You have decided you want to spend more time on your blog.
You’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, discussing it with friends and maybe even your cat.
But you haven’t started yet.
There’s a long list of things that are holding you back. You don’t have time, money, ideas, confidence or anything else you think you need in order to blog professionally. Maybe you’re tired, busy or stressed. So you tell your cat, “Maybe once I’m feeling perfect, with an abundance of wonderful blog ideas, I’ll start on my blog. I need a guaranteed audience, anyway.”
It’s time for you to face it.
Even professional bloggers, making money hand over fist, have to struggle through obstacles. Very seldom do professionals blog under perfect conditions. There will always be something in the way – no support, little confidence, poor health or very little time.
But guess what?
Nearly every blogger on the internet faces the exact same problems.
These things holding you back from blogging begin to look very much like excuses when you realize that professionals often have the same problems you do, don’t they?
Below are some of the most common reasons used to excuse yourself from becoming a blogger.
If you previously believed any of them to be true, you will probably have changed your mind by the time you’re done reading this…
1. People aren’t going to like my opinions
Blogging is often an extremely personal business. Especially when you’re writing about topics such as home décor, fashion and health, you can feel like you are posting your personal feelings out on the internet for everyone to see.
Even non-personal topics can expose your personal feel and touch.
While you may consider yourself to be alone in feeling hesitant to reveal your personal opinion, this is a common feeling among bloggers.
Even your favorite hero of the blog world feels nervous every time he or she hits the “Publish” button. If you are hanging back from blogging because you are afraid no one will like your blog, just try writing a post and publishing it.
If no one at all likes your post (which is extremely unlikely), you will have lost nothing. However, if people do like your writing, they’ll let you know (and come back for more!).
If you’re starting to feel discouraged from negative reviews, always remember that a negative response is actually positive.
It means your writing is powerful.
It means that your writing has the ability to make your readers react.
2. I have nothing new to contribute
“There is nothing new under the sun, is there? So why bother blogging? Everyone’s already said everything there is to say.”
This is a common feeling among first-time bloggers.
But it is not true.
Everyone has their own personal voice and the unique way to describe something, for example, might be what sets you apart from the competition.
No one has had exactly the same experiences that you have, no one has read the books and articles you have and no one has had exactly the same experiences. Genuinely original ideas very seldom come to even the top dogs of the blogging world.
What sets these bloggers apart is the unique lens through which they view the world, their personality and their writing style.
3. Everybody’s already writing about this topic
Let’s say you want to write a blog on dance music.
To get ideas flowing, you do a Google search and discover to your horror that countless other people have had the same idea and actually beat you to writing the blog. And some these people have been blogging on dance music for years.
So why would anyone want to read your blog?
Look at it this way: There are lots of blogs on this topic because there are lots of people who want to read about dance music. They want new and better information on the topic, so you should feel encouraged by the presence of numerous blogs on the same topic you want to write about.
“If there aren’t popular blogs in the niche you’re interested in, find a new one!”
So don’t be scared to write about a topic many other bloggers are already writing about.
There are countless ways you can cover any given topic, and your personal spin will add a unique edge to your articles.
Alternatively you could collaborate with some other people and use the 6-3-5 method to come up with over 100 new ideas in just 30 minutes.
4. I’m far too busy for blogging
You are on your feet, running from place to place from midnight to midnight (it feels like) and it doesn’t look like you have time to work on a blog post every day, or week, or how ever often you’d like to blog.
You tell yourself you just don’t have time… but guess what?
Unless they’re getting an actual salary for the work, professional bloggers don’t have unlimited time for working on their blogs either.
They are often just as busy (in fact most likely busier) than the average person.
So how can you find the time?
Probably, you take your smartphone everywhere you go.
Take advantage of the little blocks of time you have while you’re waiting in traffic, in line at the grocery store or while you’re waiting to pick your kids up from school and work on your blog.
You might feel a little silly, and people may think you’re obsessive, but that’s okay.
At least you’re getting your blog post written.
Another way to make time for your blog is to set up a non-negotiable date with yourself at a quiet coffee shop once a week and work on your blog post at that time. A handy online tool to keep you on track to making time for writing is 750 Words, which helps you build a streak of daily writing and rewards you as your streak grows.
If you try to wait until time to blog pops up, you will be waiting forever.
So create the time and blog away.
5. I don’t know where to start
So you make a list of everything that needs to be done for your blog and immediately go into a state of brain freeze.
What should you do first – brainstorm blog post ideas, create a social media presence, work on the blog design or any one of the other 101 things on your to-do list?
The best way to start is to write up a list of everything that needs to be accomplished and select tasks based on how you are currently feeling at the moment.
Perhaps you’re feeling artistically creative, but are dead sick of writing. When you’re in this mood, you should focus on designing your blog.
If your creative writing juices are flowing, perhaps you should work on brainstorming ideas. Try to match your current mood and disposition to an appropriate task on your list.
It really doesn’t matter what order you decide to accomplish your tasks.
Getting the work accomplished is what’s important.
So create a list of things to be accomplished and get to work.
6. I can’t blog right now – It’s not a good time
Perhaps your cat is sick and you want to wait to start blogging until she feels better.
Or perhaps you feel your bank account balance is chronically low and are hesitant to commit your limited resources to blogging.
Every time you contemplate beginning your blog, you say to yourself, “No, it’s not a good time right now. As soon as I have problems A, B and C under control, I’ll start blogging.”
The sad truth is, the moment you have A, B and C under control brand-new problems will pop up out of nowhere and smile at you.
There is very seldom a perfect place in your – or any blogger’s – life where you can blog to your heart’s content with no problems whatsoever.
If you try to wait until your blogging conditions are perfect, you will be waiting forever. If times are hard for you, you can take baby steps towards your blogging goals every day – maybe coming up with one blog post idea per day, if that’s all you can do.
Record your tiny steps dutifully, and when life calms down again, you’ll have jumpstarted your blog.
7. I’m too tired
Coming home after the nine-to-five job, you have to make dinner, clean up, put the kids to bed and do whatever preparations you need towards getting out to work the next day.
After accomplishing that, you’re too exhausted to do anything except curl up on the sofa with a cup of joe and watch The Walking Dead.
You tell yourself that you are simply too tired to work on your blog.
This excuse just doesn’t pass muster.
Nothing gives a person more energy than working towards a goal you care about. If you’re feeling wiped out at the end of the day, just sitting down and working on the blog can get your creativity working and get you excited and energized.
One of my students recently had an idea for an e-book. The excitement and energy she got from the idea enabled her to work on it from late in the evening until 2am. She accomplished the 180-page project, as well as the marketing plan, in just three weeks.
So if you’re feeling exhausted and unmotivated, make yourself open up the laptop and try working for 15 minutes.
Usually, you’ll find that after ten minutes, you’ve almost magically found the brain power and energy to keep on working for a long time.
8. I shall fail
Of course, you don’t want to fail, be rejected or ignored.
But this isn’t a good reason to not work on your blog.
Yes, you tell yourself that no blog posts means there’s no way you can look up your traffic on Google Analytics and panic as you realize nobody cares. But not writing is a failure in a class of its own.
Besides, if you start on the blog, at least there is a chance people will be interested, right?
The authors of all the blogs in your inbox all took a risk when they released their first blog post.
If you try blogging, there’s a 50% chance you will succeed and a 50% chance you will fail. If you don’t even try, there’s a 100% chance that you will fail.
9. If my blog succeeds, my friends will hate me
Maybe you’re worried that, if your blog becomes popular, you’ll lose friends, who will envy your success and refuse to socialize with you anymore.
To be honest, you are better off without friends if they become envious over your success.
True friends will rejoice with you in your achievements. Don’t waste time worrying over whether fake friends will ostracize you. Just get writing.
10. I have to study more
You are virtually – no pun intended – inundated with books, webinars, tips and blogs on how to start a blog.
The next one may have the perfect compilation of data you need to get your blog off the ground. So you keep learning about WordPress, learning about Social Media, learning about SEO and never getting anywhere.
This is a common excuse, because there is no exact way of knowing when you’ve studied enough to stop learning and start blogging.
The fastest way to determine whether you’ve studied enough or not is to get your blog up and running and start posting. Your readers’ response -or the lack thereof – will inform you where exactly you are when it comes to know-how.
Don’t feel bad if your first posts are terrible – before you know it, they will become lost in time’s shifting sands.
11. I don’t have any good ideas
This is one of the most common excuses in the blogging world.
Wondering how to generate one idea after the other on the same topic for days, weeks and months can be so daunting that you want to quit before you even begin.
One great way to come up with new ideas is to be prepared for “inspired” moments. There are usual times where you are suddenly buried in a deluge of great ideas all at once – while going to sleep, driving or showering.
Try to be prepared for these moments by carrying a notepad or your smartphone with you at these times. But don’t take your smartphone in the shower unless it has a waterproof case!
If you are still stuck you can check out my list of 47 content ideas for bloggers.
If these or any other excuses are preventing you from blogging, remember that even successful bloggers face little demons like these.
Even the most successful bloggers aren’t immune to hesitation or doubt – they’ve simply learned to push through and take action.
And you can, too.