I am a firm believer in self investment and spending time up front in order to help minimize long term repeated mistakes. 👨💻 Recently I decided to take the How to Create a Blog that Boosts your Career course by Jon Sonmez of Simple Programmer and in this post I will give you a break down of 3 key takeaways.
It is better to be as specific and as niche as possible when it comes to creating a theme for your blog. The idea is to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond. 🐟 When it comes to topics like Python programming it is easy to get lost in an ocean of detail so therefore it is better to find your passion within the field and become the expert.
At the moment The Happy Mindset is still quite general with a focus on an understanding of state of Mind to help language learners in the self learning process. However, this is a lot more specific than it was only two years ago when it was called dideaboard and filled with random ideas. My personal process has been driven by an innate curiosity and as I move through the process I am becoming more specific in order to help solve tangible real world problems.
2. Post Ideas & Schedule
I have been down this road before. 'It has been 15 days since my last post... shit I need to post something, but what?' In this course I was set the task of coming up with 50 blog post titles. Initially I was thinking that this would take a lot longer and that I would spend most of my time drawing a blank. I gave myself about 30 minutes.
I was surprised to discover that I was able to do this within the 30 minute time frame, yet another nod to Parkinson's Law. I soon realised that when I commited to this task a simple principle took over - I dropped the need for a perfect topic. Once I did this the filters gradually started to drop and title after title came to my mind. It is important to note that I didn't consider these amazing titles but I did discover that once I let go of the illusion of perfection then I had a lot more material to work with.
3. Consistency & Community
Consistency is key and my calendar is my friend. This year I have written the majority of my posts for The Happy Mindset. The two years previous were sporadic and I wrote when I felt in some way inspired to do so. It was only this year that I decided to commit to creating a blog and when I did this I made the commitment to write a post a week. What I hadn't done, until this course, was book a weekly block of time on the calendar.
This is an easy thing to do when you set it on a repeating schedule, and it only takes a couple of minutes to do. Now that I have done this it seems like an automatic lifestyle decision has been made for me. It seems to have already freed up some mental space where I was conscious of the amount of days that had passed since my last post.
In this course I also learned about the value of community as it relates to blogging. Prior to this course I didn't feel I had the time to also keep up with what other bloggers were doing. After taking this course I realised that this rather than being a luxury this is an important element of a blogger's workload.
I spent some time thinking about what sector I am in, then I did some research and I picked two blogs that I will read and post comments to. I also find it useful to keep in mind that my sole intention is to add value to the community.
Moving Forward in 2018
This course is quite concise and is intended to be done over 5 to 6 weeks. I finished the course in about 6 weeks. I am glad that I decided to take the time to complete one lesson a week as I felt that this gave me time to internalise more of the information that I was reading. Moving forward I have structure in place to allow me to write weekly posts and contribute to other blogs in my industry throughout 2018. 🎊
Have you taken any courses recently that have helped you to become aware of something new?