Blogging is the new publishing code. Self-publishing is plain fashionable and it comes with a full set of benefits traditional publishing could never afford to proffer. Of course, for some enterprising individuals, blogging is a way to express ideas, establish credibility, promote a business, advocate a cause and maybe just earn money.
Although blogging is sometime thought of as one of the best things that happened to the Internet, apart from the Internet itself, not all bloggers feel this way. Why is that? Why isn’t blogging a free-for-all, new ticket to entrepreneurial or journalistic success? There are deep psychological hurdles for bloggers to cross. Here are some of them:
1. Getting started
On one hand — with Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal — it’s easy to start a blog without any need to dabble with code or waste time learning new web design or development skills.
On the other hand, Internet has too many options for bloggers who’d like to begin. To make it easy for you, shut off all other options and go for WordPress to start with. There’s been no other CMS that makes it so much easier to make a better website. With that out of the way, the next problem with getting started with blogging is about the “niche.” What on earth will you blog about?
Reminisce. Look at what you’ve done all these years. What’s that one thing you are good at? What are you passionate about? What’s that one thing that you’d talk at length forever without even stopping for breaks? That one broad topic is what you should be blogging about.
Forget “niche websites” you wanted to set up because you thought you could earn from Google Adsense. Don’t bother with creating a website (or websites) just to promote affiliate marketing. This is a waste of time. Blogging is hard work and you will not last blogging about things you don’t like and have no interest in.
WordPress is as easy as sending an email — no previous experience, skills or special training needed. Just as “there’s an app for that,” there are plugins and widgets available for anything you thought you needed for your blog.
How do those wonderful pop-ups show up every time you visit a website? There’s a plugin for that.
How do you get visitors to share, like or recommend this page on their social media accounts before getting access to the page? Plugins are available.
Plugins also exist to allow for advertising on your blog, creating membership sites, accepting payments using credit/debit cards and even for scheduling bookings for whatever service you offer.
In a nutshell then: CMS + Plugins + Widgets = Technology hurdles are busted.
3. Forced Extroversion
One of the major psychological hurdles some people have to battle with rests in their own approach to communicate. Some people are introverts. While there’s nothing wrong with introversion, blogging demands extroversion. By definition then, blogging is forced extroversion and not everyone is comfortable with that.
What should introverts do when it comes to blogging? For one, the thought that bloggers can hide behind the text they write is a welcome fact for introverts. You don’t show up anywhere. You communicate using text or audio, at best. Second, introverts can make for forceful writers. They might not be as eloquent as extroverts can be, but they can create a powerful impact with their writing. So that’s good news.
4. Global peer pressure
Why do you think most bloggers ditch their blogs midway, apart from possible reasons like starting blogs for quick riches or because they didn’t realize the amount of work it takes to run a blog? It’s because there’s just too many blogs out there. That kind of competition can wear anyone out. The kind of global peer pressure that blogging creates can take an immense toll on your psyche.
So where do you stand in this wide ocean of bloggers?
This could have a deep-seated effect on you as a blogger. Thankfully, it shouldn’t matter. Ignore the crowded blogosphere. Everyone started as nobody. No one succeeds overnight. Further, who’s even competing with them? You make your own mark on the world, won’t you?
5. The need to monetize
If you want to blog only for the money, don’t bother. Making money shouldn’t even be the reason for traditional moneymaking routes like entrepreneurship, let alone blogging. Even for those starting businesses, if the primary goal were to make money, they’d fail. What chances does a blog have?
Blogging is an engine for self-expression. It helps you to create a name for yourself, earn trust, enhance your credibility and possibly – just ever so possibly – make money from trading valuable advice that others need.
That’s just one out of many ways to leverage a blog. Don’t spend the next decade thinking of making money out of your blog. Instead, think about how you’d like to make a difference. How would you help others? What value do you bring to the table?
6. Managing varying opinions
Did you ever manage a busy online community? How about an actual, physical mob? You’d know that it’s not an easy task to manage groups of people with varied opinions on any given topic or cause. One of those things bloggers struggle with is the necessity to respond to comments on their blogs and even on their social media networks. For one topic you might blog on, there could be various opinions and comments. You did hear about hate comments, hate email and even threatening messages?
Eventually, bloggers get used to it all. It’s all in a day’s work. For some, however, it’s another one of those psychological hurdles to cross. Give it time and develop the flair to manage opinions and you’ll do just fine. No one got sick or died because of a hate comment.
Blogging hurdles? Those will pass. What are you blogging about?