I’ve lost 12kg (about 26lbs) since April.
Now I feel better and more confident than I did in years.
But it wasn’t a straight line and it surely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Over the past few years, I started several diets, only to give up 3 days later; always for the same reason — SUGAR CRAVINGS.
But then, one day back in April, my mother called to tell me she was starting a diet and asked if I wanted to lose weight together. I said yes with an abandonment that was the foundation of everything that followed.
She called on a Sunday morning before breakfast. I jumped at the opportunity that very same day. I didn’t care the fridge was stocked with sinfully fattening stuff. I didn’t care it was Sunday.
Since I knew the demons I was facing all too well, I quickly created an imperfect plan, confident I could improve it as days went by. I figured out I didn’t need a restrictive fad diet, but a new way of life that I could adapt and change until I got it to work for ME.
At the same time, an empowering idea came to me.
I am stronger than my cravings.
And this became my mantra through those difficult beginnings.
Over the next few months, I started moving more, took more health conscious eating decisions, and stayed positive. Eventually, the results started to show. And no, it didn’t happen overnight as I would have liked it, but this time around, I embraced the journey, with all its ups and downs, temptations and setbacks.
So what did losing weight teach me about building a successful blog?
1. You need to develop a growth mindset
My previous attempts to lose weight didn’t work because I had the wrong mindset and didn’t truly believe I could do it.
But the moment I embraced the idea that I was stronger than my cravings, things started to change.
A shift in mindset is something so powerful that it rearranges your beliefs as you would furniture. And the way you act is nothing but a mirror image of the person you believe you are.
Blogging is no different.
You must stop thinking you are just a blogger and start seeing yourself as an expert in your field. Nobody cares about your self-imposed limitations.
You have the potential to turn your unique obsession and skills into something so meaningful, people will make a beeline to pay you for being your awesome self. Start by choosing a blog niche that you can perfect on the go and make your own.
Eventually, you’ll have to create your own sunshine. Because growth is a very personal thing.
2. Set goals that are meaningful to you
When I started losing weight, I set a clear goal – get to 55kg (121lbs). I didn’t set a timeframe because I didn’t want to take shortcuts. I wanted to lose weight in a natural way that won’t do my body more harm than good.
But ultimately, my main goal was not a number on the scale, but a clean diet that would help me fit in the skinny jeans I wore a decade ago on my honeymoon.
With blogging, setting goals can be any number – page views, followers or email subscribers. But ultimately, numbers are meaningless.
What do 100,000 page views mean other than an ego boost? If the numbers don’t translate into something meaningful to you (either financially or the lifestyle you desire), you are focusing on the wrong things.
We love numbers because they are easy to understand and measure. But ultimately, your goals should be something way more profound and life-changing.
So before you freak out that your blog isn’t successful, ask yourself what success means to you.
3. Create a personalized plan that makes it easy for you to commit
I’m a Gemini, which means I’m always like ‘oh look, a butterfly‘!
But I find it easier to commit when I design a plan that makes sense to me.
I never followed any fad diets. I simply gave up on all refined sugars, canned products, fried foods, and white flour and I became addicted to matcha smoothies, raw cacao drinks, and homemade meals.
I didn’t go to the gym (I hate gyms!), but I love walking, so instead, I started counting steps and made a point out of reaching at least 10k each day.
I’m sure you’ve all read that you need to write an article per day to grow an audience and that you need a huge audience before you start to even think of making money off your blog.
But ALL of this is SO untrue.
You can publish only 2 articles per month. And you can make real money even with a small audience.
If you want to transform your blog into a profitable business that will provide for your family, instead of concentrating on the fluff everybody’s talking about, create a marketing plan from day one.
Start gathering emails before you even write your first article. And build a tribe before you even buy your domain name.
Having a solid plan that makes sense to you and makes you jump out of bed with joy every morning will help you stay committed.
4. You need the right tools and systems to get results
However popular the Law of Attraction, wishful thinking and simply imagining things won’t get you closer to your goals if you don’t also put in an effort.
Without a Fitbit to count my every little movement, I wouldn’t have felt motivated to get out of the house every single day to walk 10k steps. Having such an easy to measure goal helped me miles.
Having the right set of tools and systems in place will help you get faster results. Work smart, not hard, you know?
Same goes for blogging. In order to build a successful blog, you MUST have the right tools. The ones that will make your life easier and not sabotage your progress.
If you want to make money blogging but you still blog on Blogspot or WordPress.com, you need to go self-hosted and move your blog to WordPress.org. It’s the very first thing you need to do to start taking your blogging career to the next level. Because when you take yourself seriously, people start to notice.
Here I explain how to start a travel blog in a few easy steps, including how to get hosted with Bluehost, which is a great option when you are just starting out.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and constantly hit your resource limit and need advanced, dedicated hosting, I highly recommend you move your website to WP Engine in less than 30 minutes. Their customer support is simply amazing and they have a wealth of tools available that will take your blog to the next level.
Oh, and also make sure you build your email list from day one and do it the right way. Mailerlite is a great email marketing tools to grow your audience.
5. Consistency will take you a long way
Sugar cravings go away after a week or two. But only if you remove refined sugars from your diet entirely.
Sending your newsletter once in a blue moon or posting on social media only once a month is not going to attract a base of raving fans.
People are busy and have a million things competing for their attention daily. So you need to take it upon yourself to constantly remind your audience that you exist.
I love the slow blogging movement and embraced it fearlessly. But this is not the same as falling off the face of the earth.
Producing fewer articles for your blog should give you more time to interact with your readers and create more exclusive content for your email subscribers. Also, it should allow you to create awesome products that will turn your blog into a profitable business and help you pursue your goals.
6. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it
For me, it’s having a light dinner no later than 8PM. In some countries, this is standard dinner time. But in Spain, where people have dinner around 10PM, this is incredibly early.
Learning to completely avoid snacking after dinner wasn’t easy. Even taking my evening walk was a challenge at first (who am I kidding, it still is!), as I passed by sidewalk terraces full of people eating delicious tapas and paella from huge paella pans. Paella is a big deal here and one of those things you must do in Valencia, so both tourists and locals alike eat it with complete abandon.
Creating a blog that you love and that helps you meet your goals is anything but a fixed recipe. Just like weight loss, blogging is a very personal thing. Sure, there are certain principles that work for everyone, but ultimately you have to create your own formula.
For some, it might be Facebook, for others Pinterest or Instagram. Slow blogging or frenetically writing 3 articles per day.
Does it make you happy?
Does it get you closer to your goals?
If yes, that’s brilliant! If not, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
Don’t stick with a method that doesn’t work for you.
There are only two steps to success:
1. Figure out what works for you
2. Do more of it.
7. Design an environment that promotes success
Success is not a straight line. There will always be setbacks.
Things will work for a while. Then they will inevitably stop working and you will have to reconsider your strategy.
As anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows, the last 2 kilos are always the most stubborn ones. Miraculously, things that worked before, stop working. The diet becomes a lifestyle and the body gets used to it. I know the struggle all too well.
That’s why it’s best to make things as easy for you as possible. Go to a gym that’s on your way home, not in the opposite direction. Get rid of all the tempting, yet fattening food in your fridge. Surround yourself with positive people who share your goals and actually do something to reach them.
Being asked when are you going to get a real job 3 times a week doesn’t really help. But joining a supportive Facebook group of like-minded people will.
Creating a quiet environment where you can work without being bothered will help you get in the flow.
Using software to block social media sites can help overcome procrastination by putting your willpower on autopilot.
Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. And helping your environment help you get where you want is the surefire way to (blogging) success.