Spent some time catching up with my buddy Will this past week.
We both started new chapters in our lives around the same time last year and he had was curious if I had any input on things he could do to help him get to where he’s going.
Starting to seem like my default to response to everything, but I said “man, you’re at the beginning of this new journey and you should document it on a blog or something”.
His follow up question is what sparked this blog post. He wanted to know if I had any tips on how to overcome the confidence issues that are associated with putting content out into the world.
After nearly 5 years of blogging at least once a week, nearly 10 years running this particular blog and well over 500 posts, you damn well know I have some opinions on the matter :P
1. You don’t even have an audience
Not yet at least.
Thing is, when you’re starting out there probably won’t be anybody reading your posts, not even your friends.
This may seem defeatist but you can use it to your advantage.
With little to no audience, there’s less feedback. The idea that people are going to read your stuff and immediately start flaming your comments section is probably not going to happen.
Take this time at the beginning to help you establish your blogging schedule, create content and to help find / hone your voice.
2. It doesn’t matter how it looks
People get very hung up with how things look and making sure that everything is absolutely perfect. What matters most is the content itself.
Not only does how the site look not matter, but your content early on probably doesn’t matter either.
Don’t get hung up on the design of your site or spending days proofing and attempting to perfect your content.
If you go way back on this site, you’ll see that most of posts were just updates about shit going on in my life. It’s far from what the site’s known for and it took me throwing those kinds of darts to help me find what kind of content works.
3. Remember who’s in control
Fast forward and now you actually have an audience. When that time comes, there will be some asshole that calls you a retard (yes this has happened to me) or wants to beat you up because “actually…”.
What you have to remember is that the person that left that comment found your content, may have even read all of it and then decided to take more time out of their day to write out a comment.
Hell, they probably composed that comment 3 or 4 times to make sure you got a proper razzing!
You’re the one with the power in that relationship. This is going to sound dick, but you controlled the trajectory of that person’s day and honestly, you don’t even need to respond to them.
Hell you don’t even need a comments section, a ton of great blogs are one-way.
You could also do what I do, just reply with “thanks” in hope that it riles them up a bit more. You’re in control of your blog, not everybody else.
4. Do it for you
If you haven’t noticed, the first few tips are about this mythical audience that there’s a good chance you don’t have.
An audience is great and it’s the inevitable outcome of putting in the work, but it shouldn’t be why you blog in my opinion.
Get the audience out of your head and do it for you. Whether it’s because you want to document a personal journey, or want a place to stash your recipes or just want to document stuff because you will probably forget about it later on (pretty much where most of my content comes from).
5. There is no 5th tip
Okay so, I set out to do this post and I thought to myself “oh wow, I should do this like a listicle or whatever and that’d be freaking great, I’m such a genius, /me pats himself on the back”.
The point here is, it’s okay to fuck up. It’s okay if your site looks like shit and it’s not the end of the world if you mispell something from time to time.
I’m not saying you should embrace the writing style of a fake news site, but mistakes do happen. If somebody does notice and brings it to your attention, consider yourself blessed because somebody read your post and cared enough about it to let you know.
Unless they call your post retarded, fuck that asshole. He commented anonymously too, can’t you believe that shit?
Okay, enough of my own venting there… fact is, even though the Internet doesn’t have a delete key, you can always go back and fix up your old posts.
Remember, nobody is going to notice anything if you don’t put yourself out there and get your words off your hard disk. Now get over yourself and get to writing!