You probably noticed that my blog’s been a little quiet the second half of the year. I had to stop blogging in order to set myself up for success. For a good chunk of my side hustle career, I was always frazzled, running late, not looking perfectly put together, and just feeling overwhelmed. I barely had any systems or structure in place, and it was causing me to be uninspired and unmotivated. I just couldn’t get it together, but my ego wouldn’t let me stop. I had to keep working because Blogger X and Influencer Y were passing me by. But that’s where my mental was messed up. Nobody was passing me by, because we weren’t in a race. Just because they were in a season of thriving publicly, didn’t mean that I was any less smart, valuable or brilliant. It just wasn’t my season.
Guess what? Just because you are moving "slower" in silence, doesn't mean you are any less successful than those who are publicly thriving.— Emmelie De La Cruz (@EmmelieDeLaCruz) October 4, 2016
Working for yourself has many challenges. For me, it was living in discipline and structure. I was cruising by doing the bare minimum, because my mindset was all off. I was more afraid of failing than I was willing to work for success. I didn’t want to put in the work, because maybe, nobody would buy. But I learned this the hard way: fear is a useless emotion fueled by hypotheticals. While I wasted time being afraid, I wasn’t investing in the things that would help me grow. I was doing just enough to stay afloat. The bare minimum will barely get you results. So I got my act together, launched the Glow-Up Challenge, and did the things I’m about to outline in this blog post. Everything changed.
@@ Fear is a useless emotion fueled by hypotheticals. - @EmmelieDeLaCruz @@
I stopped blogging, because I stopped listening to best practices.
Studies have proven over and over again that you will get 80% of your traffic from 20% of your posts. So why are you constantly putting out content that will disappear into your blog’s archive in a week or two? Let’s be real with ourselves here. We set these overly ambitious blogging schedules that are damn near impossible to keep up with. Some blogger with a camera, a boyfriend to take their pictures, no kids, or a full-time job wants to tell us that we need to blog at least 5 times a week to be successful. F.O.H. That’s not law; that doesn’t work for everybody, and we all need to take several seats if we’ve been blindly following other people’s recipe for success. We need to figure out what truly works for us. While I will say that blogging 3 times a week did boost my traffic, there’s more to that than meets the eye. Yes, more content means there will be more information for your audience to consume and interact with, but you also promote more when you have more content. For example, if you have 3 new blog posts, you’re probably putting out 3 times the amount of promotion. What if you simply promoted one quality blog post 3 times as hard?
I took the 80/20 rule to heart and applied it to my blogging. I spent 20% of my time creating content and 80% of my time promoting it. This means that if you have 10 hours a week to dedicate to your blog or side hustle, then you should be using 2 of those hours to create and 8 planning how you will tell people about it. Here’s the problem with side hustlers and creatives: you spend 80% of your time creating content and 20% of your time promoting it. Why? Because you want things to be perfect, instead of done. Chill out, ma. You trying to wear big girl panties you don’t fit into yet. Get your weight up first. Work within your means, then level up.
I stopped blogging, because I was sick of playing catch up.
I was constantly staying up late to finish blog posts that were scheduled for the next day, planning out webinars a few days in advance, and feeling like I didn’t have enough time to dedicate to any one thing. I was so over it, and this whole #TeamNoSleep fckery had to go. I took a break for a few weeks and noticed I was still making money. A lightbulb went off. I didn’t need to constantly put out new things to generate an income. I needed to become better at marketing what I already had in place. Out went webinars, periscopes, blog posts, emails, interviews, everything. I stopped everything that I was doing in order to figure out what I wanted to monetize and what people wanted to buy. I needed to stop trying to be everywhere at once and really focus on my metrics, do a blog audit, and see what parts of my business I was going to take with me into 2017.
I’ll tell you what I did while I wasn’t blogging: I was tweeting and ‘gramming. I created a real promotion strategy and started using CoSchedule to bulk upload my social posts in 60 seconds. From there, my blog grew with less effort. Diving into my metrics, I noticed that the weeks that I blogged more, didn’t result in me making more money. I was constantly playing catch-up trying to finish writing posts, so I never had time to promote my products and services. I was on this hamster wheel constantly writing posts and not focusing on generating revenue. So the question becomes, do you want more people to read your blog or do you want to make more money? I wanted both, but I had to take a break from blogging in order to get organized, produce content in advance, and be able to work ahead of schedule instead of behind it.
I stopped blogging because I needed to decide what I really wanted to sell.
The internet is a place where 6-figure launches, business gurus, and webinar salespeople make the law. So, because Blogger X and Influencer Y are making good money with a specific business model, we think we will too. Girl, bye! That is never going to be the case. We need to stop confusing learning with following. Consider your unique circumstances before you make a decision around how you will make money in this internet game. For example, if you work full-time, offering one-on-one services might not work for you because of the time constraints. It might be best if you release a pre-recorded email course, publish a book, sell merchandise, or pick other passive income business models that don’t require you to be available. Just because a certain business model is profitable, it doesn’t mean that’s what you should do. The internet is filled with a lot of monkey-see, monkey-do, and the quicker we all realize that other people’s success isn’t directly transferrable, the quicker we will start making better decisions for ourselves.
@@Stop the monkey-see, monkey-do behavior. Business models and success aren’t transferrable. - @EmmelieDeLaCruz @@
When I stopped looking at what other people were doing as solutions to my business, I started to grow. I went the e-course route, one-on-one service route, the webinar route, the workshop route, and none of those worked for me. Once I realized that their success wasn’t transferrable, and I took a dive into my site analytics, my audience, and my own mind, I changed. I stopped consuming content and looking for validation in articles, Youtube, and classes, and just did what my professional marketing experience told me was best. Instead of listening to best practices, I decided to create my own and that’s how my new email challenges were born. I am not made for one-on-one services. I just can’t.
I stopped blogging because I needed to organize and prioritize my never-ending to do list.
Over the last few months, I took time to regroup and rejuvenate. I took the time to learn how I worked best, what my audience responded to and think about what I wanted to bring into the new year. I took all of the ideas out of my head and put them onto a large poster board so I could see them staring back at me. (Think about it like a vision board for your business.) I took a step back so that I could identify the things that I needed to do to move my business forward. I would of never been able to do that if I was in the constant hustle of working in my business. If I was in launch, creation, and promo mode, I wouldn’t have the wherewithal to reflect. Sometimes you have to stop what you’re doing, in order to move faster in the right direction.
By stopping to consider all of my options, I am able to move confidently into this new season of my business. With that confidence comes a renewed sense of excitement and creativity that’s necessary to thrive. You can’t do your best work when you are burned out, trying to catch up, or running your business on someone else’s terms. I wish you the best year, ever.