Blogging 101

Overcoming Self-doubt: Positive Affirmations for Bloggers

Admit it, it’s not easy being a blogger. You keep churning post after post hoping for a few clicks and comments and all you hear back are crickets. Unless you are writing solely with the purpose of keeping an online journal or simply venting, you want engagement. You want more and more people to read and discuss what you have to say, hopefully in a positive light.

It could get very lonely and frustrating when you are not able to reach your target audience and grow your blog. That is the weak moment when nagging self-doubts and debilitating fears creep in and cripple your blogging journey. You start editing out more words than you type in and before you know it you are staring at a blank page, completely lost and overwhelmed; not sure how to begin, not sure how to get out of your self-created prison of negative thoughts.

If you are in the throes of such blogging induced dilemma, then try rephrasing these self-limiting thoughts by putting a positive (or a rebellious) spin to them. I bet you will feel much better and start writing again before you know it!

1. No one visits my blog, what’s the point?

Let’s start with the most obvious thought that every blogger has during many phases of their blogging journey. You refresh your Google Analytics page every now and then, hoping desperately for an increment in the numbers but they cling stubbornly to ground zero. You shrug your shoulders and sigh “No one visits my blog, what’s the point of writing then?“.

Don’t leave your sentence hanging at that question mark. Answer it. Think about all the good things that could not have happened had you not started your blog.

Here are a few samples:

  • “My post on ‘x’ topic was published by so and so authority blog.”
  • “My post on ‘y’ topic was shared so and so times on social media.”
  • “So and so brands contacted me for endorsements.”
  • “I earned some cash from blogging.”
  • “I am a social media pro thanks to blogging.”
  • “I know SEO and other techie stuff thanks to blogging.”
  • “I find blogging therapeutic and it helps me work through my feelings.”
  • “I have a very flexible schedule thanks to blogging. Paying attention to my family is as easy as slapping the monitor shut and walking away from my work desk. No boss, no fuss.”

2. It’s not rocket science, everyone can blog, it’s nothing special

Yes, you are right. Starting a blog is as easy as internet ABC, but ask yourself this: How many of the people with free time on their hands feel inspired enough to do it? More importantly, how many of the ones who start blogging get past their first six months?

This is slightly dated information but did you know: 95% of the blogs are essentially abandoned on the web? [Source: NYTimes]

Did you know: Blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants

So tell yourself this instead: “Yes, everyone can blog but everyone does not. Even the ones who do, don’t feel motivated enough to do it for long and give up before the first six months are up. But I am not one of them. I don’t scare easy! I will give it my all and then some before quitting.

And the next time you feel demotivated and think of giving up, try this helpful tip instead.

3. It’s not a unique post

And it never will be, but that is not important. What is important though is finding your unique voice and perspective to tell it.

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Whatever you want to say has already been said in some nook of the world wide web, but the good news is – an article is not all about the crux of the story. It is as much about the storyteller and his angle on the story too! Your unique viewpoint and your writing style are what makes your story truly yours.

Some bloggers are funny and sarcastic, some are poignant and insightful and some are a quirky mish-mash of the two. And that is exactly what connects and attracts like-minded readers to what you have to say.

4. It’s not a perfect post

And it never will be, but the good news is – In the blogging world the story and the voice you bring to the story matter much more than the perfection of your posts and your images.

This is quite difficult for bloggers who strive for 100% all the time, but like in the corporate world, The Pareto Principle aka The 80-20 Rule tend to be the most optimized solution to prevent blogger burnout.

So, the next time you bring yourself down with an “It’s not perfect yet.” thought, try telling yourself this instead. “It is 80% perfect with 20% of my time and energy. Now I can spend a lifetime (Read 100% of my time and energy away from my family) writing the perfect post or stop when I am somewhere around 90-ish.” Works every time for me!

5. If only I had more time to write

You will never have all the time that you need to research and write a post. You will always have clutter and chaos that is the quintessential background of every “work from home” position, especially with young children involved in the equation. But then again, that is the whole beauty of blogging. You get your most creative ideas while cleaning up messes, doing dishes or playing with your children.

If you had more time, you would probably be still stuck in your day job dreaming of the day you could retire!

6. I am not good at…

This self-doubt could rear it’s ugly head many times and in many forms:

  • “I am not a good photographer”
  • “I am lost with social media”
  • “Word counts, SEO, keywords, it’s all so overwhelming”

The important thing to remember is that not every blogger has all these skills mastered to the tee. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to serving the Many-Faced God of Blogging. Someone is great at social networking, someone is an amazing photographer and someone is an SEO guru. Just like in every other sphere of life, you just need to spotlight your strengths while working on your weaknesses in the background. So, go ahead and rephrase your self-critical words into the following positive thoughts:

  • “I am not good at …, but I am a pro at…”
  • “I am not good at …, but I am a fast learner. I can definitely learn the basics in … days/weeks.”

And before you know it, these thoughts will stop playing in your head over and over again.

7. So and so’s writing is just like mine but their blogs are growing faster, what I am doing wrong?

Ah, the much vilified, yet so pervasive human emotion called Jealousy! It’s not a good feeling to have, but if you are being completely honest with yourself, you will be jealous many times during your blogging journey. And the good news is, your jealousy for someone in the writing/blogging community is something that can be an amazing teacher for you.

So the next time you are in the throes of jealousy and getting sucked into the negative vortex of envy, remember that it is actually your admiration cloaked in a jealous garb:

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I don’t know who said it, but it’s a good thought to turn the tables on jealousy and transform it into a positive force of change. So, go ahead and explore your jealousy a bit more, but in a neutral light. Seek out the thing that is making you smolder internally and learn how to emulate the person you envy for the thing that you envy him/her for. And watch your envy taking you places because as Parul Sehgal aptly said in her TED talk:

“Jealousy likes information. Jealousy likes details.

And an attention to detail is what can power your blog towards an upward curve in the long run.

8. I am not a good writer

And last but the biggest self-doubt that any blogger can and does have: “I am not a good writer. Hell, I am not even sure I AM A WRITER!” This is especially true for non-native English writers like me, who think in two other languages before finally arriving at its English translation 😉

But that is the good news with blogging in particular and any talent in general. For creating the “Recipe of Success”, you need to mix talent with equal parts perseverance, equal parts hard work and a dash of luck and faith. Some of the top bloggers I stalk persistently on the internet, do not necessarily boast of the best writing skills. But all of them work relentlessly building their brands.

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So, yes the next time you hear that little devil of self-doubt whisper in your ears “I am not a good writer“, shout this back “I may not be the best writer on the block but I have stories that need to be told and I will work my butt off to tell them“. Because like Maya Angelou rightly said:

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Now it’s your turn – What are some of the self-limiting demons that you have to fight off while blogging? Don’t forget to share your views in the comments section below.

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