I’m having one of those days again where I’m wondering what the hell I’m doing.
I’ve got myself into a place where I’m comparing myself to others, seeing how little I’ve achieved and feeling a little depressed about it I guess.
I was saying this to my Head of SEO just yesterday – that I see I’m writing, and that my writing isn’t getting any reception and I feel like giving up.
And he told me yet again ‘no man – if you stick with it – it’s going to help absolutely everything that you do’.
This caused me to look online for some support.
Because it’s just me, me alone at 5am each morning writing away. Writing meditatively almost with white noise playing through my headphones and this being my way of communicating my thoughts with the world.
From around 9am onwards it starts to become a blur, as it becomes about my team, our work and growing everything that we’re working on.
With this in mind – I want to talk about the importance of ‘trusting the process’.
This is what I have to go on currently, and nothing more.
I’ve been writing since Jan 2020 and I seem many many other people get results much much faster than me. In fact, I’ve got no result. My traffic has actually gone backwards over the last year.
I just stopped to jump into Ahrefs to look again:
What’s crazy is that ever since I’ve started publishing original content on the blog – my traffic and keywords are pretty much steadily getting worse.
My traffic value has also gone to zero as well:
So as you can imagine…
After writing well over 250,000 words over the course of the last year – it’s difficult to not be depressed by witnessing the decimation of my blog.
Now I’ve been given lots of ‘logical explanations’.
- It was SEO centric and now it’s completely changed
- During this time we’ve removed 30+ blogs
- We’ve redirected the pages with the most link juice to Pear Lemon
- There was no keyword strategy with the content until February of this year
And to this I contend:
- If you have a domain authority of 20+ in Ahrefs you should naturally rank for thousands of keywords anyway
- I’ve got more blog content on deepakshukla.com than probably most writers as I’m here grafting every morning
- I’ve been writing for 14 months consistently now without a result
- I run an SEO agency!
- I’ve sought outside opinion and the narrative has been ‘yes’ you clearly don’t know what you’re doing…
And yes – the main thing – is that when you run an SEO agency, it’s embarrassing to have this minute amount of traffic and to see it all go to shit.
And correspondingly when you’re up in the morning before 6am producing content – naturally you want this to work – you want to make sure you win.
Now that I’ve ranted – let’s talk about trying to learn to TRUST the process even when you’re doubting the whole thing.
It’s EASY to look back when the success has come and you can speak of what it was worth it.
However – it’s a very different ball game when you’re still in it and you’re wondering when the hell you’re doing all of this for.
So with that in mind – I’m going to talk about the current coping mechanisms I’m using to help me keep trusting the process – and how you can do the same thing too when it comes to your own journey.
Keep reminding yourself of the logic
The logic of what I’m doing is that by writing all of this content, I’m providing myself with an outlet to share my insights with the world.
I’m engaging in my ‘keystone habit’ as Chris mentioned to me. It’s important that I write everyday as it helps me start my day.
And as much as I am frustrated that I’m not getting the recognition I feel that I want for my writing – I know that NOT writing.
NOT creating and NOT producing only sets me back further still.
So there’s a strong personal driver to keep producing and by writing this I remind myself of it.
You should not give up your momentum
I’ve worked hard to get myself into a position where I actually write on a daily basis.
Building up to that point took me over a year to ultimately reach this level of consistency.
There have been many stop-start moments along the way with writing.
If I look back on 2020 – there were more than 30 day periods I think where I didn’t actually write anything at all – certainly not for my blog anyway.
So the momentum I’ve got today has been hard fought for.
And even as I write this I’m wary of stopping that momentum because it was something that is hard to get going.
So, see, any momentum you build as a driving force for progress.
Remember you’re playing the super long game
It’s important to realise that looking at the result I’ll get from writing this blog over the next 3 months, or even the next 36 months is short term.
It’s the value of what my personal brand can produce over the next decade or more that is going to be powerful.
So getting out of short-term thinking and understanding that the game is much much longer than we give it credit for is important.
We’re (as Seth Godin would say) in an infinite game – and so I have to have an infinite mindset with my approach to writing content.
That everything Semil and others around me have said is correct – that over the course of the next 5-10 years – THAT is when I’ll see the returns that come from producing content.
Celebrate every day
It’s very important to make sure that upon producing each piece of content, or performing that same ‘thing’ you struggle with – that you must celebrate the act of doing it!
When I say celebrate – I mean celebrate inwardly to yourself at having completed something (such as finishing this blog!)
It’s important to build that neuro-emotional connection between completing/repeatedly doing something where the overt reward is too distant to see in the future.
One of the things I now want to start doing is upon finishing a blog I want to clench my hand into a fist and say ‘yes!’ to myself and smile.
This will release dopamine into my system and if I do it IMMEDIATELY after finishing a blog – I’ll develop that close connection between the activity and feeling good about it.
Only Worry About The Things You Can Control
This is also an important part of trusting the process. That we should simply worry about things that we can control and not the rest.
I can’t control the growth (at least directly) of my blog. I can’t control how well it’ll be received. I can’t control the returns I will get from the blog writing that I do.
So to focus upon those things would only deflate me.
Instead – I should focus upon the act of writing. Practising this act daily, and continuing the journey of contributing my thoughts online every day.
This is the part of the process the rests upon me. And we should all focus on those things that are in the sphere of our control.
And that which is in our primary sphere is where we wield the most leverage.
By mastering this – it’s then how we’re able to work upon everything outside of this as well.
Focus On The Value That Your Work Is Bringing
When you go on this journey where the value of what you’re working upon is going to be found in the ‘back-end’ – then usually this is because there’s value in what you’re doing.
Anything that’s worth doing typically tends to give results longer-term.
So one of the things I should focus upon as I continue this writing odyssey is that there’s a lot of value that I am bringing to those who do come across my work.
And this is something that people can repeatedly come back to.
Another important component of trusting the process is to visualise the outcome. To visualise the success that will come as a consequence of all of the effort you’re putting in.
Visualisation is something that I definitely don’t do enough – and there’s a whole variety of ways in which you can help assist this process.
Having a vision board. Writing out your goals. And of course, literally closing your eyes and (in my case) visualizing getting 10,000 visits a month to my blog – which would be amazing!
Being thankful for even being able to get to the stage you’re at is important also. Taking a look right now at my live content – I have 177 pieces of content on my website currently.
That’s a pretty amazing thing right?
That content is all written by me and no one else – and it’s going to stay there until I take it down.
Getting to the 500 mark is also going to be a grand achievement one year from now.
As I write this – it helps me trust the process that took me here to blog number 178.
Ignore the naysayers.
Gosh. I meet these guys all the time.
People who tell me the path I’m on is the wrong path, that the approach is wrong, that I’ve split myself too thin.
I’m told all kinds of things on a regular basis.
I’d say stick to the path you’re on and keep moving forward.
There are going to be challenges along the way with your entire journey and the person who needs to remain steadfast and strong is yourself.
This is also something that I’d consider as being important to the path of learning to trust the process – that sometimes the process will also tell you that some things we should stop.
Some things are no longer working.
And when that moment comes it’s also time to walk away.
When that decision should be made is probably worth spending a whole other blog on, however.
I’m still struggling right now – and I guess naturally so as I’m still going through this process or going through the ‘dip’ as it were.
Nonetheless, it’s useful to write out all of the upside and what’s necessary to try and make this a successful journey.
I hope you can take some of these insights on board when you also need to trust the process and let it see you to success!