So what are the real reasons why blogger can’t blog confidently? Some think it’s due to branding and design. It doesn’t. It’s all about blogging fears, especially with the blogger’s mentality and choice in choosing to fear, rather than put it aside and just blog. It’s the same issue I’ve seen over and over with thousands of bloggers through the years I’ve been blogging and managing online communities.
Usually when bloggers lose their blogging stride, or never get into one, and it all boils down to:
- the fear of not being perfect in blogging
- the fear that no one will read your blog
- lack of passion
- lack of knowledge
The fear of not being perfect in blogging
You can start a blog without some fancy design right out of the box. Some of the most successful bloggers out there just started on some basic theme. Shoot, even Matt Cutts still blogs and his design is nothing to go gah gah about. Here are some screenshots from some blogs when they first started out. (Note: All screenshots are taken from the Internet Archives. You can click on the image and it will open in a lightbox so you can see it in a larger view.)
Problogger – May 2005
Matt Cutts – November 2005
Smashing Magazine – December 2006
All you need is an idea. Don’t worry about having the perfect wording. You can ALWAYS go back and edit, or even use spell checkers. The fact of the matter is when you get yourself so worked up about being perfect, you spend more time doing that, rather than doing what you intended to do… blog.
Don’t let other people’s thoughts get in the way. As long as you know who you are, and what you want to write about, the rest won’t matter. You will bump into readers and blog peers that will rub you the wrong way, or totally be off their rockers. However, if you keep true to yourself and don’t let them mow you over, you can do what you like.
The fear that no one will read your blog
Don’t even start thinking of that in the beginning. You really need to get into the swing of creating content before you worry about people reading your blog.
Yes, it’s great to have readership, but in the beginning, things are going to be slow. You’re going to be learning about where to reach out and find your audience, how to get into your blogging stride, and determine if blogging is for you. You’re going to have a lot of things going on.
It might take a month to gain a comment. And when I say this, don’t be hurt, your first comment may even be a spammer! I’m just saying because I’ve seen it, so don’t be disheartened. Just be prepared that it’s a possibility. Building a blog isn’t like building the Field of Dreams. In the movie, the guy is being told “If you build it, they will come.”
Unfortunately, with websites, including blogs, that’s not true. You’re going to have to reach out because you can’t always rely on search engines alone. It’s more like – If you build it, then share it, and only then, people may come.
Don’t let yourself obsess over posting the next blog post. You could be a blogging machine and solely run your blog, but after years of experience, I’m going to tell you, you WILL get burnt out. You can do 30 or 90 day blog training, but sometimes you gotta let yourself breathe.
Really… sit back, grab a wine or tea or beer and relax. Experience life. Do something. Otherwise you’re just not acquiring experience you need. If you can juggle experiencing life wonders and blogging, while being a machine, great! However, most people don’t have that type of time, and most are either juggling a family or a full time job or some type of huge responsibility.
In the case that you are an ambitious blogger and want to become well known, you decide on what you want to do in order to get that point, even if it is creating some type of blog schedule or editorial calendar.
Lack of passion
Each person has their own experience. As a human, we do seek out to communicate with others, even if it is not face to face. That’s why blogging is so great. It allows you to write your thoughts and experiences for someone else to read anytime they want to, and from anywhere in the world.
If you really don’t have something you want to talk about, blogging may not be for you. It’s okay to be the person who loves to read and experience life through others. Blogging is like writing a book – and your readers never know what the next chapter is going to bring.
You can literally make a recipe become a story that connects with others! For example, you share a recipe about gingerbread cookies and how the smell of them, as well as the warm of the cookie was a fond childhood memory.
If you can’t deliver something that people can connect with, you’re probably lacking passion.
Lack of knowledge
A lot of times, lack of knowledge and lack of passion go hand-in-hand. If you don’t know what you’re blogging about, you often have crappy posts that are short, and read much like the taste of stale bread. The thing is, that there is also a difference.
You can be passionate about some topic, but also lack knowledge in it. That is perfectly okay as long as you are willing to do research. If you love everything from Mexico, without having traveled to Mexico, that’s a problem. Your posts on Cancun or Acapulco will fall flat. Those who actually visited or live there would easily point out the lackluster approach because they’d tell you about all the cool little places to party or buy items for cheap, that tourists won’t usually know.
Blog what you know. If you don’t know it, find out.
All of these blogging fears can be solved, and it begins with changing your mindset.
What are your fears as a blogger?