Many people have told me that they are afraid to start blogging. Digging further into this revealed a number of different fears, and not necessarily about the technology side, which I thought was the main reason. Yes, technology is a hindrance, but it is something that can eventually be overcome with guidance. It is the psychological aspects that can be real barriers.
One psychological area is how you appear to your public. Are you as good as your peers, so is what you write worth reading? Everybody else seems to have such intelligent things to say, and your little contribution will be swamped.
Not so! If you are really passionate about your subject, and know it inside out, what you write about will always be interesting to others. You are the expert here, so why not let others know about it? What you think is just ordinary may be totally new to others, especially if you are able to explain it in a different way to the other bloggers.
Another way to overcome this barrier is to watch and listen (read) other blogs, and follow (or subscribe to) experts as they regularly post. This passive observation will enable you to understand more about how others talk about their businesses, how they publicise their benefits and solutions, and how they increase their visibility and therefore their reputation.
It will enable you to sort out the real experts from the time-wasters who have nothing particular to say, and the latter should fire you up in to producing your own viewpoint to counteract their crass statements. Don’t just sit there stewing, correct it within your own blog!
Another way to contribute your two-pence-worth is through commenting. If you like what someone has posted (or even disagree), then leave a comment! It doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to be more than just ‘Nice post’.
I advise always to be polite, complimentary or forthcoming, even if you are totally disagreeing, to maintain your good character. Remember how horrid it is to receive negative responses that drain all your self-confidence, so don’t go down that road. Stand in good stead with other readers and encourage them to offer their own sides in the argument.
And another barrier is if you are unsure of your own credibility to write well. All I can say to this is, practice. I didn’t start out writing well, so I read lots of blogs and learnt a few techniques, and started writing posts to see how it went, and eventually I picked up a style that seemed to work.
One technique is to imagine talking to your readers, so write like you’re having a conversation with them. It will enable your readers to warm more towards you and your posts. If you find this difficult, try yabbering away into a dictaphone and then transcribe it as a post – this will train you into your conversational style; you can always edit it into good English later. And once you’ve accomplished this ability it will make writing posts that much easier.
If I haven’t covered all the reasons why this stops you from blogging, then why not let me know? If I have enough information I could write another post about it, and acknowledge my sources appropriately (thanks go to Helene Cooper and Ute Wieczorek-King for their ideas). And remember, leaving comments helps bring traffic to your sites too.