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.
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.
“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.
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.”