You’re Scared About Blogging and That’s Okay
I came across this excellent post post by Marlena the other day and it reminded me that I wanted to talk about blogging and why so many people get scared before they hit publish on their first post.
Most people that get into blogging have never started their own business before so they don’t understand the anxiety that comes along with it.
Before we go any further it’s important to understand that blogging can be one of two things:
- A hobby
- A business
I don’t write for people that blog as a hobby and therefore this post doesn’t apply to you.
For those of you that stick around let’s talk about the scary parts of blogging and how you can overcome them.
Why Is it Scary?
First, things first.
Why is blogging scary?
People think of blogging and they think that all you have to do is install WordPress and start writing. Sure, you can simplify it like that if you want but you have to take into account everybody else.
What do I mean?
Well, at your job, if you want to get a good review you do what is needed. You understand the expectations that your boss has for you and you just make sure you meet those expectations or exceed them.
There isn’t anything that you don’t understand. There is no guesswork.
You do A to accomplish B.
Blogging is different. You can do A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H and still not see success because part of blogging success isn’t dependent on you.
It’s dependent on them.
If they don’t like your blog or your content or your book or your course or your webinars or your emails then what are going to do?
There are no definites in blogging. I can tell you what to do and I can think of what the outcome might be, but I can’t guarantee it.
And that’s scary.
You can have all of the steps laid out for you and there is a chance that it still might not work.
That doesn’t happen at your job but it happens with blogging.
And that’s scary.
What makes blogging scary is the unknown. You’re going to put your work into something that is YOURS without any guarantee that it’s going to work out.
If you’re best friend goes to tell you that they’re going to Los Angeles to pursue their acting career you might roll your eyes but what’s the difference between that and blogging?
You’re putting something on the line in the hopes that it works out. Not many people have the courage to do that.
Pat yourself on the back.
So now that you understand why blogging is scary let’s attack this fear head-on.
There Is a Formula to Successful Blogging
This is why you buy all of the blogging courses because people promise you that they know how to help you build a successful blog.
When I start a blog I do so with the intention of growing it . I can’t do that with a blog on Brazilian Wombats. I’m just throwing that out there because I know some of you reading this have a blogging idea for a unique and small niche.
Good luck with that.
So what is the successful formula to blogging? It’s simple:
Write content that people want + Promote that content to the people that want to read it = Successful blogging
Are there a lot of smaller things like being successful on Pinterest, understanding how to build your mailing list, and actually making money with your blog?
Yes, but if you can’t succeed with the basic formula above then nothing else matters.
I have people come to me all of the time asking why their blog isn’t doing well. In their minds, it should but when I take a look at the content it’s not anything that I would want to read. It doesn’t matter how well you promote it, if people don’t want it, they don’t want it.
I don’t think I write any mind-blowing content on any of my blogs. I think it’s good but it’s not anything that is going to win me awards. However, I make sure it’s content that people want.
I don’t do anything crazy. I take the time to understand my audience and what they want and then I simply give them what they want.
When you do that blogging becomes much less scary.
What makes it scary is when you think you know what your audience wants without doing any research and then just putting it out there. When that happens you really are hoping that it all pans out and that can be scary.
I don’t have time to be scared so I follow the formula.
Is it Your Future?
When you decide you’re going to start a blog you have a future in mind. Maybe blogging is going to help you quit your job or travel the world.
You’re entering the world of blogging because you see that it can lead you to something that you want and the scary thing is what happens if you fail?
Then you don’t get that thing that you want.
That’s why you really have to look at blogging as a business. Hobbies allow you to do things that you enjoy.
Yes, there are good parts to it and there are also parts that are boring as hell.
Here are the things that I hate:
- Writing list posts
- Designing landing pages
- Creating email sequences
- Applying to group boards on Pinterest
- Making products to sell
- Editing blog posts
- Going back to old blog posts and updating them
- Creating pins for Pinterest
But I continue to do these things because my blogs are businesses and these are the things that help my businesses grow.
I took the time to learn how to get good at each of them so that I can reach those dreams that I hoped blogging would lead me to.
I didn’t learn all of this at once. It took time and it meant stepping out into the unknown. Most people don’t like to do that but that’s why most people are stuck at a desk doing things they don’t want to do for the rest of their lives.
This is also why I only stick to certain blog niches. I want to make sure I better my chances for success instead of running into a dark room with no light.
You Compare Yourself to the Wrong Person
I used to go to the club all of the time and I would look at the guys that seemed like they could just walk up to any girl and get their number if they wanted.
I wondered what those guys had that I didn’t? Why did they get to be so lucky?
Every time I compared myself to them I got upset with myself because I realized I didn’t do enough to be like them.
That was a stupid mindset to have.
Bloggers do the same thing. They see the success of another blogger and they immediately compare that with their own success.
Many times they see their success as a failure.
Do you want to know the types of wins people share?
- Launching a blog
- Getting into a group board
- Making an affiliate sale
- Getting a guest post published
- Send the first email to their mailing list
It’s not about how they made $50,000 this month. It’s about the small steps in their blogging journey. When they see other people get happy about something small, they realize it’s not small at all. It’s huge!
That’s how your blog journey should be. Don’t get down because you aren’t at the same point of the journey as the $20,000 bloggers. Get up because you are on your path and taking a step each day.
With that being said…
Some bloggers take this a bit too far and think that their 5-year journey with only 100 pageviews a month is normal.
Some bloggers grow quickly while others do it at a more moderate pace. You should be aware of how other blogs in your niche are performing. If they’re growing faster then you should ask yourself why?
Analyze other blogs to see what things you can pick up to help you out. Don’t turn a blind eye just because you want to do things your way because it’s your journey.
Putting Yourself Out There
This is one of the big ones.
When you blog you can feel like you’re exposing yourself to the world and depending on your writing style and what your topics are about, you just might.
However, I’ve found that a lot of what people fear about putting themselves out there isn’t stuff they should really worry about.
For example, my wonderful wife who works with me on Keto Bootstrap, is not a fan of writing. She says it always makes her feel exposed and I understood that because she was writing about weight loss.
To take that feeling away from her she got to choose whatever she wanted to write about across the blogs that I run. I explained to her that a lot of blog writing isn’t personal. In fact, most of it is pretty generic with a splash of personality.
Take a look at this post on grilled cheese sandwich recipes. Posts like that aren’t really opening yourself up to the world because you aren’t talking about yourself. You’re talking about cheese and bread.
That’s how a lot of blogging is so if don’t want to get personal when you start off then don’t do it. You have to remember, people are coming to your blog to get a problem solved.
The problem could be that they need a new grilled cheese recipe. They don’t come to your blog (initially) to learn about your life.
So then why do bloggers like to inject personal stories into their blog posts? Because sometimes they can help build a connection with the reader. They can let the reader know that the post is written by a human and not the corporate machine.
These aren’t things that will make or break your blog but they can be things that help to build your brand later on.
You’re Not an Expert
Hey Scrivs, I want to write about hot air balloons but I don’t know anything about them.
Some people think that to blog on a subject you need to be an expert at it and that’s not true.
When you’re in school and you had to write a paper how often were you an expert on the subject? Never!
Instead, what you did was research and present what you find. That’s what you can do with blogging.
I write most of the posts on Bogoten. Do you think I know anything about home decor? I’m terrible at that stuff but what I can do is curate the best things that I find on a topic and put them together in a list.
When you blog you have two approached that you can take:
I always suggest the journeyman route which is you simply sharing your journey in learning more about a topic. Everyone can do this.
Nobody starts off as an expert.
Blogging Is Scary
Blogging is scary because you’re dealing with the unknown a lot. This holds many people back and prevents them from accomplishing anything that they want.
It’s easy for me to tell you to just start but it’s not as easy to take action.
All I can tell you is that tomorrow, next week, or next year, you don’t want to look back and realize that the only thing preventing you from reaching your dreams was the fact that you couldn’t press Publish.