals, here are some to get you started:
- A certain number of followers on a social platform
- Releasing a new challenge or offer
- Reaching out and getting featured on another blog/podcast
- Increasing the size of your pageviews or subscriber list
The possibilities are endless!
#12 | YOU’RE ALWAYS LEARNING
Do you make an effort to stay up to date with what’s going on in the blog or business industry? Have you learnt or researched something that’s going to help you grow your online presence? Count reading this post as a big tick!
After all, the content that’s published on this blog include information and tips that you can start implementing today.
You might be part of a Facebook group or take part in a weekly Twitter chat. You might have a mastermind group or read a certain amount of blog posts every week to teach you something new. Whatever is it - you’re always learning. No matter whether it’s for an hour or ten minutes.
This is not only a sign you’ve got the right mindset. It’s also a sign that you’re moving in the right direction!
Remember this: running a blog or business definitely has its tough times. But in the bigger picture, you’ll learn more and become stronger.
Do you have any signs that you’re moving in the right direction with your blog or business? What do you do to stay encouraged? Share in the comments below!
Trust me, just hang in there. I know it can be a long journey but honestly? The further you go, the more benefits you’ll see and the happier you’ll be.
So keep going. I’m always working with you to get that breakthrough.