Here we are, nearing the halfway point of 2016. If your New Year’s resolution was to begin that blog you’ve been talking about for months — but you still haven’t written a single sentence — either ditch the blog idea for good or overcome the anxiety that’s keeping you from making a statement on the web.
As one of my colleagues says: “It’s the start that stops you.”
Do you dread the time you think it will take to blog, and blog consistently? Fear you might run out of topics? Don’t think you’re even qualified to write a blog? (After all, don’t experts write those?)
With more places to post then ever, from LinkedIn to Medium to your own website, blogging has never been easier. As long as you know your intended audience and general focus, you’ll soon realize the process isn’t nearly as unpleasant and frustrating as you thought.
Here are five reasons to stop procrastinating and start writing.
1. You don’t need to be an expert.
Just write what you know. After all, you wouldn’t even have considered the idea of a blog if you had nothing worthwhile to contribute. Here are a few starter ideas:
- Compile a list of common questions your customers or clients ask, and then answer those questions in individual blog posts, using bullet points or a step-by-step format.
- If you’ve spent 20 years in your chosen industry, you have a wealth of insight and ideas to share with readers. Pick a topic and go.
- Share an observation you made regarding the work you do, and write a quick commentary on that.
Again, the point is this: Write what you know. Even if you don’t consider yourself an expert, your readers will.
2. You don’t need to cover the entire topic.
Choose one angle or element of your topic and keep the focus there:
- You sell cars and trucks: Why is summer the best time to shop for a new vehicle?
- You operate a health club: How can your members update a tired fitness routine?
- Social media is your specialty: What are five ways to more effectively use Instagram?
- Fed up with how other people do things: How can you help them, say, write a better holiday letter?
3. You don’t have to do a lot of research.
Especially if you know your business as well as your customers say you do. Sure, you may need look up the latest sales figures for hybrid vehicles, double-check a few facts about cross-training or find out how many people use Instagram today. But you should be generating and sharing your own intellectual property.
4. You don’t need to write long.
In fact, shorter is better. There’s no need for an exhaustive effort. Somebody has already done that, anyway. And everybody else doesn’t want to read that much.
5. You don’t need to worry about your post going viral.
Nor should you worry about that. Write for your audience — your customers, your prospects and your fans. If you write something controversial, or post a clever video or a funny picture, and it happens to go viral, congratulate yourself and get back to work. It’s never too early to start thinking about your next post.