How to force yourself to start blogging

If you want to start something, don’t wait, just start.

Writing a personal statement or an essay? Great, just start typing and force yourself to write something. It doesn’t matter if it sucks, because you can always edit it later, but you need to write something. Want to start a blog? Great, start writing your first post in Notepad and figure out the logistics of setting up the website later.

If you’ve studied chemistry, you’ll know about activation energy – the ‘hump’ of energy required to get a reaction started. It’s the same in real life – if we want to get anything done, we need to put in a burst of activation energy to begin with, and things become a lot easier.

This is one of the best ‘productivity hacks’ that I’ve ever come across – the idea that to overcome activation energy, you can force yourself to start. Everything takes care of itself after that.

I often find myself needing this advice when writing these emails/blog posts. There are some weeks when I spend an hour trying to work out what to write about, and then another hour working out the first paragraph. That’s a pretty unsustainable way of doing this. This week however, I just started typing whatever came to mind, and then edited it a bit afterwards. That reduced the amount of time it takes to write the email from 2+ hours to around 15 minutes – much more manageable over the long term.

As someone famous once said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. I think that’s probably relevant.

Have a great week!

This post originally appeared as part of my email newsletter that I send out every Sunday. Click here to check out the previous issues and maybe subscribe 🙂

Postponing an unpleasant task and looking for an excuse to do so is common in every adult’s life. When a child does not wish to do something, they just go ahead and say so. An adult, however, is capable of coming up with solid reasons and good excuses for their procrastination. Today we’ll talk about making yourself do the things that must be done no matter how you feel about them.

First and foremost, acknowledge the importance and worthiness of the task to be done

Behind every unpleasant task there is a visible result. You only need to acknowledge it to see the worthiness of the task in front of you. It might help someone you love, make this world a better place or bring your company a bit closer to an important goal. The actual task you dislike in advance is seldom something worthless, and that’s the beauty of it.

Admit to yourself that you are afraid of the unknown

Quite often we don’t want to do something because we are afraid of failure. People make mistakes and fail, but not everyone can handle the failure. We will definitely discuss using failure to your advantage, in a separate article. And for now try acknowledging your fear; face it, accept it and start acting. It’s important to control your fear instead of letting it control you.

Give up your perfectionism

Did you know that children are less afraid of creative failures than an adult? Would you care to guess why that might be? It’s just is that a child has no idea what perfect looks like, so he creates one of his own! As soon as you stop looking back at stereotypes imposed by the society, you will succeed.

Result is less important than intention

Do as you must, whatever is destined to happen – will happen. With that in mind, try casting away any thoughts about the result. Just start acting. Right now the most important thing is to get down to it and keep moving in the right direction, the rest will fall in place.

Our life comprises things beyond those we enjoy

Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, this is true. And there is nothing terrible about it. After all, it’s those unpleasant things that make our life so varied. If we were doing just the pleasant things, they would stop being that enjoyable after a while. Therefore, unexciting things make our favorite things to do even more enjoyable!

Set limits

Freedom is great, but not always so. If you are to do something complex and not too enjoyable, setting limits for yourself will help you handle it much faster. Focus as much as you can once you get down to it, therefore simplifying it. Minimize all distractions: internet, gadgets, TV and other noises.

Take it one step at a time

Everyone knows how difficult it is to start. The first step is the most difficult one, especially if we are talking about something that’s not exactly pleasant or easy. Begin, make a tiny step (write the first sentence of your report or article, start drawing a sketch, compile a speech plan) and stop right there. Now you can go ahead and compliment yourself on having begun. Make another tiny step and stop for a bit there. Very soon you will get adjusted to the work process and won’t feel like stopping until you cross the finish line.

Don’t let your brain lead the way

It’s human nature: our brain goes out of its way trying to resist any unpleasant task, eagerly picking up on any distractions that present themselves. With an engaging task, any outside noise stops being relevant to the brain, simply getting blocked. When you need to make yourself do something unexciting, you must make an effort to block any attempts of your brain to get you to distract. Turn off the TV, put your smart phone and tablet away, keep yourself from checking your e-mail and social network accounts. As soon as you get accustomed to the work process, your brain will calm down and stop looking for distractions.

Stay positive no matter what

It’s very useful to learn to see “the other side of the coin”. Working on a boring project will probably make you grow as a professional, preparing a presentation will help you overcome complexes and fear etc. It might be hard to believe, but every unpleasant task comes with positive bonuses. All you need to do is learn to identify them.

As a conclusion, here’s a thought that’s worthy of keeping in mind:
Tasks that we enjoy and take pleasure in doing help our body and soul rest, while those we do not particularly enjoy help us grow and cultivate new qualities, often giving us unexpected perspectives on things. Do keep that in mind when there is a task on your to-do list that you are really unwilling to get down to.

Check out Nimbus Note – an instrument that will help you organize yourself!

Some people have been trying for many years to do it, but it was just not easy. You don’t have to continue using social media because social media is not the same thing as blogging. People are creating blogs in order to publish their thoughts. Blogging is not a science because there are plenty of blogs where people write only about positive topics and they do not talk about controversial topics. However, people are trying to create blogs in order to talk about the topic that they love and to communicate with other people.

If you have a blog, you can explore new topics and write about them. You can also post links on other websites so that your website grows.

Decide on your blogging platform

Choose a blogging platform for your blog.

There are many platforms to choose from such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, TypePad, Blogger, etc.

There are also different business-specific blogging platforms such as WordPress for business purposes and Blogger for personal use.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform by a big margin.

A major reason for the popularity of WordPress is that it comes pre-installed on the majority of Linux and Mac computers.

Therefore, if you don’t have one, you can easily install it on your Linux machine by using any Linux or Mac software like WP-Lite or install it on your Linux/Mac machine using software like Yoast or WP Engine.

There are a number of tools and plugins that make word Press easy to use.

Choose your blog’s focus

Is the basic question every single blog needs to answer at the start? This is your opportunity to share with your readers the purpose and identity of your blog. It is not enough to simply create a blog and think about the social interactions, the forums, and the comments. A blog is designed to produce new content, share knowledge and skills, and satisfy the audience. After you have done all that you need to tell your readers why they should care.

Choose a name for your blog your blog.

Name and URL is often the first thing people look at when they search for you. It should be able to convey your brand and set you apart from other similar blogs.

Write, edit, and publish your first post

Join the WPBeginner free community.

Upload a free .com or .net domain name.

Get started at WordPress.com/blogger.com

Get up to 50 free blog themes and plugins.

What is WordPress.com?

Word Press is a popular open source blogging platform. Unlike a lot of blogging platforms, it is easy to start a blog on WordPress.com.

It doesn’t cost anything to create and host a WordPress.com blog. Can I Still Build My Own Blog From Scratch?

Yes, absolutely. You can still build your own blog. There are tons of free and inexpensive Word Press themes and plugins. I recommend the Lullabot Toolkit because it comes with excellent support and offers thousands of free themes and plugins.

How to force yourself to start blogging

So you’re short on time. You’ve got a deadline, and you really need to get your post published. There’s no flexibility for perfectionism, this time, there is simply point A, point B, and the chasm between the two.

Allow me to introduce you to the fastest way to put proverbial pen-to-paper and send that blockbuster post down the production line in the shortest time possible.

The drag

When I first started blogging, it was like torture. Even when I had a good idea for a blog post, I’d still sit there for hours wondering how best to put it together. Would it get read? Was it good enough?

There would be the inevitable research period of just gathering all the information needed for the post, followed by the cross-checking of every other possible angle of that research. Then the writing began. Sporadically. Stop, start, stop, start. Start again.

I was always trying to find a narrative, but failing to grasp where (if anywhere) the story was actually going.

It wasn’t the best system. It wasn’t really a system at all. I could burn through hours – if not days – just trying to write that one great post. Often, I never even made it to the end.

Here’s what I changed

Once I realised (Thanks RescueTime) how many hours I was burning through in return for very little, I decided to make some changes to my workflow. The result was taking my content production time from 6 hours down to about 60 minutes.

Come up with ideas in advance

The worst thing about blogging is sitting around staring at a blank screen and trying to think of what to write about. You need to know exactly what you’re going to write, before you sit down to start writing it. Come up with ideas for blog posts in advance, make a list, and then sit down and write.

Don’t waste time wondering. This part should already be done.

Create an outline, every time

Got your idea? Good. Now instead of starting to write a big long meandering post that may or may not arrive at a conclusion, break it down into steps.

Outlines vary based on what kind of post you’re writing, but ultimately – this is the one that I come back to again and again:

  1. Introduction of the thing
  2. Value of the thing
  3. The THING
  4. Case study of the thing
  5. Conclusion

Whatever your outline is: break it into bullet points that go sensibly from a beginning to a middle to an end. Getting these points written down is the catalyst for the rest of your post.

As Belle over at Buffer once said:

I’ve found that creating an outline is one of the best ways of doing this.

Check off the easy bits

Look at the steps in your outline. Now write 100-200 words for number 1 (introduction), number 5 (conclusion), number 2 (value), then number 4 (case study). Those are the easy parts.

Your introduction should grab people’s attention and lure them in.

Your conclusion should summarise the most important things that you want people to take away from your post (if they skip the entire article and only read this paragraph, they should be able to get the gist of it).

Your value explanation should tell people why they should care about what you’re about to say. What benefit will it have to their lives if they keep reading?

Your case study should give a concrete example of what you’re saying in action. It can be a quote, a story, an experience or anything else that backs up your point and leads nicely into the conclusion.

Done all that? Awesome. You’ve covered roughly 700 words at this point, which means you’re about half done. Try to aim for 1200-1500 words in a post whenever possible. This is the length that generally performs best both for humans as well as search engines.

Fill in the gaps

Now fill in the gaps by writing the actual body of your post. Keep it simple. Say what you want to say clearly and concisely.

Don’t try to come up with complex theories or write about things you’re not clear on. Stand on the shoulders of giants. The internet is full of incredible content which you can link to, quote, and reference.

Try to give the maximum value to your reader – not be a know-it-all. Sometimes that means sending your audience to other places.

Don’t forget to use simple writing tools to keep the quality of your content high as you go along. Guide your reader through the story. Hold their hand. Make them feel warm and fuzzy and happy as they frolic from heading to heading.

Get checked

One of the most liberating ways to speed up your writing is to absolve yourself from the responsibility of editing it.

Get the words down onto “paper” as fast as you can. Allow the content to flow freely. There are going to be some good paragraphs and some bad paragraphs – but ideally – you’re going to let someone else decide which those are.

Having an editor (or really, just a friend) to proof-read your content serves two purposes. First: It means you’ll be less shy about getting words out, cause you don’t have to “fix them all” later. Second, it gives you the point of view of someone else. Is everything clear? Is there an area that needs more detail? What does that mean, exactly? You can learn a tremendous amount from someone who isn’t as close to the subject material as you are.

Getting your work checked by someone else is far less about grammar and spelling (really, some app on your computer should be able to handle that) and far more about input on the content itself.

Pull the trigger

Once it’s all done – get it out there. That may be in the form of adding it to a publishing schedule, or it may simply be pulling the trigger on the publish button. The most important thing is not to wait. Sitting on content makes it go stale. The longer you wait, the less relevant it becomes.

(and, if you’re anything like me, the more likely you are to hate it)

What to do next

Get off the procrastination bandwagon! Writing blog posts can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s a case of finding a system that works for you and then sticking to it. For me, writing an outline and then building it out, piece-by-piece, increased my writing speed by about 600%.

Give these steps a try and see how they work for you.

  1. Consult your list of blog post ideas and choose one indiscriminately.
  2. Bash out an outline as quickly as possible. Spend no more than 10 minutes on this.
  3. Fill out each section starting with the easiest bits. This creates writing momentum which will help you finish.
  4. Phone a friend for review and suggestions for improvement.
  5. Pull the publish trigger and set your content free.

How quickly did you manage to complete all the steps? There’s nothing more motivating than working to a timed deadline!

Update: One more really obvious tip for writing faster is to use Markdown. Check out our full Markdown guide for the nitty gritty.

Once upon a time, “how to” posts were a blogger’s bread-and-butter.

The idea was simple. People want to know how to do stuff, and if you teach them how, you’ll get lots of traffic.

And it was true… for a while.

This post from 2007 is a great example:

For years, it was the most popular post on Steve’s mega-popular blog. It continues to rank well in the search engines today.

But here’s an interesting question…

If Steve published that post in 2016, would it still be as popular and get as much traffic?

The answer is no. Absolutely not.

The Internet Has Changed

A decade ago, it was hard to learn how to do stuff. You might have to call an expert, take a class, or horror of horrors, go to the library.

The idea of finding out how to do things online was still relatively new. People were shocked and surprised by the simple, practical advice they could find on the web.

But not anymore. You can Google damn near anything and find a dozen articles and videos giving you step-by-step advice.

What’s more, you expect it.

If you Google “how to cook brown rice,” and you find an article to teach you how to do it, you’re not overjoyed. It’s not a memorable experience. You probably forget about the article and the website as soon as you finish cooking the rice.

Not only are “how to” posts getting less traffic, but the traffic they do get is less engaged. Even if you do happen to rank in the search engines, 99% of the people stay just long enough to solve their problem, and then they forget about you forever.

There’s a simple fix. It works for every topic in every niche for every person starting a blog.

A Simple Hack for Writing Great “How to” Posts

Instead of teaching people what to do, teach them what to do differently.

Assume every person coming to read your “how to” posts has already read a dozen other posts on the topic. To get their attention, you have to show them an entirely different method that works better.

Here’s a great example from Tim Ferriss:

How to force yourself to start blogging

Tim doesn’t just teach you how to peel a hard-boiled egg. He teaches you how to do it differently and save yourself time and frustration.

The result? 7 million views and counting.

The bottom line…

The strategy of giving people practical, undifferentiated, step-by-step guidance is dead. If you want to write “how to” posts that get traffic, force yourself to find a methodology that’s clearly superior to everything else and then, teach it to people.

Of course, this raises an important question…

What if you have nothing new and interesting to teach?

Well, you have two options.

First, you can become a curator. Find the smartest advice from other people, and piece it together into a collection of resources for your readers.

It’s easy. It’s fast. People appreciate the time it saves them.

The other option?

Say nothing. Avoid the topic entirely until you have something new and interesting to say.

In fact, take the time you would’ve spent writing the post and dedicate it to conducting weird experiments. Most of them won’t work, but occasionally you’ll stumble across a new insight or methodology that changes the way people do things forever.

This is how you become influential, by the way.

It’s not by repeating old wisdom. It’s by creating new wisdom that makes the old wisdom look stupid.

Then for God sakes, be quiet.

The world doesn’t need another blogger telling us stuff we already know. What the world needs is thinkers, tinkerers, and rebels, brave souls who look beyond the way things are done and see the way they could be done.

Much like zen masters can control their minds, an elite group of dudes can control bodily functions just as powerful: their farts.

No, we’re not talking about holding them in. We’re talking about farting on command, an impressive feat that rivals that of raising one eyebrow and licking your elbow. To the blind eye, farting appears to be a matter of chance. But as you’re about to discover, making yourself fart is simpler than you might think.

Let ‘Er Rip Dude

How to force yourself to start blogging

How to force yourself to start blogging

These five tried and true methods will put the odds of flatulence in your favor.

Make Yourself Fart with the Right Fuel

Just like marathoners need a big breakfast on race day, you need the right fuel in your digestive system to make yourself fart. In case you haven’t read this post about why your farts smell so bad, here are some foods that are like rocket fuel for flatulence:

  • Leafy greens (especially brussels sprouts)
  • Beans
  • Dairy products (especially ice cream)
  • Beer and wine
  • Carbonated drinks (may also cause burping)

Now that you’ve got a good amount of gas in the tank (and maybe feeling a little bloated), here’s how to let it loose. We must note that doing all of these things at the same time may cause some constipation.

The Air-Swallow Farting Method

Of all the methods to make yourself fart, the air-swallow is the easiest (and most socially acceptable). Here’s how it works:

  1. Sit up straight on a comfortable surface
  2. Fill your mouth with air (don’t inhale it into your lungs)
  3. Swallow the air
  4. Repeat until you feel the trapped gas working its way down to your derrière

Bet they didn’t teach you that trick in science class.

The Anal Inhale Farting Method

At first, this sounds like a superhuman feat—inhaling with your butthole? But it’s actually quite simple. Just like you can make yourself burp by swallowing air with your mouth, you can make yourself fart by letting air in and out of your ass.

  1. Lie down somewhere flat and pull your legs towards your head
  2. Relax your rectum and let the air seep in slowly
  3. Keep at it until you feel a butt bomb bubble up
  4. Let ‘er rip

For the sake of your reputation, we don’t recommend conducting this exercise in public. But after a long day of holding in farts (or poop) at work, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be added to your evening wind-down routine.

Yoga Poses to Reduce Bloating

If you thought your child’s pose during yoga was only good for improving flexibility and lowering your blood pressure, think again. Don’t be fooled by the pristine pictures and soothing sounds—yoga produces notoriously nasty farts.

Here are two positions where the odds of ripping ass are exceptionally high:

Knees-to-Chest (Apanasana)

Apana is Sanskrit for “downward-moving life force” and asana means “pose.” As the name implies, this posture is similar to happy baby and designed to push bodily toxins downward, through, and out of your body. DUDE translation: It’s the definitive ass-ripping position.

Don’t get it twisted—you don’t need any overpriced classes or yoga gurus to induce your flatulence for you. You can get into the apanasana pose anywhere in five simple steps:

  1. Lay on your back
  2. Bend both knees
  3. Pull both knees towards your chest
  4. Breathe slowly and deeply
  5. Let your rear end roar

Start by holding this pose for 20 seconds at a time. It may take a few minutes for your “downward-moving life force” to work its way out.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

This pose is designed to loosen up your hammies—and your farts. When done correctly, paschimottanasana improves digestion and relaxes your torso, creating the perfect storm for the perfect fart.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Sit with your legs extended in front of you
  2. Place your hands next to your body and press into the floor
  3. Hinge at your hips and fold your torso forward
  4. Walk your hands alongside your body as you get deeper into the pose

After a few long breaths, your ass should exhale as well.

Fart It Up with Squats

All it takes is a quick look at the discussion forums on Bodybuilding.com, Reddit, and Quora to see that gym farts have plagued nearly every dude that’s stepped into a gym. But there’s one gym area that appears to induce unseen levels of noxious fumes: the squat rack.

Weightlifters are notorious for experiencing mid-squat gastrointestinal attacks—understandably so. For starters, heavy breathing causes excess air to build up in your digestive tract. On top of that, the squat position is scientifically proven to reduce strain on the bowels.

You don’t need to be a powerlifter to produce stinky squats, though. If you want gas relief on-demand, simply lower yourself into a bodyweight squat with your knees bent at 90 degrees. After a few up-and-down movements, you should be primed for passing gas.

Mastering the art of making yourself fart is an impressive feat. But with great power comes great responsibility. Our only task is to use these strategies for good, not evil deeds like hotboxing your friend’s car with farts or dutch oven-ing somebody in bed.

If you’re interested in making more noise with your body we’ll teach you how to burp on command here.

Three strategies to help you stop putting things off.

There’s that project you’ve left on the backburner — the one with the deadline that’s growing uncomfortably near. And there’s the client whose phone call you really should return — the one that does nothing but complain and eat up your valuable time. Wait, weren’t you going to try to go to the gym more often this year?

Can you imagine how much less guilt, stress, and frustration you would feel if you could somehow just make yourself do the things you don’t want to do when you are actually supposed to do them? Not to mention how much happier and more effective you would be?

The good news — and it’s very good news — is that you can get better about not putting things off, if you use the right strategy. Figuring out which strategy to use depends on why you are procrastinating in the first place:

Reason #1: You are putting something off because you are afraid you will screw it up.

Solution: Adopt a “prevention focus.”

There are two ways to look at any task: You can do something because you see it as a way to end up better off than you are now — as an achievement or accomplishment. As in, if I complete this project successfully I will impress my boss, or if I work out regularly I will look amazing. Psychologists call this a promotion focus – and research shows that when you have one, you are motivated by the thought of making gains, and work best when you feel eager and optimistic. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, if you are afraid you will screw up on the task in question, this is not the focus for you. Anxiety and doubt undermine promotion motivation, leaving you less likely to take any action at all.

What you need is a way of looking at what you need to do that isn’t undermined by doubt —ideally, one that thrives on it. When you have a prevention focus, instead of thinking about how you can end up better off, you see the task as a way to hang on to what you’ve already got — to avoid loss. For the prevention-focused, successfully completing a project is a way to keep your boss from being angry or thinking less of you. Working out regularly is a way to not “let yourself go.” Decades of research, which I describe in my book Focus, shows that prevention motivation is actually enhanced by anxiety about what might go wrong. When you are focused on avoiding loss, it becomes clear that the only way to get out of danger is to take immediate action. The more worried you are, the faster you are out of the gate.

I know this doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs, particularly if you are usually more the promotion-minded type, but there is probably no better way to get over your anxiety about screwing up than to give some serious thought to all the dire consequences of doing nothing at all. Go on, scare the pants off yourself. It feels awful, but it works.

Reason #2: You are putting something off because you don’t “feel” like doing it.

Solution: Make like Spock and ignore your feelings. They’re getting in your way.

In his excellent book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman points out that much of the time, when we say things like, “I just can’t get out of bed early in the morning,“ or, “I just can’t get myself to exercise,” what we really mean is that we can’t get ourselves to feel like doing these things. After all, no one is tying you to your bed every morning. Intimidating bouncers aren’t blocking the entrance to your gym. Physically, nothing is stopping you: You just don’t feel like it. But as Burkeman asks, “Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it?”

Think about that for a minute, because it’s really important. Somewhere along the way, we’ve all bought into the idea — without consciously realizing it — that to be motivated and effective we need to feel like we want to take action. We need to be eager to do so. I really don’t know why we believe this, because it is 100 percent nonsense. Yes, on some level you need to be committed to what you are doing — you need to want to see the project finished, or get healthier, or get an earlier start to your day. But you don’t need to feel like doing it.

In fact, as Burkeman points out, many of the most prolific artists, writers, and innovators have become so in part because of their reliance on work routines that forced them to put in a certain number of hours a day, no matter how uninspired (or, in many instances, hungover) they might have felt. Burkeman reminds us of renowned artist Chuck Close’s observation that “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”

So if you are sitting there, putting something off because you don’t feel like it, remember that you don’t actually need to feel like it. There is nothing stopping you.

Reason #3: You are putting something off because it’s hard, boring, or otherwise unpleasant.

Solution: Use if-then planning.

Too often, we try to solve this particular problem with sheer will: Next time, I will make myself start working on this sooner. Of course, if we actually had the willpower to do that, we would never put it off in the first place. Studies show that people routinely overestimate their capacity for self-control, and rely on it too often to keep them out of hot water.

Do yourself a favor, and embrace the fact that your willpower is limited, and that it may not always be up to the challenge of getting you to do things you find difficult, tedious, or otherwise awful. Instead, use if-then planning to get the job done.

Making an if-then plan is more than just deciding what specific steps you need to take to complete a project — it’s also deciding where and when you will take them.

If it is 2 p.m., then I will stop what I’m doing and start work on the report Bob asked for.

If my boss doesn’t mention my request for a raise at our meeting, then I will bring it up again before the meeting ends.

By deciding in advance exactly what you’re going to do, and when and where you’re going to do it, there’s no deliberating when the time comes. No do I really have to do this now? or Can this wait till later? or Maybe I should do something else instead. It’s when we deliberate that willpower becomes necessary to make the tough choice. But if-then plans dramatically reduce the demands placed on your willpower, by ensuring that you’ve made the right decision way ahead of the critical moment. In fact, if-then planning has been shown in over 200 studies to increase rates of goal attainment and productivity by 200-300 percent on average.

I realize that the three strategies I’m offering you — thinking about the consequences of failure, ignoring your feelings, and engaging in detailed planning — don’t sound as fun as advice like “Follow your passion!” or “Stay positive!” But they have the decided advantage of actually being effective — which, as it happens, is exactly what you’ll be if you use them.

If you have a passion for fashion, you may be considering launching a fashion blog. First, you must learn the key elements for how to write a successful fashion blog. Below is a step-by-step plan of action to help you get heading in the right direction.

Begin By Selecting Your Area of Expertise

“Fashion” is a broad term used to describe many genres of clothing and accessories. Before you get started it is essential to select your area of expertise. This needs to be more detailed than writing a blog that appeals to men, women, teens, or children—but instead, you must focus on a specific niche within the industry. The area of expertise you select will be used to help create your marketing strategy, website URL, and website design. For example, you could select:

  • Moms who need to be stylish yet comfortable.
  • Women over 40 who want to wear the latest fashions, while still looking age appropriate.
  • Shopping for fashion on a budget.
  • The latest in couture and designer trends.
  • DIY fashion.
  • Mixing vintage with modern.
  • Local boutiques and shopping tips.
  • Unique accessories—you could focus on one accessory such as jewelry, shoes, or handbags, or focus on multiple accessories.
  • Men who need to dress professionally by day, but want to dress down or trendier at night.
  • Themed clothing and accessories such as superhero or sports center.

These are just a few ideas to get you heading in the right direction. Just make sure that the area of expertise you select is one you are excited about and will want to write about for years to come.
An excellent example of how selecting an area of expertise for your fashion blog makes it easily identifiable is such as this blog geared toward fashion-forward retirees.

Pick A Unique Yet Memorable Name

Now that you know your area of expertise, it is time to select a unique yet memorable website URL. While some blogs opt to infuse their URL with relevant keywords, this is less of a concern for your fashion blog. It is not that keywords are not relevant, just that keywords in fashion come and go faster than in most industries—and you don’t want your blogs name to appear dated.
Instead focus on a name that is fun, unique, and memorable. Opt for a series of 2-4 words that are easy to remember, and not too tricky to spell. You could include your name, or a series of words that sound good together. Consider sneaking words such as fashion or style into the name—but don’t force it. One of our favorite examples of a quirky and memorable blog name is Cupcakes and Cashmere, a blog dedicated to all things food and fashion.

Make It Look Amazing

Create Your Marketing Strategy

As with any business it is essential to create a marketing strategy. There are many methods in which you can market your fashion blog, so you will need to first determine what methods you will manage yourself—and which ones you will outsource. While your primary goal may be to learn how to write compelling content for your fashion blog, also consider distributing content elsewhere on the web to drive traffic back to your website. When creating your marketing strategy consider online marketing strategies such as:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Monthly Fashion Newsletters
  • Pay Per Click Campaigns
  • Guest Blogging On Relevant, Yet Not Competitive Blogs
  • Paid Advertising In Online Publications
  • Banner Ads
  • Website Optimization
  • Networking Both Online And Offline

These are only a few marketing strategies to take into consideration. Ensure that you place a high value on social marketing because the imagery of a fashion blog works well on social media platforms. On top of that, social media and blogs account for 23% of internet users time spent online—and over 80% of all American’s frequent social media and blogs.
Ensure that you have a measurable marketing strategy, with a solid timeline in place before launching your blog—this way you will be able to accurately assess your ROI. While you may outsource some of your marketing, you will be responsible for a portion of it—unless you have a large marketing budget.

How To Make Your Fashion Blog Successful

Making your fashion blog successful will require you to find a way to make it financially lucrative. The general rule of thumb is that the more traffic you generate to your website, the more profitable it will be—but how you make your blog profitable is also key. Consider monetizing your website in the following methods:

  • Allow designers and boutiques to place paid advertisements on your blog.
  • Charge designers and boutiques for blogging about their clothing and accessories.
  • Partner with designers and boutiques to sell the items you blog about on your website.
  • Add Google AdSense or something of the sort.

A successful fashion blog is one that generates a steady stream of revenue. Just make sure that your blog does not feel to sales centered, but instead fun, informative—and of course fashion savvy.

Great Blog Examples

One of the best ways to try and make your blog succeed is by looking at already successful fashion blogs and trying to emulate the qualities that you believe are good. Two of our favorites are Refinery29 and the Elle Fashion Blog.

Refinery29 and the Elle Fashion Blog both race ahead of the pack because of their clean-cut, minimalistic appearances and diverse range of content. On any given day they will post an article pertaining to fashion, as well as to any number of other topics which interest their readers, and for that, we salute them.

How to force yourself to start blogging

We all want to live our best lives despite the drudgery that was (and is) the Covid-19 pandemic. That means more moments for vacations, dinners with friends and family and time in general to spend on our mental health and wellbeing. But in order to get there, we need access to financial freedom. Whether we like it or not, It’s partly money that fuels these moments of carefree smiles and Black joy.

However, according to a recent McKinsey study, members of ethnic minority groups and women are more likely to need to change occupations due to the pandemic. We’re also more likely to feel the greatest financial hardships of Covid-19.

Despite the odds being stacked against us, women of color have been killing the game when it comes to leveling up. We’re starting businesses and creating legacies of wealth and entrepreneurship. Granted, it’s still an uphill battle to prove our worth is of equal value to our less melanated counterparts, but we’re ever the hustler, trying to make the system work in our favor and create the financial freedom we deserve. Women are pivoting and quickly implementing everyday habits to secure the bag they deserve.

To help you improve your financial situation, I’ve pulled together key habits from three successful women of color. From investing in yourself to using the word “no,” these amazing women are letting you in on their everyday habits that have allowed them to level up and increase their earning potential. So listen up ladies—you’re about to get some real gems.

How to force yourself to start blogging

Invest in yourself.

Vivienne Okafor is a branding and content strategist for female entrepreneurs and runs a business called thevoguide. She believes the key habit that has helped her increase her earnings is investment. Why? Well, it’s all about the short-term effort for the long-term gain.

Vivienne shares that investing in herself has been a game changer. “Whether it’s time after work, effort or money into courses and certificate programs, I’m committed to betting on my personal development and growth,” she says.

“Every hour, minute, second and dollar I’ve invested in my business has multiplied ten-fold because it’s a signal that I’m making a commitment to myself but also inching closer to mastery!”

Valuing yourself enough to invest in courses is key. As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. By increasing your personal value and what you can offer, you can market yourself to new employers, negotiate higher salaries or even step out on your own and build up a client base for your business.

Master the art of saying “no.”

Latesha Lynch, a branding and premium pricing coach for service-based entrepreneurs and coaches, says “One of the biggest habits I adopted was getting used to setting boundaries for myself and my business.”

She admits it’s a tough habit to get used to but saying no and speaking up is crucial for someone looking to grow their income.

When you know your value and what you can and cannot do, you’re less likely to bend or force yourself to accommodate for others. It doesn’t mean you won’t put in the work. But what it does mean is that your time will be valued for all that you bring to the table.

Latesha also states that this particular habit helped her increase her earning potential because she was able to focus on the parts of the business that she does well and charge more for her time when people would request for her to extend herself outside of her core offerings.

Embrace discipline.

Lené Hypolite, founder of The Goal Standard, says that “discipline has allowed me to focus on growing the parts of my business that generate revenue instead of wasting time on things that don’t.”

This means using her time wisely and spending it on areas that she excels in but also allows her to unleash her creative side. In fact, by being so disciplined with herself, she has been able to think creatively and develop several new products that eventually generated new income streams.

And there you have it. These are three easy habits anyone can take up to start increasing their earning potential today. With a bit of smart investment, setting boundaries and implementing discipline in your daily routine, you can drastically change your bank account.

So now go on and put it all into practice today. Say no to something that is overextending you in a way that you aren’t being compensated for, stick with your to-do list and look at ways you can invest in yourself. In a few months time, you may likely find yourself living an even better life, focusing on your bliss and getting paid to do it.

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How to force yourself to start blogging

The start of your blog post matters. But so does the end.

In fact, without a powerful end to your post, all the work that you put into the title and paragraph one is wasted. Because the end of your post is what keeps your readers coming back for more.

Here are seven powerful ways to end your post.

1. Sum up your key message

Sometimes, you need to hammer a point home. The final few lines of your post are a great opportunity to make sure that your key message gets across.

If you can, bring out a new point—or sum up in an engaging way. If you just rehash what you’ve already said, readers will wander off, bored.

Example:

To write 100 books (75,000 words per book) over the next 30 years, you need to be writing 1,000 words per day (writing five days a week, 50 weeks per year). At a brisk but comfortable pace, that’s an hour a day.

If you want to write 100 books in the next ten years, that’s 3,000 words a day.

Being prolific is closer to possible than you might have believed.
—David Masters, Writing Secrets of Prolific Authors, Write to Done

2. Encourage the reader to take action

Many blog posts are full of excellent advice, but how often does that advice actually get put into practice?

Readers love posts that are practical, and if you can persuade them to do something (and see the benefits) then they’ll be much more likely to return to your blog.

Example:

But in the meantime, here’s a tip you can use right away. You’ll have vastly better copy on your website in 20 minutes by following these two simple steps:

Go look at your web copy right now.

Take out every word that doesn’t contribute something new.

Come back here and tell us about the before-and-after. I bet you’ll have something to say!
—James Chartrand, Do You Have Useless Website Content?, Men with Pens

3. Ask the reader to share your post

If you want more tweets or Facebook shares, ask for them. Readers won’t always think of sharing your post, and they may not notice that you’ve got a “retweet” button waiting—unless you tell them.

You might also want to encourage readers to forward a post to friends: unless you’re writing for a predominantly techy audience, there’s a good chance that a lot of your subscribers are getting your feed by email.

Example:

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
—Ali Luke, How to Have Confidence in Your Writing – and Yourself, Aliventures

4. Link to another useful resource

When readers finish one post, they’ll often be ready to read another on a similar topic. If you’ve written an inspirational piece, for instance, it’s a great idea to link to a practical guide that helps readers turn that inspiration into action.

You don’t need to link to blog posts, either. Pointing readers towards newspaper articles or books in your field isn’t just useful—it also helps demonstrate that you’re on top of what’s happening in your niche.

Example:

  • Writing as an emerging sculpture: Inspiration from Michelangelo’s slaves
  • 15 ways modern art galleries can inspire writers

5. Ask a question to encourage comments

Questions work well in titles and first lines—and they’re also a good way to end a post. Asking a question for readers to respond to (e.g. “do you any tips to add?”) is likely to increase the number of comments you get.

Don’t go over the top with questions, though: one or two are usually enough. You don’t want your readers to feel bombarded with a whole string of questions.

Example:

Did you find some great strategies of your own in the videos? What are the exciting ideas informing your own marketing—and how are you implementing them?

Let us know in the comments.

—Sonia Simone, 3 Content Marketing Ideas You Should Steal from Coca Cola, Copyblogger

6. Tell readers what’s coming next

If you want people to subscribe to your blog, or to keep visiting the site for updates, you need to let them know that you’ve got good stuff coming up.

At the end of your post, let readers know what’s coming tomorrow (or next week). You might simply drop a hint like “I’ve got something big to announce next week…” or you might tell them to stay tuned for a more advanced post on a similar topic to the one they’ve just read.

Example:

Next week I’ll post about moving larger WordPress sites. Those might not work with this method because your export XML file will be too large, and you might not be able to upload it via the WordPress import feature.
—Daniel Scocco, How to Move A Small WordPress Site Via the Import/Export Tool, DailyBlogTips

7. Promote your product or service

Even though you might have information about your book/ebook/ecourse/etc. in your sidebar, some readers won’t see that—they’ll either be reading in an RSS reader or they simply won’t notice.

The final line of your post is a great place to let readers know about your product (or to remind them that it exists). This works especially well if your post has been on a similar topic—for instance, if you’ve written about procrastination and you’ve got an ecourse on getting things done, there’s an obvious link between the two!

Example:

Also, check out our Blogging for Beginners Series for more blog tips and ProBlogger the Book for a comprehensive guide to improving your blog and deriving an income from it.
—Darren Rowse, 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog, ProBlogger

Which of these tips would work well on your next post? Leave a comment below to tell us what you’ll be trying out…

Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach, and blogs for a number of large sites. If you’re struggling to keep up the motivation to write for your blog, check out her post on Six Common Writing Excuses (And How to Overcome Them).