2 (2)I’m super excited today to welcome to the First ProBlogger Podcast!

This has been a long time coming and I’d like to thank all of you who have encouraged, nudged and at times nagged me to get this podcast going. I hope you enjoy it!

In this Episode

Today’s episode (find it here on iTunes or listen to it above) is all about setting the scene for the month of podcasting that is ahead.

In episode 0:

  • I share why I decided to start podcasting
  • I talk about 2 traits that I’ve seen in many (if not all) successful bloggers
  • I issue you with a challenge that could take your blog to the next level
  • You’ll discover what the next 31 episodes of this podcast will revolve around

This podcast will not be for those wanting a nice gentle passive journey. Each episode will challenge you to not only ‘listen’ but to ‘create’, ‘build’ and ‘implement’ the strategies discussed.

My hope is that it’ll encourage you to develop effective habits that will help you to build a better blog.

Mentioned In this Episode

31dbbb_2nd_3d-300As we move into the first 31 days of the ProBlogger Podcast we’ll be moving through the activities mentioned in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook.

Having the workbook is not essential to get value out of these next 31 episodes but if you do want to have your own copy of the material (plus a bonus 7 days of challenges) I’ve set up a coupon code to get a copy at 50% off.

From the 31DBBB workbook sales page use the coupon code PODCAST50 in the check out to get the 50% discount for the next month.

Again – there’s no pressure to have a copy of the workbook but it’s there if you’d like to have a copy as we move through the activities (and to work through again and again in the months that follow).

Also as mentioned in this episode – I highly recommend you install Google Analytics (or some other analytics/stats package on your blog as we’ll be talking about it in a future episode and it would be good to have some data collected by then. Google Analytics is the most powerful stats program I’ve come across and best of all it’s completely free.

Welcome to the ProBlogger podcast episode zero. In today’s episode, I’ll share two keys to successful blogging and introduce you to a challenge that has the potential to take your blog to the next level. 

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Hi there. My name is Darren Rowse and I’d like to welcome you to the first-ever ProBlogger podcast. I’ve been blogging now since 2002 and podcasting is something that I’ve seen in many blogging friends get into over the years, but it’s always something that I’ve put off. As I’ve announced to friends over the last few months that I’m planning this podcast, a lot of people have been saying, “Why now? Why are you starting to podcast now?”

There’s a number of reasons that I’m doing it now. Partly it’s the accumulation of the people over the years who’ve said, “You should start a podcast,” and a lot of my friends have been gently nagging me for a while. I guess that’s one of the factors, but the main factor for me is that I love to speak. I love to present. I love to teach using my voice not just my fingertips as I blog. 

I guess one of the realizations that I’ve had over the last year, particularly, is that the opportunities that I get to speak while I take as many as I can and enjoy it. As a father of young kids, I don’t get to travel and speak as much as I get invited to do so, so podcasting for me is one way that I can continue to do that. That was part of this reason to start podcasting. The other one is that I’ve been a bit of a podcast listener and a bit addicted to it as well.

The realization that I had at the start of this year was that I was getting a little bit dry in terms of my own input. I’ve always been someone who’s read a lot, but the busier that I get, I find that reading and that input where I get my learning, inspiration, and keeping up-to-date with what’s happening in my niches, and also develop myself in terms of personal development at the start of the year that was starting to dry up. So, rather than just getting back into reading, I decided I’m going to start listening to podcasts and I never really done it before. Around the same time, I decided to start walking every day for an hour a day. It’s a part of a change in my health and looking after myself. I’ve decided to use that hour every day to listen to podcasts and audiobooks. 

Some days I do have a bit of silence as well because I think that’s useful, too, but I have become very quickly addicted to podcasts and I’ve discovered how powerful they are. There’s something that’s very personal about listening to someone’s voice. I find them easier to stay focused on because I’m not reading while I’m listening because I’m just walking and there’s something very intentional about choosing to listen to a podcast.

Ultimately, for me, podcasts have led to a change in my life. Not just in my business but in some of the podcasts I listen to in terms of my health, my relationships, and the learning that I have in all kinds of different areas in my life. As I’ve listened to these podcasts, I’ve felt a growing urge within myself to want to explore how I could use them to help others to change their lives in different ways, particularly as it pertains to blogging, which is something that I’ve blogged about now for over ten years now. I’ve decided to start podcasting.

The next question people ask is, “What are you going to podcast about? Is it going to be just the same as what’s happening at problogger.net?” I like to answer this question by not answering it straight away, but talking about the number one thing that I’ve noticed that all successful bloggers seem to have in common. Some might even call it the key to successful blogging or if I was link-baiting it, I’d probably say the secret to successful blogging.

This is just one common trait I’ve noticed pretty much every successful blogger has and that is this, that they are active. They are self-starters. They take initiative. They keep on moving. They are anything but passive. What I’ve noticed over the last 12 or so years of blogging is that bloggers tend to belong to one of two groups. The larger group is filled with bloggers who talk a lot about the things that they’re going to do with their blogging, but they never seem to do much, if anything, of what they talk about. Then there’s this smaller group of bloggers who actually do what they say they’ll do.

The first group are habitual dreamers who rarely follow through on their dreams and the second group are habitual action takers who regularly put their money where their mouth is to see where their dreams will lead them. It’s the second group, the habitual action takers, who tend to find success more often than the habitual dreamers. I guess it makes sense really, if you actually do something, you’ve got way more chance of succeeding at it than if you just dream about it. It’s not rocket science. I don’t know of anyone who succeeded just by dreaming without taking action. It makes sense.

Inspiration without implementation is empty. In fact, it’s probably useless if you’re wanting to build something. Successful bloggers are action-oriented. They are self-starters and they’re willing to take steps to make their dreams come into being. 

I love this quote from John Schaar. I’ve used it before, some of you have heard me say it, “The future is not someplace we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but to be made.” I love this quote because there’s a sense in it that we make our future. It doesn’t happen to us, the decisions that we make. The things that we do, or the things that we don’t do create that future. 

If you have a dream of how your future might one day look, particularly thinking about blogging, the key is to make that future a reality rather than just hope that future will somehow find you. Action is a big part of that, but here’s the other thing I’ve noticed about most successful bloggers that I’ve met over the years, while every single one of them has been an action taker, most of the actions that they take are quite small. 

If you are to sit beside a successful blogger for a day, you’d find that what they do is just a series of small and relatively unremarkable things. What makes these bloggers remarkable is the accumulation of these small actions over time which all come together to build something quite epic. While their success might lead to some glitzy and spectacular opportunities that you see on Instagram, the vast majority of their time is actually filled with them taking fairly small and ordinary actions.

In fact, if you were to sit beside these bloggers for a whole week, you’ll begin to see that they don’t just do these small actions one-off, they actually do the same things day in day out, week in week out, month in month out. For many of these successful bloggers, you begin to see that these small actions are habits. That their routines, that their rhythms that they’ve developed over time. 

Every blogger seems to have their own habit, routine, or rhythm, but almost all of these successful bloggers have them and they tend to revolve around a few different core areas of blogging. Habits and rhythms around creating great content. Habits and rhythms around finding readers for that content and getting out there of their blogs. Habit and rhythms about engaging with their readers and building community. Habits and rhythms about building a model that helps them to make what they do sustainable through monetization or other means. 

Why am I telling you this? Firstly, it’s a really important lesson and it’s one that I just wish more bloggers would realize. I hope it helps you in your own blogging and inspires you to be part of that second group of habitual action takers. To not believe the myth that’s out there that successful bloggers have these glamorous lives that are always doing wonderful new things. The reality is that their lives or most of their blogging are about taking small habitual actions.

The second reason I want to share this is, what I’m designing this podcast around. My hope for you is that this ProBlogger podcast is something that stimulates action, but more than that, that it promotes some of these habits that successful blogging has built on. For many years, next to my computer, stuck on the wall, I had this printed out piece of paper that just had these words written on it. 

It said, “Do one small thing today that will take you closer to your dreams,” then in brackets, I had, “And do it to the best of your ability.” The idea was to constantly remind myself to take my next best step. To not just allow my dreams to stay locked in my head, and to not get caught up on thinking that the next best step had to be massive and had to be perfect, but rather that next best step just needed to happen one way or the other. 

One of my blogging friends, Jada Selna said, “Take imperfect action.” I love that quote because your next step doesn’t have to be perfect. You just need to take the next step. Keep moving. That’s what I want this podcast to be about. I want it to inspire action. I want it to teach you how to identify and to take your next best step. 

For me, there’ll be three important parts of this podcast. Firstly, inspiration. Secondly, information. Then I want to stimulate actions, so calls to action, and I want that to be a regular part of this podcast.

This is why I decided to start this podcast off with a bit of a bang and to start it off with a daily month-long challenge that I’ve run on my blog numerous times over the years. Some of you have heard of it. Some of you would have done it before. It’s called 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Starting on the 1st of July, 2015 I’m launching this daily podcast and over 31 days, I want to present you with 31 small things you can do to help you improve your blog. For those of you who have done this 31-day challenge before, I’ve run it twice now on the blog and it’s available as a workbook on the blog.

Some of you had done that. Don’t worry, you can do it again. This podcast version is designed in a way that you can do it again. You can actually keep revisiting these challenges over time. For those of you who are completely new to the idea, it’s really really simple. 

Every day, for the 31 days, I’m going to release a short podcast that gives you two things. Firstly, a little bit of teaching. Just a few minutes of teaching around a particular blogging habit. Habit that I see successful bloggers doing. The second thing I’ll do in each podcast is to give you a challenge to do something to improve your blog. Each day is very simple. The podcasts are all between 5 and 20 minutes. There’s only a couple of that 20-minute length. Most of them are 5-10 minutes. They’re designed to be acted upon a day. You don’t need a whole heap of time to listen or to do what I’m asking you to do. 

Each of the challenges revolves around one of three things. Creating content, finding readers, or deepening community on your blog. We’ll cycle through different challenges that touch on each of those. Most of the challenges are something that you can do to build into your blogging rhythm or routine if you find it helpful. 

You may not find all 31 exactly helpful for you, but by the end of it my hope for you is that you have ten or so different things either on a daily, weekly, or a monthly basis that will help you to build some of these habits and rhythm into your own blogging. Actions that you can do every day, week, or month. 

I know a number of you are asking, “I’ve heard about the 31 Day to Build a Better Blog Workbook, the ebook. Do you need it?” No, you don’t. Everything you’ll need will be in the podcast, but if you do want to pick up that ebook, you’ll get a little bit more out of it perhaps and there are also seven bonus days of activities. If you do want to pick that ebook up, there’s a coupon code that will get you 50% off in the show notes.

The show notes are on problogger.com/podcast/welcome. That’s where you’ll find that, but there’s no pressure that you have to pick up that workbook. It’s just for those who want to take the challenge perhaps a little bit more seriously and to have a copy of the material for themselves to do again and again at the end of the month.

The other question I know some of you will be asking is, “Daily? I can’t do this daily,” and that’s totally fine. I get it. So many of you are busy juggling work, family, and other commitments. I do try to keep each of the challenges and the podcast to just about 20 minutes in time, but if you want to take your time and do them over two months, or three months, or longer, then these podcasts will be here for you to grab at any time. Do them in your own time. I rather you do them well than to rush through them. 

The last tip I’ll give you is to install Google Analytics on your blog before you start the 31 Days. Most of you have probably done that, but this is going to help you to track your results and in the last days of the 31, we’ll be touching on Google Analytics. It’ll be helpful for you to have data being collected. 

Can I encourage you to subscribe in iTunes, to this podcast? Please leave us a review and a rating. Also head to problogger.com/podcast and you’ll see there the show notes from today but also any future episodes as they are released. Also at problogger.com/podcast, you’ll see that we have an option for you to subscribe to our newsletter as well and that’s where we’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening both on the blog but also here on the podcast.

The last thing that I will just touch on is what happens after these 31 days, please don’t worry. It’s not going to continue to be daily challenges. I’m not going to keep putting them out at that pace, but I do hope to learn a lot from this next 31 days and hope to continue to podcast in a similar way, but less frequently going forth after that.

Again, for me, it’s all about action. It’s about helping you to develop helpful habits that are going to help you improve your blog and make it sustainable. I can’t wait to get going within these 31 days. The first one will be released on the first of July so if you’re waiting, please install Google Analytics and get ready for a great month ahead. I look forward to talking to you on day 1 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Subscribe To Get Future Episodes

To get all future episodes of the ProBlogger podcast please do one (or both) of the following:

  1. Subscribe to us on iTunes here
  2. Subscribe to the ProBloggerPLUS newsletter (for updates of new content on the blog and new podcast episodes

Once you’ve listened to todays episode I’d also greatly appreciate you giving us a short review and rating to help us get a little more visibility on iTunes. Also please share the podcast with anyone you think might benefit from it.

The next episode (Day 1 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog) will be released on 1 July!