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Is fear of blogging getting in your way? Understanding the whys of your fear and what to do about it is key to moving forward with your blog. Gain confidence through action.
Fear of Blogging and Vulnerability
Lately I’ve seen a lot of would-be bloggers who feel frightened at the thought of putting their work out there. They spend their time thinking about blogging and wish to be a successful blogger, but then avoid doing anything about it because they are so scared of being judged or of failing. Fear of blogging is a real problem!
It’s common and normal to feel this way. When you put your creativity out there in the world, it feels like putting a part of yourself on display to be judged and evaluated by others. You worry people might think you’re wasting your time or that what you are doing is silly. People may not appreciate your work and they may choose not to like you. No wonder there is such a fear of blogging!
Maybe you worry what you have to offer isn’t good enough, that no one will read it anyway, or that someone will judge you and see your flaws. Many creative people have serious impostor syndrome and are convinced that at some point someone will figure out they don’t really know what they are doing.
You might fear that once you write the post or create the product you will have no other ideas. Sometimes the thought of having to write post after post for years to come can act as a barrier to success. It is overwhelming to consider that you will have to come up with all that content!
Maybe you have too many ideas and can’t figure out where to even start! Who would have thought this would lead to fear of blogging? Well, when you have so many ideas and people keep telling you you need a specific niche, it can freeze you right in place. (See this post by Paul Scrivens which discusses how to manage this fear quite well).
Maybe you fear that you just don’t know enough. Either you wonder why anyone would listen to you (remember impostor syndrome) or you are stuck not knowing what to do next! It all feels so overwhelming that you just do nothing. How in the world will you learn everything you need to learn just to get started? Once you get past the technical stuff, how in the world will you even get people to read what you wrote?
A Recipe For Procrastination
Perfectionism, fear, and overwhelm are a great combination in the recipe for procrastination. When you are scared that your creative work will not be good enough it feels much safer to just not do it. You might either avoid it altogether or focus on the how tos, hoping to know exactly what to do before you start doing it.
I’m sure you can come up with a ton of excuses for why you are not ready yet. Sometimes you are not even aware that it is actually your fear holding you back.
Ask yourself these questions:
What if you put the thing out there and it wasn’t perfect? What if someone says they hate it? Will you survive? What is the worst that will happen if these things are true, that it isn’t perfect and someone hates it. Or maybe you do all this work and no one even sees it. What then?
(In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses all of these fears and how to manage them as a creative person).
What if you don’t put your stuff out there? When you avoid something because of fear it only makes the fear worse! The reason is that your body feels fear in a certain way and when you make the choice not to pursue whatever it is that you are afraid of, you feel a sense of relief. The relief you feel reinforces the avoidance for a few reasons. First, if you avoided and the fear went away, your body now feels that the thing you feared was in fact really scary since avoidance worked. Also, relief feels good. Why would you want to experience fear?
Let’s say you put it out on social media and the haters come out. You receive a negative comment. Chances are that negative comment comes from someone you don’t even know. Do they really matter? How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you were scared that “they” won’t approve. If you put it out on a Facebook group, people might judge you…people you’ve never met.
Here’s the thing…those people on Facebook who you are scared to put things in front of either aren’t doing the thing at all or they too are frightened that they will be judged in some way. We’ve all seen the internet trolls. They will come. There’s no doubt you will experience them at some point.
But do you really want to let some troll hold you back?
I think not.
Remember that if you wait and wait until you have the perfect thing or the perfect idea you will never be done. Your creative work will never be published. You will stay stuck. You will continue to go around in circles making excuses.
If some miracle happened and your product came out perfect…guess what? There would still be haters. Never underestimate the power of jealousy.
What If You Just Went For It?
What if you felt the fear and just did it anyway? It would be done. It might even be awful, but you know what? You can fix it. On the other hand, it might be great!
Of course, you might think something is awful and it is actually great. You are your harshest critic. If you finish something and think it is awful, take a moment to evaluate before giving up on it. It might just be fear coming out again.
It is funny when you think about it because all that worry about what others think and you are the one who is your worst critic. You are the one who’s being mean and judgmental and resisting putting your stuff out there. Your negative voice is the one stopping you.
So What If It Really Is Terrible?
If it’s a stinker, you can go back and revise after publishing. In fact, it is strongly recommended that you do go back and edit your work over time.
Hopefully your content will be evergreen, helping people for years to come. Things may become out-of-date or you may learn more about your target market and what their needs are. You can always go back and revise and update
You might get feedback and decide to fix your stuff based on that feedback.
You might decide to un-publish some of your material because it isn’t fitting with your brand. Does that mean you shouldn’t have done it?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Finish your work and release it as is-if only so you can go on and make other things – Liz Gilbert” quote=”Finish your work and release it as is-if only so you can go on and make other things – Liz Gilbert”]
I went through this recently and did a blog overhaul. I unpublished about half of my stuff and am in the process of revising much of my old stuff.
There were times when I wanted to just say forget about it and either start over with an entirely new blog or give up blogging altogether. It is hard to un-publish your work or to redo things that you put sweat into. The fear of blogging comes right back up.
Remind yourself repeatedly that you can improve over time and you don’t have to be perfect right out of the gate. You just have to get things out there. The more you write and practice, the better you get.
Actually when you think about it, it’s what makes this all fun. You learn as you go. You discover what kind of blogger you are and in many ways who you are as a person. You get to develop over time. Your writing will improve, your marketing will improve. You’ll learn a lot.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you let the fear get in the way, you will never accomplish what you are hoping to accomplish” quote=”If you let the fear get in the way, you will never accomplish what you are hoping to accomplish”]
I am guilty of procrastinating, feeling like I need to learn more and know everything before starting. I spent about 8 months stuck in learning without a lot of action. Part of that process was necessary because I needed to gain clarity on which direction I wanted to go in; yet, if I would have just started I may have figured it out sooner. The key to clarity is action!
I still don’t have all the answers, but I decided to start anyway. I know there will be changes going forward and I will be revising over time. As I write and actually take action with my blog, I’m gaining more clarity than I did searching out knowledge.
I don’t regret taking that time necessarily. It was part of my process. I know a lot because of that time, which I can now share with you. 🙂 I know which products to recommend in the blogging world and which you should just skip over. There is value in that as I work to help you to reach your goals in a quicker way than I did!
The Problem With Perfection
The problem I had was a true mixture of perfectionism and fear. My fear revolved around finding my niche and where I could be helpful. I wanted to pick the right thing. I wanted to do it in the right way.
What is the right way? What’s the right thing?
Well, luckily there are a lot of people that have been successful in blogging that I can rely on. There are a ton of tools out there that people have developed specifically to simplify things for bloggers, to increase the likelihood of success. I’m going to end this post with a few recommendations so you don’t have to struggle with figuring out how to do things like I did.
That way you can stop avoiding your fear and just get on with it. Just follow the direction of the experts. Here are a few:
Ruth Soukup is the creator of Elite Blog Academy, a highly successful program that has a lot of fantastic bloggers as graduates. She wrote a book that gives straightforward guidance on starting a blog, how to write, how to promote, and many other helpful tips. Click here to read about it, sample it, and buy it. It is a great book. I have it on Kindle and hard copy. It is that good and totally worth your time. (If you have a Kindle Unlimited membership, you can read the book for free).
If you are looking to monetize your blog, Michelle Schroeder-Gardner’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing provides a quick way to learn a ton of information on how to do so. Although affiliate marketing takes patience, taking her course will give you an idea of how to do it successfully so you aren’t just slapping up links and hoping they work. (I know you’ve done it…ask me how I know haha). I plan to write a review on this course soon, but I will tell you now that it provides great guidance on the what and how of affiliate marketing. Read more about it here. I highly recommend you purchase this program and go through it immediately. Michelle makes a crazy amount of money on her blog. Seriously, over $50K a month! One bonus here is that the Facebook group for this course is beyond amazing. There are so many helpful people there and you learn more every day. This is the Facebook group I check first daily.
In order to get some good affiliate sales, you have to have people visit your site. You don’t need as many as you might think; however, it doesn’t hurt to reach for the stars. Lena Gott is an expert in getting traffic (readers) to her site and has a course teaching you her exact steps for doing this. This is another great course that tells you what actions to take to get it done. I wish I would have gotten this one sooner. Taking the actions taught in this course increased my page views by almost ten times in one month! She also has a free guide with a couple of action steps included you may wish to sign up for!
Finally, if you already know all of that stuff and just need to work on your negative thoughts, here is a book that is all about helping you through anxiety through cognitive therapy techniques. It is a classic and used in the psychology field quite a bit. Click here to see my post about how to challenge negative thoughts and increase your success.
That should be a good bit to get you started. If you have questions or need some help, feel free to reach out to me. Sign up for my email list at the top of this page and respond back to the welcome email. I will respond back quickly!
I know you can do this. You just need to face the fear, do it anyway. Let me know how it goes!
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Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.