New Blogger? Learning New Skills? Beware Changes Ahead.
Keep Focused While Learning
Embrace Change or Die
I joined Chris Brogan’s Owner Media Group to learn new skills in blogging. After reading Chris Brogan’s newsletter challenging his clients to embrace change, I decided that he picked the perfect topic for me to discuss. Read what Chris says about what bloggers need to learn in October 2017.
Snips – learn a new way to communicate
Don’t Bother Learning Anything New – about teaching as memory retention
The Best Time to Start Something New – about finally jumping and doing that thing you’re putting off.
Help! I Can’t Keep Focused When Everything Is Changing!
All you wanted to do was write a bestseller romance or sci-fi.
So you started a blog. Right?
Suddenly, there’s so much else to do.
- Learning the genre of copywriting
- Including visuals
- Writing headlines to attract readers
- Building social media accounts
- Gaining and keeping loyal readers, fans or customers
The next thing you know you’re venting on your blog about trying to understand landing pages. You sign up for a webinar on how to write better headlines.
More advice comes in by email about how to gain 10,000 Facebook Likes for your author page in three days. Got to do that, right?
While that’s cooking, you try to figure out how to do an email campaign.
These problems probably don’t happen to you. Do they?
Learning Is Never Linear
The reason it is complicated to master new skills is that there are so many moving parts to learning. If you are writing and blogging, it seems that you have to grasp everything at once. The Internet is full of experts and influencers telling you what to do with your blog, writing, photography.
The advice is free for the most part. Or it isn’t. But everyone has some advice to offer, and the headlines intend to distract you. I hope mine did.
Teachers Help Students Focus on Essentials As They Learn
As teachers know, to teach new skills, you have to guard students against getting distracted so that they can practice the basics.
The curriculum is designed in “snips,” as Chris says. They get a bit each day, and it builds their knowledge snip by snip. If they do their work each day, everyone is amazed at how much learning takes place by the end of the year. Teachers oversee students’ practice, make suggestions, help them learn how to work in groups where they can support each other in their learning tasks.
If students miss a chunk of learning, catching up can be overwhelming for them. If they get too overwhelmed, they drop out. Since the world has even more choices and distractions, their chances for success decreases exponentially.
Bloggers should do the same thing.
Chris Brogan’s Answer to Focused Learning
Because the skills will never matter as much as the intent. Pick a few and stick with them.
OK, I’ll be honest. I sort of did. Because the skills will never matter as much as the intent.My skills:* I write well.* I can talk well in front of a camera or a microphone.* I work to tell better stories.Those are infinitely useful. Which software doesn’t matter. Which site doesn’t matter.Keep to the CORE and you’ll be fine.
Maya Angelou’s Advice to Focus
“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt
on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”
Two Authors Offer Suggestions
Michelle Clements James, I read newsletters I’ve signed up for and read some of the many wonderful blogs I follow. I bookmark any posts that are relevant. It is hard to fit it all in and have time for anything else, so I limit my time doing both and try to get to as many blogs as I am able within my allotted time.
Debby Gies, I read a lot! I set aside half an hour each morning reading newsletters I subscribe to in the publishing world. I like to keep up with current trends. I bookmark things I find relevant to my writing and marketing and new things I want to further investigate. Of course, there’s only so much we can do with time constraints, so I can’t always jump into every new avenue, but I like to keep on top of things and try out new apps and social sites when I get a chance to see how they work for me. I also gather some great info from reading many blogs – like yours.
My Advice As An Educator to Keep Focused As You Learn New Skills
- If you’re serious about blogging, need to use it in your business, or you are not getting the results you want, get some formal training. Get a good teacher or coach who can guard YOU against distractions, offer suggestions for your blog, and introduce you to the right people. This service costs a bit. Sometimes influencers run specials for customers who are already part of their clientele.
- Use good curriculum. I’ve bought courses from Jeff Goins, Jon Morrow, and Chris Brogan. Be aware that signing up for materials alone does not prevent you from getting distracted, though.
- Get into a support group. I am a co-administrator for a group called Networking Bloggers. Find a group like ours where you can share links from your own page. Be sure to share ideas and problems so that it becomes a support group for you. Just like in school, you’ll get a few close friends with whom you can share and learn. Your blog commenters may also turn into a support group.
- Keep a journal of what you learn, blogs you like, and quotes. I have a printable one I will send you for free. Truthfully, you will use several types of journals. The best advice I ever got as a consultant was to carry a small hardbound journal in my purse.
- Talk about and teach others what you are learning. In your community, you are probably the expert blogger. Even if you aren’t, experienced bloggers can learn from you because you are learning the newest information.
- Practice persistently and consistently. Write daily. Publish regularly.
How Do You Keep Focused While You Learn?
Leave me a comment, question or a link.