10 Secret Fears of Bloggers

10 Secret Fears of Blogging

Blogging fears. We all have them. And we don’t always want to talk about them.

But when we sit down to write, they rear their ugly heads, those nasty trolls with the beady eyes and crazy orange hair:

“What makes you think you can write?”

“Why would anyone be interested in what you have to say?”

“Didn’t you know there are no interesting things left to blog about?”

When we finally take them out of the jar and hold them up to the light, they are really about one thing:

We are afraid  our readers won’t like what we write.

10 Secret Fears of Bloggers

Whether you started blogging yesterday or you’ve published a bazillion posts, you will recognize these fears. Some you could knock over with a feather, others terrorize you every time you sit down to write.

The good news is, unless you have multiple personality disorder, you can only have 5 of these fears at any one time. And that already makes the whole thing more manageable, doesn’t it?

Okay, here they are:

1. I have nothing to say.

Blank Screen Syndrome hits us all.  But the ideas, or what Stephen King calls “The Boys in the Basement,” are there. You just need to get them, before they go poof.

Pay attention to when they come. Maybe it’s in the shower. Or when you are scrubbing the sink. One of my clients said that one day, when she was driving, the radio broke and rich, juicy ideas started flooding her brain. She found that driving brought her the best ideas, but the radio had been drowning them out.

2. I have too much to say.

This fear usually means that your topic is too big. If your subject is huge, break it into manageable chunks.

Try mind mapping. Put your big topic in the middle of your paper or whiteboard. Draw a circle around it. Quickly break the topic into smaller chunks, with straight lines coming out from your center topic. You’ll find the farther you go out with your circles and lines, the more specific your sub-topics become, until you have a subject that is just the right size to write about in one post.

3. If I don’t have a niche, no one will read my posts.

This fear is real. Listen to it. If you want to write about everything in the world, just know this one thing.

Niched blogs attract more readers.

It’s easier if your business is already “nichified.” But even it isn’t, you can find your blogging focus. If you think about where your interests and passions intersect, what your target clients care most about, the thing you are best at doing and a topic that has enough content to write about, you are well on your way.

4. If I have a niche, I’ll lose readers.

Let’s knock this fear off its feet. Yes, losing readers is painful. But you will lose theright readers, the ones who don’t fit your target market.

And they will be replaced by people who eagerly await your next post, who can’t wait to consume all that rich, focused content.

5. If I take a stand, some people won’t like that.

This fear will only hold you back. True, some readers won’t like what you write. But they will respect your courage in taking a stand.

Your readers are looking for bloggers with passion. And no mattter what side they are on, they want to read posts that engage them. A side bonus: You’ll usually see a healthy discussion in the comments section.

6. If I don’t take a stand, my posts will be boring.

Pay attention to this one.  Because if your posts are wishy washy, they will be boring.  Many of my favorite bloggers are not afraid to voice an opinion. I don’t always agree with them, but I love the reader engagement their posts spark.

It’s like watching a great debate.

7. If I write as an expert, my readers will think I’m pompous.

Let’s put this one on the bad fear side because it makes you doubt yourself. It makes you wonder,  “Who am I to give advice? Will my readers just think I’m full of myself?”

If you write from the heart, about the thing you know most about, you’ll have happy readers. So write both about things you know and things you think.

8. If I don’t offer ‘expert’ advice, readers will go somewhere else to get it.

This fear is genuine. Although, the word “expert” has gotten a bad rap (everyone seems to be an “expert’ these days), your readers are looking for someone who can give them advice in the one thing they need help with.

For instance, if your reader is young, married expecting her first child and looking for her first house, will she want to read a blog that just gives general real estate advice? Or would she rather read posts by a blogger whose real estate business specializes in finding houses for couples who are first-time buyers and starting a family? Which one would you read?

9. What if I don’t get any comments? (Also known as fear of failure.)

That big fat “0″ in the comments can be depressing. But we all started with the goose egg. Even Chris Brogan.

If it really bothers you, start a Comment Buddies program. I helped some new bloggers start one and it did wonders for increasing traffic and comments, not to mention their self-esteem.

10. I’ll get a bunch of comments and then what will I do? (Also known as fear of success.)

Managing reader comments takes time. As you become more successful and engage more of your readers, you may find that it isn’t physically possible to reply to every comment. Give yourself permission to skip a few.

Fortunately, you can ignore some comments, especially the ones that just say, “Nice post.” Because what can you say to that?

Do any of these fears have your name on them?

Which one consumed you when you were a start-up blogger?

Is one of them preventing you from starting?

Have you discovered a brilliant way to vaporize any of them?

Leave a comment so we can learn from you.

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi :-)

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  • Kelly Green

    I couldn’t have read this at a more perfect time. I literally started a blog yesterday after a while thinking about it, and many of these are thoughts that ran through my head at one time or another. Thanks for putting a name to them!

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Glad you liked it. Stop by http://bobwp.com to see more of Bob’s work. He’s awesome :-)

      • BobWP

        thanks Dino, you are making me blush :)

    • BobWP

      Very cool, I love to hear about synchronicity. Nothing makes me feel better than doing a post at a perfect time for someone just starting. Cheers!

  • http://missfigg.com/blog Jesse Bouman

    When I write an “expert” post, I’m always afraid of sounding dumb or my advice is really elementary. I post anyway. I figure there is always someone out there who will get value from it.

    • http://diyblogger.net/about Dino Dogan

      Expert shmexpert. Be bold :-)

    • BobWP

      Go for it. Everyone has something to contribute, and as long as you feel good about it, then someone will get value out of it.

  • http://www.theworld4realz.com/ Andi-Roo

    Wow, I didn’t think any would apply to me, but you pretty much stabbed me quite well on a couple, particularly with regard to the niche vs. non-niche points. I’m actually working on something with regard to this exact topic, so your input here was quite interesting to me! For what it’s worth {and I’m certainly no “expert”, lolz!}, respectfully disagree with your encouragement toward choosing a niche… but only because I am seeing more and more of the non-niche bloggers pop out, and they are becoming somewhat of a niche in their non-niche-ness, if ya know what I mean. Regardless, it’s certainly an interesting time to be blogging, that’s for sure!

    The other point which hit home was the last one, a fear of success. I always told myself that I don’t give two figs if anyone comments or not {still kinda true}, and that I only write for myself {still mostly true}, and that I don’t have to respond to comments if I don’t want to because I don’t owe anyone anything and poop on anybody who tries to convince me otherwise {mostly no longer true}. I still don’t necessarily feel “obligated” to respond… but I recognize now that it’s less my pissy nature objecting to authority, and more a fear that I’ll be expected to continue “doing great things”. What a stupid mindset to have — a definite set-up for failure! Jeezy! I can’t think you enough for giving me this “ah-ha” moment! :)

    • BobWP

      Hey Andi, yes, I can imagine it’s not always a good thing to do a niche. And some people make it work otherwise. But for so many struggling bloggers who are trying to get an audience, I think the niche works good. They really need to focus and without that it’s hard to gain an audience.

      And as far as replying to comments, again, it’s what you want to do. For me I don’t so much feel an obligation, but more of a polite thank you, but that’s my nature. Not saying you suck if you don’t though… I’m just content with giving you some ah-ha moments.