If you always do what you’ve always done: try something different!

Many people know this old adage:

“If you always do what you’ve always done

You’ll always get what you always got”

It has a simple meaning that many of us can quote but do we actually do anything about it? Basically it is saying that:

If you want things in your life to CHANGE, then YOU have to

be the one to TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

No one can expect to get different outcomes or results if they continue to do the same thing day in, day out.

Which means that you actively have to consider what things you are doing that are bringing you the same results, and also actively consider what things you are going to do differently.

However, there is also an addition I would like to make here which many people miss which says that you definitely cannot expect to get different results simply by doing MORE or trying HARDER at the things which are clearly not working.

Yet that is what many of us do. We try one thing, and when we see it is not working and not bringing the right results, instead of changing what we are doing, we just try harder at the thing which isn’t working. Madness, yes?

Let me give you an example.

Imaging you are firing a wooden arrow at a brick wall expecting to shoot the arrow straight through it. When you shoot the first arrow, and it bounces off, then logically we might try putting in more effort and pull the bow back a bit harder. It this still doesn’t work and the arrow continues to glance off the wall, then at some point, it would be prudent to realise that simple pulling harder on the bow isn’t working and that we may need to change the arrow to a metal one, aim at a weaker spot in the wall or put down the bow and arrow completely and buy a battering ram!

Unfortunately, many of us just keep pulling harder and harder getting more and more frustrated at out lack of results.

The point here is this: if we only focus on doing the same thing repeatedly hoping and praying that the wall will change, then we will be waiting a very long time. The person or thing that needs to change is us!

What does that mean for my life as an online entrepreneur?

As online entrepreneurs, there are many goals that we have for our posts, our writing and our sites. Mostly we are in the business of trying to generate good quality content that will be recognised by the search engines so that our articles rank highly, driving large numbers of people to our sites.

And then, we want our readers and visitors to interact with the content in a way that generates sales or commissions so that we can receive and income. These are pretty much the goals of most online entrepreneurs.

So how do are you doing against these goals?

  • Is your content engaging and current?
  • Does it answer the audiences questions and solve their problems?
  • Is you content easy to read and understand?
  • Have you used good keywords to help with SEO?
  • Are your affiliate links up to date and relevant?
  • Are your readers converting into customers or income-generating users?

Don't throw the baby out with the bath waterIf you can honestly say that everything is fine and you are making a nice income from your sites, and you are totally happy with what you are doing, then great – congratulations. There is probably little point in reading further.

However, if you feel there is room for improvement (and let’s face it, we can ALL improve something about our sites, then read on to find out how to get different results. The key, as we’ve discovered, is doing something different.

There are many options that we have here and I am definitely NOT talking about ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water!’

I’m merely suggesting that you take a constructive view of what you are doing, what is working, and what is not working, and change the ‘what is not working’ for something else.

What can YOU do differently?

Doing things differently or taking an audit of what you do, does not mean you should abandon writing articles just because you have written 30 posts and traffic is slow or your links are not converting as yet.

You must remember firstly that it takes time to build up trust with the search engines and it will take on average around 6 months for your site to be recognised and for your articles to start to rank. Obviously, the more experienced you are, then the more skills you will have developed so your articles may rank sooner due to better keywords, SEO or content generation.

We know that “CONTENT IS KING!” But maybe, just maybe, you could look again to see if there is something you might have missed in either writing, marketing or organisation of your site that, if changed, would have a positive and significant effect on your outcomes.

For example, could you:

  1. Research or revise better low-hanging or long-tail keywords
  2. Promote your articles to different social groups
  3. Research and change the hashtags you use on Twitter
  4. Start a new Pinterest board
  5. Try writing in a different style: could you be less formal, more formal, more conversational?
  6. Use different images that capture your content better
  7. Create your own images using something like Canva
  8. Update your theme or refresh the colours and branding
  9. Change or update any adverts on your site
  10. Fine an alternative affiliate program which is relevant and appropriate
  11. Create a new video
  12. Add some more external links
  13. Increase the number of internal links (especially after writing new content)
  14. Make use of open questions to draw your audience in
  15. Create and add new ‘call to action’ buttons, images or text

What do you think?

The suggestions above are obviously only a few of the things you could at least, change or review. And I’m sure you can add more. When you really start to think about it, there are many things that you could CONSIDER CHANGING as you search for that elusive better outcome.

And what would the worst thing be? A better outcome?

Apply this to you ‘real’ life too

Remember that you can always apply the same principle to other areas of your daily life as well – for example:

  1. How could you change your thoughts or think differently?
  2. Are there different things you could eat?
  3. Could you communicate more efficiently or be better understood?
  4. Could you choose a different feeling in situations so that the outcomes differ?
  5. What might you say that is different?
  6. Who could you treat differently that might result in improvements in your relationships?

These questions are all ones that we should all think about more often, in my opinion. Reviewing everything we do and taking stock of what is working and what is not working in our life is an important life audit skill that we should all cultivate more.

But what do you think?

I’d love to know if, after reading this, you make some changes today and, as a result, get a different outcome.

Please share your thoughts, ideas and successes below.

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6 comments

  1. Hi Gail, this is very well written! Another way I have heard it commonly put is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” I’ve heard this attributed to various people, one of which was Albert Einstein, but I’m not sure who actually deserves the attribution.

    Change is a great topic, and you covered it well. I know one area that could use some shaking up in my blogging is that I need to manage my time better! Personally, I’m not a morning person. I hate mornings; I despise them! But perhaps the perfect change for me to make would be to rise at 5:00 am daily, and focus solely on my blog for 2 hours every day with my morning coffee.

    1. Hi Josh. Thanks for your comment. I’ve also heard the phrase you mention, also attributed to different people. It doesn’t really matter – a truth is a truth regardless of who said it first! I think it’s always good to try something new. It may not work and you may decide that you write best at 2am! However, I’m sure you will learn, see or experience something new that will lead to something different manifesting in your reality. It’s just so exciting when you tackle things and make the effort – good things will come, I’m sure of it. All the best. Gail

  2. This is an amazing read and I can’t thank you enough for how much it’s opened my eyes to everything! I’m a firm believer that you need to do something different to achieve a different life. You can’t expect to do the same thing over and over again and expect your life to miraculously change overnight. It simply does not happen and never will happen. We are the creators of our own path, so changing our lane’s are the best way to go about it.

    1. Hello Brandon and thank you for reading and commenting on the post. I’m glad you found it useful and interesting and ‘opened your eyes’ to new ways you can don things. This post is specifically about writing and blogging but as you say, you can really apply it to all parts of your life and be excited about the new things that will turn up. Life is meant to be fun, a challenge and we are supposed to experience new things all the time. Settling for the same old, same old feels a bit like giving up on the vitality that is life. Hope you have an amazing day and that good things flow to you. Gail

  3. I like how your related this article to not only online marketing, but to life in general.

    A lot of us get stuck in that circle that just keeps us going through the motions. Change is a scary thing, “the devil you know” mindset. If you aren’t willing to try anything new, than you need to be happy with how things are.

    1. Hi Todd. I totally agree with you on the ‘life’ bit. In fact, for me it is probably one of the most important things I know. Life is fun, life is exciting and we need to be willing to expand our consciousness and our experience in order to keep up with the wonderful things life will bring us if we let it. Too many of us shut the door as you say, and settle for the ‘devil we know’ which I think is a great shame. Let’s shake it up a bit and go wild! 🙂 Gail

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