3 Tips For Getting Over The Three Month Hump
There's a weird thing about the third month of your online marketing journey that really trips people up. For some reason, right around month number 3, motivation starts to wane. I'm not the only one who sees it, and I've felt it myself!
Why is the third month, the most difficult month?
Personally, I think it's because it's when you exit the honeymoon phase. The first month is really exciting to get started. The second month you feel like a hardworking entrepreneur, and success is right around the corner.
By the time the third month of working on your online business rolls around, you start wondering if you're doing things wrong, and if results will ever come. Self doubt creeps in, and you might have negative thoughts like "everyone else can do this but me".
Of course, this isn't true, but we've all experienced self doubt before, and it can be a powerful drug.
Here are some tips that I use to push through my own mental blocks and keep moving forward. As someone who's been here for 10 years, I've had plenty of ups and downs during that time, so I hope these tips can help!
#1 Tip: Create Small, Daily, Achievable Habits
If you read my blogs here, you've probably heard this one before, but I'm repeating it because it's probably the top tip in my toolbelt. Consistent, daily habits beat out all other tactics.
Creating big goals, in my opinion, can set you up for big failures. I'm not saying you shouldn't aim high, but you need to have small steps to get there.
In scenario 1 you goal is to write 10,000 words in a week. You get busy during the week, and tell yourself you'll make up the time on the weekend. Suddenly you have to write 10k words in a single day, get frustrated, get writer's block, and give up. Maybe you get 3,000 words over the weekend.
In scenario 2 you have to write 1500 words per day 7 days. You skip Thursday and Friday because you get busy, but all other days you meet you goals. Now you have over 7,000 words. Double what you had in scenario 1!
In scenario 3 you say you'll write 500 words in the morning, and 1000 words in the evening. 500 words takes about 20 minutes. 1,000 words might take an hour or so if you are familiar with your topic. Now you're spending just 1.5 hours per day to grow your business, and by the end of the week you have 10,000 words. That could be about 6-7 blog posts per week!
Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year, and you have a website with 300+ blog posts in a single year of business operation. Amazing!
#2. Mix Things Up
Changing what you're working on allows you to "take a break", but not really take a break.
Let's say that writing articles is really frustrating you. It's really hard to hit that 1000-1500 minimum word count, and you feel like you aren't a great writer. Demotivating, right?
Spend some time on something else. Take a break writing for a week, and work on something you think is fun. Change the design of your blog a bit. Work in Canva and create a logo. Update some old blog posts to add more images. See what data you can extract from Google Analytics and Search Console.
Read some other websites in your niche. Join some email lists for relevant topics and write down topic ideas. Do some keyword research and make a content plan for a few months ahead. Write some article outlines. Watch some of Jay's webinars. Post some questions in classrooms. Start a social media account.
The list goes on and on. There's a lot you can be doing other than what you don't want to be doing. As long as you're working on "the business" it counts IMO. Don't give up everything just because one things sucks.
#3. Ask Yourself What Else You'd be Doing With Your Time
I get caught up in this a lot. I sometimes sit down at the computer and really don't feel like working at all.
But then I ask myself, what else is so important that I need to be doing? What am I really going to do with my time? Drink a beer? Take a walk? Watch TV? I know that I fill a lot of my spare time with useless activities that don't move the needle forward.
That's OK. It's human nature to want to relax. But how much relaxing do you really need to do? Is it really going to make you feel that much better to shut down your laptop and turn on Netflix? Do you really want to log out of Wealthy Affiliate and play on Facebook?
This kind of "guilt trip" on yourself works for me.
Of course, many people have busy lives, and important things to do. I get that. But we all have 24 hours in a day, and each individual has to make tradeoffs of what they want to accomplish during that time.
Look At It As Training, As A Skill
The harder you work, and the longer you work, the easier things get. Doesn't matter if it's lifting weights, learning to code, or playing an instrument. The more you practice, the better you get. No matter what.
Instead of focusing on making money, focus on getting good at what you do. When I focus on general improvement instead of worring about hitting a specific target, it's easier for me to work through difficult situations.
Instead of thinking, "this is a useless task which will not get me to my goal", my mindset immediately changes to, "this difficult situation will definetely happen again, and next time I'll be better prepared".
When I bought my first house in 2012, I didn't know what a sawzall was, and struggled to remove the built-in shelving in the master bedroom. Now I'm a DIY maniac and am doing things like installing recessed lighting in the kitchen and building 100-foot fences.
Similarly, I used to struggle to log into FTP or find good keywords to rank for. Now it's just second nature. The focus on "getting good", and not just "getting somewhere" has really helped with achiving my #1 tip of locking in daily habits.
The three month hump is a big one, but it's definitely something the community support here at Wealthy Affiliate can help with. Thousands of other members have been where you are now. If you're struggling, let us know, and we can help.
COMMUNITY TIPS IN THE COMMENTS
What I really want to do in this post is crowdsource some help for newbies approaching their third month of building a successful affiliate website.
- What tips do you have for them?
- What worked for you? What didn't work?
- What would you do differently next time?