Today I am taking a break from the usual money related topics to compare my two secondary projects during my SAHDER (stay at home dad/experimental early retirement.) Blogging is like weight loss.
I am very new to blogging. When I launched my site two months ago, I had no idea what WordPress was. I knew absolutely nothing about SEO and still understand very little. I knew this would be a fun project but I had no idea what I was in for from a time commitment perspective. Between writing, optimizing, commenting and trying to learn as much as possible, I believe I have only scratched the surface with what I think I know. Every day I stumble upon something very obvious that I was missing. I am sure there are whole subject matters I haven’t yet realized.
15 years ago, I was really fit. I played soccer and basketball endlessly. Sometimes I would make it to the courts five days a week to play pick up. Fifteen years later that play time dissolved. Between the office and parenting, I barely made it to the gym or lace up my running shoes. Now at 225 pounds for a 6′ 2″ large build human, I could stand to lose some pounds and get back into shape.
This brings me to the point of this post, blogging is like weight loss. I am attempting to (slowly) build a blog and lose weight simultaneously and the results are slow, painfully slow at times. Maybe all great projects take time and substantial effort, similar to growing a million dollar portfolio from scratch.
Hard Work with Little to Show
I’ve been hitting the gym and running for two solid months and my results are in: I gained 2 pounds. Yes that is right I gained weight. How could this be?
I think on the average week I am running between 10 to 15 miles. About 3 times a week I work out with weights. In addition I have been doing 3 days on 1 day off of pushups and an ab workout. One day I week I join my wife for a stretching yoga. Not to mention I am chasing around two high energy little boys.
Blogging has had its moments of little return. There are a couple of posts that I have researched and poured over for hours and received only 10 views. How disheartening. The injustice!
I really had no expectations for blogging other than enjoying the process, helping people and improving my writing a little bit each week. I did have an expectation that I would lose at least 5 pounds by now due to ramping up the exercise and controlling what I eat.
Go for a Quick Win
Have you ever tried Paleo or Atkins? A couple years ago, I did Paleo for a few months and felt great. It makes you feel fantastic and weight literally melted off. The only problem is boredom with food and limited options on the road. The determination of this diet faded after a few months. These quick wins can get you immediate results, sustaining them is more challenging. My hats off to the folks that are able to consistently follow that diet for years on end.
In the blogging world this is like a major website publishing your story one month into your blog launch or getting a guest post on your favorite renown blog. It brings a lot of one time traffic, but those results usually fade. ( In full disclosure: I am purely speculating here I still haven’t guest posted.)
I’ve considered focusing on these options, but my aim is long term sustainability at a reasonable pace. I think guest posting will have a place in my near term strategy, but for now with my very limited time I am building as much content here.
Either a crash diet or a random blog success might help with short term motivation, but I think the results will fade and may hinder myself long term focus.
Pick the Right Motivation Metrics
- Measure some key circumferences starting with the belly.
- Days with Calorie Deficit.
- Monitor progress with running.
- Track my progress in the weight room.
For Blogging I have been following
- Number of Posts per Week
- Views per Post
- Returning User Cadence
- Number of New Users
- Number of Social Media Followers
Slow and Steady
I have finite time to devote to this blogging project and am balancing it with launching a consulting business, caring for two children and a dog, exercise, investing and head chef in the household. Lets face it, blogging is time consuming. I believe my chances at overnight success are pretty slim. There are always a hundred things I could be doing to improve our results. For now, I want to enjoy the learning process and write about things that matter to you. Finding what matters to you is the most meaningful thing I can spend my extra time on.
For exercising, I want to focus on the things I can control. I pack on muscle very easily and muscle weighs more than fat. This could be the reason for the weight gain, I don’t know. What I know is I feel better than what the scale indicates. For the next few months, body composition will be the true measurement. Maybe I’ll just throw that damn scale out.
The biggest obstacle with both projects is to AVOID BURNOUT.
A Couple Blog Statistics after 3 months
- 30 Blog Posts
- 40 Comments
- 102 Twitter followers after 1st month
- 1700 page views
- FINALLY getting some love from Google
- Alexa dropped from over 8MM to just over 5MM
More Popular Posts
What’s interesting is that most of the popular posts had nothing to do with financial betterment, they were primarily me telling my backstory. This is understandable being I am a newbie in this area. Here are a few of the more popular ones.
Some of my Favorite posts to write
What metrics do you track? Did you go for a big win or slow and steady approach to ramping your blog? Do you think blogging is slow to get results, similar to weight loss?