INTERACTION: Blogging is so conversational. All those comments and that social media INTERACTION are just too overwhelming.
Fear not! You’ve been conversing with people all your life. And if you’re a senior, you’ve been conversing for a lot longer than the majority of folks. So you’re already ahead of the “conversational” game! If you still find the conversational aspect of blogging a bit intimidating, start out by reading other folks’ blogs, and comment on their posts. Add to what they have said; encourage or constructively critique; present your own unique viewpoints. Also get involved in the short, conversational discussions on facebook statuses, and twitter tweets. Then start posting your own blog posts on your own blog. Make your first posts short, and encourage responses with good questions. Respond to your readers’ comments, and keep the conversation going. You can write longer, more complex posts later, if you like. But don’t feel you have to write long ones; some of the greatest bloggers never write more than a couple hundred words in a post! And you can choose not to include a comment section if that makes you more comfortable.
LIFE ISSUES: You fear that because you have physical or mental health or other LIFE ISSUES, you will reach a point at which you can no longer blog, or that people will look down on you because of those issues.
Fear not! Some of the world’s most-followed and most-beloved blogs have been written by people with terminal diseases, or struggling with severe mental illness, or suffering from other dire life problems and situations. Guess what? Everyone suffers from something. Suffering is part of the human condition. People want to know that they are not alone in their suffering. They appreciate knowing how you deal with your situation. They come to care about you personally as you allow yourself to be open and honest and vulnerable. They are encouraged! Just the other day I heard about a young woman who learned she had terminal cancer. She started a blog, in which she make a list of all the things she hoped to accomplish in her life. Now she had only a short time, and a lot of that time she was ill and in pain, but she got busy and did as many of the things on her list as she possibly could. She even married the love of her life. And when she passed on shortly thereafter, her new husband took over her blog – and her list, determined to complete it for her. Large numbers of people still follow that blog and are encouraged and helped by it. So be yourself. Your readers want to know the real you. If they want a list of dry facts they can go to an encyclopedia. Blogs are so much more, because they combine information and relationship.
MEASURE UP: You have seen large, well-designed blogs with hundreds or thousands of posts. You are afraid you could never MEASURE UP to what other bloggers are doing.
Fear not! Blogging is not a competition. Blogging is a place to meet people, have conversations, build relationships, and find ways to help others and change the world in ways small or large. If every blogger makes a very small positive change, that will result in millions and millions of changes that together will make the world a much better place, right? No one is asking you to do something big and amazing. Maybe some day you will, maybe not. It really depends on your goals and purposes. Just start small, take your time, build slowly, and keep your goals and the needs of your target audience in mind. Stick to that; know your publishing boundaries. If it helps, write for people you actually know (that’s how this blog got started!). And don’t feel you have to go it alone! Blogs are about relationships, after all. So why not find a friend and blog together? If you don’t know anyone you can blog with, there are also “blog communities” on all kinds of topics where you can blog along with others. That can also be a good way to start.
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 today’s “fears” resonate with you? Tell us about it in the comments below. How can we help you overcome your fears? Blogs are communities. Join ours and let us encourage you.
Tip of the Day: Get involved in the blogs you follow (like this one!). Don’t just read. Write in the comments section. Add your viewpoints, suggestions, ideas. Ask questions. Say what you’d like to know more about or discuss in more depth. Start NOW! What would YOU like to hear more about in this blog? TELL US TODAY in the comments below.
Put it into Action: If you are still just observing on-line, and haven’t started participating yet, why not do something simple right NOW: Join a social network like Facebook or Twitter, set up your own page, invite some friends, and start conversing with them on-line. A sentence or two at a time – how easy it that! (Can’t figure it out? Contact me and I’ll help you out). OR BETTER YET – How about a sentence or two in the comments section below? We’ll respond 🙂