When you’re starting something completely new or doing something for the first time, all the uncertainties that come with it can be pretty scary. Have you ever had any of these thoughts?
“What do you mean Blogger isn’t a good platform for blogging? Why do I need to host my own site when it’s cheaper for WordPress to host it? Wait, what? After all this persuasion of telling me to use WordPress instead of Blogger, you’re telling me there’s a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?! Forget it, it’s a whole new language. And wait, I don’t have time to post 2 or 3 times per week. Let alone five. And also, traveling is my passion, but there are so many traveling influencers already, why would they need me on broad?”
So let’s debunk some myths and psychological barriers!
So you can’t post 5x a week? Perhaps you want to test the waters and see if posting 2x a week works for you. “Wait, but that other person is posting 5x per week!” In the beginning, it’s more important to get comfortable with your own routine. If you feel like 3x week gets you the traffic and results you want and it’s all you can handle, don’t worry about what people are doing on the other side.
But every niche is taken! Well, there is someone in every type of job, why are you doing it too? Because there is demand for it! The reality is, in every knowledge and skill set, there will always be other people doing it already, but that doesn’t mean employers will connect with every candidate who walks through the door. In fact, today, personality and fitting in with the company culture play a bigger role in your hire than you would think.
So what does this analogy have to do with blogging?
Just because someone else is already in the niche doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Not only there next to zero barriers to entry, but readers are always looking for new energy and personalities to follow. Brands are always looking for more than one influencer to join a campaign. Unless it’s a long-term partnership that took months to plan out, most of the time, a successful campaign requires more than one influencer to create impact.
So with all this said, why should you start your blog before you are ready?
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You will either change or hone in on your niche over time.
Remember when you were in college and counselors, friends, or family always told you that you’ll eventually change majors. Well, in blogging sometimes bloggers move onto other niches too for several reasons. Sometimes blogging about the same thing after 5-7 years just gets repetitive and stale. Sometimes you just find another purpose. Another passion. Or there’s demand from your readers to talk about something else. Or you’ve built up enough skills now that even big brands consult you on social media matters. The space is always evolving and so should your mind.
When I started Talence, I knew I wanted to write about blogging and how to use your talents to grow your online influence, but even within blogging, there are still many topics that fell under the blogging umbrella: productivity, business automation, monetization strategies, or email list building. But I knew that if I never wanted to get anything done, I needed to narrow down my focus. These days, I plan three months ahead with my editorial calendar and write about content marketing and influencer marketing and collaborations.
My point is, whatever niche you start in, you’ll get more clarity once you take your first step. This can be more clarity in both your niche and what your readers really need and want from you. And for the first step that you don’t take, you’ll be missing out on other opportunities and possible next steps that can happen.
It takes time to build connections with both your peers and readers.
When you start a blog and you’re serious about growing your blog, you’ll soon realize that it’s not about the blog. Nope, it’s not about owning a blog. After all, anyone and everyone can own one and the barriers to entry aren’t even that high. It’s not about writing. It’s not about blogging. And it’s not even about having followers on social media.
So what is it about?
I believe that just like being in any other industry, being connected and networking (ugh that word we all introverts dread!) is very relevant to blogging too. If relationships don’t matter in building your blog, why do you think affiliate programs offer to pay a commission to affiliate marketers? It’s because these affiliate programs know that bloggers have a deeper relationship with their readers than themselves do. Therefore, if they wanted to market their product to this specific set of readers, it’s much more convenient to offer to pay a commission than to find these customers themselves.
But these authentic and loyal relationships can take over a year to build. Just think about the last time you landed on a new blog article through Google. Did you wholeheartedly trust this new blogger? Let me guess, you probably didn’t know who was speaking to you. When we are in a rush to find information, we usually don’t pay attention to who’s helping us. We just want to be helped. But if you land on on that person’s site again or again, you’ll notice a pattern.
“Hey, it’s this girl again. She really knows a lot about this topic! Let me check out her other content.” They have to experience that you can help them get results. They have to see that you have made their tomorrow much more beautiful. And all of this takes time.
It takes time for search engines to crawl you.
Google doesn’t crawl your pages from the first day you publish something to your blog. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some results 3 months from your first day, but it really doesn’t get optimal until after the 6 or 12-month period. Whether you have a big or small launch for your blog, peaks of traffic and momentum doesn’t start until much later.
When I say you should start your blog before you’re fully ready, this doesn’t mean you should start when you have no idea what to write about it. You definitely don’t want search engines to remember you by something you don’t want to be known for. I’m just saying that you can be 70% sure about your niche and you’ll know enough to start a blog. For example, if you begin blogging about food, but months later decide you want to talk about reviewing films. I hate to break it to you, but it’s hard for search engines to know what you’re really about. But, if you’re blogging about food, but months later you realize a specific passion for Italian cuisine after a summer trip to Italy — that’s when you have honed in on your niche.
You’re analyzing too much, but you need to spring into action.
I understand this as an INTJ and it’s generally accepted that our personality type falls into too much thinking and not enough doing. In order to be effective, we have to turn our thoughts into action. In other words, we have to execute our ideas. If you have thought about starting a blog, want to start one, or just heard that it’s a good idea to start one, stop thinking about all the obstacles that are stopping you from doing it. Instead, seek out resources that will help you gradually get there!
Sometimes it’s not because you don’t want to launch your blog, it’s because you aren’t aware that you are over-analyzing the situation (raises hand). You may be afraid of failure, afraid that someone will call you a copycat, or afraid that it will not work out. The best thing to do is get to work. Action will overcome those irrational worries. You’ll be surprised what you learn along the way and you’ll be braver to experiment with new ideas when there is a support group than if you were just analyzing inside your head.
You can always go back and fix anything.
Many people are perfectionist and I guess I’m one too (sigh). Sometimes people feel that unless they can get something perfect the first time, they aren’t going to start at all. The truth is, if you never start, you won’t even be halfway finished. Creativity is a messy process and not a straightforward one. I constantly find flaws in everything I do everyday, but I know I can always go back and fix it.
Wait, you’ll never be truly ready!
Whether you’re truly ready for something is very subjective, depending on who is the one making that decision.
For example, if you don’t end up getting the promotion you wanted, does it mean you aren’t ready for the job? Sure that can be the case. But there are other possibilities too. It can mean that you had competition or this specific manager choose him over you for this specific reason. And his decision can be based on many factors, some which aren’t even related to your skills and knowledge.
When you’re a blogger or influencer, the only person who cares about your expertise is your readers. Why? Because they’re the ones gaining something valuable from your knowledge. Perhaps you were always ready to receive the green light from authority, but as an influencer, following your gut and keeping a pulse on what your readers need is what will keep you going. It may be difficult to trust your gut if you’re not used to it. But if you do it right once or twice, you’ll learn to trust your intuition more the next time.
When I do something new and different for the first time, I like to feel about 80% ready. That way, you have enough confidence to do it, but there’s that 20% that if you do reach it, you’ll feel internally rewarded for the leap you have made.
What is holding you back from launching your next big thing? While in this specific article, I’m referring to starting and launching a blog, these psychological barriers to entry can apply to any circumstance. Do you want to create a weekly emailing newsletter to your subbies but don’t have any ideas? And therefore, you can’t bring yourself to pick up your pen and start brainstorming for ideas?
Whatever that’s holding you back right now, think back to another scenario in your life where you had to make a difficult decision. How did you feel after you took the leap? Relieved? It wasn’t that difficult right?
It’s usually never the project itself that’s difficult, but because your mind perceives it as unattainable, you begin to believe it. Sometimes all you need is a bit more encouragement. Other times a small shift in mindset will make the world’s difference!