Creating a blog is easier and more accessible than ever, yet writers all over the world hover over keyboards, fearful to hit “publish” and get started.
It’s easy to get stuck in our own heads and create excuses for why we can’t do something. Blogging is no different.
I’ve been casually blogging since 2004 (remember Xanga and LiveJournal?) and more seriously on WordPress since 2009. My blog allowed me to quit my job to pursue my dream of running my own business.
When I talk to fellow writers about blogging, they often tell me, “That’s great you have a blog, but I could never do that.” They share their fears around blogging. They rattle off a laundry list of reasons they can’t do it. They make excuses.
I get it. Blogging takes time, energy and strategy. It’s daunting. In the beginning, it can feel like a lot of work for little reward. Blogging can take time away from your other writing projects.
But ultimately, blogging can change your life. It can help you build a personal brand that draws attention to you and your writing. It can lead to book deals, valuable connections and new opportunities. It also helps you improve your own writing skills.
Don’t have a blog yet? Here’s an easy way to see if your preferred domain is available:
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If you’re nervous about becoming a blogger, stop letting these five fears hold you back from starting a blog.
1. “Do people even read blogs anymore?”
Here’s a fun fact to try to wrap your head around: 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day.
That’s a lot of content.
Between blog posts, news articles, snaps, Facebook posts, tweets, live streams, GIFs and pins, we’re in a state of constant content overload. Yet we continue to consume and demand even more content.
So, yes. People do still read blogs. The way we read blogs and interact with content has changed, but the eyes and opportunity for attention and growth are still ever-present.
If you put good content into the world and take the time to promote your posts properly, you can build a blog people actually read.
2. “It’s too late for me to start now.”
Starting a blog in 2016 when so many veteran bloggers have been at it since the early 2000s can be scary. You may feel like you’ve missed the boat and there’s no way to catch up if you get started now.
To that I say, It’s never too late. Start now.
Think about this very website. The Write Life came onto the scene in 2013, relatively “late” in the blogging game. But we have an engaged email community and a strong social media following. All this was built in fewer than than three years.
In fact, thanks to new social media apps and tools, there’s more opportunity than ever — right now — to create a blog that gets noticed and grows quickly.
Though Snapchat has been around since 2011, it has exploded in popularity in the past 12 months and bloggers who recognized the opportunity early on are reaping the benefits. Fashion bloggers, travel bloggers and online personalities of all kinds are getting massive attention on Snapchat, and if done smartly, you can actually use the app to send eyes back to your blog.
Snapchat is just one example here. Newly-introduced Facebook Live is getting lots of press and bloggers everywhere are experimenting. Musical.ly is capturing the attention of teens. Pay attention to new social media sites and see if you can become an early adopter to help grow your blog.
It may feel like getting started now is a disadvantage, but by being savvy and strategic, you can play catch-up quite quickly.
3. “I don’t know how to make a website.”
Sorry, not sorry to be the one to tell you this. Not knowing how to make a website is no longer a valid excuse.
I know. You’re not a website designer. You don’t know how to code. You’re not a graphic designer, either.
But that’s the beauty of blogging in 2016. You don’t have to be. Resources like Wix and Squarespace make it easy to create simple websites using drag-and-drop tools. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Similarly, consider hiring a web designer. If you’re serious about blogging, it might make sense to invest a bit of money into a professionally designed website that helps grow your brand.
If money is holding you back, consider bartering with a website or graphic designer. Offer up your writing skills in exchange for website design. A win-win situation for everyone!
4. “It’s all been said before. I don’t want to get lost in a sea of sameness.”
I hear would-be bloggers say, “There are already too many blogs out there,” or, “I have nothing new to contribute to the conversation.”
Yes, this is true. There are so many of blogs in the world; more than 74 million, in fact. And yes, little content is original. Many of the same subjects have been covered over and over again.
But that doesn’t matter.
It’s all been said before, but it hasn’t been said by you.
Whether your blog gets thousands of hits a day or has just five loyal readers, those people want to hear from you because they trust and value your opinion and insights. Your unique spin on a topic might be exactly what someone needs to hear in this moment. Why rob the world of that?
Don’t let the fear of being another voice in an oversaturated blogosphere hold you back from making your mark.
5. “What if I lose interest?”
You start a blog. You’re super pumped about it. You wake up eagerly every morning to publish your latest post. And then a few months later, you feel uninspired. Bored. You’re over it.
There’s nothing worse than starting a project and having the initial excitement wear off within a few months. This is a common fear that holds would-be bloggers back from getting started.
It’s a completely valid fear, but one that can easily be smoothed over.
If you lose interest, pivot. Make a change. It’s your blog and you call the shots.
Or, go against popular advice to find a niche and instead, choose to keep your blog more general. Rather than cornering yourself into a niche subject that you may lose interest in down the line, write about the subjects you’re most passionate about. Your readers will connect with you more when it’s clear you’re excited about your topic of choice.
If you let it, blogging can change your world (and your writing career), too.
But in order to allow that transformation to happen, you need to stop letting fear hold you back. Stop making excuses.
Get started now. A year from now, six months from now, maybe even a few weeks from now, you’ll be glad you did.
Are other fears holding you back from starting a blog? Let’s hear them in the comments.
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