I blog just about every day. I write more than 365 blogs each year. I’ve been doing it for over 12 years. And yet my friends and family have no idea that I’m posting blogs. The last post on my business blog is from April. Why? Because I haven’t been doing it for myself.
Not that “cobbler’s children” thing again…
As a professional ghost blogger, I write blogs for my clients constantly. I’ve seen the power of blogging, and I know how to leverage it. Few people are more excited about blogging than me. I follow news about it, listen to podcasts, and nerd out with other bloggers. I go to WordPress events and read books about blogging. Still, if anyone were depending on the feed from my RSS for sustenance, they would have starved a long time ago.
Why don’t we blog?
That cobbler’s children thing is real. It’s also just an excuse. I have everything it takes to blog regularly. If I prioritize it, I’ll make the time. The same applies to you. All those people who are blogging all the time? They’re busy people, too, yet they make it happen. So what’s keeping you and me from blogging?
Maybe we’re being extreme.
In a LinkedIn post advocating progress over perfection, Angie Mattson Stegall pinpoints the all-or-nothing pattern of play as a driver of procrastination. We want to be all in, or we’re not willing to go in at all. When it comes to blogging and social media, the poles can be labeled “all-importance” and “non-importance.” Business owners who could benefit profoundly from making incremental progress – by posting blogs just occasionally – spend their time in one of two extreme positions. Either blogging is so important that the risk of doing it wrong is greater than the reward for their business, or it’s of no importance because they believe the expense will exceed the benefit. The beautiful truth, though, is that content is cumulative. A little bit can go a long way.
Maybe we’re perfectionists.
Have you heard of “analysis paralysis”? Jumping into the current of online media is particularly challenging when you’re watching the stream go by, trying to find the perfect moment to leap. A great dearth of action results when motivated, capable people hesitate. If (like me) you’ve been devoting resources to planning your blog but never writing it, it’s time to switch gears. Michael Masterson wrote the book on “Ready, Fire, Aim,” and if you’re stuck in analysis paralysis, then you’re his target. Consistency isn’t an action; it’s the result of many actions taken over time. If you want to blog, just start. Take one action.
Maybe we’re just plain scared.
Leo Babauta of Zen Habits sums up procrastination simply: “At its root, procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear.” For me, it’s the fear that I won’t be consistent, or that I’ll find out that people don’t actually want to read what I have to say. Or – worse – people will care, there will be a big thing about it, and then I’ll wind up learning something that, had I known it before, would have prevented me from writing an offending post. The only way out of fear is to stop choosing it. If your fear is worth not blogging over, then accept that blogging isn’t possible for you right now. If you decide that you really do want to prioritize blogging, you have to make it more important than your fear.
So how does anyone blog?
It’s simple. You have to open up that WordPress window and start writing. It’ll take some time at first, but like anything, blogging becomes more efficient over time.
Here’s the simple breakdown.
- Make it a must.
- Schedule it in.
- Honor your commitment.
- Write what you know.
- Keep it short.
- Be realistic.
- Don’t be an extremist.
You can start right now.
As you can see, I did. And now I’m blogging! Are you?