Something is dreadfully apparent in today’s society: we want things to be fast and easy, but also expect near perfect results. We might spend countless hours looking for the “best way” to do something. But while trying to make find the best way, we run into one little problem… We never get started! Or even if we do get started, we’re stuck in a viscous cycle of trying to perfect what we’re doing, and wasting time looking for better/faster ways of doing it.
Focus On What Matters
The best way to combat this problem? Focus on what matters and get to work. You might have heard about the 80% rule, that things don’t need to be perfect, they just need to be 80% perfect. This can help you cope with the fact that you might never have things exactly how you want them, but 80% is better than never getting it done, and 99% of the time, 80% will work just fine. I’d even recommend the 30% rule when you’re first starting something. Let’s take blogging for example. Whether you’re starting your own blog or a company blog, what is most important to your end customer? Unique, helpful and relevant information. Yet lots of people think about starting a blog, and they start running through a list:
- Find the best hosting
- Then I need to find the best blogging platform
- Tind an amazing theme
- Find the best plugins
- Research the best times to post
- Learn about SEO
- Work on my profile
- Eight billion other things….
You get the idea. But there is one thing that people continually leave off the list. The content, the thing that would actually make people come to the site!
Start Blogging In 3, 2, 1…
So to get started, you really only need to spend a few minutes setting up your blogging platform. You can start out for free on www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com. In less than 5 minutes you can start creating meaningful content. If you wanted to be a little more serious, you could register your own domain, and set up a wordpress.org site (which is what I use), but even then you’ll only need 30 minutes to get everything up and running. Spending hours, days or even months trying to perfect your blog before you even start posting would be a terrible waste of time and offer little to no benefit. After all, readers want good CONTENT, not gimmicks. Offering true value is the best way to gain a following.
So if you are planning on starting a blog, or even if you already have one, stop wasting time on non-value added tasked. Instead, pull out a piece of paper and brainstorm some great blogging ideas. Start with what you know and what you’re passionate about and branch out from there. revolutionary
The biggest thing to remember about starting a blog is that results are certainly not instantaneous. You will not have 10,000 readers after your first post. But by focusing on quality content, your results will be far more meaningful and relevant that if you had gone another route. It’s easy to get sidetracked and focus on other things, but keep that end customer in mind. If you’re skeptical this works, check out jimsmarketingblog.com. He ranks on the first page of Google for the VERY competitive term “marketing blog”, which has over 640 million results. His blog is very basic, but he does manage to post almost every day, and he content is always relevant and useful. He’s even admitted that he doesn’t waste a lot of time optimizing his posts, worrying about SEO, researching what keywords to put in his post, etc. His main concern is delivering good content.
So there you have it, the best way to start a blog is actually, well, blogging. Obvious? Of course. But how many people actually do it? You yourself might be thinking that his very moment “It can’t be that simple! I need themes! I need keywords! I need blah blah blah!”. My only advice to you is to stay calm and get started now. You can’t get results from nothing and nothing will give you better results than quality content.
A Small Caveat
Of course focusing on what matters does not mean you should exclude everything else. There is a time for SEO, design, testing, etc. but that should not hamper your content. Yoast wrote and interesting article a couple of weeks ago about someone going off on something they didn’t really understand.
So what’s your take? I’d love to hear what you think, so leave a comment why don’t you?-Kyle Fitzgerald