[This is part of the Escaping the 9-5: My Road to ProBlogging series.]
Even the best of us can get discouraged at times and let me be the first to share with you that even I, after blogging for more than 10 years, still can get seriously paralyzed with discouragement!
Sometimes it’s something as small as a light dip in traffic for the week or perhaps it’s a less-than-fun comment that appears on a blog post that you really enjoyed writing. Or perhaps it’s because you feel like you’ve invested all this time and the comments aren’t showing up at all (even if you have some decent daily traffic) and it’s nearly impossible to get someone to share a link via Facebook or Twitter.
Whatever it might be you just feel down and out and you don’t think you’re ever going to get there (wherever “there” may be for you). But maybe you’ve bought into one of these lies that you need to categorically reject!
Check them and then gut check yourself out of that slump – your blog (and your potential) is worth more than a slight mental sidetrack!
1. I Could Never Do That
I understand if you’re just trying to be modest or humble but I try to get people to not think or say this at all regardless of where they are with their blog – it just doesn’t do anything but keep you from reaching your potential!
Most “successful” bloggers I know didn’t start out with grandiose goals of becoming professional bloggers – I know that I didn’t! And, most full time bloggers are just like you and me: Normal people who love to talk about the things they are passionate about.
The simple truth is that you do have the potential to do exactly what you see others do with their blogs – and although you might never get there there’s no point in cutting off your legs before you start trying to walk down that path.
No one has a special advantage over anyone in the blogosphere and no one was handed a silvery-blog-spoon – hard work, dedication, and a little luck made up most of the ingredients and they are all freely available to you.
2. Content is All I Need
You’ve probably heard that “content is king” and to some degree they are right – but it’s certainly not everything. For starters, a lot of you might simply be buying into the lie that all you have to do is create amazing blog content and the rest will just work itself out.
Sorry, you’re wrong. You’re going to need to leverage your network and get over the fact that promotion and marketing is part of the game. If you think you’ve got great content that the world needs to read then you have to become comfortable with promoting it wisely and well.
Content is where you start but marketing and promoting it is where you head next and if you’re not getting there at all then don’t expect to grow in the ways that you intend to grow!
Sure, I know it’s hard for some of you to feel alright with all this so-called self-promotion but you’ve already jumped that gap when you audaciously believed that you had something original to say on the internet on your blog! Just think about that for a moment.
3. My Writing Isn’t Good Enough
And you know what? For some of you this might be true – your writing is terrible with grammatical and spelling errors on every other line but please do not let that necessarily stop you from starting and going big.
Sure, some of us might need a bit more help in that department but the best way that you’ll going to get better besides getting some help is by simply practicing – and that requires you to continue writing, every single day.
Can I be honest? Many professional bloggers aren’t very good writers. In fact, most full time bloggers aren’t professional at all in their grammar and handle of english but it hasn’t stopped them has it?
I’ll go one more step and admit that I’m not even that great of a writer – I often have you guys ping me (politely, I might add) and tell me that I forgot something here or misspelled something there or just didn’t make sense everywhere…! It’s wonderful!
So what if you’re writing isn’t “good enough” – just write anyways.
4. I Don’t Blog for Money
Many of us have the intention of making money via our blogs at some point (which is great and probably one of the reasons you are a part of this community) but it could be one of the greatest tensions for you that’s holding you back.
I’ve written historically about how talking about money is a sensitive topic and one of the internal lies that could be holding you back is that you don’t want to admit to yourself, let alone publicly, that you’re intention is to make a few dollars as some point.
You see, there’s some internal struggle that you’re having with yourself – you might feel that making money via a blog is still taboo (or really strange) or that money is “evil” or “dirty” or “immoral” and that you don’t want to talk about it or reconcile it in your head – but all the while it’s keeping you back from just going “full on” into your work.
I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve had to counsel that are “stuck” right here and their blogs have hit a point of saturation because they refuse to engage with the tension of profiting off their blog. Face the challenge today and you’ll find it much more rewarding, besides the fact that you won’t have a glass ceiling.
5. I Just Need the Formula
Finally, one of the most common lies that bloggers give in to is believing that there is actually a “formula” for all of this (whatever “this” really is). Sorry! It’s not true.
Even the things that I’m sharing with you on this blog are just one perspective, one experience, one model that I’ve found to work for me but that might not necessarily work for you (or it might work better!). I hope that this is translated well throughout most of my writing as I never want to come off as too dogmatic or too proud in my own methodologies.
The fact is that there are just as many unique stories of how normal and every day people like you and I got into professional blogging as their are methods and strategies – your challenge is to find the right combination that will help you, your content, and your audience the best.
My advice i s to stay away from anything that reads like a formula – it’s just not how it works and what I dislike the most is that a formula intrinsically suggests and assumes a guaranteed outcome. No way, no way!
Here’s the thing: Don’t let the lies stop you from taking your blog to the next level and getting you on the road to going “Pro!” You can do it (if you want) – I believe in you!