I’m going to let you in on a crazy, little secret about me:
I truly believe that if I set my mind to it, that there is nothing I cannot do.
Whether it is competing in the Olympics or winning a Grammy, if I really wanted to, I’ve convinced (or deluded) myself that I can do either of those things, and a lot more.
I don’t mean this in a “I’m-so-talented-I-can-do-anything-effortlessly” way, but I’ve just learned to work hard and bet on myself.
OK, now that we have that out of the way… You should also know that the Olympics or the Grammy’s aren’t what I’m aiming for these days. Compared to winning Record of the Year or beating out T Swizzle, Adele and Queen Bey for Album of the Year, my goal is quite modest:
I want to become a full-time blogger.
I can go for hours and hours on why I want to do this, but that’s fodder for another post. Today, I want to pull back the curtain and outline how I plan to start out on that road to professional blogger-ship (is that even a word?) because I’ve been doing a lot of research to try to figure out how to do just that.
You know me: I don’t half-ass my dreams.
Two Key Skills to Becoming a Successful Online Content Creator
So far, I’ve learned that I need two key things to become a successful blogger (or content creator, in general):
1. I must write compelling content.
My blog posts must move my readers to look at the world in a different way, take action, or even change their lives. My words must make an impact, no matter how small.
2. I must publish content consistently.
How to Become a Better Writer (Or Anything, Really)
Modesty aside, I think I’m a good enough writer, but my consistency is sorely lacking. Obviously, the only way to fix this is to publish better blog posts, more often! “Better” means not just posts about what I had for lunch and how sucky my day was (though those topics may be relevant at time)… But real, meaty posts that push you to become a better version of yourself, because this is what Defy Gravity is all about. So with this in mind, I designed this 5-day daily blogging mini-project to push me to get better and more consistent.
Now, as I was planning this week out, I thought back to previous, successful projects I had done that helped me develop a skill or learn a piece of material. I also took note of failed projects and why they didn’t work.
5 Key Elements to Set Your Learning Project up for Success
I was pretty meticulous about my the planning for this because I really, really want to get better. Anyways, here are the five key elements I learned that make up a good learning project:
1. It has a hard deadline.
I decided to do the project this week because, usually I have a hard time scheduling my writing in. Living with my family, I don’t have a lot of control over my schedule once I come home at the end of the day. Fortunately, most of them will be away for the next few days, so I will be able to get some quality time to write after dinner.
2. It has clear metrics for success.
For this blogging challenge, the deliverable is simple and sweet: Hit Publish on a fresh blog post before 12 midnight every day for a total of 5 straight days.
3. It is something both doable and at least a little bit challenging.
This point is particularly important since this is the first one in a series of projects to help me hone my craft and I want to crush this one and be raring to go for the next ones. Additionally, five straight days of writing, on the weekdays with my family away, feels very doable to me, unlike say, 7 days straight.
4. I have something to show for my work even if I don’t hit my goals.
I will do all I can to publish all 5 posts by midnight but if, God forbid, I miss a day… Then I’ll still have written, edited and published 4 pieces of content. That’s still more posts published in one month than in any previous month!
5. It supports both my long term and short term goals.
I love writing and. by challenging myself to write high quality content consistently, I’m setting the stage up for more ambitious goals, better quality writing and bigger writing projects down the road.
By designing a challenging project with a hard deadline and a clear criteria for success, once this challenge is over, I’ll be one step closer to one of my biggest dreams!