(Contributed by Michelle Shaeffer , one of our resident experts.)
Are secret fears holding you back from jumping head first into blogging? Don’t let them! Blogging is nothing to be afraid of, and nothing has done as much to boost my business and my visibility as blogging has.
So let’s talk about some of those fears that might be holding you back from blogging:
1. I’m not sure I have anything to blog about…
Everyone has something to share. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re in business for yourself, then it’s safe to assume you’re passionate about something, right? Blog about that!
If you’re blogging for business, then it doesn’t necessarily matter what you feel you’ve got to share–it only matters what your audience wants to read. They’ve got problems, challenges, questions, and you can be the one to deliver the answers they’re searching for. All you’ve got to do is figure out what their questions are.
Once you’ve got your main topic or theme for your blog, you can find inspiration everywhere. Here are some great resources to get your brain going:
2. But I’m not a writer!
There are options that don’t require you to write at all. So don’t write. Do a video blog or an audio blog. Create a blog that’s just you doing a weekly interview with experts or sharing a book review on video. Use a voice-to-text program to speak your blog posts and let your computer do the typing for you.
You could also consider hiring a ghostwriter, using PLR articles, reprinting free articles, featuring guest bloggers, or using the content you’re already creating (for your marketing materials, ezine, newsletter, ebooks, or whatever else you’ve got).
Or, be okay with the fact that you aren’t a “writer” and blog anyway. Blogging isn’t a thesis where every word has to be perfect and every sentence has to be grammatically correct. It’s a conversational, relaxed form of written communication. Basic writing skills are necessary if you’re going to write a blog. In general, if you can write an understandable and coherent email, you can blog.
3. I’m too busy and I don’t have time to blog!
Blogging does take time. There’s no way around that. But it doesn’t have to take hours a day. And since blogging allows you to create content that you can repurpose into other materials (articles, ezines, ebooks, print books, and much more) it’s definitely not wasted time.
Remember that you set your own blogging schedule. You don’t have to blog daily. I blog nearly daily and it works for me. But many bloggers post 2 or 3 times a week. The key is consistency with whatever schedule you choose.
There are sneaky ways you can speed up your blogging, as well. Here are 10 ways to blog better and faster.
4. What if no one reads my blog?
If you don’t let people know it’s there, they won’t read it. But it’s not difficult to promote your blog. You just need a system of where and how you’ll promote it and drive traffic (just like you already do for your website, right?). This is one of the easier obstacles to overcome.
Get a group of friends together and ask them to actively comment on your blog. Some bloggers even ask their virtual assistant to leave comments. Setup a commenting circle where you subscribe to a few friends’ blogs and they subscribe to yours, then each leave a comment when new posts are published. Once you’ve got a few comments appearing, it’ll be easier for new readers to jump in and comment, too.
Join a comment tribe. Comment tribes are groups (on Facebook or other networking platforms) where everyone shares their blog post, then comments on others in the group. Just check the rules before joining any so you know what you’re in for.
5. How will I find time to promote my blog when I’m already busy?
Once you’ve created a blog promotion plan, it’s easier and doesn’t take too much time.
There are many promotion strategies that can be automated so they happen every time you post a new entry on your blog, without any extra action from you (such as using Twitter Tools to send your posts to Twitter, NetworkedBlogs to send your blog to Facebook, and ping to tell the search engines you’ve shared something new).
6. It’s too expensive (or too technical) to get it set up.
No need to start with a fancy-shmancy custom blog design. WordPress is free software and there are 1,000s of free themes. Many website hosts will install WordPress free for you, so your only initial expense is your domain name (about $10/year) and hosting (about $10/month).
One of the coolest things about WordPress is that it grows with you. You can easily upgrade later to a customized header, theme, and other shiny things.
7. Why would anyone pay for my services if I’m sharing what I know free?
Flip that question right around. Why would anyone pay for your services if they don’t know what you can offer them? Blogging allows you a way to showcase your expertise!
8. There are already blogs about the same topics I’d blog about.
So what? I can buy shoes at a hundred different stores online but that doesn’t stop the smart ones from making sales. There’s the low price leaders like Payless, fashion boutiques like Nordstroms, charity supporting stores like Toms, service-centric sites like Zappos. They each choose a specific audience, play on their uniqueness, and it works.
Remember that when we’re learning about any topic, we generally don’t choose only one source of info. I’ve got marketing books on my shelf by more authors than I want to count… All of their voices add something different to my knowledge. Blogs are the same way–a chorus of easily accessible information we can learn from. If there are successful blogs on your topic already that’s a sign there’s an audience, which is a good thing!
You are unique. Your voice is unique. And there are people waiting to hear you share your knowledge and life’s journey in the voice only you can share it in.
And that, in a nutshell, is what busts through all of these excuses. Your blog is your stage. And your audience is waiting. So get out there!
Ready to get your blog up and running? Go to http://www.launchyourblog.com and grab your free 30 day ecourse to walk you through the step by step of how to create, customize, and promote your blog. Or connect with Michelle on her blog at http://www.michelleshaeffer.com/ where she shares tips, tools and strategies to help you build your visibility, voice and community online.