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How To Stop Procrastinating and Start Your Blog

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of December 2009 Other Income Streams, Start a Blog 0 Comments

A Guest Post by Jennifer Blanchard of Procrastinating Writers

I read this blog daily. But it wasn’t until last week when I noticed the results of Darren’s poll on “How long have you been blogging?” that I decided it was time to submit a guest post.

According to that poll, more than 4,000 of this blog’s readers don’t actually have a blog.

I have to say, this fact stunned me a little. Why would 4,000-plus people want to read about blogging if they don’t actually have a blog?

Then the same answer that caused me to start my own blog popped up in my mind – Procrastination.

Procrastination is the continual habit of putting off – sometimes until the very last minute – tasks you need (and want) to accomplish.

Oftentimes people procrastinate on tasks they really don’t want to be doing, like household chores, writing a paper for school or making a phone call they’re dreading. But many times, people also procrastinate on tasks they actually want to be doing.

Why People Procrastinate

There are many reasons why people procrastinate. But the top reasons include:

  • Fear – Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough and fear of rejection are the most stand-out fears procrastinators often have. They fear starting a blog because it might not be as good as someone else’s blog. Or they fear starting a blog that no one will read. Or they fear they don’t know enough about a particular topic to start a blog. Or they fear their blog will actually be successful and that will cause them too much stress and anxiety. This list really could go on forever.
  • The Phrases “Should” and “Have To” – Believe it or not, by telling yourself you “have to” do something (ie: start a blog) or that you “should” be doing something, it makes you not want to do it at all. This is when procrastinating behaviors creep in.
  • Whole Project Thinking – When you think about starting a blog, you’re likely bombarded by all the things requiredto start a blog – you have to decide on a domain name, purchase it, then you have to choose a blogging platform, then you need to decide what you’re going to write about and you have to come up with topics and determine how often you’re going to post and then, and then, and then… Thinking of the project as a whole, rather than as small pieces, overwhelms you, which then causes you to procrastinate.
  • Perfectionism – Other than fear, this is the main reason people procrastinate. They get so worried that the blog they create won’t be perfect from the get-go that they don’t even bother starting it. Perfectionism causes serious stress, which is always a recipe for disaster.
  • Telling Yourself It’s “Too Much Work” and “Not Enough Fun”When people think a project they want to complete is going to be more work than fun, it usually stops them in their tracks and keeps them from starting.

How To Stop Procrastinating and Start Your Blog

Now that you know what causes you to procrastinate, you can begin to take steps to overcome it.

Truth be told, starting a blog is not as difficult as you think it is. All it really requires is a domain name, a content plan and a platform.

So here are some steps you can take to begin overcoming your procrastinating behaviors and start your blog:

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways

I’ve heard this phrase a lot lately, and it couldn’t ring more true. Yes, it’s scary to start a blog. It’s scary to put yourself out there and share your ideas with the world. Yes, people may reject you. Yes, your blog won’t be perfect.

What you have to do is understand this; accept it; and start your blog anyhow.

If you allow fear to hold you back, you’ll never really be happy in life because you’ll always be compromising (or avoiding) what you truly want.

Remove “Should” and “Have to” from Your Vocabulary

These phrases make starting a blog feel forced on you instead of being a conscious choice you’re making; resentment and rebellion are typically the next feelings that come up.

In reality, there’s nothing you should be doing or have to be doing. If starting a blog doesn’t inspire you or if you don’t have a topic that you’re passionate about, then by all means, don’t start a blog. But my guess is, starting a blog does inspire you and you do have a topic you’re passionate about, otherwise why would you be reading this blog?

“Should” and “Have to” take your power away and give the power to the task of starting a blog. But by changing your self-talk, you can easily change the way you feel.

Instead of telling yourself, “I should start a blog” or “I have to start a blog soon,” tell yourself, “I want to start a blog” or “I choose to start a blog.” Words like “want” and “choose” are powerful words. These words mean you’re making a conscious choice. You’re deciding to start a blog; it’s not being forced on you.

View the Project in Pieces

You can’t start a blog and have it all pieced together in one day. It just doesn’t work like that. It takes time to come up with a name and determine a content strategy and learn how to write headlines that are effective and find traffic, etc. Instead, view starting a blog like putting a puzzle together: One piece at a time.

The best way to do this is to break the process of starting a blog into steps. Start slowly. Spend some time thinking about what type of blog you want to start. Then choose a domain name. Research available platforms and choose the one that best fits you. Next work on developing a content strategy, which includes what you’re going to write about and how often. Then work on how you’re going to market it and get traffic. Then you can work on finding ways to make money from your blog, and so on.

If you learn to break larger projects into smaller, more manageable pieces, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, which will help keep you focused and not procrastinating.

Give Up Perfectionism

No matter how hard you work, you will never be perfect. Perfection is an idea, not a reality. Humans weren’t born to be perfect. They were born to make mistakes and to learn from them. So rather than berate yourself for not being perfect, remember that life – and blogging – is a journey. And the only way to reach the end goal of that journey is to take the first step: Start your blog!

As you work through the trials and errors of starting a blog, you’ll come to realize that mistakes are actually gifts in disguise. Because for each mistake you make, you learn how not to do something, which will help you do it better next time.

Make It Fun

As the saying goes, “If it’s not fun, don’t do it.” But if you never start a blog, you’ll never get to see how much fun it actually is. Writing about topics you’re passionate about and connecting with readers are twoof the most fun things on the planet. And there’s definitely nothing more fun than getting an e-mail or Twitter message from a reader telling you how much you’ve inspired them.

What blog project have you been procrastinating on? Why?

Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of Procrastinating Writers, a blog that offers advice, motivation and inspiration for writers who struggle to get started. If this sounds like you, be sure to subscribe to her blog and/or follow her on Twitter.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I’m still in the stage of “fear”. I fear my blog is not good enough to get loyal readers. I fear of failures. But well, no matter how fearful I am, I still blog anyways! :) I planned about my current blog for months now, and a week ago that I started it.

  2. Here is one trick I use,

    Not trying to be perfect , and just start,
    this is it really,

    I do not claim to know 100% about blogging,
    or to have the best looking blog,

    but at least I have a blog,

    I made a start,
    and this is worth something,

    thanks for your post.

  3. I am not sure why one would be ‘afraid’ of failure or success to start a blog! I mean one can start a blog, personal or otherwise in numerous free blogging sites like blogger.com or wordpress.com and check out if one has the ‘things’ to blog or not!

    I feel, many people simply do not blog ( and nothing wrong with it) because they are more of reader type, than a writer type.

    Many busy people are not just passionate enough to blog. And its fine.

  4. It may not be just procrastination.

    Lately I’m hearing from more and more people asking how to put together the “blogging portion” because they know what they want to say, but they don’t know how to do it.

    That is why I am putting together this e-booklet written in plain english with no jargon that shows step by step how to build your site from nothing


    Hopefully this will help everybody understand that everybody does not have to do everything that they find in a book and that they can give it the look and feel that they want as they have the time available to devote to their blog

    Bottom line, you do not have to do it all at once.

    You can start small and gradually build your blog and give it the look and feel that you want similar to what this organization is doing that purchased my e-book.




  5. I was lucky, had a mentor that suggested I start a wordpress.com blog for free and try it. The results were amazing and at one point I had 5 blogs. I am down to one (recently sold all my sites to start this one) blog and am still building the static pages (product site) so have only had time to put up a few posts, but I was lucky enough in the beginning to dive right in and became addicted to it!

  6. My main problem is my lazyness actually. I can and I have time to put a new blogpost every day, even multiple posts a day, but instead I put them every 2-3, even 4 or 5 days. I don’t worry much about perfectionism, and I am also not so scared about blogging at all. I have a blog that actually offers internet marketing ebooks and niche ebooks. I don’t boast to be a pro or guru, but I think I have a general idea what works in this business and what not.

    The funny thing is that eventually my readership (if it ever increases, because chances are I will abandon this blog like I abandoned dozens of my previous ones) will benefit from the free internet marketing ebooks more than me, because although I know what and how to start, I simply don’t, because I am lazy.

    But, on the other side, this is the first blog I made that passed the 10 post barrier. None of my previous blogs had more than 10 posts. This just might be the one blog that will change my attitude towards blogging and internet marketing in general.

  7. Breaking the workload into pieces is crucial. People get turned off a project when they realize that there is more work than a 1-2 step method. They see all this work and don’t know where to start. In my opinion, best thing to do rather than keep reading about it is to sit down with a paper and pen and just jot down ideas on WHAT you want to blog about and right down a step by step process of HOW you can create the blog. And at the bottom of the paper write things to avoid (ie: wordpress themes with dark backgrounds and white font–I’ve made that mistake before, total hell changing themes sometimes). But overall good points in the post and liked the reasons behind why people avoid starting a blog, especially the element of fear.

  8. Procrastination has been one of the most evil things I’ve let into my life, so this post has helped me a lot.

    Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to catch myself doing things that basically make me feel like I’m doing something, if that makes sense. I’m terrible for wasting time on unproductive things and then realizing at the end of the day that even though my day has been full, I haven’t actually accomplished anything that produces real results.

    You’re so right when you say to remove “Should” and “Have to” from your vocabulary. I will be from now on because as soon as I read that a big alarm went off in my head. Those words have been making it hard for me because they cause resistance.

    If somebody says “You HAVE to…” or You SHOULD…” you automatically throw up a wall and it’s no different when you say them to yourself.

    Thanks for the great post.

  9. I especially appreciated your comments on “Should” and “Have to”. I have had some unproductive mornings where I “should” have been writing content to build up a cache of posts for my blog, which launches in January. I recognize now the evil perpetrated by those words…

  10. Jennifer,

    I think this is an excellent post even for those who do have a blog already and have been doing it for a while. We often forget that it takes time for success. We hold back because we are afraid of not being perfect. Like anything else in life it takes practice and is a craft you have to continually refine.

  11. Jennifer;

    I have an About Me me video on my new blog where I joke that my blog has been 40 years in the making! Well I finally did it and launched my very own blog for Idea Explorers!

    It took me about three months of hard development (NOTE to new potential bloggers – don’t believe the hype – blogging IS HARD!! but rewarding!).

    I constantly had to fight the double spectors of procrastination and perfectionism, but at long last I finally hit the publish button and WOW, am I ever relieved.

    There is no substitute for learning by doing!

    I already have an idea for blog #2 and this time, I’m going to try to learn from my efforts on blog #1 and decrease my deployment time to 3 weeks instead of three months!

    Thanks for your inspiration in this post!

    BTW – can you or any of your readers recommend a good review site theme? I’m using the single user Thesis now and I have to decide whether to build the next blog on Thesis too and customize it for reviews, or perhaps buy a completely new theme that’s already formatted for reviews (thus decreasing my overall dev and deployment time).

    Thanks in advance!


  12. Good point about fear making you afraid to start. Fear can also gum up the works *after* you start, when maintaining the blog (and trying to define that niche, retain those readers, up those stats!).

    I like the suggestion of breaking things down into smaller steps. I would add – allow yourself to do small experiments and see what happens. Vary up the format, the approach, the perspective, the length, etc – and see what happens. You might hit on the key to success by happy accident!

  13. jimmy tay says: 12/07/2009 at 5:02 am

    i remember once i was in my art school ..at the very first day of our orientation a lecturer mentioned that perfectionist is a curse.we are not never born to be perfect and we are made to learn from error.great post Jennifer and i have to admit there are times i procrastinate and it is a habitual habit of fear,perfectionist and fear of rejection.those things you said are true and hope it would improve each individual of their walk of life to face the music!! cheers!

  14. William says: 12/07/2009 at 8:50 am

    Great article, and I am one of those guilty as charged! No, I haven’t started a blog yet, mainly because of the reasons you noted. I’ve had a domain name, an ISP and all that for a couple of years, but have never set up a site, (and I have an associates in graphic/web design!! Sad, isn’t it?? I also have accounts with some of the blog hosting sites like WordPress, Blogger, etc. Your article has given me a much needed kick in reality to get over the “fears” you mentioned and get cracking!! Thanks for an interesting and insightful article and I will be subscribing to your blog.

  15. Interesting study of the poll Jennifer! As a fairly new blogger with six months of blogging under my belt now, another piece of advice I’d like to add is don’t be afraid to use everyday experiences as fodder for posts!

    Often these experiences might seem to be off-topic from your primary blog, but with a little thought and creative writing, almost any experience can offer insight or value to others.

    As I’m using my blog as a promotional tool for an up-coming book, I’ve learned a blog can be used to achieve several goals at once.

    Write On!


  16. (To Salina Washington (Dec 6, 1:50am) ~ Yay! Go for it!)

    This is a great post for those who want to start a blog and haven’t for whatever reason! I went through the same thing and if I waited until it was perfect…my blog still wouldn’t be up…it’s new, it’s still not perfect, and I know it! I was so afraid of what certain people would say, and their “helpful” advice, that I let it stop me…so what did I do?…I didn’t tell them right away. I just did it! Breaking out in a sweat with my hand hovering over “publish” was probably the most fearful part so far! The beauty is, you can change whatever you write, you can delete your entry, your blog will evolve, your niche might change and take you in a whole different direction, or you can just stop writing! It’s up to you. It’s part of your discovery. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” is a great book! It’s not about taking a leap and free falling out of your comfort zone, it’s about learning to expand your comfort zone. Once you think of it in terms of expanding, the less you will be fearful. Everyone moves forward at their own pace. If it takes months before you start your blog…so be it. But keep moving forward no matter what it is :) ! For those who already have established blogs, you’re an inspiration for those of us who are newbies!

  17. This article is so true. It took me a while to decide whether or not I was going to launch http://www.customersarecool.com, a blog about CRM, Marketing and anything customer related.
    It is great to be blogging and to seek out the next blog. Thanks Problogger, you are a real inspiration! Erik from http://www.customersarecool.com

  18. This is a fantastic post and one with practical application for most things in life – not just blogging. I think that you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head with one point – fear is at the root of procrastination. I think in most cases, it’s not fear of failure; it’s fear of success. As you say: connecting with someone through your writing is one of the greatest experiences that you can have. The fear of being able to do that successfully over and again is enough to make the best of us procrastinate. I think that most people are afraid that if they give 100%, they’ll succeed beyond their wildest dreams and then, they won’t be able to live up to the expectation to keep producing.

    Thanks for a great post!


  19. Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. Most people procrastinate out of fear and find they feel a lot better when they face the fear and do it anyway.

  20. I agree with this one hundred percent. If you just commit to doing a little bit each day, then you can accomplish a huge amount over a long period of time.

    Personally, I started article marketing to article directories. I’ve been going for about a month and I’ve got over 60 live articles. May not sound like much, but I also designed 10 websites in this time, as well as work full time blah blah blah.

    Anyway, one trick to stop procrastinating is to convince yourself that there are peripheral benefits to doing what you should be doing anyway. For the article marketing, I just tell myself that I’m building my name as an author on the web, improving my writing skill, etc, instead of my real goal which is getting a better ranking for my sites.

  21. @curtis chappell – i agree with you 100%! sometimes, i’m asking myself – what has this to do with my blog? but, if it inspires someone else or makes them think, it’s related. great comment! thanks!

  22. For me, the biggest problem is, to stay tuned. In the past I often started to write down ideas, a short plot or even started writing the “real” story. But after some time I thought that my idea may not be as good as I thought in the beginning. I start to dislike my idea and at some point I also stop writing the story. The voice in my head is saying: “nobody want’s to read such a story, it’s boring!”.

  23. You are on the point Darren. Many people who don’t get to start their blogs (but wished they had a blog) are from this lot. I am one of them and seriously I have the same concerns of what,how and when details which keep me from starting a blog though I love doing this !
    Perhaps we become ‘cast’ in our mindsets so much that we cannot think our minds out loud to ourselves. We tell others what we want to but fear telling this to ourselves :)
    You pointed out the ‘fear’ thing in the first place and yes, the fear of success is what keeps most people away from it.
    A very incisive write up and I commend your abilities in getting ‘in’ the thing to help many people like me to get ‘out’ of it :))
    Keep this going.

  24. Great post. Well, not only in blogging, some people are procrastinate to start anything.

    Great points on how to stop procrastinating.

    Just do it :)

  25. I am a subscriber who doesn’t (yet) blog and never responded to the poll, so I am betting the 4,000 is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I have a domain name, a topic and researched but the reason I have yet to start is time. I could be wrong but I want to make sure that when I do start I will have the time to continue regularly. To my mind a false start, a bad start or an irregular start is much worse than a delayed start.

  26. i remember once i was in my art school ..at the very first day of our orientation a lecturer mentioned that perfectionist is a curse.we are not never born to be perfect and we are made to learn from error.great post Jennifer and i have to admit there are times i procrastinate and it is a habitual habit of fear,perfectionist and fear of rejection.those things you said are true and hope it would improve each individual of their walk of life to face the music!! cheers!

  27. I like the suggestion of breaking things down into smaller steps. I would add – allow yourself to do small experiments and see what happens. Vary up the format, the approach, the perspective, the length, etc – and see what happens. You might hit on the key to success by happy accident!

  28. Jennifer—
    Nicely written post, and I will echo the sentiments of those who procrastinate because the posts have to be “perfect”. I have blogged for over 4 months, but have not put up a ton of content because of the desire to make sure said content is “reader worthy”. I am working to get that obstacle out of the way, hoping to share some great ideas with the readers that will eventually come.

  29. I have a niche on which I want to blog; but, I’m afraid I may not be able monetizing this niche successfully. My niche happens to be C/C++/Linux programming, including low-level topics regarding computer organization. I see that there are many free tutorials on the web in this niche. How could I monetize such niche? Any ideas?

  30. Great post and advice that applies to any new venture, not just blogging. As I read through I had to laugh, I am on familiar terms with every one of those procrastination excuses!

  31. from http://www.donpower.ME
    This is in reply to Nick with the C/C++/Linux programming niche.

    Here’s my top of mind ideas on how to monetize a niche like this:

    1. Offer information about how programmers can market themselves by creating HUGELY popular apps like WordPress plugins, or Twitter and Facebook apps.

    These apps may not even be written in C but if a C programmer doesn’t have enough work on her plate, maybe she has never even considered building “easier” apps that can spread virally and provide lots of exposure to her core C programmer services

    2. Employment opportunities for C programmers (see above). I know at least 2 C programmers who are not working right now as C programmers. Affiliate with elance type sites, again – to introduce core C programmers to new opportunities they might not be aware of.

    Cheers and Good Fortune!


  32. Very good post about procrastination. Not only does it fit the starting blogger but also those who were blogging for years. It is really hard to force yourself writing a post specially if a blogger is not writer or does not have a talent in writing. And what makes it even harder is the language. Since English is the most common language used, it’s only the second language to most bloggers like in my case.

  33. haha, a blog about procrastination?! I would think a blog about action is more appropriate.
    If those folks dont know what to blog about, I suggest they start a blog to scold those who dare to backstab them. They will never run out of scolding ideas for blogging.

  34. hahaha.., Great post I think that this case of procrastination is really with me. you have pointed it out perfectly and now I will try my best to overcome this.

  35. You must expand your abilities to blog, if not then it will be worst to see other people have a blog and you haven’t one yet.

  36. I first need to stop procrastinating on reading this article!

  37. Great Post Jennifer, “perfectionism” was my stumbling block – I’ve had my blog for 2 years but only made the occasional post. I was constantly over thinking the process and second guessing if the information was useful enough. At first I was really motivated then it dropped off a bit. A few things are pushing me over that hump – this post, I got a great free wordpress theme to get me excited about the look of my blog and really just “doing” instead of “thinking”. Thoughts are great but will only get you as far as your actions. I’m hoping my actions are reflected in my blog :)

  38. It’s very true that you have almost 100%control over a business if the product that you are selling, it’s yours. Clearly, you know where you want your product to be seen, how you want it to be known, you know all the details..and it’s really better for you to have the control.

  39. What can a blogger learn from a drowning man?

    I’m a new blogger. I know all about procrastination, fear and uncertainty.

    Recenlty, I was inspired by a scenario that – on the surface (pardon the pun) – had nothing to do with blogging.

    Perserverance trumps perfection every time.

    – donpower

  40. Fear and pecfectionism is why i tend to not make posts. When i stopped thinking so much about the process of making posts i found that i was doing a lot more, and a lot better, as though it was a subconsious thing. In fact, It is!

  41. This is excellent, and so helpful. Thank you. I have a little personal blog, but I’ve been “planning on starting” another blog, one that speaks to my passion and actually has revenue potential. Fear, perfectionism…all the reasons you stated are right there, staring me in the face. I’m renewing my commitment and CHOOSING to start my new blog. Thank you for the kick in the seat!

  42. Thank you for the post. I have suffered from one or two of procasticantion. I have tried to start my blog 3x already and after 3 or 4 blog post i would delete everything. This time around i feel it is different and after reading this blog post. I’m sure i can go through with my blog.

  43. This post is the best man! That’s true, we bloggers are not perfect yet we perfect the way we inspire people by helping them realize on different aspects of business – now that makes our business popular because once that happens, people then will continue to recommend us and our websites to more other networks which erases all that procastination aside. :)

  44. Stacey Jones says: 12/20/2009 at 12:54 am

    I happened upon this post at the perfect time. It offered the encouragement that I truly needed. As a result, I will be pushing past my mental barriers about blogging and starting one this weekend! Many Thanks!!

  45. I just started my blog after a long procrastination. Thanks a ton!

  46. Here’s my top of mind ideas on how to monetize a niche like this

  47. Jennifer,

    Nowadays Procrastinating problems growing very speed, i don’t know how much is this true or not! most popular bloggers suggesting lots of ideas to resolve this Procrastinating. Your article also have some good tips. keep it up.


  48. Thanks for this post. I have a hard time finding good content
    related to this subject when searching most of the time.

    I also run a blog similar to yours and here’s part of one of my
    recent posts…

    Blogs are the latest trend online and everyone is reading talking about them. Everyone has a blog, and everyone is making money by blogging. The question is how are they doing it? What is so special about a blog that you can make money by posting on it? First you should know that a blog is a little bit like an online journal. You can make posts in it about anything that you want to, and then publish it for the whole world to read. If you have never blogged before, it is a good idea to do so just for fun in the beginning, so that you can get a feel of what it is about.

    Check it out and let me know what you think…



  49. Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.

  50. Charley says: 01/21/2010 at 4:42 am

    Thanks for a great article. I decided yesterday to start a blog, came up with a name, registered a domain, great progress for one day! But now I am awake at 4am and procrastinating about webhosting, whether i should be using my work laptop (even though Im doing it for fun right now and for the foreseeable future and my lovely bosses are fine with me using my computer for facebook and all manner of activities non-work related!)
    Anyway, its the kick up the bum that I need…now to choose a host and a blogging tool….

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