Online business or blogging is a demanding activity and so it is essential that you do not lose your focus.
As a serious blogger or someone who’s all fired up to take the plunge into this grueling (and yet exciting) journey, you may want to keep things in control.
I’m sure you like to stay focused and organised to manage your blogging activities efficiently.
Blogging is a continual process and whatever refinement or efficiency that happens with your activity, it is going to come through experience.
And by being disciplined.
But it is also a fact that no matter how hard you try, distractions will happen.
Life will happen.
Distraction is what happens around you that takes your attention away from your immediate task and your goals.
It’s not easy to remain focused when your attention is constantly drawn to other things.
Distraction is frustrating because a task that would normally take an hour to accomplish ends up taking the whole day.
The inspiration to sit down on your computer to write your blog post constantly plays hide-and-seek.
It saps your energy.
The quality of your work also gets affected.
Let’s see some common blogging distractions that affect us.
#1: Unplanned Lifestyle
Blogging is not simply about writing and publishing content.
How easy would it have been if it were so?
Blogging is the sum total of various activities and all interconnected to produce definite results.
If you’re a newbie, it can easily overwhelm you if you do not plan things properly.
Otherwise, your blogging activity can take a backseat.
Life situations for all bloggers are different.
Your normal daily life can sometimes hamper your journey.
Your work (if you are with a 9-5 office job), your family, and personal life can interfere with your blogging activity.
If you’re serious about blogging and want to achieve good results, then you will need to have a definite plan in place.
Like nurturing your writing habit. Be sure to make writing a part of your daily activity.
Set blogging goals.
Do not let your day-to-day activities come in your way and cause distraction from your blogging goals.
Do you have a checklist for your daily to-do things?
Your blogging activities, and specially, writing should be one of them.
Keep aside at least for a few minutes (if not hours) for your blogging routine.
If you don’t do so, then it is very likely that you will have distractions that will hamper your blogging progress.
#2: Making Things Complicated – Doing Everything at Once
In any domain, in any activity, it is easier to make things complicated than making them simple.
It’s always very difficult to make things simple. Isn’t that so?
Try explaining a new concept to people, and you will realise that it’s not easy to come up with a straightforward, uncomplicated exposition.
Whereas it is so very easy to befuddle an audience with a long-winded interpretation replete with complex and high-sounding terms.
People tend to over-complicate things and end up getting stressed out.
This tendency is not really a bad thing as it shows your critical or questioning nature, but the problem comes when you become overly anxious.
It becomes a serious issue when it affects your focus.
And when it causes a distraction.
Let it be understood that the mental schemas of newbies are different from those of the experts in any activity.
To illustrate, let’s say a newbie knows that there are 25 variables/strategies that can affect the outcome of an activity.
The path is laid out before him.
But because he has no experience, he does not have any idea about the extent of the impact each variable has and how they interact with other variables.
He does not know how to prioritise those variables. To him, all the strategies are equally important.
So, what he does is try out the 25 strategies all at once being afraid that leaving anything out would not bring in the desired results.
He thinks his efforts would be sub-optimal for success because he has read the experts’ definitive check-list for blogging success that says all the 25 strategies need to be included.
Hence, he’ll make things complicated for himself.
Now, let’s take the case of an expert.
An expert, because of his experience knows, let’s say the 7 variables out of the 25 that matter the most and thus work out a strategy for an optimal result.
This happens in a much-uncomplicated manner.
He’ll keep everything simple.
I made mistakes in the beginning because I didn’t understand that as a beginner, it’s not necessary to take up all the tasks to achieve results.
Apart from writing blog posts, I tried to dabble in social media marketing – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
I attempted AdWords.
YouTube, I tried and made some cringe-worthy videos.
I heeded some people’s opinions that I should be having email marketing in place from day 1 itself.
I wasted much of my precious time in learning how to set up campaigns, the opt-ins, and in designing the pop-ups.
All these distracted me.
Needless to say, my content creation got affected badly.
But I learned my lesson.
It is important to understand that as a beginner, it is impossible to incorporate all strategies at one time.
Instead of mastering these strategies one-by-one, you end up dabbling in too many things and having half-baked knowledge.
You end up having your fingers in too many pies.
Let’s be clear about our approach, shall we?
You should go step-by-step and try to assimilate each strategy clearly.
Blogging is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.
Do not let the many choices overwhelm and distract you.
Pick a few main activities and work upon mastering them.
What good is that activity where you start all kinds of strategies in one go and leave them all half-done?
Don’t jump the gun but concentrate only on a few strategies in the beginning and scale them up as you gain more experience.
#3: Wasteful Social Media Activities
Social media activities – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – unless carried out as a part of your overall blogging strategy, can be extremely time-wasting.
But if you are active on these platforms merely as a habit without any clear-cut strategy, that needs to be stopped.
It is believed that an average person spends nearly 2 hours daily on the social media.
Are you one of those compulsive Facebook users who constantly keeps on checking status updates and live feeds every minute?
Do you aimlessly scroll down your Facebook and Twitter timelines many times?
If you look carefully, you will realise that you waste many precious minutes on these social media platforms instead of doing something productive on your blog.
They become a major source of distraction from your blogging activities if you do not manage your time properly.
Resist the temptation to check your social media channels every now and then.
Rein in your inclination to comment on every post or tweet.
Make a conscious effort to distance yourself from your social media activities until you learn how to use them as part of your marketing strategy.
#4: Running After Shiny Objects
When you’re in the Internet business world, there’ll be many times when you will be tempted to go after schemes that promise you quick bucks.
The shiny object syndrome hits many people.
Day in day out, you are bombarded with ads and emails to entice you to sign up for an easy or quick way to achieve success.
It’ll be very difficult not get attracted to these get-rich-quick schemes.
You need to understand that there’s no substitute for hard work.
There’re no get-rich-overnight schemes that actually work.
Do not ever get distracted from your blogging work at hand.
They can leave you all bruised and seriously disillusioned.
#5: Changing WordPress Themes Frequently
If you’re using a free WordPress theme for your blog, you will surely be tempted to change it in between.
As a beginner, it is advisable to learn the finer aspects of website building on a free theme. However, some free themes might not have all the functionalities you desire and they mostly come with fewer customisation options.
Hence, during the early phase, people change themes frequently.
When you change your theme, things can get messy.
And if you’re a beginner, things can get a tad overwhelming.
It can take up a lot of time to bring your blog to the desired look and feel after the theme change.
This can become distracting to the point that you’re wasting too much time on researching for the “best free WordPress themes” for your blog.
Remember, WordPress themes come bundled with different functionalities under different categories.
The excitement of seeing your blog with different designs can override all other blogging activities.
But once you get the hang of it, it is always advisable to upgrade to a premium WordPress theme for your blog.
The advantage being, the premium themes tend to be better coded, light-weight and with better customisation options.
Also, once purchased, you will not be tempted to change it.
Choose your theme after a thorough research and something which fits over niche or business.
Resist the temptation to change your theme as a compulsion.
#6: Tinkering With Blog Designs
The visual elements in a website are important for halting visitors on your page.
If you’re one of those people who’s never satisfied with how your blog looks, you will be tempted to play around with its designs – menu placement, widgets, fonts, layout, typography, ads, banners, colour schemes, etc.
It’s actually exciting to try out all the features in your theme and it sure does take time to arrive at a look and feel that fits our business and personality. Blog, after all, is an extension of you.
It’s good to know how the different elements in our website functions and it’s a skill that comes with lots of trial and error.
While there’s no denying about the benefits of learning the various functionalities in your WordPress site, it can also be highly distracting.
It can become time-consuming and wasteful.
In the beginning, do not be too perturbed with the looks of your website. I’m not saying it’s not important but that should not be your priority, at least, in the initial stages of your website-building.
Try to have a basic design – a no-nonsense one without too many bells and whistles – with the most important elements.
When I say important elements, I mean to say the branding elements like logo, header image, favicon, theme colour, etc. as well as a few key menu items.
Remember, whatever strategies you’re going to employ, they can only work when you have a good body of work on your blog. In other words, you need to publish frequent posts to test the waters for the workability of a strategy. Get the point?
Do not let yourself get distracted by the designing hassles. It can be done later or in bits as you go along.
Don’t get drowned in a sea of information about the functionalities of different widgets and plugins.
Just keep on blogging, and if you must, try to work out the designing elements in between your posts.
Ask a friend or family member for an honest input about your blog design.
Take the help of a designer friend if you are lucky to have one.
#7: Going After Too Many Courses
There are hundreds of Internet Marketing or Affiliate Marketing courses available online.
Many of them are good.
Many of them are bad too, promising you on a get-rich-quick dream.
But the so-called good ones teach you the same stuff, the course content is the same, the strategies are all similar.
And each one claims to be the best one out there for a successful online business.
Choose a course that fits your scheme of things – budget, duration, content.
While most courses are similar, there are those that have an active online community. Those, in my opinion, are the best.
After all, Internet Marketing is something that is best learned within a community to supplement the lessons in the main course.
Website building or blogging is difficult to learn in isolation.
Hence, choose something like Wealthy Affiliate that has amazing million-plus members that constitute, possibly, the biggest online community of active Internet marketers.
Do not get distracted by the hordes of “promising” Internet Marketing courses.
Opting for more than a single course will only lead to more confusion and frustration.
Sometimes there are contrasting views on the same concept in two different courses.
As a beginner, it can confuse and overwhelm you.
Stick to a course. It will give you a better sense of direction.
Being a good writer is no guarantee for blogging success.
You might be good with words but when you’re blogging for business leads and conversion, it’s an altogether different ball game.
It takes time to be a good blogger.
When you start, you will be ordinary and you’ll gradually keep on getting better as you go along.
Some posts will be average or below-average.
Some might be cringe-worthy even.
The high-quality article will be few and far between in the beginning. And it’s perfectly alright that way.
So, allow yourself to be below par occasionally.
If you try to write perfect, masterpiece content every time, it’s going only to disappoint you because it will not happen.
Don’t let yourself get bogged down by your own measure of what is a perfect post.
Do not get distracted by your choice of words.
Do not procrastinate in your attempt to write excellent content.
The only way to become a better writer is when you write consistently.
Forget the quality. Just latch on to an idea and write daily. Make it a habit.
Remember, you need to publish frequently to improve your rankings in the search engine results pages.
The editing and proofreading for quality content can happen only after you have a piece of content on board.
You don’t need to be perfect from the start itself.
#9: The Numbers and Stats on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool for a blogger and we can work around our strategies based on the data it throws up.
It is a must-have tool for all bloggers.
The bad thing is, it is extremely addictive.
The excitement of seeing the number of visitors daily and other discrete information like the location of the users, the bounce rates, the devices used by the visitors, etc. can be highly distracting.
The data shown by it can be frustrating if the number of visitors is below your expectations or when it shows no sign of improving.
Try cutting down the frequency of checking the stats on Google Analytics.
You can have these detailed traffic data later when your blog grows in size. They will not be of much significance in the beginning to drive a definite strategy.
Your traffic will be directly proportional to the number of good quality posts that you publish on your blog.
So get your writing engine roaring and look ahead.
#10: Running After Too Many Affiliate Networks
When you’re a beginner, it is easy to get swayed by the number of affiliate programs available and the seemingly lucrative offers it gives.
But do you know that in many cases you need approval from the merchants for their affiliate programs and that they look into your traffic stats?
Of course, there are affiliate programs that allow you to show ads on your blogs even with small traffic.
It is important that your content or your niche is relevant to the affiliate products or services.
You cannot be showing pet products on your fitness niche blog, can you?
There are many affiliate programs and most of them are free to sign up.
But as a beginner, it’s actually time-wasting to be chasing too many affiliate programs because you will be able to make sales or leads when you have good traffic on your blog.
Instead, choose a single affiliate network (Amazon, Share-A-Sale, etc.) for your niche-related products.
Not only do many affiliate links on your pages look spammy, they also consume much of your time to get through the whole process of signing up, waiting for approval and creating those banners and affiliate links.
Whether you’re a beginner or someone who’s relatively experienced, it’s easy to get sucked into that nasty habit of constantly comparing yourself with other fellow bloggers.
It’s good to be following the footsteps of highly successful bloggers but this should not encourage you to start chasing their strategies blindly without any definite plan of your own.
The success stories of many bloggers can inspire you towards your own success but if it happens the other way round where instead of getting motivated, you are left seriously disillusioned, that’s a major distraction which should be avoided.
We are all different and so are our life situations. It’s meaningless to compare yourself to other fellow bloggers even if they are in a similar level of blogging experience as you.
It is fine to replicate the strategies of successful bloggers but that should be under your own definite plan of action. That should be contained within your own strategy.
Do not let yourself to be led blindly to follow everything that the experts do. Your circumstances are not the same as theirs. You want to establish your own unique identity and brand, don’t you?
Be organised and focused.
#12: Facebook Strategies
Apart from ads, there are many Facebook strategies for lead generation.
For instance, the “tribe builder” and other Facebook closed groups of Internet marketers.
But I have seen that rather than helping you secure business leads or make sales, they cause more distraction to the user.
This is because the strategy requires you to open your Facebook account to log in to these groups that teach almost the same technique.
It requires you to stay online and be active on Facebook.
I, for one, believe that Facebook is a major cause of distraction for most people and this social media channel is one that should be kept in check if you do not want to waste your precious time.
Agreed that one should leverage Facebook for a more complete marketing strategy but it is also generally accepted that it is the wasteful one too.
We cannot ignore Facebook, but personally, I feel that a beginner can defer their Facebook strategy before they are able to drive good traffic to their blog.
Are You Aware of Your Blogging Distractions?
We are all unique and so it’s not necessary that we all have the same kind of distractions.
Some people have a tendency to check their mail every now and then almost as a compulsion.
Some cannot do away with their social obligations and so they do not avoid the weekend parties or other active socialisation ways.
There are also people who are addicted to TV.
These are all major distractions and if you do not have a robust strategy in place, they have the potential to render your blogging journey into a wasteful activity.
Let us all be aware of these distractions so that we remain focused and become even more resolute about our endeavour.
Do the distractions mentioned above affect you too?
Can you relate to them?
I’m sure you would have devised a few practical ways of overcoming them.
We are committed to achieving success.
The bright side of having distractions is that they teach us about the commitments we made.
Share your own experiences by leaving a comment below.