Let’s talk about the blogging jitters. Here’s what it recently looked like for me. My heart beat a little faster and my palms were starting to sweat. I went to hit the “publish” button and then swerved to the “save draft” button. Sound like a familiar scenario? If you’re a blogger, it may. Let me first state that I am not consistent with my blogging. “Do as I say, not as I do,” should be my mantra. I advise my clients to post at least once a week and I’m over here with my dentist friend, whose kids have cavities. You get the picture.
I posted the article. Then, it was time to share it. I wrote a “sharable” line, started to hit the “share” button and then went back to the article to glance over it . . . just one more time. Really??!
My secret is out. One of my less than desirable traits is a tendency toward perfectionism. It can be a struggle. I don’t want to actually hit the publish button until I’ve reread and rewritten a post at least enough times to make my eyeballs bulge and my fingers go numb. And what about the image? I have to find the “perfect” image to go with the “perfect” post. Right? Wrong.
Done, Not Perfect
Ah, yes. Done is much better than perfect, as the saying goes. Why can’t I always adhere to that? The phrase “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” sticks in my brain. But “right” doesn’t necessarily mean “perfect.” Usually, perfectionism is the result of fear. So perhaps I’m afraid that either I’ll say something stupid or that no one will read (or enjoy, if they read it) what I’ve written. But guess what? Perfectionism is the enemy of authenticity. I need to be willing to let go of what other people think.
Another challenge is that the creative side of my brain tends to jump from one thing to another pretty often and without notice. Just like I’m jumping off right now to work on a project, which is really what I should be doing (taking care of business) – instead of writing this blog post. See what I mean??!
Take a Blogging Break
I’m back. After taking a break. As a result, my head is clear and I’m ready to write. Because sometimes you do need to walk away and come back to whatever you were working on. When frustration starts to creep in or if you feel like you have writer’s block, just walk away. Why? Because you can. This is blogging, not brain surgery. Here are some other tips for curing the blogging jitters:
- Get your head straight – Don’t let any negative messages creep into your head. You know the ones (see above). “I’m not really a good writer.” “What if no one reads this?” “What someone reads it and they don’t like it?” It’s not your job to judge your writing or to be a fortune teller. It’s just your job to write. So turn up the music and turn off the negative chatter. Focus on your message — which leads to the next tip.
- Decide on a topic – It may seem silly to state this, but you’d be surprised at how many people sit down to write a post, with no topic or plan. Who are you writing to and what are their needs? Hopefully, you know your audience and have developed a persona for your customer.
- Know your end goal – Perhaps you’re educating your audience. In this situation, you might want them to download something at the end of the article. If so, you’ll want to add an appropriate CTA (call-to-action) and possibly include gated content that requires a form submission.
- Start – Seriously. Just start. You’ve no doubt heard it said that the first step is the hardest part and it’s true. Just get something down. A title, an outline, or an opening paragraph. Anything. If you don’t start, you’ll never finish. Trite, but true.
- Set a timer – I like to work in 45 minute increments, but you can do as little as 15 minutes. You may surprise yourself with how quickly you can knock out a post when you’re playing “beat the clock.”
- Use short sentences – Write conversationally, but try to keep it short. Your audience and search engines both like easy-to-read posts. You’re not writing a novel. A blog post doesn’t have to be a thousand word essay . . . and it shouldn’t be. (*Note: I once took what a client had written and turned it into two separate posts. That’s an option if you find yourself on a roll!)
- Have fun – Do you enjoy writing? I hope so. This should be fun! Be creative with titles, links, and the images that you use in your posts. There are plenty of resources for free images, and quotes can be used for graphics with a design tool like canva.
The final step? Take a deep breath. Then, hit the “publish” button and see how good it feels! And remember, it’s not Twitter. You can always go back and edit your post. *wink*