People start new blogs every day. Why not me? I am an above average writer with some really good thoughts about plenty of topics. Right? All bloggers had a first blog. Now it is time for me to learn how to create a blog!
Today, I will start blogging…
Section One: Plan your Work and work your Plan
Having read a ton of self-help books, one key to success in any endeavor is to develop and employ a good plan.
Decide what I will do daily and with measurable milestones. A Plan of Action and Milestones (POA&M) is a template that I used early in my Navy career with some good success.
So, for my first blog endeavor, that is what I will employ.
Framework of a POA&M
- Study and adopt techniques from those that have gone this way before.
- Use what proved successful and
- Avoid pitfall they have already made
- Commit to a minimum level of production every day/week and exceed that minimum
- Identify metrics that are a good measure and keep track of them.
- Maintain a List of Blog Post Ideas
- Establish and work from a Blog Editorial Calendar
- Follow a daily Blogging Standard Work checklist
- Standard Process
- Research, Write, Promote
- Conduct research early in the week, and spend Thursday and Friday composing blog post.
- Blog Review and Inspiration Board
- Review best tips and most popular posts
- Develop my topic list and narrow down to a manageable few
- Make a list of potential topics
- Answer why this topic is interesting and appropriate for me
- Start off slow and back off from there (This is a mantra from a SEAL buddy that we used as a running strategy)
- Until I complete my Masters studies in 6 weeks, this project will have to come second so as not to interfere with completion of that in-progress goal. Until completion of the Degree plan, I will work this endeavor as a tertiary to my day job and degree plan
- Then it will be secondary to the primary job until it supplants that income.
- Continue putting in effort even though I don’t see the result
- Every day, I check my body weight and adjust behavior based on what the scale tells me. I don’t make wholesale changes often. I will use similar techniques when assessing the performance of my blogs.
Update: Sign up to receive a detailed description of how I use an on-line tool to manage my Blog Plan of Action and Milestones called Trello
Section Two: What resources will I draw upon for my first blog?
The first spark of an idea came from Pinterest. I was looking at business ideas that would supplement my income if I stopped doing this overseas contracting work to make up the difference in income. That led to the free book, How to Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog by Bob Lotich. Free is good. I feel it is important to balance what I lay out money for and what I can get for free. Sometimes free advice is worth what you pay for it. I will embrace what Bob has to say in his book while I look for good places to invest. I do get very good free ukulele lessons on-line. Better than some training I have paid for in fact.
A quick look at A Step-By-Step Guide to Make Money Blogging provides some good insight and motivation to go forward with this plan.
Before I start investing in this thing I will experiment with a FREE WordPress Blog that I learned from Molly Greene. Later, I can experiment with themes and make a blog with my own website.
As a follow on from the topic ideas I pulled from Fizzle, the article “Start a Blog that Matters” by Fizzle looks promising. Website indicates a cost of $35 a month.
Section Three: Define metrics of productivity
- Minimum words per day
- 500 words per day is an easily achievable and measurable figure
- Time spent
- Two hours per day focused on developing content
- Two hours per day focused on gaining Blogging know how from resources in section two
- How much reading and responding to other blogs and posts to my blogs? I’ll have to play that by ear at first.
- How much time per week measuring results? A maximum of 20 minutes – then move on!
Section Four: Picking a Topic for my first blog
Now, what will be my first topic? Here is a list of ideas that I will start with and narrow down my selection before I post something really good!
Ideas derived from “81 Topic Ideas for Starting a Blog that Matters”
- Personal Development
- Mind strengthening
- Personal financial management
- Life skills
- Recession proofing
- Health & Fitness
- Body-weight training
- Weight management
- Self Defense
- Grandma’s recipes
- Entrepreneurial education for children & young adults
- Learning to play the Ukulele
Ideas from my personal and recent life experiences
- Emergency Management
- Fighting Human trafficking
- Ukulele appreciation
- Learning to play the Ukulele
- Start a song learning club (similar to a book club).
- Comparison of socialism to entrepreneurism / free enterprise
Ideas derived from Molly Greene’s 101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas:
- What you learned from a big disappointment.
- Link to a news article and share your opinion about current events
Section Five: Keep on keeping on! Beyond my first blog…
What is the motivation?
WIIFM – What’s in it for me? This is an acronym that I learned in Navy instructor school, where we were taught to lay out for the students what they will gain by listening to what the instructor has to say.
So what is my drive to start and stay after this endeavor?
- Help Others
- I’ve been looking for a business idea for a long, long time
- Blogging has the potential to make good income
- It shows promise to wean off a job without making a giant leap
- Something I can do anywhere, supporting my desire to travel extensively (which could be a source of material for a blog)
- Develop writing skills as a stepping stone to publishing a book which has been another long term dream
Well, that’s a start! The journey of a new blogger has begun. My preliminary strategy has been laid out. Now comes the time to take the next step of reviewing my motivation and fleshing out the plan.
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