This is a guest post written by Paul Piotrowski over at InspiredMoneyMaker.com which is a Blog that focuses on Mastering the Mindset of Making Money Online. To see what Paul is up to right now you can connect with him on Twitter.
Learning to make money online takes patience. Learning to make money online as a Blogger takes even more patience. Obviously when we see people like John Chow or Darren Rowse who make a lot of money from their Blogs, it’s not hard to imagine ourselves staying motivated to keep writing Blog posts when we are making that kind of money and Blogging is a full time thing in our lives.
However, do you ever wonder what keeps people motivated to keep pumping out article after article on their Blog when they aren’t yet making the big money? Or more importantly, ever wonder what you can do to keep yourself motivated long enough to get over the “hump” and make it big?
I’ve been Blogging since April 2006, and six months ago I was finally able to quit my job and focus my full time efforts on making money online. The most important aspect of what helped me to stay motivated in the last two to three years and helped me keep me going long enough to succeed has been tracking growth.
I know it sounds really simple, but if you leverage this one simple thing, it will help you to stay motivated. You see, our minds are conditioned to respond to certain things. One of the most important things that keep our minds motivated is seeing progress in life. When we do something and our mind sees that we are making progress, we’ll be motivated to keep going. If we do something and we don’t see ourselves making progress, we give up.
Because of this, it is very important that you track the RIGHT things. This is where most people go wrong. See, you can track almost anything when it comes to running a Blog. You can track how much money you’re making, you can track how many comments you’re getting on each post, you can track how many RSS subscribers you’re getting, etc.
The challenge is that in the beginning, how much money you make is probably not going to be a lot so if that is the measure of progress you’re using, you’re going to get discouraged and de-motivated very quickly. The trick is to find measures of progress that you can track on a regular basis that will show growth based on the efforts that you put in.
For example, measuring your daily visitors might be a better thing to track in the beginning. If you start off with just 5 visitors per day, and you slowly grow that to an average of 25 visitors, that’s 5x the growth. That kind of growth will keep you motivated. However, at 5 visitors/day or 25 visitors/day you may still be making $0/month to start with because income from a Blog doesn’t usually grow linearly like that. It may take a while before all of a sudden people start contacting you and wanting to buy advertising on your Blog.
In the meantime you’ve got to keep yourself motivated by tracking something that grows based on the efforts that you put in. That’s one secret I discovered about the human mind and motivation. We just want to see progress, but really the mind doesn’t give a crap what it is that you’re making progress in. It just wants to see progress.
In the beginning I used to track everything on my Blog. First it was hits and visitors, then when I started getting enough eyeballs to my site I started to really pay attention to my RSS feed counter, and my email subscriber count. Those were all measures of “growth” that fell into place long before I saw any big money coming through the doors.
To this day, I still don’t use monthly income as a big indicator of "progress" on my day-to-day tracking. In fact, recently I started experimenting with Twitter, and using it to connect with my readers and friends online, so now I’m paying attention to my Twitter follower count and I’m using that as one measure of progress.
As long as you keep finding things to track and see progress in, it will be much easier to stay motivated because progress makes us feel good. In the last 3 years I’ve seen a lot of people start Blogs and most of the ones that only paid attention to how much money they were making each month quit within the first few months. There’s a whole graveyard full of blogs like that.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay attention to how much money you’re making. I’m just saying that it shouldn’t be the only thing you track as that will make it hard to stay motivated, especially in the beginning.
So what are the three most important things you’re tracking on a regular basis in your Online Empire?