Everyone’s writing blogs these days. And if you’re not, you’re probably wishing you were or feel the pressure to do so. Publish or perish isn’t just for academics anymore.
With literally millions of blogs being posted worldwide every day, if you’re not getting the word out online, you’re probably not getting heard. Blogging is the most predominant way professionals are dispensing information to clients, partners, and prospects.
But if you’re like most people, the prospect of writing is only slightly less horrible than giving a public speech, undergoing root canal surgery, or dying. Sitting down, composing your thoughts, and crafting them into a coherent message and onto the page is as ominous a task as jumping into a den of lions. Fortunately, people can learn lion-taming skills and lions can be tamed. So can blogs.
In this three-part series, were going to look at three of the most common obstacles that keep people from blogging. These roadblocks can be “lions” that growl so loudly that they leave the average potential blogger immobilized in fear. Or people can learn to tame them and reach their writing objectives.
The first lion-sized obstacle you need to overcome is AUTHORITY.
One of the primary reasons most people don’t blog is because they don’t feel they’re qualified, possess the proper credibility, or have the adequate authority for authorship. Who are they to tell anyone else about anything?
They feel a little like the person former Illinois governor and Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson was referencing when he said, “You’ll never be able to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”
But the truth is you probably wield more influence than you think. Here are a few tips on how to gauge your credibility, size up your authority, push through to action, and see yourself as a capable and qualified leader who can take charge and get things done.
Remember how you got where you are.
Sometimes it only takes a glance at your resume or LinkedIn profile to remind yourself how skilled and expert you are in your field. We tend to be too familiar with our own worlds to be an objective judge of ourselves. We also tend to second guess our credentials.
Chances are pretty high that you’re highly competent and educated in what you do. You’ve studied your field. You’ve analyzed it as you’ve worked at it. You have very specific opinions on it and its application to the business world at large. Why not write about it?
Consider your position.
Chances are also very high that not only do you have deep understanding and credible insight into your profession, but that you’re also experienced in many other areas as well. And that you’re pretty successful at what you do. You’re getting paid to do it after all, right? Why else would you be the commutations manager, project specialist, or chief revenue officer?
Knowledge about a subject is one skill. Application of it is another. Excelling in it and branching off into new areas of discovery takes you to another level of competence and qualification that makes you worthy of commentary on it. People would like to know what and how and why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Look around at other bloggers for comparable qualifications.
Many readers have such an elevated view of blogging and bloggers that they don’t realize the average blogger is often simply another working professional just like yourself. Certainly the most popular bloggers possess exceptional skill levels, competencies, and the ability to communicate themselves in an engaging and effective manner. Nevertheless, their levels of expertise and insight usually aren’t that much different than your own.
As an exercise, look at the credentials of the bloggers you consistently follow. Not as a way of comparing and competing, but simply as way of seeing what their relative expertise levels are compared to your own. You’ll most likely find a similar level of experience, which should make you feel more comfortable about commenting on your passions and areas of expertise.
Realize that your audience will benefit from your input.
In the end, audiences follow blogs because they can obtain information that they feel is timely, applicable, and insightful from those they respect and admire. Most of us have spheres of influence, people who respect our opinions, and audiences who are interested in our insights and expertise.
We do them – and ourselves – a favor when we acknowledge their desire for information and opinion, and then provide it to them in interesting, entertaining, and coherent means. It’s merely a question of finding your people and communicate your message to them.
Authority isn’t just reserved for celebrities, academics, and popular online personalities. It’s an attribute you can claim when you know where you came from, where you’re currently at, and where you’re going.
You’re more than qualified to blog. You’ve overcome the “authority” obstacle. Now, go blog!
Jim Ramsbottom is ThinkWell's writer-in-residence. When he's not authoring blogs (for clients or himself), white papers, animation scripts, website copy, or marketing content, you can find him writing screenplays or re-watching “Breaking Bad.” He’s an ardent of the Hopi proverb: “He who tells the stories rules the world.”