You’ve been considering it for quite some time now.
It’s a feeling you just can’t shake off. And it keeps nudging at you: should I start a blog or not? The craving is present, the feeling all too overwhelming but you shut it out. I don’t want (or need) a blog, you force yourself to believe; it’s just not your kind of thing.
Long before you know it, you begin to entertain these “I don’t need a blog” thoughts. Well, that’s fine if it’s your genuine decision. But, you see, the problem is most times it’s easy to see that, under these circumstances, you’re only making excuses from pursuing that which you truly desire to do.
You’re not alone in this experience. For months, I did the same thing.
I read articles on blogs and wished I could start my own. Since I had flare for writing, I thought that would be a cool thing to do. Only that I never did. I felt comfortable cooking up excuses that kept me pinned down; and oh! How I wanted to rise!
I never got about starting a blog until I realized certain truths. You know what truths do, yeah? They set you free! Like the jet fuel that pushes the rocket way up into the galaxy. Truth kicked me in the ass and finally I rose up.
Guess what I did?
I started this blog you’re now reading. Happily, I can tell you it’s been one of the best choices I’ve made. We never know how awesome we are at something until we give it a shot.
As an emerging writer, blogging is a sure way to write better, publish a book, establish profitable connections, land speaking engagements, create value and impact lives. But heck, maybe you already know this but still hide behind the shadow of your excuses.
Not anymore. It’s time to shine the torch of truth on these killer excuses and proclaim you free!
Don’t Know What to Blog About
Before I started my blog, I had this dilemma.
There were several things I wanted to put up on my blog. But since writing is as broad as the Atlantic Ocean, I didn’t know where to start swimming from. If I dived too deep, I would drown (and that set the alarms off in my head, like Shaggy in Scooby doo). I could write about drama, short stories, poetry, essays, book publishing, inspiration, personal development and all whatnot.
Then, I didn’t understand what choosing a niche meant. Nonetheless, I started blogging, writing on all without really settling on any. After a while, I came to full grasps of what a niche meant and why I needed to be in one.
It’s pertinent to know that settling on what to blog about is only a process that helps you identify what’s relevant. It shouldn’t be what keeps you from starting at all.
The moment I realised this, I cancelled this excuse off my list of excuses.
Another thing that gave me insight into how to tackle this excuse was the principle I learnt growing up: start small, start better. Other aspects of my life have experienced my application of this principle. I figured blogging was no different. Once I was able to sort out what niche would truly offer the best value to my ideal readers, I had to even go narrower by sieving out other things from the niche, just to make sure I wasn’t handling to many things all at once.
Here’s the value I wanted to offer: teach and get people inspired to write, and once they’re inspired, provide competitions they could use as testing ground. Then get them online to inspire others.
When I was clear on this value, I settled for writing contests, creative writing and blogging tips. It’s been awesome offering this value to many readers of my blog. I bet you have some value hidden up your sleeves that you can also share. Take your time (but not too long, like I did), figure out what it is and start sharing it through your blog.
People Won’t Read My Blog
I believe that destinies are interlinked. The progress we make in our lives more often than not serves as the foundation for some other people to stand and pursue their dreams. This as well applies to us – we benefit from the success recorded by others.
An example of this is evident in the life of Chimamanda Adichie. She’s quoted to have said her writings have had huge impacts and influence from the works of Chinua Achebe.
So, honestly, you never know who would draw inspiration from what you write about on your blog (no matter how insignificant you may think it is). Occasionally, I get feedbacks from readers who attest that my work inspires them to get going and achieve their goals. I tell you, there’s no greater feeling!
What will make people commit to reading your blog?
Starting a “me too” blog wouldn’t achieve this. A “me too” blog is when you run off to start a blog on politics, entertainment and gossips. You think, everyone’s doing it, perhaps I should too.
This is all but a misconception – that blogging is all about reporting the latest trend or news. Blogging goes beyond this notion. It is the offering of value in form of written content. A platform to leverage to inform, educate, share and be rewarded.
Remember the blog that helped you solve that nagging problem you had? Maybe a problem in literature, science, a math assignment or even a movie review. You just loved the content and how your uncertainties were clarified. Even though days, weeks or even months have passed, you still remember the blog (and even go as far as recommending it to your friends); possibly too, you’ve bookmarked it.
That’s what valuable content does. It stays in the mind of people.
So, rather than paint it as an excuse, determine what problem you can solve through your blog and develop valuable content in it. People will most certainly stop over to read your blog, and at best become devoted readers.
The world is attracted to people who are living purposeful lives. When you commit yourself to problem solving, people will invariably be attracted to you. It’s a fundamental principle.
Don’t want to follow the crowd
Yes, you shouldn’t follow the crowd.
However, even though everyone is running off to start a blog, it shouldn’t prevent you from starting yours. You’re unique and that’s why your contribution will also be unique (unless you are only out to copy others). That there are many car owners doesn’t negate the idea of being a car owner yourself, right? You can always have a different approach to how you deploy your blogging.
If there are people already doing what you intend doing, focus on the positive side which is to study them, figure out what it is that’s still lacking in what they do and capitalise on it. Maximise it. It’s often easier to start off anything when there’s a prototype already existing. It’s a great place to start learning. Such people can even become mentors to you, if you’d reach out to them.
What if no one is doing it yet?
If no one is blogging in your preferred niche already (which is most unlikely), it’s an opportunity to become a pioneer in that niche. With considerable effort and creativity you’ll establish yourself as an authority in that niche. This of course, will draw attention both to you and the niche. And as success has many siblings, soon enough, people will come rushing to join your niche. By then you’d be far ahead for any of them to catch up with your success. An instance of this is Linda Ikeji – she started off when no one considered blogging as worthwhile (some even called it work for the jobless), but now, her story is very much different and thousands aspire to get to the level she now enjoys.
Not wishing to follow the crowd should not be an excuse, rather it should be an opportunity to know what works and what’s new.
Won’t Make Money Blogging
This is tricky. The truth is not everyone rakes in income from blogging. But then again, it’s obvious that people live off the money they make from blogging.
While this is a vast issue that can’t be exhausted in this article, it’s also not an excuse that should hinder you from taking the steps towards being a blog owner.
As a writer, blogging exposes you to publishing your own books which of course you can sell. There are possibilities of also landing speaking engagements, when what you blog about resonates with a particular group. If you’re a techy, having a blog can also help you land blog building jobs.
See? Money comes in through different ways. And of course, there’s Google Adsense.
Can’t Write Well
This sounds familiar to me. Reason being that, I too, used it as an excuse to stay off starting a blog.
But really, this shouldn’t be an excuse. If there’s anything I’ve observed in life, it’s that we get better at whatever we do through practice and consistency. Even when talent is not on our side, the possibilities of improvement cannot be shoved aside. Whenever I’m explaining this, I readily point to Cristiano Ronaldo. As much as you may say he’s not the best, he has constantly defied his critics and risen to the top through practice and consistency.
Your writing sucks?
Keep writing. Write when you don’t feel like it, write when your writing doesn’t make sense to you. Just write. If you’ll stay intentional about it and see it as a learning process, then soon enough, you’ll become aware of the little improvements you’ve made that will sure enough add up to become giant leaps.
What better place to practice writing than to do it on your own blog?!
When I started blogging, I didn’t think my writing was superb enough (even though I’d won some essay contests), I just felt I needed to learn more. This was because I wanted to measure up to those I looked up to as blogging mentors. I didn’t let my ineptitude then scare me from launching into the deep.
So to you, here’s my advice: Launch!
Don’t have time and money
This is a two pronged excuse that’s always lurking at the corners of our mind.
Heck, who has time? Who has money?
Truth is, no one does. We live in a fast paced world. Everything zooms and people rarely have time to raise their heads off their smartphones and PCs. It’s also a world where people would prefer to spend money seeing all the latest movies (have you seen Justice League?), stake bets on bet9ja, watch weekly EPL matches and all whatnot but wouldn’t have any money left to make meaningful investments.
Not that they don’t matter, it’s just life.
However, if you must realise your goal and vision to start a blog, you must be ready to commit. This means, drawing up a schedule that will ensure you have free time to show up and write and also set aside some cash to help you take the first steps of buying a domain name and a hosting service.
When you’re able to sacrifice these two things, you’ll put in considerable effort towards making your blog a success that it deserves to be.
Time to take Action
One quote says, when we really want to do something, we’ll find a way to do it, but when we don’t we’ll find excuses.
Don’t let excuses keep you away from touching lives that depend on your progress and success in blogging. Take action, and take action now.
What excuses have you told yourself about starting a blog? Kindly share in the comments below.
PS: if you need assistance with setting up your own blog, reach out to me through my contact page. I’d be all too glad to help.