Do you want to publish a blog?
If you want to write blog posts, either for your blog or for other people's blogs, but you know you're no Hemingway, then this blog post is for you. (I'm no Hemingway either, and here I am, blogging.)
Shoot, this post is for you even if you feel like Elaine Benis, as she struggles to come up with catalog copy for the Himalayan Walking Shoes.
Why write a blog anyway?
I'm assuming here that you already know all the great reasons why you SHOULD publish a blog:
- As a way to draw social media viewers to your website
- To give visitors opportunities to come to know, like, and trust you
- To establish credibility and authority
- To generate leads
- To expand your reach, by publishing on sites like Medium and LinkedIn
- Google (need we even say "the search engines" anymore?)
- To win more customers
- To create a storehouse of content to share with your list via email
However, after running a 30 Day Blogging Challenge recently, I learned that a lot of what holds people back is confidence.
The BIG issue stopping most people? It's confidence
Yes, there are time issues (I'm too busy to blog!), desire issues (I don't want to blog), and lack-of-knowledge issues, but most of the issues boiled down to confidence.
- I'm not sure if I sound okay; writing is not my strong suit.
- I don't know what to say, and it's daunting to think about having to come up with ideas for content all the time.
- No one really wants to hear what I have to say.
- I'll be just another voice in a sea of sameness.
Guess what? If you're reading this post, then you ALREADY HAVE the primary requirement for publishing blog posts on your blog: a desire to do so.
Where confidence comes from (the real deal)
Want confidence? Here's how you get it: you do the work first.
Confidence is something you get AFTER you start the work, not beforehand.
Think about it.
When you first did the thing you now do for pay, as part of your business, were you full of confidence?
I can tell you that, although I was confident in my writing ability when I opened my doors back in 2002, I was NOT confident in my ability to get people to pay me for my talents.
I was NOT confident when I posted my first bids on Elance, wondering and worrying whether I'd get any takers.
My confidence developed AFTER I started, AFTER I began to win gig after gig after gig. Then I was confident.
And now, after doing this work since 2002, I am ENTIRELY confident in my ability to earn a living using my talents. Although the way I'm using my talents is beginning to shift -- from that of writer to writing coach -- I never question my ability to generate income from them.
To get confidence in a thing, you need to DO the thing.
Confidence won't come first.
If you sit there at the keyboard, waiting to become confident enough to write what's on your heart and hit the publish button, you'll be waiting an awfully long time.
Here are a few steps you can take today to walk towards the confidence that awaits you at the other end.
- Find a safe space to share and get feedback on your writing. I run both paid and free multi-day Blogging Challenges throughout the year; join my list to find out when the next Challenge is starting. In a Challenge, I personally, gently, escort you through the process of writing, editing, and publishing that brilliance that you know is within you. (You wouldn't have started a business if you didn't think so!)
- If you've written your first tentative posts, hold your breath and PUSH PUBLISH. Share your posts on your social networks, and on Medium and LinkedIn. See what kind of feedback you get.
- Ask members of your mastermind or your business coach to read a few of your blog posts before you publishing them. Ask for gentle feedback in specific areas. For instance, don't just hand it over and say, "Feedback, plz." That's what you say to your editor or writing coach 😀 Instead, say something like, "I think the introduction may go on for too long; what do you think?" and "Do the three main points of the post stand out enough?"
- Use a tool like The Blog Post Inspiration Deck to keep yourself rolling in a steady stream of ideas. (Interestingly, before writing this post, I was sitting in my office complaining to my husband, "I have to write a post and I don't know what to write about." He picked up one of my card decks and handed it to me with a funny look on his face. I was like, "DUH!" And wouldn't you know? I found an idea from two of the cards I drew: the TYPE card "How-to" and the TOPIC card "A bit of practical advice." I think this post fits the bill, eh?
- Take a self inventory. List your skills and abilities. Review all the nice things people have said about you and what you have to offer. Even better, PUBLISH all those nice things! Why are you in business in the first place? What's driving you? If you write out your answers to those questions, you'll have the fodder for a pretty nice blog post.
- When all else fails, put your questions and fears out to the Universe and keep on walking. Then, just as happened with Elaine Benis, the perfect ideas for whatever you need will come to you at just the right time.
Join my tribe?
Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?
I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.
When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.