By Gina Morin, Design Intervention
What?! Isn't everyone telling you that you should start a blog? Don't you feel guilty for not having started one by now? Aren't you missing out on a ton of business by not having one? You tell yourself you feel overwhelmed by so much, where would you find the time? But you know you should be doing it. Everyone else is doing it, right?! You tell yourself you'll start it next month, or next year or when things quiet down, but that time never comes. So what's REALLY stopping you? My guess—fear.
You aren't as good as you think you are
Putting yourself out there in the digital world isn't easy. It took me years to start my blog, and now that I have it, I'm glad that I started, but it's PAINFUL to write my blogs every month. I'm not a writer. I'm a designer. I'm guessing most of you aren't writers either. Writing a blog puts you in a vulnerable position. It means putting yourself out there with your thoughts and opinions. What if someone criticizes it? What if someone tells you that you aren't as good as you think you are?
Blogging will drive you f***ing bananas
Every month when I hit "publish" on a new post, I get a little twinge of anxiety that comes across me. I go back and read it out loud. I read it on my desktop. I read it on my phone. I almost always edit a little something, and you know what, it's not perfect. It really isn't. I send things out with typos. I question the structure of it. I always think I could have come up with a better headline. I wonder if I sited enough references in the links. I wonder if I should have written more or written less. It drives me f***ing bananas! Trust me; it will do the same to you.
It's challenging to carve out time to blog. I find that I get it done if I do it in the morning before I start my work, but deadlines are always in the back of my head when I'm writing it—client projects, marketing my business, checking a press proof, writing a proposal. It never ends. And then the personal stuff that always creeps in—doctor's appointments, family emergencies, finding time to exercise, meditate and maintain a structured morning routine so that I don't feel anxiety when I'm trying to blog! ARH!
So despite everything I mentioned above—the fear, the time, the anxiety, I still get a blog out every month (minus November & December when I intentionally take a holiday break from blogging). Why do I do it? I do it because I love to learn and share that knowledge. I REALLY LOVE to learn. I love learning about design, marketing, business, technology—all the things that bring value to the clients I serve. I love reading books, watching webinars, reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, taking online classes, speaking with other designers. I LOVE it! AND I LOVE to share that knowledge. I want to help the people that are too busy learning things in their industry to learn about all the things I mentioned above. I finally decided to start blogging when I realized that I had so much information in my head and I was only sharing with people I was meeting with in-person or over the phone. At first, I assumed my clients already knew this stuff—but they didn't. The clients I meet with and serve on a regular basis value what I have to share. I motivate them to want to do more, and I love seeing my clients putting their best selves forward in the businesses they are so passionate about.
So don't start a blog
Blogging is great for business. It's good for SEO and a great way to position yourself as an expert. A blog can provide value to your audience and can motivate you to grow and engage with followers on social media. BUT if you still aren't sure you want to start a blog, ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want to start a blog?
- Do you have something that is motivating you? Is it something strong enough to push past your fear?
- Do you have the time? Be honest. Some people just don't. And no matter how much they are motivated to do it, they just can't carve that time out. Once you start blogging, your readers are going to come to expect content from you on a regular basis, and if you can't deliver on that, you're doing more harm than good.
- Do you have the money? If you have the motivation, but not the time, ask yourself if you have the budget to pay a writer to help you. You may also need help on the technical side to set it up on your website. It all costs money.
- Do you understand that starting a blog doesn't mean overnight success? Blogging, or any content marketing, isn't a quick fix. It takes time to build an audience and see the results of your efforts.
So if fear, lack of motivation, lack of time or money is holding you back, let it go. Seriously—LET IT GO. Don't beat yourself up over and over again for not having a blog. It's not for everyone. You'll serve yourself and your business so much more if you focus on the kind of marketing that motivates you to do it consistently. Don't let peer pressure make you feel bad for not blogging. Develop your marketing roadmap and stick to it. Be genuine in all your marketing efforts. Doing something, like blogging, because you feel you SHOULD do it will only result in an empty shell of content that doesn't resonate with your audience or bring you a return on your investment of time or money.
I would LOVE to know how you feel about blogging. Please leave a comment below and if you are ready to strategize about your marketing roadmap, let's connect!