The Surprising Side Effect of Blogging & 14 Great Resources to Help You Get Started
When I first started out, every time I thought about blogging I was filled with the terror of having to come up with a great idea each week. How could I possibly have enough things to say?
Four months later I began to notice something; actually I began to notice a lot of things. Blogging was helping me to become more mindful, what an awesome side effect. Everywhere I turned everyday experiences were providing great content ideas for future blogs.
So why did I notice so much now? Why hadn’t all of these great ideas come to me before I started blogging? Here’s my theory…
I created a habit of writing. When I first started there was a lot of stress and anxiety around deciding on a topic and working on the art of blogging. After creating the habit, my fears of blogging began to subside and I was freed up to think about and notice other things.
I believe that an important part of being mindful is curiosity, and it turns out blogging can cultivate a sense of curiosity in our lives.
Oh and it doesn’t start there, when you continue to write about topics that you love then people who love those topics too begin to gravitate towards you. You begin to find your tribe, and when that happens the magic starts.
So have more conversations, and pay attention to each conversation you have; to that wonderful barista at that local coffee shop who seems happier than anyone should ever be in the morning, to your grocery store visits, your commute, you Facebook groups, and everything in between.
Everything that happens in our lives has something to tell us, something we can learn, and something we can share. Pay attention, be curious, be attentive, and then…share.
If you are already blogging then good for you, keep it up and see if you are a little bit more mindful for it.
If you haven’t started blogging, now is a good time to start, and here are some great resources to help you take that first step.
1. Blog Topic Generator: If you’re looking for fun blog topic ideas you can enter in 3 words and the tool will generate 5 blog titles. Remember that this is just a starting point. The idea is to be more mindful about what is going on around you. Use this to help get you thinking about how your personal experiences can be used to provide interesting and useful content to the outside world.
2. Trello: As you begin to think of ideas, Trello is a great place to start to lay out your topics, as well as create a good strategy. I actually run my whole business and team through Trello, but this is a good place to start. You can get it for free here.
3. A voice recording app: There are lots of voice recording apps, but I use the simple Voice Memos app that is already on my iPhone. It’s great for times when I don’t have time to write something down, but want to make sure I remember an interesting story or idea.
4. WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin: It’s a free and easy way to manage your calendar. It allows you to see a calendar view of your posts and easily enter in draft topics so you can start to lay out your content.
5. A good old fashion journal: If you want to get in the habit of writing, but don’t want to have to go digital, then a nice journal is for you. Find one you like and schedule time to write.NOTE: The key to journaling and mindfulness is to write like you‘re telling someone else about your story. Sometimes when we keep a journal, we write for ourselves, but we were there, we know what happened, so we tend to leave out the great details. Writing like you’re talking to someone else helps you write it more like a story.
6. No time to blog – by Michael Hyatt This is a quick blog that can help you talk through your current excused for not blogging.
7. The anatomy of an effective blog post – by Michael Hyatt Blogging is a bit different than other types of writing. Is has its own personality, and if you are blogging to build visibility and credibility, then this article is a great place to ensure your blogs are set up in a way that entices people to read.
8. The Hemmingway App: This is a fun little website that helps you get to the point. Simply paste in something you’ve written and it will tell you which parts are too complex or confusing. It’s a great little tool and it’s free.
9. Writers Diet: If you aren’t an experienced writer, and even if you are, you should check out this website. Simply paste in your content and it will give you a Fitness Rating based on the types of words you use. It is a fun little tool and it can help you slim down your writing, or at least give you a fresh perspective.
10. Create an Editorial Calendar with Purpose Course: If you haven’t heard of Skillshare, it’s a great place to get short courses for a small monthly membership fee. I have multiple courses on Skillshare, but this one is great for writers. Check it out and depending on when you read this post, you might get a free week, or a free month, so check it out.
11. 750 Words: This is a great tool to get you in the habit of writing. It’s online, but it’s not considered blogging. It’s simply a great way to get you to write each day. You get badges and all that fun stuff depending on how many days you write in a row. Even if you never decide to post public blogs, this is a great way to create a habit and become a little more mindful in the process. (Note: You get the first 30 days free and then its $5 a month)
12. Grammarly: If you plan to make your blog public, you might want to consider finding someone to edit your blogs. If you don’t have someone to give it a once over, you can join Grammarly, and they will check your writing for proper grammar. (It comes with a 7 day trial and then costs $29 a month – if you plan to blog often, it might be worth the investment)
13. 4 Ways I Scaled My Blog & Biz: This is an article by Caitlin Bacher and she is singing my song in this post. She talks about how she uses blogging to help sell her courses and I can’t get enough of it. Read it, all of it, and then do what she says…it works.
14. I write like: This site won’t really help you write better, but it’s too fun not to add. Simply paste in something you have written and it will tell you what famous person you write like. Try it out. It only takes a minute and you might be surprised by what you find out.
Do you want to start blogging? Let us know in the comments below what you want to blog about and why you haven’t started yet. If you already have a blog, leave your URL in the comments so other readers can check it out. And if you have another great resource, add it in the comments below so everyone can benefit. LET’S START BLOGGING!
Dana is a mother, business & content strategist, coach, speaker, writer, podcaster, brainstorm facilitator, and blind spot reducer. Dana is the author of Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro, and the founder of the Boss Mom Movement. She serves Boss Moms who yearn for more time and less guilt when it comes to building their business and starting or raising their family, by providing the tools they need to get more out of their content and business, without sacrificing their family goals.
When she is not creating new courses or building new strategy tools for creative entrepreneurs, she can be found, chasing her son on the beach, rubbing cheeks with her new daughter, or thinking of the next fun new family adventure.
Connect with Dana on Instagram / Periscope (her total happy place)
Want to work with Dana? Find out more here.