It’s not just you. Starting a blog can be knee-knocking scary—even when you know it can help you get published, build an audience of eager readers, and build your credibility as a writer.
Because what will you write about? What if you don’t have time? And why should anybody listen to you when a bajillion successful bloggers out there have been blogging longer than you have?
It’s enough to keep anyone from making that leap from Wish-I-Was to Actually-Am a Blogger. But I don’t want that to happen to you. This time next year I want you to be looking at your list of publications or your new writing gig and saying, I’m so glad I read that article on DIYMFA and made the leap.
So here’s how to leapfrog over the five biggest fears of blogging, so you can start reaping those writing career rewards. Ready?
1) I Don’t Have Time for Blogging
Blogs aren’t big publishing (thank goodness!). You don’t have to churn out content like a multi-writer magazine. Blogging is less formal, more personal. And readers tolerate the haphazard posting schedule from blogs they’d never tolerate from Vogue or The New Yorker.
Sure, the more you post the faster you’ll rocket to success. But if you miss a post, it’s not the end of the world. And even if you post just once a month, you’ll still reap the writing career benefits of blogging. Plus, at the end of the year, you’ll have twelve more writing samples to show to publishers than you would if you hadn’t blogged at all.
2) There’s Too Much Competition
Let me ask you this, writer. Do you read only one blogger? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. Turns out 46% of people read blogs more than once a day, which makes blogging a HUGE market that likely won’t be full for decades.
There’s more demand for content than there are people creating content, so we need more bloggers stat. Many readers would be delighted to add you to their reading lineup, and many a writing community is looking for fresh faces and fresh content. So write decent posts + get them in front of people who’d love them. Then just try to tell me there’s too much competition. You’ll be too busy trying to keep up with your fan email.
3) It’s All Been Said Before
If this were a reason not to blog or write, then all the bloggers and writers would quit. But writers keep writing, and bloggers keep blogging. And there’s plenty success for both.
If that doesn’t convince you, consider this: The New York Times Best Seller list is at no loss for winning novels any day of the year. And more people are building writing careers from their blogs than ever before.
You may be right that there are no new stories or blog posts. But there are infinite ways to combine and write them. And no one can tell a story quite like you. In the end, it’s about finding the right blog readers, the ones who love the particular way you write and the particular things you write about. So you’ve got this, writer.
4) I’m No Expert. Why Should Anyone Listen to Me?
A few things you’re definitely an expert in: your experiences and personal perspective, what it’s like to live in your hometown, how it feels to be a new writer. So blog about them! Not everyone knows how to brew a perfect cup of tea or where all the best writing spaces are. Not everyone made that writing breakthrough you made last week or tried that creativity challenge that went so comically awry.
Through your blog, readers who haven’t come as far as you have or tried the things you’ve tried can get the inside scoop. And since writing from your unique perspective is what blogging is all about, you need only be an expert in your own journey—good thing you already are.
5) I Don’t Know What to Write About
How easy it is to forget that not everyone knows what we know. We take our skills and knowledge for granted because once we have them they seem obvious to us. But if you solve a writing problem, share it! Read a good book? Review it! Writing prompts, interviews with experts, lessons from those inevitable failures, research you’ve done, tricks you’ve picked up, products you’ve used, what you’re reading or loving this week—they all make good fodder for blog posts. And you’ll find that the more you blog, the more you’ll notice topics for blogging in your everyday life. But if your creative well does run dry, you can always search Google for blog topic lists. Easy peasy!
What did I miss? If you have a tip for overcoming a blogging fear, share it in the comments below, or on social media, using the hashtag #5OnFri!
Mandy Wallace is a writing coach and blogger with a BA in English lit and a few writing awards. She shares weekly writing tips on her website for new writers, which clocked over a half million page views last year and is listed as one of The Write Life’s 100 best websites for writers. Grab a copy of her character design guide here.