There are so many fears that come to mind when we start to think about blogging. “What will I write about? Am I a qualified expert? Will anybody read what I am writing? Does my blog make sense, or am I just rambling?”
The reality is that these are valid questions to ask, but don’t let these thoughts and questions bully you out of making your first post.
For those who may admit to some level of fear about blogging, I want to challenge you with a few questions. Is being “unqualified” reason enough not to blog? What are the necessary credentials to be an expert on the subject you would like to blog about, and who made that rule? Many times we can disqualify ourselves from potential opportunities by making automatic assumptions that we don’t meet ambiguous standards. This can be a fatal flaw when it comes to establishing and scaling your business.
So let’s imagine that you write a blog, and no one really reads it. Would you then see yourself as being an unsuccessful blogger? Or would you take on the perspective that each blog you write is making you stronger, more comfortable, and staging you for something larger in the future?
I am certainly glad that I took on the perspective of the latter. Just speaking from experience, I was never trained on how to write a blog. I’ve never written a book. Yes, I’ve got some pretty good experience under my belt concerning private practice, but I never would’ve dreamed that I’d be here writing this blog to you.
So how did I began? Well, I started at the bottom, just like some of you. I began blogging by simply posting content on my website and then watching the spam views trickle in. My blogs were never a hit, but I just kept on writing. The reality is when I faced my fears, things just started to happen. It didn’t matter to me if I was affecting 5 people or 5000. I just wanted to reach whoever I could, increase my SEO, and grow my business.
What Do I Write About?
I was so stressed about what content I should write about when I first started. Then I discovered that every idea does not have to be original. There are tons of topics that interest you and your clients that have already been written about. Before I learned to create my own original ideas, I relied heavily on some of the ideas and topics that other bloggers were writing about. For instance, I’m a relationship counselor, and from time to time I would search John Gottman‘s website and get ideas about subject matter that I felt may interest my clients. You will never run out of content using this approach – I still use it today.
One other way that I have found content is by paying attention to problems that I frequently process during my therapy sessions. I learned this trick from Jessica Tampanna. For instance, if you’re noticing all week that every client that comes to see you seems to say, “I really don’t know who I am.” Bam! There’s your article, “ I Don’t Know Who I Am: Finding Your Identity.” Now all you have to do is list three or four interventions that your potential client might use, elaborate on those ideas, sum it up, and there’s your blog.
Blogging Will Take Too Much Time!
It’s true, blogging can take up a great bit of your time, but it’s an awesome return on investment. If you are bootstrapping it, and have a tight marketing budget, there is no out-of-pocket cost for blogging.
Let me put you on to a little trick that will save you a lot of time. Dictate your blog! “What do you mean Choya when you say ‘dictate?’” Voice dictation is a feature on most mobile devices where you convert spoken words into text. So instead of spending long hours typing and correcting misspelled words, all you have to do is speak into the mic on your phone or computer.
Voice dictation allows for me to complete a blog in probably less than half of the time it would take if I were to type. Initially, it will seem awkward speaking into your phone versus typing. But I promise that after a few episodes of forced practice, you will pick up a rhythm.
I Just Want It To Be Right!
When it comes to blogging, you have to be willing to take the risk. You have to be willing to expose yourself to the fear that restrains you. This is why when you are making a decision to blog, it is best practice to avoid being a perfectionist. Instead of ruminating on how perfect your blog needs to be, focus your thoughts on writing the script. This is one of the greatest pieces of advice that I can provide.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I have personally had to realize that my fear of failing can not be an excuse to seize up and do nothing. Failure, in this case, is failing to produce the script. Sometimes you just have to put something out and see what happens.
I hope this article supports you with an alternative view of blogging. I challenge you to set a date, make it happen, and take the opportunity once more to smack fear dead in the face.
Choya Wise, LICSW, PIP is the owner of Aspire Counseling & Consulting Services in Huntsville, Alabama. Choya specializes in relationship counseling and hosts Online Social Work Clinical Supervision Groups in Alabama.