The number of views and amount of feedback I’ve had from recent blogs has made me smile. What started as a personal blog, which I pretty much assumed nobody would ever read 18 months ago has turned into a blog that has over 250 regular followers and has been viewed almost 6,000 times. Those figures might not be impressive in comparison to many blogs, but from my initial goal of just writing stuff for me to that is a big personal leap. My more recent personal venture is a spin of podcast. On episode 2 I’ve so far had a total of 36 listens from 18 people (for those who listens in installments it’s true I’m best in small doses!). Those numbers again, aren’t going to break any records, but I’m really happy with them.
I was talking with a friend about a specific comment form I’d received on my blog last night which had been rather positive, and they said this.
“That comment wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t written the 50 odd blog posts before that one.”
I read a similar comment from the online PT James Smith recently about his daily emails – which for a long time didn’t generate him one single sale, but he persisted with the regardless (and I bet he’s glad he did now).
And that’s what today’s post is about.
My first couple of blog posts were read by nobody, unless you count the handful of people I’d made follow me and read.
The next handful of blogs were read by nobody again.
Eventually after a few more posts someone outside the group of people I forced to read them read one.
The numbers stayed at the audience of one for a while. Then it became two, then three.
For months and months and months I wrote blog after blog for an audience that didn’t make double digits.
But I carried on writing. They make me no money. It’s purely a labour of love. I actually enjoyed writing them and I was happy if one person read and found it useful or read and enjoyed. The focus of the blogs changed from online diary to aiming to provide some use to the handful of readers I had. I probably got better at writing and better at picking topics, the first few times you do anything are normally a bit rubbish.
One day I looked and I had close to a hundred followers. From there growth sped up. From there people started to interact. What the blog is now is more than I aspired for it to be.
But if I had stopped writing after the first few posts because nobody ever read them it wouldn’t now be the project it is. I had to keep writing to an imaginary audience in order to get a real audience. That’s why I will persist with the podcast, as that audience of 18 may not put me on the apple top ten list, but if I stop because of that I’ve no chance of growing my audience, if I continue, it will take time but if I work hard it could well grow.
Of course it helps that I’m passionate about my topic. Sticking with something you care about is a hell of a lot easier that grafting at something you don’t feel a fire for.
Your fitness goals are like this. Well in fact all your goals are like this, but this I a fitness based blog so let’s focus on this. When you start going to the gym will you be able to lift well, will you be able to lift heavy? On day one – nope, day two- nope, day three- sorry still nope.
Now if you give up because you’re clearly just crap at this you will remain as you are forever.
But, if you keep going eventually you will see improvement. That may take days, it may take weeks, it may take months. The improvement will probably hit you in the face out of the blue- you won’t have seen it coming, but at that point you can look back at all the gym sessions where you felt no progress was being made and know that those sessions were the foundation your success is built on.
But it’s like I said about my blog. The time it took to grow didn’t matter because I liked writing anyway- people actually reading them is a really nice bonus.
So you want to find something that you enjoy. If lifting fills you with dread try a class, if you hate running but love swimming why would you buy those running trainers? Because if you can embrace the times when you start out and aren’t amazing you will improve without even noticing it because you’re just enjoying what your doing.
I think James Smith called it “Falling in Love with the Process”. If you can do that it makes personal growth a fair bit easier.
And if you can’t do that, well then simply don’t give up when things don’t happen for you straight away, because you aren’t a toddler and throwing a tantrum won’t get you results, consistency and sticking to something may well do.