If you’ve thought of starting a blog, or have taken the plunge and have hit “publish” for the first time, you’ll relate to this list all too well. Blogging is an interesting way to connect to others all over the world which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time.
What I want you to know is that you’re not alone in. Even after 2 1/2 years of blogging, all of these things creep up and try talking me out of continuing to share my story. What I’m realizing, though, is that they aren’t going anywhere. Being a blogger is leaving your creativity open to critique so all we can do is recognize that we’re strong enough to work through them.
Here’s a list of the top 7 things holding you back from pursuing blogging:
1. Fear of failure
I have always been a dreamer. Until about 2 years ago, I truly believed I could do anything that I choose. I could be a blogger, actress, interior designer or mother.. you name it. And then something changed. I started losing control of my life and stopped believing I could do it all… or for that matter, any of it. What if my dream or goal was too big and I make a fool of myself when it doesn’t work out? Well, lemmetellya, you learn to move on. You get braver through the experience and have to remind yourself why you’re pursuing blogging in the first place.
2. Fear of success
Success comes with consistency, reliability and responsibility. Before you let yourself get scared of it, embrace these things! These skills help you grow as a person. Consistency is how you know you’re working toward your dreams, reliability means your showing up and responsibility means you are doing something meaningful. Success doesn’t mean you’re going to make everyone happy all the time, it’s a battle you’ll never win.
Done is better than perfect. Seriously. I have backtracked to almost every one of my published posts after noticing an error or not feeling that I was able to really express my thoughts properly. And guess what? My blog didn’t crash, I didn’t pass out, and I definitely didn’t regret having published the post. I have let perfectionism hold me back from staying true to my word of being present on my site and social media because I felt like my post wasn’t good enough or my picture wasn’t pretty enough. Finally, I realized I had to let go of this obsession for perfection. Of course, this doesn’t mean don’t proofread, it just means there are a million ways you can say the same thing and not one of them will ever be ‘perfect’.
4. Material overwhelm
There are so many resources out there for blogging. It’s easy to sign up for every blogging freebie, or buy every ebook or course and think you’re being productive. I fell victim to this too. But it’s quite the opposite… kind of. These resources are amazing. I would have no clue what I’m doing without them, it’s just important to actually implement the new knowledge before moving onto the next thing.
5. Letting others determine your success
Don’t get down because someone else doesn’t celebrate your small successes with you. Or doesn’t believe in you or understand what you’re doing. Or they think you should be doing something else. Don’t let others decide your path for you or tell you what you can or can’t do. You know yourself more than anyone else. Most of all, you know what you want more than anyone else so don’t mask it to make someone else happy! Say outloud that you’re a blogger!
6. Not knowing what to say or how to say it
There are arguments on both sides of narrowing down a niche for your blog. I’ve tried both a niched blog and now a general lifestyle blog. I felt trapped by my niched blog, like I didn’t have enough passion about just one topic. Whereas with my current lifestyle blog I’m able to just relay the things I’m doing every day while living cruelty-free and mindfully. For others, they have found success in really breaking apart every aspect of a single topic (i.e. diy, woodworking, vegan food, baking, technology, saving money, etc.). It’s figuring out with trial and error what resonates with you, and that’s alright! It’s part of your journey in figuring out what you really want from your blog.
7. You don’t feel like an expert in anything
I feel ya if you relate to this one! I often think why would anyone listen to me? I haven’t finished my interior design school, I’ve never written a book, I’m new to blogging, I don’t have the same background as them, blah blah blah.. therefore I’m not qualified to put this information out there. Or maybe the first 15 articles and books I’ve read on this topic weren’t enough, I better read 15 more… ugh, talk about information overload. The reality is though, blogging can be about your journey to becoming better at something, aka, an “expert”. In fact, sometimes that’s the best way to relate to people, by showing that you’re learning every day too.
UPDATE:: since this post, I came across this podcast episode from Problogger that helps a lot with this fear.
BONUS: #8 and one of the most important fears to recognize: self-sabotage.
I am so guilty of this. It’s almost a combo of all the above. It’s giving yourself every excuse in the book not to do it. You straight up talk yourself out of it. You’re not as good as they are, your home doesn’t look as good as theirs, you’re not as fit as they are, you’re not as confident, put-together or motivated as they are. There’s not enough room for me in the blog world.
Bottom line, you have to believe in yourself… all it takes is a spark. What is your end goal? For me, someday I’ll be able to support an animal sanctuary. Even though my end goal is not for me, I have to believe in myself enough to know that I can do it for those animals in need.
I still have my off days. I tell my husband and mom that there’s no way I can do this. I won’t ever be successful in this small town with no opportunity. But the journey is never-ending, in fact, check out this post about giving myself a true chance at this. Or this one, about how I gave my whole blog a facelift… also, did I mention this is my third domain name?
At the end of the day, no matter where you are, you have to create opportunities for yourself. And blogging leaves the possibilities endless.
Here are some coping mechanisms to boost your confidence and help you build a successful blog:
- Get ready for the day. Treat your blog with respect, as if it’s a real job. Replace your yoga pants and hoodie with normal clothes that you’d wear to to the office or get coffee with friends.. scar, I know… but this transforms your attitude for the day. Instead of dreading having to run an errand or meet a friend because you look like you just rolled out of bed, you’re ready for whatever opportunities the day brings. Better yet, go to a “makeshift” office like a coffee shop or public library to get rid of the noise from your home.
- Journal. Start every day with writing down a quote to live by, what you’re thankful for, positive affirmations, your fears/challenges that are holding you back that day followed by positive affirmations that redirect your energy, and unexpected abundances. This is something that dramatically changes my day. I wasn’t a believer for a long time, but it’s amazing what 5 minutes with a paper and pen, coffee and quiet can do.
- Take time to figure out what makes you tick. It’s easy to write about something that you’re passionate about OR that you know will ultimately help you pursue a passion. For example, are you starting a blog so you can travel full time? Or be held accountable to get in shape? Or to teach others to live more eco-friendly? Find what motivates you and always keep it in your mind when you’re having an off day or
- Get a planner. Start with your end goal/passion and break it down into yearly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks so you’re not overwhelmed with all that needs to happen to get ‘er done. Being able to look at everything laid out when you feel like the tedious, little daily tasks are a waste of time, helps you see why they affects your weekly goals, which affects your monthly goals, which affects your yearly goals, which affects your dreams.
- Create consistency in your day. Have a morning routine to prepare you for the day. Use your planner and your daily task lists. Create one thing for your blog that is consistent for now. For me? My Friday Feels Newsletter has held accountability in my posting. It’s one thing I do each week that I know is helping me reach and connect with others, that I enjoy doing and that is ultimately helping me reach my blogging goals. Create an evening routine that includes time with family and a nighttime routine conducive to a goodnights sleep.
- Find a community of support. Seriously, sometimes the only way out of a funk is to reach out. Say out loud what is bothering you. I don’t know personally know many other bloggers, so I seek a lot of support from my Facebook Group communities and it makes all the difference being able to talk to someone who can relate.
- Meditate, exercise and stretch. Meditate to calm your mind and exercise to take control of your health. Taking control of your mind and body will remind you that you are also in control of your life and success. Try and incorporate these in your daily routines.
- Done is better than perfect (just to reiterate). I know this is a hard one. I get it. But the only way to get those killer blog posts or motivation to do projects is by getting momentum. You can’t get momentum if you’re stuck on perfectionism. So hit publish even if you’re not sure it’s quite what you wanted from it! You can always go back and change it.
Have you started a blog yet? If not, what’s holding you back? Leave me a comment below and let’s tackle this journey together!