Recently we had an internal training session on blogging, and it was great. We shared tips and tricks, talked strategy, and broke down the writing process into easy steps. But, to wrap up the meeting we were each asked one question, “What’s the hardest part about blogging?”
Guess what? Almost all of us gave the exact same answer: “It’s hard to come up with topics.”
Here’s the thing — that isn’t the real reason blogging is hard. In fact, we are experts at coming up with topics. We offer a content marketing workshop that helps companies across a range of industries get a boatload of topics in a single afternoon. (And, as a bonus, that workshop gets people excited about writing them!)
So why did we all cop out and give the same lame answer? Well, the truth is that it was the first answer given, and instead of admitting the real reasons, we all just took the easy route and nodded in agreement. But after a little more thought, here are some of my real answers.
1. Blogging Feels Like Middle School
Be honest. Somewhere, deep down, blogging feels like writing a five-page essay for our eighth grade English class. I remember all the steps to the essay writing process: develop an argument, write an outline, proofread, and so on. If I am honest, though, the process actually involved two steps: procrastination and banging my head on the keyboard for a few hours before the assignment was due.
Even for people that are good at writing, the desire to put off the “assignment” winds up making the whole blogging process harder. For a lot of my clients, they purposely chose a career path that wasn’t about writing. And just the thought of blogging can be like going back to junior high all over again.
2. “Who, Me?”
Recently, I heard a COO say that he had a hard time considering himself an expert in his field. Maybe he was just being modest, but I’ve heard this refrain from all levels of the food chain. The reality, however, is that most of them really know their stuff.
I get it; it’s hard to believe in yourself and to see that your day-to-day experiences makes you an expert on something people would want to read about. But you can’t give into this excuse. All of my clients have valuable experience that can translate into great content, but they may need help working through the topic.
3. Does This Really Work?
Yes. (See: here.)
You don’t have to take my word for it. With tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics, you can track your blog traffic and measure the number of leads generated. Obviously, depending on your sales process, this type of success can take a while to come about. But once you see the cold hard numbers, this doubt can no longer slow your blogging game down.
4. Busy, Busy, Busy
If you are like me, your daily to-do list could eat up your entire day and probably most of your night. The tasks that get done are the ones that can be done quickly and don’t require additional time to think or research. These tasks may not be the most important or have the highest ROI.
Blogging takes time, but can be broken down into smaller chunks to make the process more manageable. Then it’s a matter of prioritizing your tasks not just on what seems urgent but on the things that will drive results.
Plain and simple — writing for public consumption is terrifying. “What if my coworkers or boss think less of me because of the way I write? What is the content I create isn’t valuable to anyone? What if people are turned off, and I wind up hurting my business?”
At #INBOUND15, Brene Brown shared her experience in research and life with fear, shame, and vulnerability. She’s an expert on the topic, but she revealed how hard it is for her to deal with feelings of shame.
It’s not easy to put yourself out there and let everyone on the internet see what you have to offer. Who knows, just like a reality star, you might eventually forget that the cameras are there. In the meantime, write for your personas. You are writing for that person. Not for the bullies, your mother or the haters. For your customers. For people that are looking for a reason to trust you.
I’ve shared my experience – now I’d love to hear your story. Take a minute and leave a note in the comments with your blogging successes and failures.
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