Writing is one of the most fear-inducing aspects of business. It’s right up there with public speaking and audits.
But blogging is an entirely different story.
Blogging doesn’t have to be perfect or formal. It can be casual, funny or even heartfelt. You don’t have to write as anyone other than yourself. In fact, being authentic is encouraged.
Every single blogger on the planet started exactly where you are right now. You have something to share with the world. You’re just nervous and lack confidence.
And that’s okay, as so was I.
I wrote a book called Killing Rapunzel: Learning to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit and Self-Employment. It’s about learning how to face your fears and reach your goals. It’s about taking control now (even if you think you’ll fail) and not letting anything stop you from taking the next step forward.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that everything is easier once you have a plan. So if you’ve always wanted to start a blog or add a blog to your business website, now’s the time. I don’t care if you’re a writer or not. You can easily start a blog today with the following quick guide.
Create a Persona
A persona is a fictional sketch of the person you believe will read and like your blog. It’s a tool that helps you write in a conversational style and connect with people on a personal level. Popular blogging expert, Neil Patel, advises to create a persona when creating a blog. “A persona gives clarity, power and passion to your writing. You will find that when you’re thinking of your persona and writing to them, your style of writing will really come alive.”
Choose the gender, age, occupation, relationship status, education and hobbies of your persona. Know, without a doubt, the person you will be speaking to (I’m talking right to you Ella from Seattle!). If you already have a business, create one from your biggest niche. If you’re starting from square one, do some research.
Creating a persona is one of the easiest ways to eliminate feeling overwhelmed when writing. Because you’re not speaking to the entire internet – you’re speaking to one person.
Choose Your Building Blocks
Building a blog isn’t difficult and you don’t need to be a tech expert. If you can post to Instagram and create boards on Pinterest, you’ll be a great blogger.
Here's a simple framework for business bloggers:
This is the software you’ll use to build your blog. You can choose between a larger platform that hosts your site and allows you to build an individual blog (like Blogger and Tumblr), or choose to host your own site (like WordPress). WordPress will help you choose a hosting service and has a ton of support since it’s open source).
An eCommerce Service
Since we’re building a business blog, we’ll need a reliable and affordable eCommerce option. Selz works with WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr and you don’t need any special tech skills to add it to your blog. You can also choose to link to eCommerce platforms like Etsy or Ruby Lane, depending on your niche.
A Sharing Strategy
There are literally a million ways to promote your blog. The obvious and cheap choice is to start with social media, which can be a little overwhelming. Take a look at tools like Hootsuite and Viral Content Buzz which makes sharing easier and more effective.
While this will take time, none of this is difficult or impossible. There are tools, services and support that are ready to help answer any question. The bottom line is that anyone can easily and quickly build a business blog with a little time and effort.
Write, Edit, Repeat
Now we come to the hardest part – writing!
There is nothing to say about writing except you have to put in the work. Choose a topic and just let the words flow. You may write the worst post in the history of the internet, but who cares? You’ll get better every time.
And if you’re nervous or have zero confidence in your writing, find a trusted friend or peer to help. You can always hire an editor, or ask a few friends for their honest opinion. Remind them that they are not doing you any favors by saying things like “That’s brilliant!” or “I wouldn’t change a thing!”. You know who you can trust to both support you and give you honest feedback.
Block out some time and put your fingers on the keyboard. Tell your story, your way. You can’t go wrong if you’re simply putting your own thoughts and ideas into your posts.
Confidence Will Come
One of my students recently said he avoids doing things that he’s not good at. While that may work for a while, you’ll never move your life and career forward unless you take action. Again, who cares if you fail? Every failure is simply an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. I know you’re nervous and have little confidence, but just like any other skill, your blogging confidence will grow over time.
In the immortal words of Nike: Just do it.