Blogging Decisions You Don’t Have to Make Today

Get new articles sent to you. 

Are you stuck?  Do you have dozens of blogging decisions to make but can’t figure out which one to focus on first?

I suspect that you’ve mentally marked all of your decisions as important.  You are trying to get them all answered satisfactorily before you set up your blog or even write a post.  You might be making the process more difficult than it really is.

Tim Ferriss, the prolific mental hacker suggests, “I’ve always suspected that we start each day with a limited number of decision-making points, once depleted, leave us cognitively impaired.”  I agree.  The moment more than 3 key decisions are put on my mental plate, I freeze up, and procrastinate. How about you?

I recently spoke with a good friend about his blog and he listed off a few blogging questions he was trying to resolve.  Each question led to a list of other considerations.  I can see his mental gears grinding to a stop as his brain decided that this problem wasn’t worth tackling.I told him, “The good news is that half of the decisions you’re thinking about don’t need to be resolved today.”  In essence, I was giving him license to procrastinate.  But there is a method to my madness.

Frank Partnoy describes himself as an inveterate procrastinator.  He prides himself on taking as long as he can to make a decision.  You would think he would be the poster boy for sloth, indecisiveness, and unreliability.  Not so in fact, he has turned the art of decision-making on it’s head.

The key question he asks when making a decision is “When do I absolutely need to decide?”  The timeframe dictates the importance and urgency of the decision.

Partnoy says that if the decision needs to be made in 10 seconds then wait nine.  If you have 7 days to decide, then diligently gather information for 6 of those days.

He believes that we’ve been duped by the Type A “worry warts” that stress fast decision-making.  In his book “ Wait: The Art and Science of Delays” he argues that fast decision-making is often qualitatively worse than the easy as it goes approach.

Ferriss and Partnoy together have provided an interesting way to get your blog “unstuck”

Intentional Procrastination

Most blogging decisions can be divided into three groups:

  1. Creation:  What content will you produce?
  2. Design:  What will your blog and blog posts look like?
  3. Evaluation:  What will other people think about your blog?

Now, if I were a Blog ER Doctor, I would triage these groups like this:

Creation:  Immediate action.  Research reader needs, pick topics, create an editorial calendar and start creating.

Design:  Delay until the decision affect your creation decisions  What is the “minimum effective design” you can work with until you’ve dialed in your content creation?  Many times, selecting a premium theme and framework that can be customized quickly is all you need to do.  For example, I wasted months selecting a theme for my blog before I wrote the first post!  A dumb mistake that wasted time I should have devoted to writing.

Evaluation:  Delay as long as you possibly can.  Questions like:

  • Will people want to read what I have to say?
  • How successful will this blog be?
  • Should I wait until I have more time to blog?
  • What return will I get on my blogging investment?

These questions are interesting and worthwhile to ponder.  But, in the end, you can’t reliably answer them until you’ve started creating content and getting meaningful feedback from readers.

Invest in Momentum

Momentum is the skeleton key for blogging success.  Getting started is the most difficult part.  Make it easier by moving quickly on the “Creation” decisions now.  Get help if you are stuck on these decisions.  Invest what you can to release the log jam and get moving.  Everything else is a distraction.

When you read through the groups (Creation, Design, Evaluation) which questions came to mind?  Which “evaluation” decisions are threatening to kill your momentum?


About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

9 thoughts on “Blogging Decisions You Don’t Have to Make Today

  1. Rebecca Livermore

    I definitely agree that content creation needs to be the first priority, and the one we “worry” most often about. Without it, nothing else really happens.

    As you stated, the other things can be taken care of gradually. This is especially true since you often gain clarity through the content you create — and once that clarity is in place, it is easier to make some of the other decisions.

    One thing that is absolutely certain is that regardless of how great your site looks, no one will go there unless the content is there.

  2. Pingback: Marketing Day: August 14, 2012 | | IntoxicativeIntoxicative

  3. Katie McAleece

    I love these points. I think most writers are thinkers, and in thinking too much we often let ourselves get stuck. This post teaches me/us how to deal with the over-thinking in the best ways possible. Thank you, as always, for sharing your brilliance with us!

  4. Matt Conlon

    When it comes to blogging, unless you’re trying to make money, I find it best not to over think things at all. It’s a blog, it’s a place to speak your mind, get things off your chest.

    Don’t worry about what people might think, because if you’re putting up content to the audience you think you want, you’ll always have to cater to them. Just put up what you want to say, and you’ll find yourself with an audience who cares about what you’re saying.

    Just be genuine, the rest will fall into place.

  5. Trent Dyrsmid

    Most people tend to over think things and go on to paralysis analysis. I always say that the right way to do business is to start doing business. I’ve interviewed a lot of bloggers and business owners and when asked what golden nugget they could share with my audience they always say the same thing – to start.

    Start with something simple. It doesn’t have to be great the first time around. When you’re already at it and come to the point that you get stuck again then just relax and take things down a bit. Don’t be too impulsive either that you just want to get things going and going without any direction anymore.

  6. Stanford Post author

    Thanks Lou! Glad you are ready to kick your blog adventure into the “momentum” gear.

  7. Lou Rodriguez

    After almost a year of creation – check! , Design – check! And spending months on Evaluation (does this part ever stop?), and let’s not forget all of the advice and articles that further send you into “paralysis by analysis” in between, of course, contractors not getting the work done they were paid for on my “less than bootstrap” budget to further delay my blog launch, I am only a week or so away and have finally arrived at MOMENTUM! As in I’m ready to build some!

    Your posts over the last few months have been most helpful and insightful, not to mention we use the same Genesis Theme (coincidentally). Thank you for your silent mentoring!

  8. Stanford Post author

    Ok, them make it happen. BTW: quick tip – use your real name and photo as you interact across the web. People trust people not avatars. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes