The past 10 days have really flown by and I still have so much to do to get this blog and my blogging routine up to speed.
I thought I’d write a quick summary of what i’ve focused on this week and some of the challenges I’ve faced. I hope you find it a good read, but it’s really for me to reflect on the little wins.
I recommend that you write regular reviews of your activities as you start a new project. It will help you see the progress you’re making.
- Too Many Ideas Disrupting My Workflow
- MultiTasking has been a Productivity Killer
- The Fear of Writing Online is down to 3
- 100+ Blog Post Ideas and Growing
- Is My WordPress Site Secure?
- Staying Secure with HTTPS
- Going with Google for Tracking
- BackUp Solution Locked and Loaded
- Taking Rest Days and Not Crashing and Burning
- My Biggest Distractions
- So What’s Next
1. Too Many Ideas Disrupting My Workflow
As I’ve been getting things done and taking action, ideas just keep flowing into my head.
Perhaps by actually working on my blog, my brain has started to realise I’m serious about my online blog and is now starting to help or hinder me by throwing every idea i’ve ever read, seen, shown an interest in or acted upon to the forefront of my mind.
I still haven’t figured out whether all these ideas are helpful or a hindrance.
Now I’m sure you can imagine, this can become disruptive pretty quickly, cause severe procrastination and stop you from making progress.
Just think about it, you’re focused on doing a particular task in your online business e.g. writing a blog post, and all of a sudden your brain starts reminding you of other tasks you should be doing such as setting up a Youtube channel, or Pinterest boards, learning how to create graphics and thumbnails, reading up about the latest SEO strategies, watching a webinar about Facebook ads, paying the credit card bill, renewing your car insurance and more…
These ideas and tasks may be valid and need doing, but none of them are so important that you allow them to distract you from your current task.
So don’t stop the task you’re focused on, to start researching a new idea by browsing search engines or allow yourself to get distracted by something that seems important but really isn’t, well not right now anyway. This is just another form of procrastination that we allow as it feels almost natural to us.
I’m sure you’re a lot more in control of your focus than I’ve been this week, but trust me, all these great idea’s and activities that all of a sudden pop into your head, are simply a way of distracting you from the task you need to focus on to make progress.
The number of times I’ve been working on something and its triggered a great idea but later when I try to remember it, its forgotten. So I wanted a way to keep track of these ideas without them disrupting my workflow.
So in order to tackle my brains recent over-zealous attempts to distract me with various important tasks, I’ve started to keep a textEdit file open on my mac everyday. As I worked I’ve been adding ideas as they pop into my head as well as tasks that I’ve completed.
I’ll go back to the completed tasks and summarise them in a future blog post to help you follow exactly what I did to get my blog up and running at full speed.
And as for all the ideas, they are safely jotted down so I don’t feel anxious about forgetting them and I can explore them later when I have writers block or some free time after completing my current to-do list.
You might be thinking this system for tracking ideas and progress is extremely basic and it certainly is. I just wanted a quick way to remember things without having to take up valuable brain space.
I didn’t want to spend time to figure out the idea tracking system or learn how to use a new app or software, I wanted to focus on my task list. And think about it, wouldn’t that have just been another form of procrastinating from what really needs to get done.
Finding a better way to track and organise my ideas is an idea that’s now been added to my ideas list, in case you’re wondering, and I’ll research it later.
Using textEdit has been useful to keep me focused, without forgetting some potentially great ideas, but it definitely has its limitations.
The main benefit has been the ease of capturing ideas without taking away my focus from the task I’m working on.
It’s easy to get distracted with an idea that’s not related to the task you’re currently doing. The idea may even make you feel like it’s something that requires your immediate attention, but 99% of the time this is not the case.
Most ideas can wait until you’ve finished your current task or all of your important tasks for the day. So don’t get distracted and just jot down the ideas for later.
A few of the limitations of this system have already started to surface.
I’ve been creating a new textEdit file everyday and adding the date as a suffix to the name of the file e.g. [Actions-Idea-2019-08-10.txt]. Each file has ideas and my progress for the day, a bit like a journal. After just 10 days this system’s showing its limitations.
I’ve already created 10 textEdit files as I’ve been creating a new one every day and they all have a lot of unsorted ideas and completed tasks listed in them.
One limitation of doing what I’m doing, is that the ideas and progress that I’ve tracked are split over multiple files and there isn’t an easy way for me to search for all ideas or specific topics across all the textEdit files. I have to open them one at a time .
Also as I complete one task, I seem to have at least another 5 new task ideas that i need to consider that I’ve jotted down. There’s no easy way to categories similar ideas together or put them in an order of priority.
Using textEdit may be easy but having lots of ideas spread across multiple files is going to waste time in the future when I go through them to sort through them.
I can already see that if I don’t get a better system quick, this is going to become a problem.
Finding a better way to track my ideas, my completed tasks and be able to search and find them quickly is a priority for me next week.
MultiTasking has been a Productivity Killer
I’ve been multitasking a lot this week thinking it’ll help me get lots of stuff completed. I’d read previously that multi-tasking wasn’t productive, but when you have so many things to do sometimes logic goes out the window.
These past 10 days, I have completed more than in any other 10 day period in 2019 but I know I could have done more.
Without realising, I was multi-tasking a lot. I’d be working on some research or writing a blog post and then feel the urge to check my emails quickly or remember I had to buy a gift for someone from Amazon, or maybe just start watching a youtube video and then find myself jumping to other related videos and before I catch myself doing this, several hours have passed.
I’m in complete agreement with all the research that’s proven that multi-tasking is a productivity killer and next week will be focusing on the task at hand with ZERO distractions until its completion.
I think that as technology has slowly become such a big part of our lives, that we feel that every idea, alert, notification or email that disrupts our day is important. They are not. Take back control of your life!!!
My Fear of Writing Online is down to 3
One of the things I’m most proud of in the last 10 days is how my fear of writing online seems to be dissipating.
This was my most immediate fear and obstacle I wanted to overcome and it seems I am well on my way to doing so.
On a level from 0 to 10 with 0 being I have no fear of writing online and 10 being I just can’t seem to decide what to write about, or have the courage to write about any topic and hit publish, I feel I’ve come down to a 3.
There’s still a little fear there, but not enough to stop me writing about whatever I want to share on this blog. To think just 10 days ago my fear of writing online was closer to a 9 if not a 10.
If you’re struggling to write and hit publish, my biggest advice is to write and hit publish about whatever you’re doing in your life right now.
Everyday you are making decisions in your life, simply write about what decisions you’re making and why. That information will help others in a similar boat.
If your biggest obstacle is a fear of writing because of what others will think or say or a feeling of not being good enough or knowledgeable enough on a topic or any combination of these, then address that fear first.
Don’t think about everything else that’s involved with starting an online business and making money online right now. That opportunity isn’t going away, but if you don’t overcome your fear of being able to write your thoughts and opinions and hit publish, then you will struggle to take advantage of this life-changing online opportunity that’s open to everyone.
Go back and read my earlier blog posts, see how I started and what I wrote about. I’m not writing anything ground-breaking.
I’m not trying to win awards for my writing. I’m focused on overcoming my fear of writing online and improving my writing by sharing my journey to create an online blog to help others looking to start an online business realise that they can make money online too.
Because you mostly certainly can!
100+ Blog Post Ideas and Growing
One of the most amazing outcomes of writing on this blog has been the number of blog post ideas that I have jotted down, since I started.
On average I’m thinking of at least 10+ blog post ideas and how-to tutorials to write about every single day.
In fact, one day last week I wrote down almost 16 ideas and half of them with outlines of points to cover in the blog posts.
I remember before starting this blog, I had loads of ideas but could never decide what to write about first. Now I’m trying to find ways to write more regularly and get many of my blog post ideas on this blog and out into the world helping those that need it most.
I’m certain my mindset shift from worrying about what my perfect first blog post topic should be to being more confident to want to write more frequently about as many things as I can, has come about as a direct result from simply taking action, writing and hitting publish on my nlog.
I believe that only by taking action can you overcome some of your constraints or limiting behaviours.
If you’re not writing, then really sit down and think hard about why not and what’s stopping you.
If you truly want to help people with your knowledge then you must learn to share your knowledge.
A good friend of mine told me on a Skype call a few weeks ago that perhaps the reason I hadn’t started my blog was because I didn’t want to share my knowledge nor serve my audience and perhaps I should stick to helping others building blogs, websites and apps by working with them one on one.
That really hurt because what he was indirectly telling me was that I was focused more on myself and my fears than on serving my audience.
I knew I wanted to serve more people and I knew I had enough knowledge as i’d worked with lots of clients one on one and got amazing results, but I was letting my own inner fears stop me.
I guess he was right and thanks Rob for that wake up call.
My fears aren’t what’s important anymore, making sure I serve my audience is, however I can and with whatever resources I have.
Everyone has different reasons for starting a blog and fears for stopping from making progress. The only way forward is to look at what is really stopping you and be honest with yourself.
For me, helping you with my knowledge is far more important to me than my fear of writing online and being judged.
Is my WordPress Site Secure?
I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for your own successes but also mistakes. So when I read a lot about the increase of internet fraud and hacking, I knew I had to make sure I wasn’t a victim.
Having a blog online is like having a business unit on the high street.
You wouldn’t leave your business unit unlocked but sometimes we aren’t so proactive when it comes to securing our online website.
This past week I’ve taken a whole series of steps to secure my website and web hosting accounts:
- Changing WordPress Admin Dashboard username
- Adding a nickname and setting my visible author name
- Adding .htaccess file
- Installing a WordPress security plugin
- Setting login limit protection
- Enabling a backup service
I’ve taken multiple steps to secure my website and to my surprise I came across something yesterday that I thought I’d secured but in reality I had completely missed and now my mistake was saved on the internet forever.
When you set up WordPress you chose a username for your WordPress admin dashboard. By default it’s admin, but i highly recommend you change that and don’t use your first name, last name or combination of the two either.
Also by default, whatever WordPress username you choose is set as the author name for all blog posts or pages created and published by that user.
So if you set your username as “xmas395”, which isn’t really a good example of a username by the way, then whenever you publish a blog post that username “xmas395” is shown in the author’s byline.
Now to rectify this, WordPress allows users to set a “nickname” with a “k” in your WordPress dashboard and you can set this nickname to your name e.g. “Urmil Patel” or anything you want and choose to have this displayed against your blog posts versus your actually login username.
This added a little more security.
The problem arises when you realise, as I did, that if someone hovers over the Author’s byline text and clicks the link, they can see your actual username e.g. “xmas395” not your nickname that you’ve set.
To change this isn’t difficult but it’s not something that WordPress has made easy to do either. I’m surprised they haven’t because this is a security vulnerability that most people would completely miss.
I’m writing a blog post to show you have to change the underlying link to the author byline. It should be out soon.
Also if you leave this author URL (the link to your author’s page) to include your admin username then caching websites can take a snapshot and now your WordPress admin username is stored forever on the internet just waiting for hackers to find and exploit.
Here’s a snapshot of a previous username I used on my own website that’s been saved on an archive website online forever. Don’t worry, I’ve deleted that user and have setup new ones. It wasn’t a good username anyway.
Don’t make the same mistake, watch out for my blog post about how to change your user “nicename” with a “c” and hardened the security on your WordPress website.
Staying Secure with HTTPS
Another thing I did since I started my blog is to install an SSL certificate on my domain name and redirect all visitors from the http version of my website to the https version.
This simply encrypts all data going back and forth from the user’s computer and the web server and keeps it away from prying eyes.
Google also announced that they prefer websites that have SSL certificates, so if you want to rank highly in search engines its definitely something to set up on your domain.
Getting an SSL certificate installed is a 5 minute task and the great news is most web hosts include one for free with your web hosting.
Another tutorial is in the works to show you how to do this too.
Going with Google for Tracking
Tracking visitor activity and other useful information about where visitors come from and what pages they visitors and how long they stay on your site is so important and its a good idea to set this things up so down the road you have some statistics to help guide your direction regards content creation and even product creation to better serve your audience.
I setup Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. It was a little bit technical but nothing over complicated if you just take one step at a time.
Backup Solution Locked and Loaded
After all the time i spent writing stuff and setting up my blog the last thing i wanted was to wake up to a imbecile hacking my site, but I know it’s possible and I know hackers will try.
So I decided to setup my backup solution asap to ensure I had daily backups of my entire site on an alternative storage location should my web hosting account get compromised.
For now I chose UpdraftPlus and installed the WordPress plugin and customised the setting and set my automated backup solution to work.
I checked that the my blog was being backed up the next day and it was. Now that’s peace of mind.
If you haven’t setup a backup solution then please do it asap. It’s not a task you want to put off until tomorrow.
Taking Rest Days and Not Crashing and Burning
I recently started a Calisthenics workout program to get back into shape after almost 5 years on not visiting a gym or doing much exercise.
And, like an over excited teenager, I went all out on my first work out doing push ups. I’m following this insane program by Calisthenics genius Frank Medrano and day 1 involved 3 sets of 8 different types of push ups. I know, 8 different types of push ups – what the hell!!!
Now I only managed to get to the 5th exercise and only managed to do half the recommended reps in all 3 sets of pushups before I found myself just lying face down on the mats, unable to lift my body off the ground.
The workout certainly felt good and I knew I was going to pay the price the next day, for pushing myself too hard.
Well, I was right. For the next 6 days I did nothing, not out of choice but because my triceps were literally in pain every time I bent my arms to touch my face. I couldn’t even lift my body off the bed with my arms. Crashed and burned.
The workout program that i was following recommends working out for a few days then taking a rest day.
I’d worked out for a day and now had taken almost 6 rest days.
Moral of the story, when you finally manage to motivate yourself to pursue a worthy goal, don’t go crazy. Start off slowly and build up your effort and strength slowly.
By going all out and beyond what I knew was sensible with my pushups I suffered the consequences for 6 days and couldn’t work out again until my arms had recovered.
Now whenever you follow a fitness plan they always encourage rest days. Day’s where you give your body and muscles time to heal and strengthen.
Now I believe we need to give ourselves rest days in our business too.
Why you may ask?
I believe as we’re building our mental muscles and focusing on new business tasks and activities we need to give our minds time to rest as well and get used to these new activities.
I say this because when I started this blog I was super motivated and was working 16 hours a day for the first 4 days, and then slowly but surely my mind started to get distracted to a point where I wasn’t doing anything productive for a few days.
Now I believe for me, this was caused because of the same reasons why I injured my arms, and that is by trying to do too much too quickly.
But unlike when you work out too hard and suffer for days, I believe that I had focused too much on my business (16 hours per day for 4 days), that I needed to take a rest day and because I didn’t my mind did what it does best to protect me and distracted me with ideas, thoughts and general self doubts to force me to take a rest day or at least not do any productive and thoughtful work.
I’m definitely going to be getting back into my Calisthenics training again next week and I’m going to be focusing on my business a lot too, however I’m going to make sure I put in rest days from my fitness work outs and also rest days to rejuvinate my mind and mental health.
This should help me stay motivated in both my fitness and my business and make steady progress versus crashing and burning.
My Biggest Distractions
Just a quick note about my biggest distractions since starting out. There have been plenty. I’ve definitely not mastered distraction free living just yet but I am slowly working on decluttering my life completely, from material possessions to digital data.
I don’t know when I become a hoarder of everything, but I have proactively decided to stop as of today.
I’m eliminating all excesses my from life and these include stuff around the house and files, folders, old courses and other data online that just isn’t useful or relevant to my life of business anymore.
Another big distraction has been my email inbox. Every single day, I must get 100s of emails for digital products, webinars, sales, etc… and it’s so time consuming to even browse through the subject lines.
I’m researching some strategies to improve my relationship with my inbox and not feel guilty or worried about missing out on news or information or opportunities. This is still a work in progress.
My blog has become my main focus and I am so happy about that. It’s amazing how having a clear goal and wanting to serve others can help you eliminate these daily distractions and find the energy to work harder.
So What’s Next
So that’s been my experience so far and I have to say I’m more excited now than when I started.
Sure, I still have no idea if anyone is reading my blog or benefitting from it, but even if it inspires one person to get started with an online blog or business, thats a brilliant result for now.
There is still so much I need to so to get my blog up to a level I’m happy with, such as other features like an email opt-in form, speeding up my website, writing more content more regularly, putting together some free resources, narrowing down on what topics I want to focus on and adding premium theme and choosing my brand.
Lot’s of exciting work ahead but I’m feeling more motivated and excited than ever before in the work I’m doing to build this blog and serve others.
I’m enjoying my day to day activities so much that it doesn’t even feel like work and soon as I deliver more content, grow other aspects of the business and monetize it, i’ll be earning money doing something I truly love and would have started from scratch.
I’m looking forward to help you with more specific how to content as time goes by.
If you’ve not thought about starting an online business or blog then I urge you to consider it. It really is life-changing and can be financially liberating.
Everyone has life experiences, knowledge, expertise or the ability to get knowledge and expertise that can help others. That’s all you need to get started helping people with your blog.
Join the online movement and start earning an income online and live your dream life by blogging, coding and creating online courses.