30 Aug How I learned to stop worrying and publish my own blog posts
You know why it makes sense to publish regular blog posts. If you have a goal to build your influence in the sales industry, blogging consistently should be part of your plans to achieve that. If you have your own site, publishing regular content will get you higher on Google. If you’re selling something, you can use blogs to charm your audience into buying from you.
Yet it’s hard. It’s hard to start, and it’s even harder to carry on blogging on a regular basis, coming up with fresh ideas, angles, arguments.
I’ve been there. I’ve stared at that flashing cursor, going crazy with fear. I don’t anymore though. Hey, I actually think blogging is fun now. Here’s my story, and how I did it.
The early years
I’ve never been known as a great writer. When I was at school, as soon as I was able to, I dropped the subjects that would make me do lots of writing, like English and History. My A-Levels were maths, chemistry and economics. Yes, graphs were my thing, not words.
When I was at middle school one particular teacher would tear apart my writing style, and give me very poor grades. I don’t blame him entirely, but I do wonder what that did to my belief in my writing skills? I’m sure it didn’t help.
Anyway, when I entered the world of work, I gravitated to sales. I was pretty good at it. Possibly because I’m a good talker, I can think quickly, and I’m good at building rapport. Save for the odd presentation or sales email, which were very short and to-the-point, I never had to do much writing. That suited me fine.
The moment it all changed
If you’ve been following my blogs, you may have read about how I became Number 1 on the Social Selling Index on LinkedIn. I set myself a goal to achieve this accolade, however, I knew I would have to start publishing blog posts regularly on LinkedIn if I was going to get there. It’s part of the criteria.
I knew I would have to pick up my metaphorical pen again and start writing. I knew I would have to put my fear of a blank page to one side. Here’s how I did it.
My 7 step writing recovery programme
1 – I backed myself. What’s the worst that could happen? No one reading it? Honestly, it isn’t that bad. I’m good at most things I turn my hand to, why would I not be good at blogging? Especially on a subject I know a bit about.
2 – Less than 3% of people on social media actually contribute to content creation. I realised that just being active would put me ahead of most of the crowd.
3 – I changed my mindset. I gave up trying to write the next piece of great literature and just pledged to do my best, to write something that would provide a small amount of value to my readers.
4 – I stopped worrying about no one reading my posts. For a start, that’s really unlikely. If you
publish it and share it, someone somewhere will see it. The lowest number of readers one of my posts got was 150. That’s still a fair few.
5 – I told a couple of close friends what I was doing. This gave me some accountability, which was useful. They were happy to let me bounce ideas off them, and critique my writing before I hit the publish button. I knew if my friends didn’t think my writing was too terrible, the rest of the world wouldn’t either.
6 – I found someone to proofread my blog posts before I published them. My spelling is pretty good, but sometimes things slip through the net. You can publish with confidence after a second opinion.
7 – I pressed Publish and the world did not explode. I actually felt an odd feeling of satisfaction.
So then what happened?
What happened was, I went back to step 1 and started again, and again, and again. After that, good things happened.
I slowly but surely became a better writer. I developed my own style, which I guess you can see here. I try to be direct, snappy, a bit like how I talk.
I found some consistency in my writing schedule. I carried a notepad around with me so I could jot ideas down when I had them. I referenced old posts in new blogs, to give them a new lease of life.
I started to enjoy writing, and looked forward to sitting down with a blank screen again.
If you believe that regularly creating content can help you achieve your goals, then you should do it. Follow my steps, put your fears aside, and you’ll be racking up those views, likes and shares in no time at all.
If you have any writing tips I’d love to hear them. Leave me a comment below and let me know.