Why anybody can blog, but most people fail

As I sat at the dinner table, picking at my meatloaf, my Father looked directly at me.
“Adrian, I hear you haven’t been practicing your piano. We’ve talked about this before.”
“Dad, I really want to learn to play piano, life is just really busy right now,” I argued.
“Adrian, we do the things in life we want to do.

In dozens of conversations with busy professional I hear time and time again similar excuses to the ones I made to my Father as a kid.

“I’m too busy.”
“I barely have time to respond to all my emails.”
“I don’t want to commit to something I can’t stick with.”

Most people who try to blog fail for three major reasons. 1. They aren’t sufficiently motivated to blog. 2. They aren’t organized enough to blog. 3. They don’t know what to say.

Motivation

If you don’t believe that blogging will help build your business, build your reputation, or gain valuable exposure for you- you may not have sufficient motivation to make blogging a priority in your life. That is ok, blogging isn’t for everybody. Last week in my post: Do you believe in social media? we talked about this very point. If you really want to start blogging, these questions may help you: What will blogging mean to your career? What networking opportunities will blogging provide you with? How will landing a new client through your blog affect how you are perceived in your office? If answering these questions motivates you to start blogging, you are part of the way there. The next step is to make a plan.

Organization

“I’m just not good at keeping weekly or daily commitments.”

We all do the things in life we want to do. What do you want most? Do you want to write a book? Do you want to travel to Europe? Do you want to buy a rental property? Make it happen. Create a plan and follow it- but stop saying you really want to do something and start planning to make it happen.

When it comes to blogging you need a schedule. Set aside time every day or every week when you can blog free from distractions. If you don’t have any free time, reevaluate some of the other “essential” tasks that are filling your days and find out which tasks are keeping you from achieving the things you most want to accomplish. Eliminate the the time sinks.

I schedule time three days a week to blog, sometimes I only come up with 2 blog posts, some weeks I come up with 4, but it is part of schedule. One of the biggest mistakes people make that start blogging or using social media is underestimating the commitment. I’m not talking about wasting time on Twitter or Facebook. You can easily waste 2 hours each day on social networking, but that isn’t the point here. The point is schedule time in a strategic way so that when you write and when you spend time online you are maximizing that opportunity by either creating content, learning, or building relationships. Your time and energy are your most valuable resources, so use them wisely.

Figuring out what to say

What are you the best at? Where do you have expertise? What is a topic you are passionate about? What types of news articles make your blood boil? You always have things to talk about, you just need to start saying them online.

Another great way to get started is to blog about questions people frequently ask you, or questions you personally would like answered. If the questions are interesting and important to your clients, they will most likely be helpful to others as well.

When I know I have to blog on a regular basis, it changes the way I see the world. In the middle of conversations I will often say, “wow that would make a great blog post.” Blogging changes the way you think. Suddenly an idea can become much more. Your simple thought bubble makes for a compelling blog post. You just need to start writing them down.

Overcoming fear

What if people don’t like my posts? What if people don’t read them? What if people criticize my writing?

For most people the problem isn’t that they don’t have anything to say. The problem is that they are afraid. Fear can be crippling, and fear of saying the wrong thing keeps people from blogging. Overcoming this fear takes practice. Through repetition your confidence and skill level will grow and and your fear will dissipate. Learn by doing, and the more you blog the better you will be.

If you are motivated to blog, make it part of your routine and make it happen. It isn’t easy. It requires dedication, creativity and hard work. It can be amazing though. Blogging is great for so many reasons. Get over these major hurdles and blogging can work for you. Just remember what my Dad taught me:

“We do the things in life we want to do.”

Comments

13 Responses to “Why anybody can blog, but most people fail”

  1. So right you are Adrian .. A blog takes commitment and passion. What better forum than a blog nor anyone who wants to share their views or expertise.

  2. All true. Sometimes even planning gets in the way and becomes a way of “not doing” while making yourself think your are in fact doing. Sort of like reading a diet book with a pint of Ben & Jerry on your lap…

  3. kellybriefworld says:

    I am thrilled with the use of social media in the workplace. I have been following the debate closely. The balance of productivity and working like employees live is a tricky one with social media. Blog, blog, blog or block, block, block???

  4. Deb Dobson says:

    Adrian, this is such a great post and I’ve forwarded it to some of my attorney friends to read. You are so right on target here and good tips.

    • Thanks Deb, hopefully the post will inspire some people to work harder at blogger, and make other re-evaluate whether or not it is something they really want to commit to.

  5. I’ve been blogging for … well, for over 5 years now on various platforms. And I’ve come to the realization (long ago) that it’s not so much the blogging, but the core concept of content creation that is what’s key to this entire process.

    Lawyers – in fact, all professionals and business owners – are publishers. We publish our thoughts, our personal and professional views, and our beliefs; the fact that it’s on a blog is irrelevant. We could do it on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on a variety of forum sites, article sites, and the list goes on and on. It is the publication that’s critical, not the blogging.

    We blog for the purposes of generating business for our firms, whether directly or indirectly. We blog for notoriety as an expert in our field. We blog to provide information to those who seek it.

    Replace the word “blog” with “tweet,” “post articles,” “contribute to a forum,” or the like. You’ll see that it fits.

    What is important to us should be the creation of actionable and compelling content that accomplishes our business goals. Use a blog or not – that’s choice of platform based on where your content can generate the greatest impact.

    For me, blogging is the platform. But for others, that may not be the case.

  6. Brian says:

    Lots of corporate IT departments are asking themselves whether or not to block social media (aka Enterprise 2.0) applications like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc. What they often don’t realize is that they can safely enable these applications through the use of smart policies.

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