A new year has begun. Some of you might already decided your new year’s resolution.
Maybe some of you are still struggling, wondering what you should try, or even if you already know what to try, you might be worrying if you can do it, or if you can keep doing it. Especially if you are considering to start something new to you, the struggles can be really hard.
I totally understand that it feels really hard to start a new thing, especially after you grew up and became an adult. Whether it is a new hobby, or studying something for a exam, starting something from zero probably feels overwhelming and daunting if you are already pretty busy for your job and basically for your life. It will be easier if you have someone to start it with, but finding someone like that can also be really difficult.
On New Year’s Day of the last year, one idea just came across my mind – I wanted to create some kind of a platform where I can show who I am and what I can do. I didn’t know what it could be and how I can realize it, but by taking all the baby steps throughout a year, I created this blog. If I remember right, this is the very first thing I started something completely new to me from absolute zero, having no idea how I can actually do it, and with nobody to rely on at the beginning. In the process of building and growing this blog, I learned this important thing:
“Starting something new from zero is actually easier than many of us imagine in this age, even after you grew up.”
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to hit the ground and start working towards your goal. In order to make it easier for you to take the first step, which I think is the hardest step to take, I would like to share why I think it is not difficult, and what exactly you can use to do it, and to keep you motivated for a long time. Hopefully this can be helpful for not just someone who wants to start blogging but anyone who wants to start anything.
The reasons why I think it is not difficult to start a new thing even for an adult is:
- There are lot of ways you can learn by yourself that costs nothing or very reasonable price.
- There are so many ways you can find people you can ask for help, or someone you can keep each other encouraged and motivated.
The important thing here is that you can do the above 1. and 2. by yourself. You can learn by yourself without going school or taking expensive classes, and you can also find the right people you are going to need later along the way, even if you are all alone when you just start it.
I believe this is very important because in this way it costs nothing or relatively low price, and small investment is great because it can minimize the risk and fear you will face when you start. Just determining to start a new thing can already be hard for you – you might procrastinate and distract you with other less important tasks. In addition to that, if you have to pay a lot of money for something you are not 100% sure yet if you can really do it, it would probably make it even harder for you to start.
Also, you can’t tell if the thing you think you want to start is really what you think it is, unless you actually try it. In some cases, it could be different from what you expected it would be, or sometimes you may find another thing you really should or want to try, only after you start one thing.
If it doesn’t cost too much when you start, it would be easier for you to stop as soon as you realize that it is actually not for you, or to shift to a different thing that is more exciting for you.
Now you know the reasons why starting something new could be easier than you think; you can easily find: 1. ways to learn by yourself, 2. ways to find people you need. Then, in this post, I would like to focus on 1. and talk about the thee ways I found helpful and useful when I was learning how to build a blog from a scratch.
1. Three Ways to Learn a New Thing by Yourself
I often recommended Japanese readers of this blog YouTube as a great tool to learn English by themselves, but it is not limited to language learning – now you can learn almost anything by watching YouTube tutorials by yourself at home.
For example about cooking, there are not only recipes but also videos about how to prepare a whole fish, or knife skills. If you are into fashion, there are a lot of videos that show how to style your hair, how to style winter outfits, how to recreate your favorite celebrity’s makeup. Other than that, you can also learn yoga, effective exercises, DIY, photography, filming, other languages, business tips, and more.
When it comes to me starting a WordPress blog, I learned these below things on YouTube.
- How to do everything you want even when you are busy.
- How to find your goal.
- Blogging advice from popular bloggers.
- How to set up a WordPress blog.
- How to write a post on a WordPress blog.
- How to make a WordPress blog builingual.
- How to create a logo.
You don’t need any special skill to learn things on YouTube. All you need to do is just searching whatever you want to know about. If there is an advice I can give you, it would be helpful if you write down all the questions on your mind, and what baby steps you need to take to make things progress before you start randomly searching on YouTube. (Heads up, there are so many distractions on YouTube, so you need to be very careful and focus on what you really should do. Good luck!)
Skillshare is online learning community where registered teachers upload videos and you can learn variety of skills by watching them. If English is the second language (just like me), you may need to have a certain level of listening skill, but you can learn English and new skill at the same time so it should be challenging but very interesting. It costs $99.00 per year (only $8.00 a month!), and if you pay that, there are no limit how many videos you watch. I personally think it is very reasonable for the quality of the teachers and the videos they upload.
You can watch YouTube for free, but anyone and everyone including unskilled, less responsible people can create and upload videos. You can still find a lot of very high quality videos on YouTube, but sometimes you just waste your time searching for a right video but all you find is low quality videos that never answer your questions.
Since the teachers on Skillshare are all professional teachers, you may easily find very helpful and informative classes. Most of the videos have clear sound and informative slides, and some of them even give you homework which help you understand better.
You can learn wide variety of themes; painting, graphic design, presentation, speech, marketing, social media marketing, data analysis, game design, health and fitness, foreign languages, flower arrangement, cooking, and more. Comparing to YouTube, Skillshare is more focused on improving your skill and developing your career.
For example I learned these things on Skillshare:
- How to choose blogging platform.
- How to get a domain name.
- How to choose and use a rental server.
- What you should plan before you start a blog.
- Tips for writing a blog post.
- How not to run out of ideas what you write about and how to keep writing.
In addition, I also learned about smartphone photography, lettering, bullet journal on Skillshare, too.
1-3) Saruwaka (only available in Japanese)
This is something I want to use more in 2019, since I know this is going to help me so much to learn how to make my blog look more beautiful, enjoyable, and easy for the readers to understand. This is only available in Japanese, so I am very sorry to introduce this here if you don’t understand Japanese language. I wanted to introduce this here anyway because I thought the concept of this site is interesting. The title “Saruwaka” actually stands for something which means “So easy that even monkeys can understand”.
They make their explanations easy for everyone to understand by using a lot of pictures, figures, maps, and charts.
Mainly the theme we can learn there is: designing, creating a web page, lifestyle tips, money and personal finance, and fan facts. In 2019, I am going to use this site to learn CSS and HTML so that I can make the blog design better, and I can be able to use the free designing tool Canva. (Wish me luck!)
Sorry this is not available in English, but if you understand even a little Japanese, I think it could be useful for someone who wants to create a web page, blog, or design posters or flyers for events, or featured images, logos, or icon pictures on web pages and social media.
I hope this could help you to feel starting something new can be easier than you were thinking.
However, some of you might be thinking; “now I know there are some useful tools for starting something new, but the biggest problem is always that I can’t keep motivated for a long time until I can hit the milestones…”
I totally agree with it. Starting something new and keep going can be difficult if you don’t have anyone to rely on or to do it together with. In the Part 2 of this series, I will talk about how you can find the right people you need to keep you going.
I hope to see you on the next post!