6 minute read
“I’m not a writer therefore I can’t be a blogger.”
Sound familiar? Writing is one of those skills that people get a little insecure about. Letting people read your words can leave you feeling anxious, touchy, and super vulnerable. No matter what the subject matter is, there will be people who just don’t feel comfortable writing for the public’s consumption.
It’s true, not everyone can be a technical writer, or writer of poetry, or a screenwriter, but let me tell you something right now – anyone can be a writer of blogs.
Just because you haven’t been professionally trained or interned under a master writer or even made good grades on your English papers in high school doesn’t mean you can’t be a writer of blogs. Beyond your educational background or your grammar prowess, the one real prerequisite to be a writer of blogs is having something to teach.
Yep, that means you. I know you’ve got something to teach. We all do. We all have skills and abilities that other people might not have. Your experiences, your history, your relationships – everything that makes you you gives you an advantage to teach something and write about it.
Have you traveled a lot? Teach people how to get the best flight deals and how to you pack for a month away.
Are you a freelance designer? Readers would love to know how you find new contract work and how you organize your days to focused at home.
You see where I’m going with this?
Even if you can’t see it in yourself right, let me tell you now – You can teach! You can write! You can blog! You’ve got a voice that is uniquely you and people need to hear it.
Have I convinced that you’re ready to write yet?
Now that I’ve got you all hyped up and confident, let me give you a couple tips to help ease your writer’s anxiety to start putting words on the page.
Real talk- I’ve been a writer for well over a decade at this point and there are still times I sit down to write and get that anxiety. It’s human. It’s inevitable. But it’s not permanent.
Writing is a skill – sometimes innate, sometimes learned- and as such can be worked on and improved on. And any good writer is constantly working on it.
Now, all those good writers will have their own advice for new writers. It comes from their experiences and what motivates, inspires, and challenges them. And as usual- what works for one writer might not work for another writer, but with that in mind- here are a couple tips from me to you to help you get confident in your writing ability.
Don’t overcomplicate it. You don’t need to be writing 1,500 word editorial style posts or worrying about going viral when you first start out. Just keep it short and simple.
And when you’re worried about writing in general, stick to posts that don’t involve much writing like lists, curated posts, and how-tos. These kinds of posts are already popular with blog readers so not only will they be easier blogs to help you get your bearings as a writer, they’ll also be a hit with your subscribers.
Write like you talk.
In other words – write like you’re talking to a friend. Think of a specific person you know that is similar to your audience and write directly to them. I don’t mean actually starting each blog by saying “Hey Dani, blah blah blah.” I just mean pretend that every time you’re writing a blog you’re talking to their face. Be conversational and have fun with it.
Focus on what your audience needs.
This plays a little bit off of the last tip. While you’re keeping it conversational and chill, you still need to be providing your readers with valuable content. To do that, you’ll need to figure out what their pain point is- ie: What are they searching your blog for? What can you write/create for them that will enrich their life? Once you know that, your writing will be more focused and you’ll also engage with your readers better.
Write what you know.
The more you know about your topic, the more articulate your writing will be. So think about your experiences and teach what you know. You’ll be more comfortable talking about and that will show in your writing.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
If you’re worried about being a good writer, the only thing that will make you better is…well, writing. Practicing your craft is essential to hitting your goals. So here’s a tip inside a tip:
Set up daily rituals- Sit down every day for 10, 15, 30 minutes and free write. That means sit down and start typing (or journaling, whatever floats your boat), don’t stop until that timer goes up. This will help you lose the fear of the blank page and any inhibitions you might have about people reading your words.
Read a lot.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” Stephen King
Good writers are good readers. If you want to get better at writing for your blog, read other blogs in your industry. Study their styles, the topics they write about, and their flow. The more you read, the more you’ll develop your writing skills and pretty soon you’ll have your own personal style.
Start with a plan.
No one likes sitting down to a blank page. Instead of watching the cursor blink for 30 minutes while you’re trying to come up with the perfecting opening line, start with a quick outline of what you want to say. That could be a couple basic sentences or bullet points about what you want to say in your blog post, what you want your readers to learn, and what you want readers to be able to do after reading your blog.
No one is perfect. And honestly, who’s defining what “good writing” is? So don’t worry what other people think of your writing. As long as you’re creating value with your blog, your writing is going to be ok.
Are you ready to write? I think you are!
I’m not going to lie though- it will feel awkward for a while. You might feel like you’re writing to an empty void, you won’t have great direction, and you might want to give up. But if you’re the passionate, go-getter that I think you are, you’ll keep at it.
Don’t let writer’s insecurity get the best of you. Don’t worry about the experiences you do or don’t have. And don’t compare your words to other people’s words.
Wake up tomorrow morning with determination to be a writer and just write. Don’t make it bigger than it needs to be- just write.
Now repeat after me- I am a writer.
If so, share this with a friend and join in on the inspiration!