Thanks for all the great feedback and comments on last week’s post about why “No One Reads My Blog“. This is obviously something a lot of us are struggling with.
The tips laid out in that post are very actionable, but do you ever find that even though you *know* what you should be doing, you still have a hard time actually doing it?
Just think of healthy eating and exercise. You know you should be doing it. You know that a hamburger is not a food group, yet it’s hard to take the head knowledge and translate that into real life behavior.
That’s where this post series comes in – helping you spot the distractions that are keeping you from getting the real blog work done. The real work that will move you forward.
Distractions can disguise themselves so be on the lookout for this behavior!
Distraction #1: New Shiny Object Syndrome (NSOS)
Oh my goodness, this one is so me :) It’s a hazard of the job, doing blog design, but New Shiny Objects show up all the time and they beg to be investigated, tried out and played with. Because I encounter this so much in my job, it’s also given me ample opportunity to overcome and trouble shoot this distraction.
What Does This Look Like?
NSOS is about needing to try out every new plugin, social media tool, blog theme, sidebar widget and tweeting app you find. If you read a post and someone talks about something cool, you. must. try. it. You become a zombie on the interwebs mindlessly trying tool after tool, app after app without the ability to stop until you’ve exhausted every possible way to do something you already do fine.
Why is This Bad?
Because it distracts you from what you actually need to be doing. Period. Blogging is about making connections and adding value to the niche you’re in – being of service in some way.
Finding the next best way to tweet when you already use a Twitter app and can tweet just dandy- fine is a distraction. Don’t worry about the tech, just worry about talking to people.
Switching blog themes 100 times to find just the right theme that encapsulates every possible emotion you want to convey on your blog all in hopes the right theme will bring the readers that aren’t coming now.
It’s not your theme. I’m just going say that now as someone who cares and someone who makes a living making themes :)
If your blog theme is simple, clean and doesn’t have crazy sidebar nonsense going on then you’re good. Instead of spending time being distracted from the real work, concentrate on the stuff that will actually grow your blog.
Spending 60 minutes new shiny object “shopping” does not get your name out there or create content. Just think of what you could accomplish with that hour instead?
Ever notice that successful blogs don’t change their themes like they change their underwear? That’s because it doesn’t look pro, it messes with their brand and they are busy doing the work.
What to Do About it?
The hardest part about NSOS is that you’re usually halfway into signing up for a new tool when you realize that you’re doing it (zombie brain!) If you do catch yourself mid-signup or browsing through blog themes, plugin directories or the like – stop, shut down the tab and take a break. Even a 10 minute breather away from the computer helps.
Once you’re able to identify this behavior before it gets away from you, give yourself a mental prompt before proceeding. Ask yourself, What problem is this tool/app/theme/new shiny object going to solve? Do I currently have/use a good alternative?
If the answer to that second question is yes, then don’t proceed and go do the real work instead. If the new shiny object is going to solve a problem that you need solved then sign up and commit to that solution for 30 days. Don’t jump from thing to thing. Commit.
A good example of this is if you use a Twitter client now that doesn’t allow for pre-scheduling of tweets and you want that functionality. You would then investigate and sign up for a new service that has that ability. That solves a real problem. Trying to find a different Twitter client to pre-schedule tweets when your current client already does that is a distraction.
My favorite solution for this is keeping a running list (in Evernote, Google Drive, etc.) of apps, tools or plugins you want to check out when you come across them. That way, there’s no fear of forgetting about them and you only review the list during that pre-set time.
Once a month, I review my “NSO List” and you know what? Most of the time, I go on a deleting frenzy because there weren’t nearly as cool as they were 30 days ago!
For the next week, put yourself on a “New Shiny Object” fast and just work on activities that get you closer to your blogging goals! See how much more work you get done!
Do you (like me) suffer from NSOS? Do you find that is shows itself when you should be doing other work?
P.S. Blog School is opening soon and to celebrate, there’s a FREE 3 part course called, Build Your Remarkable Blog. You can sign up here.