Yes, you CAN conquer these blogging fears: Affordability, Blog overload, Confusing, Don’t know enough
AFFORDABILITY: You fear you cannot AFFORD to blog.
Fear not! There are bloggers who don’t even own a computer. They make use of free computers at libraries, seniors centers, and community centers, or they borrow computer time from friends or family. It is also possible nowadays, once you’ve set up your blog from a computer (which can be done in minutes), to send posts to your blog from your cell phone, tablet, or other mobile device! As for the costs of maintaining a blog, platforms like Blogger.com or WordPress.com offer excellent, free, simple-to-use blog space. You can get your own unique domain name on your WordPress.com site for just $12 to $17 a year, if you like. (This is a good idea that we’ll discuss in another post – but it’s not totally necessary. You can stay with the free version, too). You can customize your site design with free plug-ins as well. If you decide down the road that you want to upgrade – which you may if you start to get a large readership – you might want to start paying for some upgrades. But at that point you’ll probably also be able to generate income from your blog to cover your costs!
BLOG OVERLOAD: With the millions of blogs already out there, you fear the BLOGOSPHERE IS OVERLOADED. Anything you might have to say has probably been said already, and said a lot better than you can say it.
Fear not! This is one of my own greatest fears of writing – especially, for me, writing books. I have to admit: I have at least 3 books under way, but I haven’t finished any of them because I know that there are other books on similar topics, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not as expert or entertaining as some of those authors. So my books sit mouldering, even though I’ve already put many, many hours into each of them. Isn’t that silly? I don’t find publishing on my blogs quite as intimidating, because I tell myself that each post only takes a little time, and if nobody reads them, oh well, no big deal. But of course, between my several blogs and websites (and newspaper columns and magazine articles and curriculum writing and freelance broadcasts over the years) I’ve actually spent far more time on those writings than on my books! And guess what? People do read my other writing, and enjoy it. So why wouldn’t they enjoy my books? Time to get over my fear! It’s the same for you! How about we make a deal? If you’ll start your blog, I’ll finish my book! Who’s going to take up my challenge? Tell you what: I’ll dedicate my book to the first person who tells me they’re taking the challenge, and who sticks with it until my book is published. (Did I really say that? Yikes!)
CONFUSING: You fear that what you say will be CONFUSING and/or won’t make sense to readers.
Fear not! If you’re afraid your writing won’t make sense to your readers, read it out loud before publishing it on your blog. Preferably tape record yourself, and listen to it. “Hear” it. Imagine your ideal reader is listening. How would he or she respond? If possible, read it aloud to a real person and ask for their input. Ask them to read it aloud to you. Think of your writing as a conversation – because, especially with a blog, that’s exactly what it is! You are talking to your friends. They are eager to converse with you. What can you do to make your writing more like a conversation with friends?
DON’T KNOW ENOUGH: You fear that you DON’T KNOW ENOUGH about your topic, or that you’ll run out of things to say.
Fear not! A great writer is a great reader first. Read, read, and read some more. Read all kinds of things: books, blog posts, magazines, newspapers, essays, poetry, even Facebook statuses and twitter tweets. Read things that make you think and want to go deeper. Try to understand more than just the “surface” in stories and poetry. What do you like about certain writers and their writing? What attracts you? What can you learn from their writing and apply to your writing? Research. Take some courses if that helps you. And do, do, do. Don’t just be a “theory” expert. Know and learn more by actually doing what you are talking about. Keep up on what’s new in your field of interest. Be a lifelong learner. And oh yes! Be sure your blog – and books, and whatever else you write – are about something you really care about, love, are passionate about. Then you won’t get bored, you’ll want to keep learning, and you’ll love sharing.
Be sure to come back for the next post on conquering your blogging fears. Links to the entire series can be found here.
Question of the Day: Do any of these fears resonate with you? What will you do to overcome your fears and start your blog?
Tip of the Day: Practice, practice, practice! Write daily. Practice your craft consistently and it will improve with each passing day.
Put it into Action: Take me up on the challenge I’ve presented in “Blog Overload” above!