Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The Hardest Part of Blogging is Getting Started

From Jeff: This is a guest post by Caleb McNary. Caleb is a blogger and Director of Communications and Advocacy for Numana, an international relief organization. Connect with him on his blog, Twitter, or Facebook.

Tom Petty was wrong. The waiting isn’t the hardest part; getting started is. At least, when it comes to blogging.

Patience

Photo credit: spawn_hmmm (Creative Commons)

You have a voice, an idea, and some level of ability — that is really all you need to start a blog. But instead, you wait. You have a number of excuses, but really, you are just scared to start.

I know I was.

Intimidated by “rock stars”

When I first stumbled upon the blogs of power users with huge audiences, I was immediately intimidated. These bloggers had subscribers, newsletters, and even, dare I say it, advertisers! Maybe you’re thinking the same thing. If so, here’s my advice: Get over it.

These are normal people, just like you and me, with their own fears and insecurities. In fact, the point of many popular blogs is to share the wisdom people have gained, and equip others to accomplish those same goals.

At some point, these super-bloggers made the decision to leave their fears behind, and they started working. So I decided to do the same.

If you are like me, you may have tried your hand at blogging before but failed to persevere. Now, that failure factors in to your hesitation. And you’re scared to start over.

If this is your, I have good news for you: The hard part is actually quite easy. How do you get started with blogging? Here are five lessons I’ve learned:

1. Take your time

The ideas you have aren’t going anywhere, so take the time to mature them. Find something you have expertise in and a passion for, and start creating content around that idea.

The time from when I started developing ideas to actually launching blog took about nine months. During that time, I wrote posts and analyzed them to see the direction in which I wanted to go. As a result, I refined my direction, and enhanced my writing.

2. Build before you start

Find others that are doing what you want to do and follow them. Push out links from others in your genre. Soon, you will start developing a following that is interested in the same stuff as you.

Comment on the blogs of people that you follow, and get on their radar. When you are ready to launch your blog, you will know you already have an audience that trusts you and will give you a shot.

3. Learn from others

The blogs you admire didn’t just happen. All the lessons those writers have learned can be found in their blogs. Study not only content you read, but also the form and function.

One way I did this was to save articles about blogging and social media and later pour over them, gleaning ideas to shape the nuts and bolts of my blog.

4. Plan your launch

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something that will inform your actions leading up to, and during the first couple of months of your new blog’s life.

Gaining a small audience is important to ensure that you keep at it. Write guest posts, and look for opportunities to get on the radar of the bloggers you admire.

Become familiar with tools like Buffer, Time.ly, or dlvr.it, that will help you push out your content to your followers consistently.

I set a goal for my launch week, but because I had a plan that gave me the best chance possible, I doubled it. It was still a small start, but exceeding my goal gave me a lot of energy.

5. Just do it

The only thing holding you back from getting started is you. It’s not your schedule or your lack of ability; it’s your lack of action.

The great thing about taking your time and being patient is you can make changes as you go. Nothing is published, no one is expecting anything of you. No pressure. Why not give it a short?

The time for waiting and excuses is over. Do something, anything. Just get started. (To find out more about starting a blog, go here.)

What’s the hardest part of blogging for you? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I am the best-selling author of five books, including the national bestsellers The Art of Work and Real Artists Don't Starve. Each week, I send out a free newsletter with my best tips on writing, publishing, and helping your creative work succeed.

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